Vatican announces papal liturgies, including communal penance service
Published: January 3, 2006
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's schedule of public liturgies through April includes a Lenten communal penitential service -- a papal first -- but no canonization or beatification ceremonies. Releasing the pope's January-April liturgical calendar Dec. 31, the Vatican announced the pope will preside over a communal penance service followed by private confessions and individual absolution April 11, the Tuesday of Holy Week. The schedule did not say whether the pope would be among the priests hearing confessions during the celebration in St. Peter's Basilica. Pope John Paul II made a tradition of hearing confessions on Good Friday at the basilica. Much of the four-month schedule involves presiding over liturgies traditionally led by the pope: for example, closing the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with an evening prayer service at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and celebrating Mass and distributing ashes March 1 in the Basilica of Santa Sabina.
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