Pope's 3-Month Agenda: Lent Retreat, Easter, Malta

5th Anniversary of John Paul II’s Death Falls on Good Friday

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The calendar of liturgies over which Benedict XVI will preside from February through April was published today, including the agenda of Lent and Holy Week celebrations and a mention of his trip to Malta.

The Pope will begin February with a celebration on the 2nd for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica, he will lead vespers with members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.

The Holy Father will mark the beginning of Lent on Feb. 17 with a penitential procession at 4:30 p.m. and the blessing and imposition of ashes at 5.
On Feb. 19, there will be a consistory for certain causes of canonization.

On the First Sunday of Lent, Feb. 21, the Pontiff and members of the Roman Curia will being their annual spiritual exercises. The retreat will conclude Feb. 27.

In March, the Bishop of Rome will visit one of his parishes: St. John of the Cross, where he will celebrate a 9 a.m. Mass on March 7.

On March 25, the Holy Father will meet with young people at 8:30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square in preparation for World Youth Day.

The Pope will begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday Mass on March 28, including the blessing of palms and procession.

Benedict XVI will mark the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death with a 6 p.m. Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on March 29. His predecessor died April 2, which this year falls on Good Friday.

Holy Week celebrations will continue on Holy Thursday (April 1) with a 9:30 a.m. Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. That evening at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Pope will begin the Easter Triduum with a 5:30 Mass of the Last Supper.

On Good Friday, he will lead the celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 5 p.m. at St. Peter’s and at 9:15 in the Colosseum, participate in the Way of the Cross.

The Easter Vigil will be celebrated at 9 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica, and Easter Sunday Mass at 10:15 a.m., April 4. At midday, the Holy Father will give the “urbi et orbi” blessing.

Finally, April 17-18, Benedict XVI will make his apostolic visit to Malta.

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