By Deborah Castellano Lubov

As the world still grapples the COVID19 pandemic, and Italy has been enforcing a 10 p.m. curfew, Pope Francis’ Christmas vigil will take place earlier this year, at 7:30 p.m. Usually the Pope’s ‘Midnight Mass’ began about 9 p.m.
This adjustment was announced in the calendar of the Pope’s December 2020 – January 2021 liturgical celebrations, published by the Holy See Press Office today, Dec. 10, 2020.
“Participation in the celebrations,” it clarified, “will be very limited, with faithful identified according to the methods used in recent months.”
The note assured all will be done “in compliance with the protection measures provided” and remains “subject to changes due to the health emergency.”
To date, more than 60,000 people have died from COVID19 in Italy.
Tomorrow will be the inauguration, always with limit participation, of the Vatican’s Nativity Scene and tree lighting, which can be followed along via Vatican Media.
Below is the Vatican-provided Calendar for the Christmas season:
***
December 2020
Thursday 24
Solemnity of the Birth of the Lord
St. Peter’s Basilica, 7.30 pm
Evening Holy Mass
Friday 25
Solemnity of the Birth of the Lord
St. Peter’s Basilica, 12 noon
“Urbi et Orbi” Blessing
Thursday 31
Solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God
St. Peter’s Basilica, 5 pm
First Vespers and Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year
January 2021
Friday 1st
Solemnity of Mary Most Holy Mother of God
LIV World Day of Peace
St. Peter’s Basilica, 10 am
Holy Mass
Wednesday 6
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
St. Peter’s Basilica, 10 am
Holy Mass
***
Participation in the celebrations will be very limited, with faithful identified according to the methods used in recent months, in compliance with the protection measures provided and subject to changes due to the situation sanitary.
[Vatican-provided text]

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