Pope Benedict XVI was ushering in Easter services at the Vatican with a candlelit vigil in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday night, the eve of his 79th birthday.
Benedict's April 16 birthday coincides with Easter, the most joyous day on the Catholic church's calendar of liturgical celebrations.
After a few hours sleep following the vigil service, Benedict was scheduled to celebrate Mass for a crowd of faithful likely to number in the tens of thousands in St. Peter's Square late Sunday morning.
After Mass in the square on Sunday, Benedict will move to the central balcony of the basilica to deliver the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" speech - Latin for "to the city and to the world" - and give a blessing and greetings.
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