Saturday, December 16, 2006

Busy Benedict

Vatican announces pope's Christmas schedule

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI will preside over a full schedule of public Masses and prayer services over the Christmas period. The Vatican released the pope's calendar of liturgical celebrations Dec. 14. The pope is scheduled to: celebrate Christmas Mass at midnight in St. Peter's Basilica; give a message and the traditional blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and to the world) from the central balcony of the basilica Dec. 25 at noon; preside over evening prayer and offer a prayer of thanks for the past year at a 6 p.m. service in St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 31; and preside over Mass at 10 a.m. Jan. 1 in St. Peter's Basilica for the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace.

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