Christmas at the Vatican is one of the most special times of year for the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI has led numerous festivities celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and spreading the message of peace and love to the world.
Saturday on Christmas Eve, Christmas weekend celebrations will commence with the papal Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, beginning at 10:00 pm Rome time, or 4:00 pm EST. from the Basilica's Loggia of Benediction, Pope Benedict will deliver his annual Christmas message.
These two events can be viewed all over the world via an online stream. The Mass will be broadcast on the Vatican News Web site. Click here to view that stream. You can also listen to the Mass via Vatican Radio. Click here to download the appropriate channel.
In the past, the Pope has commented on conflicts affecting the world community. This year, he is likely to reference the Arab Spring and the global economic crisis.
After the Midnight Mass, Benedict XVI will bestow his urbi et orbi -- or to the city and the world -- apostolic blessing and offer brief Christmas greetings in 65 languages, reports The National Catholic Register.
Next weekend, the Pope will preside over a New Year's Eve service along with a New Year's Day Mass.