Thursday, 15 November 2018

Masses in Rome

 I took fifty pilgrims to Rome recently, a group made up mainly from parishioners and members of the Order of St Lazarus, as well as a representation from Chavagnes International College

We set out to St Peter's early one morning, as you can see from the photo above, very early! I last offered Mass in St Peter's more than ten years ago, so hadn't realised the procedures had changed in that time. In the past, so long as you arrived before 7.30am, you could just wander into the sacristy, present yourself to the sacristan and be led to an altar for an individual Mass or a small group. The Basilica was not open to the general public until 8am, so was very quite and prayerful, giving a much different experience from when all the tourists flood in. The line to go through security had never been more than 20 or so people.

All change now! Gone was the sacristan, a security man dealt with me there. Apparently, particularly if you are bringing any sort of group, you need to book on-line in advance. Anyway, there were no free altars, but he allowed me to wait until one became available and we were taken to the altar of St Margaret Mary, devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Basilica is also now open - at least half way down its length - to the general public from 7am. That meant that when we arrived at 7.10am there was already a queue stretching half way down St Peters Square. It also meant that the interior lacked the calm and quiet of my past experiences, which is a shame for those wanting to come as pilgrims to celebrate Mass, rather than just s tourists lollygagging their way around the famous art works.

Anyway, we did at least get to offer Mass there. A unique experience for many. 

Thanks to all the pilgrims who helped us all to have a great few days in the eternal city.

I'll make some further posts here and try to put up some pictures for parishioners on our 

Thank you to Anthony Dickinson for providing the accompanying chant at Mass each day.


Our other venue for Mass was right next to our hotel in the gem of a church, San Salvatore. It is part of the Pallotine Fathers House and the body of St Vincent Pallotti is enshrined under the high altar in a "basilica" arrangement. We were made very welcome there and celebrated Mass each morning with ease.

Thank you to Matthew Jackson for the photographs

The compulsory group picture, although not everyone is on it. Some of them escaped before I could get back out of the sacristy.

1 comment:

David O'Neill said...

Dekighted the pilgrimage went so well