By Vatican News staff writer
As the Lenten season draws closer toward Holy Week, the Vatican on Tuesday released details of the programme of celebrations for Holy Week at which Pope Francis will preside. A note from the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, indicates the following:
- On 28 March, Palm Sunday Mass is scheduled for 10:30 am at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica;
- Chrism Mass, on Thursday, 1 April, will take place at 10:00 am at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, and will be presided by the Pope. Later that day, the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper will take place at 6:00 pm. It will be presided by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the Dean of the College of Cardinals;
- On Good Friday, 2 April, the celebration of the Passion of the Lord will begin at 6:00 pm at the Altar of the Chair. Afterwards, the Way of the Cross will take place at 9:00 pm at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican;
- Easter Vigil celebrations on Holy Saturday will be held at 7:30 pm in St. Peter’s Basilica. Easter morning Mass will also be celebrated in the Basilica, at 10:00 am on Easter Sunday, which will be followed by the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing at midday.
All of these events will take place with limited presence of the faithful in strict accordance with precautionary measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meditations for Good Friday Via Crucis
Pope Francis has entrusted the preparation of the meditations for this year's Good Friday Way of the Cross to the Agesci Scout Group “Foligno I” (Umbria) and the Roman Parish of Santi Matiri di Uganda (Holy Martyrs of Uganda).
The images that will accompany the various Stations will also be made by children and young people from the “Mater Divini Amoris” Family House and the “Tetto Casal Fattoria” Family House.
Simple but profound words
A statement from the Holy See Press Office on Tuesday notes that the meditations and images for the Via Crucis will be prepared by children and teens between the ages of 3 to 19.
The words are “simple and immediate,” said the Press Office, but are “fully aware of the meaning of discrimination and humiliation, as well as justice and solidarity."
“The words and colors give back the complexity of a world made of small and big crosses but also of trust and hope for the future," the statement notes, "for those who witness their parents fighting, for those without strength to defend their friends in difficulty, for those who fail at tests in school, for those who experience loneliness amid these times of the Covid-19 pandemic, and those who are able to see the face of Jesus in the stranger, among others."
The young authors
The Agesci Scout Group “Foligno I” is made up of 21 instructors and 145 boys and girls between 8 – 19 years. With the assistance of their leaders, they have reflected on the fourteen Stations and related them to their daily experiences. In keeping with their educational methods, the “Foligno I” uses tools such as play, outdoor living and service to other to contribute to the growth of children and young people.
The Santi Matiri dell’Uganda Parish is located in the Ardeatino area of Rome. Its Pastor, Fr. Luigi d’Errico, is in charge of pastoral care for people with disabilities in the diocese. The parish has the “Rifugio per Agar” house for women and children victims of abuse and the “Casa Betlemme” which serves to accommodate homeless families in collaboration with the eight parishes of the XXII prefecture of the diocese of Rome.
About 500 children and young people from the catechism for First Holy Communion and Confirmation helped shape the mediations. They even met online sometimes due to the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic
The “Mater Divini Amoris” Family House in Rome is managed by the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Divine Love. The religious sisters welcome guests in the spirit of the Marian Apostolate and following the example of their founder, Don Umberto Terenzi. Presently, they take care of children between ages 3 and 8.
The “Tetto Casal Fattoria” Family House in Rome has been working to combat the hardships faced by young people and children since 1984. It offers assistance projects, support, professional and cultural training with the aim of accompanying children and young people in their growth.