The Vatican has made arrangements to guarantee Pope Francis' Christmas ceremonies. The pandemic has forced a change in the location and schedule of the ceremonies.
On Dec. 24, the 'Midnight Mass,' which was scheduled at 9:30 p.m., has been moved to 7:30 p.m. by the pope. It will be at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica and not at the central altar.
This year, the pope will not come out to this balcony at noon for the 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing on Dec. 25, though he will be very close.
He will give it from inside that hall, which is known as the Hall of Blessings. Therefore, it is possible that when he finishes, he will lean out to bless the city and the world in these difficult times.
On Dec. 31, he will pray a 'Te Deum' as a sign of gratitude for the good things of the year 2020, in the basilica, at 5:00 p.m.
His first Mass of 2021 will be at 10:00 a.m. in this same location. It coincides with the World Day of Peace.
The pope will use similar procedures for Holy Week. This way, very few people will be able to participate in order to respect the health safety measures, and the use of masks will be mandatory.
Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Christian Campos