Easter festivities begin in Rome
(dpa) - Easter festivities began in Rome Thursday as the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, held a mass to consecrate the holy oils used in baptisms and confirmations.
Despite forecasts of changeable weather tens of thousands of Catholics from all over the world were expected to attend Easter services in the Vatican.
The traditional foot-washing ceremony was to take place Thursday evening in which the pope washes the feet of twelve people to commemorate the same gesture by Jesus Christ.
On Friday Christians celebrate Good Friday, the day they believe Jesus Christ was crucified.