The Pope plans to celebrate midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, and then celebrate Mass the next morning. At midday he plans to deliver his Christmas message and impart his blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city of Rome and the world) from the atrium of St. Peter’s.
At 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, the Holy Father will preside at vespers in St. Peter’s, during which the “Te Deum” will be sung, a hymn of thanksgiving for the gifts received during 2004.
On Jan. 1, World Day of Peace, the Pope will preside over the 10 a.m. Mass on the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
As was the case last year, the Holy Father has deleted from his schedule the ordination of bishops on Jan. 6, feast of the Epiphany, to avoid further exertion.