Pope abandons midnight for Christmas mass

The pope will break with tradition this year and celebrate Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10pm instead of midnight, the Vatican announced today.

The pope will break with tradition this year and celebrate Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10pm instead of midnight, the Vatican announced today.

A spokesman said the decision to change the schedule was made two months ago to “ease the (pope’s) fatigue at a time when there are many ceremonies and commitments” during Christmas holidays.

He said there was no reason to worry about the health of the 82-year-old pope. He said Vatican aides decided to “stretch out his strength” and the pontiff agreed.

On noon on Christmas Day the pope will read a holiday message from the central balcony of the basilica as crowds gather in the square.

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