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2016: Christmas in Assisi at Basilica of St. Francis

St. Francis called Christmas the "Feast of Feasts". At the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi its celebration began December 8 with blessing and lighting of the Christmas Tree and Crib.

From December 17-23, the celebration intensifies every evening at 6:30 pm during Evening Prayer and on Sunday, December 18 during the Eucharistic Celebration at 5:00 pm.

Fr. Enzo Fortunato, O.F.M.Conv. will provide the reflections from December 17-23.

The Christmas Program at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi will include:

• Saturday, December 17: Recording of the 31st Christmas Concert at 11.00 am in the upper church (the concert will be broadcast on Christmas morning, on RAI 1, immediately after the Urbi et Orbi Blessing of Pope Francis).

• Saturday, December 24: The singing of the Office of Readings at 11.00 pm and the Mass of Christmas Eve at 12:00midnight. His Eminence Card. Attilio Nicora, Papal Legate for the Basilicas of Assisi will preside at the Mass. After the Mass there will be the blessing of the Nativity Scene in the Lower Church;

• Sunday, December 25: Christmas Mass is at 10:30 am will be presided by Fr. Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M.Conv., Custos of the Sacred Convent.

• Wednesday, December 28: The 13th edition of the Concert "In the Light of a Star" by the Choir of the Basilica of St. Francis at 6:30 pm in the Lower Church.

• Saturday, December 315:00 pm Mass of Thanksgiving ending 2016 with the singing of the "Te Deum"11:00 pm: Prayer Vigil - no Mass – “Waiting for the New Year 2017”.

• Sunday, January 1, 2017: Mass of the Solemnity of Most Holy Mother of God at 5:00 pm with the singing of the "Veni Creator" and "Tota Pulchra" presided by Fr. Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M.Conv., Custos of the Sacred Convent.

• Thursday, January 5: 9:00 pm "Christmas in Choir" Concert by the Regional Association of Umbrian Choirs.

• Friday, January 6: Mass of the Solemnity of the Epiphany 10:30 am presided by Fr. Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M.Conv., Custos of the Sacred Convent.

All celebrations will be in the Lower Church. The liturgical celebrations for the Christmas Season will be sung by the Choir of the Papal Basilica of St. Francis.

From Christmas to Epiphany the Basilicas will be open:

• Upper Church: from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm

• Lower Church: from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation: Every day from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Information and direct streaming of the main celebrations at www.sanfrancescoassisi.org and www.sanfrancesco.org.

Full program in Italian, click here

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