Home Italy Travel Blog How to get Christmas Mass Tickets in the Vatican City

How to get Christmas Mass Tickets in the Vatican City

written by Sean Finelli December 2, 2019
Saint Peter Basilica in Rome at Christmas

Christmas is a magical time of year by itself.  If you add Italy to that mix, it becomes a fairytale.

While the Eternal City offers an extensive list of festive celebrations, seeing the Pope present his Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican is at the top. Read on to find out everything you need to know about attending the Vatican Christmas Mass and other papal ceremonies during the holidays.

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Planning a trip to the Eternal City? If so, first of all check out our Best Rooftop Bars near the Vatican.  After a good, relaxig drink enjoying the beautiful views, you may want to know what else there is to do. We got you covered- Check out The Best Rome Tours to take and Why. 

Let our Rome tours take you back in time to when gladiators entertained the city or observe the breathtaking Renaissance art at the Vatican Museums on our guided Vatican tours.


Christmas Eve Mass

Vatican Christmas Mass

Regardless of religion, the Vatican Christmas Mass is a special occasion that spreads unity and peace.  Not to mention, you see Pope Francis deliver the most-watched mass in the world.

Join a congregation of roughly 15,000 people to ring in the joyful holiday.

Some people may think there’s an obvious answer to the question “what time is the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Vatican?” Don’t be fooled; it’s not as obvious as you’d think.

The Christmas Eve “Midnight” Mass is on December 24th  at 9:15pm–not midnight.

Where is it?

The Christmas Eve Mass is traditionally celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica.  If you’ve ever been inside this massive basilica, you can understand the profound piousness of the site.

This ancient Roman style basilica captivates audiences just from its exquisite design. Add a Papal mass to the mix and you’ve got quite a spectacle.

If you’ve never seen the inside of the Basilica, you should consider taking a guided Vatican tour of during your stay in Rome. When it’s all filled with people, it can be easy to miss all of the iconic detail that makes the Basilica so famous.

How to get tickets?

All tickets are free. Keep in mind that tickets to attend the Vatican Christmas Mass are in high demand so you’ll need to plan ahead.

Here’s the process:

  • Book in advance. Tickets aren’t available until November, but try to book as soon as you can.
  • Know you have a bigger chance of receiving your tickets if you reserve a smaller number. For example, a group or family of 2-6 people will have more of a shot than a group of 15 people.
  • Send a fax. Find a PDF version of the form here. Fax number: +39 06 698 85863. (My fellow millennials, accept this challenge and believe anything is possible.)
  • You’ll receive an old school letter from the Vatican (cool souvenir?) confirming that they received your request. This is not a confirmation of your tickets.
  • When you arrive in Rome, you need to confirm you have tickets.
  • Go to the Prefettura Vaticana. This is an office on the right-hand side of the Basilica, just after the unmissable “Bronze Doors.”
  • This step should be completed 3-5 days before the mass. Hours of Prefettura Vaticana: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Get ready to celebrate!

For those who didn’t get tickets, join the masses outside in St. Peter’s Square for a live televised version. Arrive early for both settings, as it gets pretty crowded.

Other Papal Ceremonies

If Christmas Eve isn’t in the cards for you, fear not! There are many other opportunities to see the Pope and walk away with the experience of a lifetime.

  • December 25th: Urbi et Orbi, 12 pm in St. Peter’s Square. No tickets required.
  • December 26th: Angelus/Papal Blessing, 12 pm in Saint Peter’s Square. No tickets required.
  • Papal Audience: Almost every Wednesday, assuming the Pope is in town, he conducts his Papal, or General, Audience. This is not technically a mass.  Instead, the Pope addresses the audience with a themed speech followed by different blessings (in various languages) and hymns. Tickets are free, but required.
  • Easter Mass: the process is exactly the same as the Christmas Eve Mass, including the free tickets. However, book now! Just as with the Christmas Eve Mass, tickets are limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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HOW TO: Attend the Vatican Christmas Mass while in Rome, Italy!

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Lei Chia December 15, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Great blog.. thanks for sharing

Francesca Turner December 15, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Thank you Lei. Happy holidays!

Carl Cooney June 10, 2018 at 4:35 am

I have tried many times to fax a request for the Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican. The number just rings off the hook and is never answered. Any chance the number has been changed?

Francesca Turner June 12, 2018 at 9:03 am

Ciao Carl. As far as we know the number hasn’t changed: +39 06 698 85863 . If you fax the filled in PDF form (point 3 under how to get tickets) you should receive a letter from the Vatican confirming they received your request. Best of luck!

Sue November 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm

We tried faxing the form to the number on the ticket request form and it just rings and rings with no answer. Is there another method to request tickets?

Kayla Schorr November 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Ciao Sue! Persistence is key with this. There are probably thousands of people trying to fax at the same time as you, so maybe try at another time. Unfortunately, since it is such a major event, getting through can be a bit tricky.

sue November 13, 2018 at 10:23 pm

We have tried dialing the fax number as well and it just rings and rings. Were you able to figure out how to get tickets?

Ron June 25, 2018 at 8:45 am

Thank you !

“Rome, thou art a whole world, it is true, and yet without love this
World would not be the world, Rome would cease to be Rome…”

Jeanie September 12, 2018 at 2:42 am

Great blog, thanks Lei! I sent a fax to that number on September 10. I wonder how many days will I get a reply? Will I receive a letter notification if I don’t get a ticket?

Claudia Ritz September 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Good morning, would like to attend mass at the Vatican this coming christmas .
Thank you

Jim Johnson July 24, 2019 at 7:29 pm

Hello – is this information still valid for 2019? I’m sure some things have changed but wanted to check.

Kayla Schorr July 25, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Hey Jim! Yes, this is still valid!

Georgia Kostelecky October 15, 2019 at 6:33 pm

I am so glad I found this page. I just sent the fax today. Just curious if anyone from 2018 did get tickets???

Shayne Brown October 16, 2019 at 3:33 pm

My employer wants to reserve tickets for the Christmas Eve Mass and he found a form to complete and fax to you. However, the page keeps telling me “busy/no response.” The fax number we have to reserve the tickets is 39 06 698 85863. Is this correct? Are you not accepting faxed forms, until the ticket sale starts in November?

Kayla Schorr October 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm

Hi Shayne, thanks for checking out our blog! The Vatican can be a little iffy in terms of receiving the fax and arranging tickets. We unfortunately are just the messengers and are not affiliated with the Vatican. The fax number in this post is the correct one. Hope this helps!

Georgia Kostelecky November 22, 2019 at 10:08 pm

The information IS still valid. I used the fax number provided here and just received a letter today from the Vatican with instructions and my invitation number. (I only requested one ticket, so I’m not sure if they have limited availability for large groups.) Or maybe they felt bad because I did mention that this is my first Christmas without my dear Mother. 🙁

Diana November 22, 2019 at 6:25 pm

Do you have Spanish tour for this Christmas days 2019 ?


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