Faithful return to St Peter's Square for first Palm Sunday Mass since 2019.
St Peter's Square has been filled with thousands of chairs for the first time in more than two years as the Vatican resumes papal events open to the faithful.
The first major ceremony to take place in Piazza S. Pietro since Italy began to relax its covid-19 restrictions will be Palm Sunday at 10.00 on 10 April.
Over the last two years papal liturgies during Holy Week were limited to extremely small numbers and were held mostly indoors, in St Peter's Basilica.
The last time Palm Sunday Mass was celebrated in the piazza, in 2019, more than 40,000 people attended, the Vatican said.
The pope's weekly general audience also returns to St Peter's Square after being held for the last two years either in the Paul VI auditorium or in the more intimate outdoor setting of the S. Damaso courtyard.
2022 will see the return of the Via Crucis ceremony led by Pope Francis at the Colosseum at 21.15 on 15 April, Good Friday.
The Easter Vigil Mass will take place in St Peter's Basilica at 19.30 on Saturday 16 April, while Easter Sunday Mass will be celebrated in St Peter's Square at 10.00 on 17 April.
The pope will impart his traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing from the balcony over St Peter's at midday on Easter Sunday.
For details of the pope's Easter liturgical programme see Vatican website.
Cover image: Pope Francis, Palm Sunday 2019. Photo Catholic News Service CNS / Paul Haring.
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Pope celebrates Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter's Square for first time in two years
Piazza San Pietro, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
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