By Vatican News
Holy Week this year begins on April 14th, Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. It is also the 34th World Youth Day, which this year is celebrated at the diocesan level on the theme: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord: may it be done to me according to your word".
In St Peter's Square, at 10am, Pope Francis will preside over Holy Mass, after having blessed palm and olive branches, brought for the occasion in order to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
On Thursday, April 18th at 9.30am in St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will preside over the Chrism Mass, together with Patriarchs, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and priests present in Rome. During the celebration, the Pope blesses the holy oils, or “chrisms”, that will be used to administer the Sacraments during the year.
On Friday, April 19th, the Church celebrates the Passion of the Lord, commemorating His crucifixion and death on Mount Calvary. In St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis will preside over the Liturgy of the Word, the Adoration of the Cross, and the Communion Rite, starting at 5pm.
At 9.15pm, he will participate in the “Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, at the Colosseum, at the end of which he will give a reflection and impart his Apostolic Blessing.
The Easter Vigil takes place on Saturday, April 20th, beginning at 8.30pm. After blessing the new fire in the atrium of St Peter's Basilica, and after the processional entrance with the Easter candle and the singing of the “Exsultet” (or “Easter Proclamation”), the Pope will preside over the Liturgy of the Word, the Baptismal Liturgy and the Celebration of the Eucharist.
Pope Francis will celebrate Easter Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, April 21st at 10am. At the end of the celebration, he will impart the “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing, on the City of Rome and the World, from the central loggia of St Peter’s Basilica.