Here Are Pope Francis’ Liturgies for Christmas 2023 at the Vatican

Vatican has published the schedule of Pope Francis’ liturgies through the Jan. 7 feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Christmas Mass underway in St. Peter's Basilica, Dec. 24, 2022.
Christmas Mass underway in St. Peter's Basilica, Dec. 24, 2022. (photo: Daniel Ibanez / CNA)

As the preparatory season of Advent draws near, the Vatican has published the schedule of Pope Francis’ liturgies for Christmas 2023 through the Jan. 7 feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Most of the liturgies will take place in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Following his custom in recent years, Pope Francis will preside over a Christmas Eve “Mass at Night” at 7:30 p.m. in the basilica.

On Christmas Day, he will deliver the traditional urbi et orbi (“to the city and the world”) blessing from the central balcony on the front of St. Peter’s Basilica. This blessing is given only on Christmas and Easter or on other exceptional occasions and includes the Pope’s wishes for peace in the world.

For the vigil of the Jan. 1 Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Pope will preside over first vespers, also known as evening prayer. The prayer service will also include the singing of the Te Deum, a Latin hymn of thanksgiving from the early Church.

This year, Dec. 31 will also mark the first anniversary of the death of Pope Benedict XVI at the age of 95.

On Jan. 1, 2024, Pope Francis will preside over a Mass at 10 a.m. for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The first day of the year is also commemorated as the World Day of Peace.

For the solemnity of Epiphany, which is observed in Italy and the Vatican on Jan. 6, Francis will again preside at a Mass at 10 a.m. 

And on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 7, Pope Francis will preside at a Mass in the Sistine Chapel, where he will also baptize the babies of several Vatican employees.

Among other pre-Christmas festivities, the Vatican will also unveil its Nativity scene and light its Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square on Dec. 9, one day after the Dec. 8 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, when Pope Francis will mark the feast day by honoring the Virgin Mary with a prayer near the Spanish Steps.

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