Pope Benedict XVI has held a traditional Holy Thursday mass as part of series of Catholic rituals in the run-up to Easter Sunday.
During the homily, Benedict criticised a group of Austrian clerics who had backed the ordination of women priests.
“The church has received no authority from the Lord,” to ordain female priests, Benedict said, citing his predecessor John Paul.
Holy Thursday is the day on which Christ celebrated the Last Supper with his Disciples before being crucified on Good Friday.
In Spain, hundreds of processions are held throughout Easter week. Semana Santa – or Holy Week – takes places in towns and cities across the country, with participants recreating scenes from the Easter story.
Pilgrims also gathered at Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre church.
It is believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ and is considered the most sacred in the Christian faith.
Observant male Christians took part in the Washing of the Feet religious rite. In the Gospel of John, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples on Holy Thursday before his death.