The Vatican has released details of the celebrations that Pope Francis will preside over for Holy Week and Easter 2017.
A note from the liturgical office said that on Palm Sunday, 9 April, the Pope will lead a procession for the blessing of the olive and palm branches in Saint Peter’s Square, starting at 10.00am, and then celebrate the Mass of Our Lord’s Passion. Palm Sunday also marks the XXXII World Youth Day with the theme taken from Saint Luke’s Gospel ‘The Mighty One has done great things for me’
On Thursday 13 April Pope Francis will preside at the Chrism Mass with the blessing of the holy oils in Saint Peter’s Basilica, starting at 9.30am.
On Good Friday, 14 April, the Pope will lead the celebration of Our Lord’s Passion in Saint Peter’s Basilica, beginning at 5.00pm. That will be followed at 9.15pm by the traditional Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, at the Colosseum, after which the Pope will greet the crowds and impart his Apostolic Blessing.
On Saturday 15 April the Holy Father will celebrate the Easter Vigil in Saint Peter’s Basilica beginning at 8.30pm with the blessing of the new fire and a procession with the Paschal candle. During the celebration he will administer the Sacrament of Baptism before concelebrating Mass with the other cardinals and bishops.
Finally on Easter morning, Sunday 16 April, beginning at 10.00am, Pope Francis will preside at the Mass of Our Lord’s Resurrection in Saint Peter’s Square before giving his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing (to the city of Rome and to the world) from the central balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Editorial note: For those wondering about the ceremony of the washing of the feet, these details have yet to be released.