Religious Services with the Pope in December

- Advent religious services
- Immaculate conception on Dec. 8th
- Audiences
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- New Year

Check also: December Events


(a) Dec. 10 th, 2nd Sunday of Advent. Vatican Basilica, at 9:30 am, Religious Service.

(b) 17th December 3rd Sunday of Advent. Vatican Basilica, at 9:30 am, Religious Service.

Invitations are preferred but not strictly necessary. The procedure to achieve the invitations is the same as that of the Papal audiences. Please go to the specific page.


The Pope will first be at Piazza di Spagna at 4 pm, to pray near the statue of Our Lady. Then at 5 pm there will be a very special religious service ("Akhatistos Hymn") in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The pope enters the Basilica preceded by the altar boys, the bishop, and many cardinals, and then celebrates the religious service. The entire Basilica is lit, and you can see the marvelous frescoes normally shadowed by partial obscurity. There is an impressive choir, and music.
This Basilica is the most important one dedicate to Our Lady, because it was founded on top of Esquiline where according to tradition it snowed on Aug. 5th, an extraordinary event that was considered caused by Mary.

smmg-int-da-m10.jpg (43312 byte)

Basilica of St. Mary Major: interior

Pope Paul John II is a Marianist, as the symbol "M" on his vest indicates. He is very devoted and celebrates the Immaculate Conception Dogma (first introduced by Pope Pius VII).

Invitations are highly recommended. The places inside the Basilica are already finished, and the ones available are only outside, with big screen to follow the event. The procedure to achieve the invitations is the same as that of the Papal audiences. Please go to the specific page.


Everything will follow the usual time and procedure (please check the specific page), except that the audience of the 27th will be held on Saturday 30th December.


At midnight of the 24th there will be the "Santa Messa della Notte di Natale" (Christmas Night religious service). On December 25th there will be the "Benedizione Urbi et Orbi" ( blessing to the town and to the world), in the central nave (Loggia Centrale della Basilica Vaticana) at 12 pm noon.

On January 1st January at 10 am there will be a religious service, still in the Vatican Basilica.

You need invitations for all these services. The procedure is the same as the one of the papal audiences, yet more complicated.

We of Roman Homes have booked the invitations for all our customers. The Vatican promised that they will give them to us beginning from Dec. the 22nd. On that day we will go and pick them up, hoping to find them.

St. Peter: the central altar, with the baldachin on top of St. Peter's grave

St. Peter: the central altar, with the canopy
on top of St. Peter's grave, during a prayer.

Invitations are free, and if our customers will come to pick them up at our office, they will be given without any charge. If you want us to deliver them at your apartment, it will cost you though 50,000 ITL (app. 22 US$ or 26 Euros or 16 UKP). If it will be at all possible, and they will arrive earlier, we will let customers find them already in the apartment.

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