One of the most spiritual experiences in the world is experiencing the beauty and splendor of a Vatican Christmas Mass in Italy. Christmas in Rome is a fairy tale come true. Adding a Christmas service at the Vatican into the itinerary will take your trip over the top. A Christmas Mass is one of the few times that visitors to Vatican City are guaranteed to see the Pope. The magic of the service is represented by the peace and unity that it signifies to people all over the globe as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

How to See the Vatican Christmas Mass

How to get tickets to the Vatican Christmas Mass

As the most watched Christmas Mass in the globe, this special Christmas celebration must be planned out in advance. This guide is designed to help you understand how to see the Vatican Christmas Mass. Approximately 15,000 people will be on hand in the stunning St. Peter’s Basilica. This massive cathedral provides a majestic backdrop for the moving service. Contrary to the implied timing of the event, the “midnight” mass actually begins at 9:30 pm. Although the mass is open to the public and the tickets are free, admission must be procured well in advance.
The Vatican advises interested parties to apply for the tickets at least 2-6 months in advance. Requests for tickets must be faxed to +39 06 698 85863. The Vatican will then mail you an official confirmation of receipt of the fax request. After that, you wait to see if you are one of the lucky ones to receive tickets when you arrive in Rome. Approximately 3-5 days before the mass, you will need to go to the Prefettura Vaticana office, located just to the right of the cathedral, to see if your request was approved.

How to See the Vatican Christmas Mass

Watch Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter’s Square

If you were not chosen to attend the Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, there are still more options to catch one of these events. On Christmas Eve, you can join the throng of visitors outside in St. Peter’s Square to watch the service on live television screens. There is also a Christmas Day Mass in St. Peter’s Square that happens at noon which is open to the public and does not require tickets. Known as the Urbi et Orbi, this mass is a highlight of the Christmas season for many. The square will fill up quickly so it is recommended to arrive well in advance in order to secure the best viewing spot.

How to See the Vatican Christmas Mass

Other Times to see The Pope

Because of the busy holiday season and the high demand, it can be challenging to catch an official Vatican Christmas Mass. Fortunately, there are many other ways in which you can catch the Pope. On nearly every Sunday and Wednesday as he delivers his Papal Audience, the Pope addresses the crowd with a themed speech and blessings. The admission is free but tickets are needed. Even if you are not a practicing Catholic, seeing the Pope live at Vatican City is an experience that you will not soon forget.

Vatican Early Entrance Small Group Tour

Daily (except Sun and Wed) at 7.30am 3.5 hrs

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