Vatican modifies schedule for Christmas celebrations because of pandemic

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The pandemic has constrained the Vatican to modify its usual schedule for Christmas celebrations.

The traditional and anticipated night Mass, which is usually celebrated at 9:30 p.m., will instead take place at 7:30 p.m. (Rome time).

The pope will also not go to the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing. As he did on Easter Sunday, he will impart the blessing from inside the basilica, at 12 p.m. (Rome time), on Dec. 25.

The time for the Vespers and Te Deum on Dec. 31 will remain the same. This moment of gratitude for the year's blessings, will take place in St. Peter's Basilica at 5 p.m.

The first Mass of 2021 will be celebrated at 10 a.m. (Rome time), on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which coincides with World Day of Peace.

Participation in these celebrations will be very limited and in keeping with health safety measures, which include physical distancing and use of face masks.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT

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