Christmas Mass in Vatican: Pope pleads for dignity of work

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Pope Francis officially kicked off Christmas celebrations at the Vatican with a festive Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Mass was held Friday evening with a limited number of participants, about 200 people, including 26 cardinals and 18 bishops, to protect against contagion. The 85-year-old pontiff presided over Christmas celebrations at the Vatican for the ninth time this year.

The traditional Christmas Mass on Dec. 24 in St. Peter’s Basilica was moved up – as it was the previous year – and began at 7:30 p.m. In 2020, the Vatican thus took into account the night curfew in force in Italy. The Mass in commemoration of the birth of Christ some 2,000 years ago was broadcast live in several countries and on the Internet. Christmas, along with Easter celebrations, is a highlight of the church year for many practicing Christians.

The head of the Catholic Church focused his sermon on the theme of the “dignity of work.” Man, he said, is the master and not the slave of work. Thus, the pontiff pleaded for measures against fatal accidents at work.

The pope called on the faithful to “return to Bethlehem.” “Let us return to the origins, to the essence of faith, to the first love, to adoration and to charity,” Francis said, pleading for a “poor and fraternal church.”

Pope Francis will deliver his Christmas message this year on Saturday (12 p.m.). Addressing the faithful around the world from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Day, the Catholic Church leader will then offer the solemn papal blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. This year, too, the audience in the square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica is limited because of the Corona pandemic.

The Pope gives thanks for the past year at a Vespers with the praise of the “Te Deum” on December 31 at 5:00 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica. This also corresponds to the traditional custom. For the New Year, Francis will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on the morning of January 1, 2022 (10 a.m.). The Catholic Church celebrates the World Day of Peace on this date.

  • source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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