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Vatican releases pope’s Lent, Holy Week, Easter schedule

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis and top officials of the Roman Curia will leave the Vatican March 1-6 for their annual Lenten retreat, the Vatican announced.

And, as is customary when first publishing the pope’s calendar for Holy Week, the Vatican did not provide the time or place for his celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, April 9. Pope Francis has made it a tradition to celebrate the Mass and foot-washing ritual at a prison or detention center, refugee center or rehabilitation facility.

Here is the schedule of papal liturgical ceremonies for February, March and April released by the Vatican Feb. 12 (times listed are local):

— Feb. 26, Ash Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. penitential procession from Rome’s Church of St. Anselm to the Basilica of Santa Sabina for Mass with the imposition of ashes.

— March 1-6, Lenten retreat with the Roman Curia at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat center in Ariccia, southeast of Rome.

— March 20, 5 p.m., penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica.

— April 5, Palm Sunday, 10 a.m. Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

— April 9, chrism Mass, 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.

— April 10, Good Friday, 5 p.m. liturgy of the Lord’s passion in St. Peter’s Basilica.

— April 10, Way of the Cross, 9:15 p.m., Rome’s Colosseum.

— April 11, Easter vigil Mass, 8:30 p.m., St. Peter’s Basilica.

— April 12, Easter morning Mass, 10 a.m., St. Peter’s Square, followed at noon by the pope’s blessing "urbi et orbi" (the city and the world) from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

— April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday, Mass in St. Peter’s Square at 10:30 a.m.

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