One of the best things to do in Rome during Christmas season is to see the Pope. But how and when you can set up such a thrilling encounter? Here you can find all the details.
- As a general rule, Pope Francis holds a General Audience open to the public every Wednesday morning (December 3rd, 10th and 17th). The Weekly Wednesday Audience starts at 10.30 am and lasts for 1 hour and a half / 2 hours. During the Audience the Pope will give speeches in various languages, the main languages being English, French, Spanish, German, Polish, Portuguese, and Italian. Tickets are free, but are required for General Audiences: check out here how to collect or pre-book tickets.
- Another opportunity to see the Pope is on Sundays at noon, for the Angelus (No tickets required). The Pope will appear from the window of his apartment and give a short speech, followed by the Angelus and ending with a blessing. The whole event usually lasts around 15-20 minutes. The Angelus in the month of December is scheduled for Sundays (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th ) and for Friday 26th (Feast of Saint Stephen). In the month of January 2015, the Angelus will be on Thursday 1st, Tuesday 6th and Sundays 4th and 11th.
- Wednesday, December 24th, 2014: Solemnity of the Birth of Christ – Midnight Mass (Vatican Basilica, at 9:30 pm).
The Holy Father will celebrate Midnight Mass on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. The Mass will be preceded by the singing of the Kalenda. Tickets are required: here the Reservation procedure for Christmas Eve’s Papal Mass.
- Thursday, December 25th, 2014: Feast of the Nativity of the Lord – Christmas Day (Saint Peter’s Square, at noon).
Pope Francis will give his Christmas message from the Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica and impart the blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (to the City [of Rome] and to the World). No tickets required.
- Wednesday, December 31st, 2014: Feast of Mary, Mother of God (Saint Peter’s Basilica, at 5 pm).
The Pope will celebrate the First Vespers of the Solemnity of the Mother of God, followed by the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the traditional singing of the “Te Deum”, and the Eucharistic Benediction. Tickets are required.
- Thursday, January 1st, 2015: Feast of the Mother of God (Saint Peter’s Basilica, at 10 am).
Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God in the Octave of Christmas, using the XLVIII World Day of Peace on the theme: “No longer slaves, but brothers”. Read here about tickets.
- Tuesday, January 6th, 2015: Solemnity of the Epiphany (Saint Peter’s Basilica, at 10 am).
The last major ceremony of the New Year’s celebrations will be Epiphany of Our Lord. The Holy Father will celebrate Mass in the Vatican Basilica. Tickets are required.
Reservation and tickets does not necessarily guarantee entrance or a seat. When Saint Peter’s Church or Square is full, the access will be denied even with tickets. Only your arrival time will guarantee your access. The very popular Pope Francis is drawing in large crowds so if you would like to get a good seat you will need to arrive up to 2-3 hours before the event begins. Remember that tickets are always free.
Source: vatican.va – Photos: corriere.it, ilmessaggero.it