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.