Attending Easter Mass at the Vatican is an incredibly sought after event. Getting Easter Mass tickets is pretty difficult, but don’t despair, we got you covered.
We wanted to write the ultimate guide on what to do at the Vatican during Easter weekend and how to get Easter Mass Vatican tickets.
Pro Tip: This article may come in handy – consider bookmarking it in your browser. Also, After visiting St.Peter’s Basilica for Easter mass, you will want to visit the famous Vatican Museums.
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What is Easter Like in Rome?
Short Answer: Busy, but Amazing!
I would like to highlight however that busy is not always a bad thing. Especially when huge groups of people come together for a common and good cause. In this case, I am speaking about Easter of course.
For Christians, throughout the world, this is one of, if not the most important holiday on their calendar. And besides the holy land, what place is more important than Rome?
Festive periods in a city are always some of the most interesting and fun times to visit I feel. Why? For starters, you will have more events happening throughout the city. I lived in Rome for almost 15 years and I can tell you that the center of the city always feels more vibrant with the streets full of people. Keep reading below to see about other events happening during Easter Week.
Why do People come to Rome for Easter?
As I mentioned earlier, the holiest place for the Christian religion is Jerusalem. 2nd place goes to Rome. That is because in the Vatican you have the pope and the vatican is located in Rome. Make sense?
According to Catholic dogma and tradition, the Pope is the successor of St. Peter. Peter came to Rome around the year 64 A.D. and was subsequently martyred in the Circus of Nero ( where St. Peter’s Basilica stands today).
He was named as the first Bishop of Rome and since the Pope is also considered the Bishop of Rome, there has been a direct line of succession of Bishops since Peter’s day. ( Well, the story is not so cut and dry as that, but that is for a different post on a different day). Therefore the culmination of visiting during Easter time is to go to the Vatican for Easter Mass!
How do I get Tickets for the Vatican Easter Mass?
There is no specific form for Easter Mass tickets, requesting tickets for this event follows the same process as requesting tickets for the Papal Audience on Wednesdays throughout the year. Since this is one of the most important holidays in all of Christendom, you can imagine the hype around Easter Mass. The crowds are big, people are super excited with religious fervor and the kicker is you get to see the Pope!
What time is Easter Mass at the Vatican?
Mass on Easter is celebrated in the Basilica from 10:15 am until noon and is led by the Pope himself. Tickets are free! Some people think that they will just show up at 10:10 am and enjoy the Mass. Thankfully you have us and I am here to tell you that you need to show up earlier. Much earlier!
Crowds will start forming 2-3 hours in advance, so I recommend that you plan on arriving in the square by the latest 8 am. Another recommendation is to bring some snacks and some water as you will be in for the long haul.
When Do I Need to Reserve?
Now or Yesterday. Plan ahead, we recommend reaching out to the Vatican 2-6 months ahead of time. If you know you’re going for Easter then don’t wait. Even if the tickets were not free, it would still be one of the most sought-after events in Rome and I might dare to say Europe during this period?
Secret Tip: If you request a smaller group of tickets you are more likely to get approved by the Vatican. It is easier to get 2-4 tickets compared to 15.
How to Reserve
Send a fax. The PDF version of the form is found here. Fax number: +39 06 698 85863. (Yes, we know faxing is archaic but it’s worth finding a fax machine). If you are not able to send out this fax at least 60 days in advance, this does not mean you will not be granted tickets but it is less likely than if requested months in advance.
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.
Confirm & Pick Up Your Tickets
Tickets are to be picked up at the Prefettura Vaticana. This is an office on the right-hand side of the Basilica, next to the “Bronze Door”. Find the location here. This step should be completed 3-5 days before the mass. Hours of Prefettura Vaticana: 8am-6pm
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How to Celebrate if You Are Unable to Secure Tickets?
Tickets to the Vatican Mass are very limited, but if you are not able to get tickets that should not sour your mood.
There are plenty of wonderful events at the Vatican and around Rome during Holy Week between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Mass is celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica at 5:00 pm on Good Friday. This solemn mass is another way to experience mass at the Vatican on the most holy of days.
Tickets for this mass can also be secured through the same form but the volume of requests is much lower than for Easter Sunday.
Also on Good Friday, the Pope performs the Station of the Cross (Via Crucis) at the Colosseum beginning at 9:15 pm. This event is incredibly powerful for Catholics and non-Catholics.
For this event, no tickets are required, but we recommend arriving early to secure a good spot.
On Holy Saturday, there is a vigil held at St. Peter’s Basilica beginning at 9:00 pm until midnight to signify the start of Easter. This free service does require tickets as well and follows the same format as the request for Easter Mass.
If you are not able to secure tickets to mass at the Basilica on Easter morning, the alternative is also a very good option. After mass, the Pope will head to St. Peter’s Square and give his “Urbi et Orbi” blessing to St. Peter’s Square.
Unlike the events in the Basilica, the Urbi et Orbi does not require tickets, but we definitely recommend getting there early to try and get one of the limited seats available.
Easter in Rome is an amazing time to visit and the events celebrating the holiday are incredible. Getting tickets for these events can seem daunting, but if you follow the process it should be stress-free.
I Want More Italy!
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