The 84-year-old pontiff's appearance will likely be similar to his surprise showing this past Sunday, spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said outside Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic. A final decision will be made Saturday, he said.
"The pope will give the blessing with his hands," not with his voice, which is recovering after surgery Feb. 24 to insert a breathing tube into his throat, Navarro-Valls said.
John Paul continues to show progress, praying in a hospital chapel and keeping up with church business, the Vatican said Thursday, adding it was possible he might be released in time for Easter celebrations in three weeks. It said the pope is eager to leave the clinic but accepts his doctors' advice not to rush his discharge.
Usually, the pope addresses the faithful from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square. Navarro-Valls said it was likely that an archbishop would read out Sunday's traditional prayer and blessing, known as the Angelus, and that the pope would wave his blessing to believers gathered at the hospital.
John Paul's daily speech and breathing therapy is continuing, and he spends some time in the small chapel adjoining his room, Navarro-Valls said.
The pope spent a calm eighth night at the hospital, the news agency ANSA reported early Friday without citing sources.
In Sweden, public broadcaster SVT apologized for publishing a story on its Web site Thursday that said the pope had died.
The erroneous report appeared for several hours before it was removed. SVT spokeswoman Agneta Aakerlund said a reporter who was preparing an obituary hit the wrong key.
In line with Vatican efforts to show John Paul is in command despite the hospitalization, Navarro-Valls said the pope has been receiving several top churchmen "with whom he daily follows the activity of the Holy See and the life of the church."
With Vatican officials standing in for the pope, a new image of the papacy has been emerging during the hospitalization. Several top officials have said they see no problem with a pope who can't speak.
The Vatican has not given a date for his release. Asked whether the pope might be back at the Vatican in time for Easter, Navarro-Valls said: "It's possible."
His presence at the Vatican during Holy Week, which begins on March 20 with Palm Sunday, would be important for the world's 1 billion Roman Catholics.
Palm Sunday involves the traditional blessing of palms recalling the biblical account of Christ riding a donkey into Jerusalem, cheered by people waving palm fronds. There is also a procession and a Mass at St. Peter's Square.
On March 24, the Vatican will mark Holy Thursday with a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, followed by Good Friday with an evening outdoor Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum.
A three-hour evening Easter Vigil service at St. Peter's precedes Easter Sunday, where the pope traditionally presides over a Mass in the square followed by a blessing and his "Urbi et Orbi" message to Romans and the rest of the world.
The pope's overall health and recovery are complicated by Parkinson's disease, which causes gradual loss of muscle control. He also suffers from crippling hip and knee ailments.
John Paul was taken by ambulance to Gemelli with breathing spasms Feb. 1 and was released Feb. 10, only to be rushed back again on Feb. 24 for a throat operation that left him with a breathing tube and facing extensive speech and respiratory therapy.
The list of those who visited the hospital Friday to wish John Paul well reflected his efforts to bridge centuries of misunderstanding between Catholics, Jews and Orthodox Christians.
Israel's ambassador to the Holy See, Oded Ben Hur, said he brought a letter of prayer in Hebrew from Israel's chief rabbi, Sholomo Amar "expressing hope for a speedy recovery."
"In this prayer, besides hoping that the Holy Father gets better as soon as possible, there's a hope for world peace and other religions to take example from the leadership of John Paul II," the envoy said. The pope's 26-year papacy "has done much to promote peace and beautiful ideas of humanity," he said.
Amar's letter "was a prayer that comes from the heart of the chief rabbi but also people of the state of Israel," Ben Hur added.
Ukraine Ambassador Grygorii Khoruzhyi also relayed get-well wishes from President Viktor Yushchenko, accompanied by two women who brought a handmade icon. Tensions persist between the Roman Catholic Church and the Christian Orthodox Church, which accuses the Vatican of trying to poach believers in traditionally Orthodox countries like Ukraine.
Enrico Gasbarra, president of the province of Rome, came to Gemelli to relay the affection of Romans and people from 120 other municipalities.
"We have been informed by some of the Holy Father's aides and medical staff about his recovery, but above all about his tireless work that the Holy Father has never stopped doing even here," Gasbarra said.
"Every day we have one more smile because every day the Holy Father's convalescence gets better and that puts us at peace," he said.