In the lead-up to the second Easter since his election, Pope Francis will be presiding over the Holy Week liturgies and services.
The Paschal Triduum, which begins on Holy Thursday, will commence with the Chrism Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica with the Holy Father. During this Mass, the Pope will bless the chrism oil used for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. Liturgically, it is the only time of the year in which this oil can receive this blessing.
Later in the day, Pope Francis will preside over the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a center dedicated to the care of the elderly and disabled: the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation of St. Mary of Providence Center, which is located in the in the Casalotti Boccea quarter of Rome. During the ceremony, Pope Francis will personally wash the feet of those who are cared for at the center.
The decision to celebrate this year’s “In Coena Domini” Mass in a place of suffering is a continuation of a “tradition” Pope Francis has brought from his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires. Last year, he made history when he celebrated the first Holy Thursday Mass of his pontificate at Rome’s Casal del Marmo prison, personally washing the feet of the inmates.
Because Good Friday marks Jesus’ Passion and Death, there is no celebration of Mass between the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and Saturday’s Easter Vigil.
Pope Francis will preside over the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion in Saint Peter’s Basilica. During the service, St. John’s account of Christ’s Passion and Death is read.
Later that evening, Pope Francis will make his way to the Roman Colloseum – the site where many Christians were martyred during periods of Roman Persecution – where he will lead the faithful in the Stations of the Cross. The meditations for the reflections on each Station, which the Holy Father will lead, were composed by Archbishop Giancarlo Maria Bregantini of Campobasso-Boiano, Italy.
Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday
On Saturday evening, Pope Francis will preside over the Easter Vigil Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. The next morning, he will celebrate Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, after which he will bestow his Urbi et Orbi blessing.