- Associated Press - Saturday, March 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is celebrating a trimmed back Easter Vigil service after having reached out to Muslims and women during a Holy Week in which he has begun to put his mark on the Catholic Church.

Francis processed into a darkened and silent St. Peter’s Basilica at the start of the Saturday service, which recalls the period between Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday. One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil service — when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled — was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.

The Vatican has said these provisions are in keeping with Francis’ aim to not have his Masses go on too long.

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