ROME — As a towering spruce tree was erected in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican released Pope Francis’s liturgy schedule for Advent, Christmas and the month of January.
The 82 feet tall Christmas tree arrived in the square on November 24.
According to the papal calendar released by the Vatican the same day:
- December 12: Pope Francis will celebrate an evening Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mass will include ancient liturgical hymns composed in indigenous languages, including Nahuatl, Quechua, Mapuche and Guarani. The Sistine Chapel Choir will be joined by the Latin American Choir under the direction of conductor Eduardo Notrica.
- December 24: The pope will celebrate Christmas Mass at 9:30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.
- December 25: Pope Francis will give his Christmas blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) at noon from the central balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
- December 31: In St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope will preside over evening prayer and the singing of the “Te Deum” in thanksgiving for the year that is ending.
- January 1: The pope will celebrate a Morning Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the World Day of Prayer for Peace and the feast of Mary, Mother of God.
- January 6: On the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
- January 8: On the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the pope will celebrate Mass in the Sistine Chapel and baptize several babies.
- January 25: Pope Francis will preside over an ecumenical evening prayer service for the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The service concludes the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.