Being in Rome for Easter and attending mass at St. Peter’s Basilica is a once in a lifetime opportunity I did not want to pass up. Thankfully, IES Abroad helped my roommates and I get tickets for Easter Sunday mass and we were able to go!
Mass in St. Peter’s Square starts at 10am but if you want to get a seat, and a good one at that, you should be prepared to wake up early and get in line outside of the Vatican around 6:30am. They start letting people in around 8am and there are only so many seats set up, the rest of the square is standing room. So for Easter Sunday we set our alarm clocks early and packed some snacks in our purses to prepare for the line. Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold out which made waiting on line a little easier. The sunrise over St. Peter’s Basilica helped too.
Once inside, we got pretty good seats along one of the barricades in the first section of seats and had a clear view of the altar. Since we were some of the first people let in, we had to wait a while for mass to start but getting those seats was definitely worth it. Once mass started, I could definitely tell it was different than other Easter masses I have been to. First off, it was done in latin and secondly, there were more prayers and blessings for the world. You could tell this was a special mass, being at St. Peter’s and having it led by Pope Francis. It was amazing to be there and experience that.
During mass it did rain a little so I’d definitely recommend bringing a raincoat or umbrella if you ever to make it to mass at St. Peters. It was over quickly though and the sun started shining again which dried us off. When mass ended, Pope Francis got into the pope-mobile and drove through the aisles in the crowd to wave to the people. This was awesome to see because we were very close to a barricade, and thus very close to him! All of us got some amazing pictures of Pope Francis riding through the crowd.
Every Easter at noon, the Pope addresses the world on television and gives the Urbit et Urbis, or blessing for the world. Once again, it was something special to be at St. Peter’s for that. This is something people around the world tune into on Easter Sunday and being there in St. Peter’s Square was something special and something I will never forget.
So I definitely suggest trying to go to Easter Mass at St. Peter’s if you happen to be in Rome during Easter. It’s an experience to remember and something special to witness. The early morning wake-up is worth it and so is the rush and struggle of exiting the square once mass is over. But it’s definitely something I recommend doing if you are in Rome for Easter Sunday.
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<p>I am a junior tourism and hospitality management major at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. I have a passion for exploring and dreaming, which lead me to study abroad! You can probably find me with my nose in a book or cup of coffee, daydreaming about my next adventure or wishing I was in the woods. Or truthfully, wondering how the New York Rangers are doing back home. Studying abroad in Rome has been a dream of mine for years and I cannot wait to share the adventure!</p>