Attend a Papal Mass at the Vatican

One of the holiest places of the world and the smallest sovereign state Vatican City lies within the Italian capital Rome and is home to the Holy Pope. You can attend the Papal Mass at the Vatican every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. while a solemn mass is held on special days such as Easter or Christmas and on special occasions such as canonisation of saints or the coronation of the Pope.

The Papal Mass is usually held at the beautiful St. Peter’s Bascilia which can accommodate about fifteen thousand people, but if more faithfuls are expected the Mass is held at Saint Peter’s Square which can accommodate about eighty thousand devotees. To attend the Papal Mass you need to have tickets which are available free, sometimes even a day before although it would be advisable to book online to avoid disappointment and collect from the Swiss Guards, either a day before or on the day of the Mass. You should arrive at least an hour before the Mass begins to get a seat and should strictly adhere to the dress code, by covering your shoulders and not wearing shorts or short skirts.

The Papal Mass at Vatican is conducted in Latin and begins with the arrival of the Pope which is announced by playing the Papal Anthem on brass instruments, a practice revived by the Pope Benedict XVI which is followed by Sistine Chapel Choir singing of Tu Es Petrus. The Pope arrives in a procession along with the Greek Deacon, Subdeacon, Assistant Bishop, Assistant Cardinal Deacons, Archbishops who carry with them the precious mitre, the Book and hand candles. During the preparatory prayers the Pope is flanked by the Cardinal Bishop on the right and the Cardinal Deacon on the left while other ministers stand behind the Pontiff. The Pope is kissed on the cheeks and breasts by Cardinal deacons before he sits on his throne while the ministers take their positions for the Mass.

The Deacons and Subdeacon then sing epistles and gospels in Latin and Greek before the Subdeacons kiss the feet of the Pope who kisses the two texts. This is followed by the purification of the sacred vessels brought by the Subdeacons with wine and some wine and water is poured into vessel which is consumed by the cup-bearer.

The Communion of the Pope begins with raising of the Paten and asterisk by the Cardinal Deacon for the faithfuls to see before being carried to the Pope which is followed by the raising of the chalice. Two archbishops hold the Book of Communion while another holds the hand candle for the Pope for him to read the Communion followed by the receiving of the Holy blood by the Pope.

Also, in the modern Papal Mass universal prayers are announced in different languages keeping in mind the cosmopolitan nature of the devotees.

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  1. Gary Yeates August 30, 2013
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