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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Vatican releases pope’s Lenten schedule

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ liturgical schedule for March and April, including Holy Week and Easter.

The pope’s hectic schedule includes a penitential celebration and a consistory for several causes of canonisation. However, the schedule does not say where he will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Greg Burke, vice-director of the Vatican press office, told journalists the location will be announced at a later date.

Since the start of his pontificate, the pope has celebrated the Holy Thursday Mass in places that highlight a pastoral need.

Last year, the pope celebrated the Mass and foot-washing ritual at Rome’s Rebibbia prison where he washed the feet of 12 male and female inmates. The Vatican issued a decree on 21st January specifying that the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual can include ‘all members of the people of God,’ including women – a practice observed for some time by Pope Francis and many priests around the world.

The calendar released by the Vatican on 29th February included the following events and services:

*4th March: Penitential liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica.
*6th – 11th March: Lenten retreat with officials from the Roman Curia in Ariccia, a town outside Rome.
*15th March: Consistory for several causes of canonisation
*20th March: Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square.
*24th March: Holy Thursday, morning chrism Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.
*25th March: Good Friday afternoon liturgy of the Lord’s Passion in St Peter’s Basilica. Night-time, Way of the Cross in Rome’s Colosseum.
*26th March: Easter vigil at 8:30 pm in St Peter’s Basilica.
*27th March: Easter morning Mass in St Peter’s Square, followed by the papal blessing urbi et orbi (to the city and the world).
*2nd April: Jubilee Prayer Vigil in St Peter’s Square for those devoted to the spirituality of Divine Mercy.
*3rd April: Divine Mercy Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square.