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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis will celebrate his sixth Christmas at the Vatican

Pope Francis will celebrate all liturgical ceremonies this Christmas. He will start by first celebrating Mass on Dec. 24 at 9:30 pm. The following day he will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, to the city and the world, from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at 12:00 pm.

On Dec. 26, the feast day of St. Stephen, the Angelus will be prayed from the window of the pontifical apartments; and then again on Sunday Dec. 30. 

In the afternoon of the 31st, as is tradition, he will pray with the authorities of Rome the Te Deum to thank God for 2018. Then he will visit the Nativity Scene in St. Peter's Square. 

Jan. 1 is a day full of ceremonies in the Church because the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and World Day of Peace are celebrated. Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass for peace and will pray the Angelus with pilgrims. 

On Wednesday Jan. 2, he will preside over the General Audience and on Sunday, 6, he will celebrate the Epiphany Mass.

In total there will be three Masses and four Angelus. The Urbi et Orbi blessing will be on Dec. 25 and the thanksgiving prayer on Dec. 31. 

There will not be a General Audience during those days, but a number of private meetings will still be held. As is customary during these feast days, Pope Francis will celebrate Christmas in privacy and simplicity.