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 CNS Story:

POPE-CALENDAR Nov-27-2013 (230 words) xxxi

Schedule set for Pope Francis' first Vatican Christmas

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At least liturgically, Pope Francis' first Advent and Christmas at the Vatican will follow the schedule set during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis' Advent and Christmas schedule looks a lot like the one followed by Pope Benedict XVI, shown here praying at the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Basilica after celebrating Christmas Eve Mass last year. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, published Pope Francis' liturgy schedule for December and January. According to the schedule released Nov. 26:

-- Pope Francis will mark the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Dec. 8 with a visit to Rome's Spanish Steps where he will pray before an image of Mary.

-- At 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24 he will begin the celebration of Christmas Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

-- On Christmas Day, at noon, he will address the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square and give his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world).

-- He will celebrate evening prayer Dec. 31 in St. Peter's Basilica and lead the "Te Deum" to offer thanks to God for the year that is ending.

-- Jan. 1, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Prayer for Peace, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica.

-- Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany, the pope will celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica.

-- On the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 12, he will celebrate Mass in the Sistine Chapel and baptize babies.


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