Christmas 2019 is here, and with it comes the Vatican’s annual Christmas Mass, delivered by Pope Francis. If you celebrate the religious holiday and are interested in watching the Mass, here’s what you need to know:
The Vatican’s 2019 Christmas Mass, “Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord,” is scheduled for Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, at 9:30 p.m. local time in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Basilica (that is 3:30 p.m. EST). The Mass will run approximately 2 hours long, ending just before midnight and the start of Christmas in Vatican City.
The Christmas service will be aired on Catholic TV, as well as live-streamed via Vatican News’ YouTube account. If you are unable to watch the Mass when it is delivered live, anticipate that Vatican News will share a recorded copy of it once it has concluded.
On Christmas Day, December 25, Pope Francis is scheduled to address the crowds of people that gather every year in St. Peter’s Square and give the “urbi et orbi” blessing to the city and the world at noon local time. That will also be live-streamed on Vatican News’ YouTube channel.
Although the Christmas Mass is on December 24, the Christmas season continues through January 6, which means there are masses associated with the holiday at St. Peter’s Basilica after December 25 has passed. Here is the schedule of the Vatican’s masses:
– December 26, 2019: “Feast of St. Stephen Protomartyr” mass at noon local time.
– December 31, 2019: An evening prayer in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m. local time, and the “Te Deum” song to thank God for the year as it comes to a close (5pm local time).
– January 1, 2020: “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God” mass and the “World Day of Prayer for Peace” at 10am local time in St. Peter’s Basilica.
– January 6, 2020: “Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord” mass at 10 a.m. local time.
Ahead of the Christmas Mass, Pope Francis took to Twitter on Christmas Eve to reflect on the significance of the nativity. He wrote “The nativity scene is like a living Gospel: it brings the Gospel into homes, schools, workplaces and meeting spaces, hospitals and nursing homes, prisons and town squares.” He continued with a second tweet, adding “I hope that setting up a nativity scene may be an opportunity for you to invite Jesus into your life. Because if He inhabits it, life is reborn. And it really is Christmas.”