Pontiff Plans Full Schedule for Holy Week, Easter

Will Lead Vesper Service for Consecrated Life Day

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will preside at a full schedule of Holy Week and Easter events this April, the Vatican is reporting.

On Tuesday, the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff published the calendar of celebrations the Holy Father will preside at for the months of February, March and April, including those for Holy Week and Easter.

The Pope will lead evening vespers Feb. 2 for the World Day of Consecrated Life, which is observed on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The liturgical service will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

On Feb. 5, the Pontiff will preside at episcopal ordinations, beginning at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica.

The last scheduled liturgical event of February is an ordinary consistory of the cardinals in Rome regarding the approval of decrees of canonization.

March 

Benedict XVI will mark the beginning of Lent, March 9, by leading the Ash Wednesday penitential procession from the Basilica of St. Anselmo to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. The procession begins at 4:30 p.m., and the blessing and imposition of ashes will take place at 5 p.m. at Santa Sabina.

From March 13-19, the Pope and the Roman Curia will participate in spiritual exercises. There will be no general audience on Wednesday, March 16.

On the Second Sunday of Lent, March 20, the Pontiff will dedicate a new parish in Rome. The Mass at San Corbiniano all’Infernetto will begin at 9 a.m.

April

The Holy Father will preside at Palm Sunday Mass on April 17. The blessing of palms, procession and Mass will begin at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square.

On Thursday, April 21, Benedict XVI will preside at the Chrism Mass at 9:30 am in St. Peter's Basilica, and in the evening, at 5:30 p.m., he will open the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

The Pope will lead the celebration of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday, April 22, in St. Peter's Basilica at 5 p.m., and then at 9:15 p.m., he will preside at the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum.

On Holy Saturday, April 23, Benedict XVI will preside at the Easter vigil Mass, beginning at 9 p.m., in St. Peter's Basilica.

He will also preside at Easter Sunday Mass on April 24, which will begin at 10:15 in St. Peter's Square. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, he will impart the traditional blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world).