By Vatican News staff reporter
This year’s meditations for Advent will begin this Friday, 4 December, according to a note from the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. As is customary, Pope Francis will be in attendance for the annual Advent sermons, which will be preached by newly created Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa.
The Capuchin friar, who was appointed Preacher for the Pontifical Household in 1980, has chosen for his theme a verse from the Psalms: “Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart” (90:12).
Cardinal Cantalamessa has now served as preacher to three different popes over more than four decades. In a recent interview with Vatican News, the Cardinal reflected on his experience: “To think that a Pope like John Paul, [or] Benedict, and even Francis would find the time to listen to a poor, simple Capuchin friar is an example they have given to the whole Church, an example of the esteem for the Word of God. In a certain sense, it is they who preach it to me.”
In its note announcing this year’s course of sermons, the Prefecture explained that the three meetings in preparation for Christmas will take place in the Paul VI Hall due to the need for social distancing between attendees on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cardinals, archbishops, bishops, prelates of the Pontifical Household, employees of the Roman Curia and the Vicariate of Rome, and Superiors or Procurators of religious Orders that are part of the Pontifical Chapel are invited to attend the sermons, which take place each Friday during Advent.