Pope to lead all Holy Week ceremonies
The increasingly frail Pope John Paul II will preside over all the liturgical ceremonies in Rome during Holy Week, as he has done over the 22 years of his pontificate, the Vatican said this week.
The Holy Week rites, which this year by coincidence will be celebrated simultaneously by Eastern and Western Christians, will begin this Sunday (Palm Sunday). On that day the Pontiff will entrust Canadian youth with the World Youth Day cross, which they will take home. Toronto will host World Youth Day in July next year.
On Holy Thursday, the Pope will preside over the morning Chrism Mass, in St Peter's Square. He will open the paschal triduum in the afternoon, celebrating the Eucharist of the Lord's Supper, and the rite of the washing of the feet in the Basilica of St John Lateran.
On Good Friday in the afternoon, the Holy Father will preside over the commemoration of Christ's passion and later will lead the Way of the Cross, at the Colosseum. Meditations from a text of Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) will be used in the latter event.
On Holy Saturday, the Pope will preside over the Easter Vigil in St Peter's Basilica. The next morning, Easter, he will preside over the Mass of the Resurrection. Afterward he will impart the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.