Christmas Eve at St. Peter’s Basilica a Roma

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This is St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy, the largest church in the world as well as  the headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church. which has 1.2 billion members across the world.( Interesting, that number is the estimated population of India. . . .) India, always incredible India!)

Christmas Eve is  an important time in the church with the midnight mass ushering in the birthday of the Christ child.  One Christmas, the Bells were all together in Rome.  First we had an amazing Christmas Eve dinner of 24 kinds of fish dishes at a friend’s home.  Fish has been the meat of Fridays for Catholic believers as Friday was the day of the Crucifixion of Christ, and in memory, for  years, it became  a fasting or no meat day.  The twenty four is for the date of Christmas Eve.  There is controversy about whether this is  the date of His birth or chosen as an arbitrary date in  connection with the solstice. But non the less , it is the date chosen and now set by years and years of tradition. At this amazing dinner, that was  a tad uncomfortable for me because I  eat very little if any fish, we were served  various kinds of fish cook in 24 dishes for the date of December 24.   Well, I was so looking forward to  seeing midnight mass. We  had been given tickets from a very devout  friend, yes tickets to the coveted mass.  No money is charged, the tickets are only  for crowd control.  We were running late from the dinner and had to almost run to St Peters.  We actually got in but there were so many people it was impossible to get to the chairs near the alter. All the lights were illuminated and both organs were belting out in  accompaniment for the  huge crowd singing as they  waited for the for the mass to begin.  You might think it strange that I mentioned these details, but I had only remembered the lights on and the gold and marble shimmering  with the organs playing and the congregation singing….all that at once, on one feast day with Pope John Paul II entering the church. It is an amazing interior any time, but totally breathtaking with the lights, organs, and singing.

I was very  disappointed ( and acted rather in an angry, unchristian way) not to experience the mass, but I certainly felt as if I had a taste of the first Christmas with the crowds, and pushing , and excitement. This video is from the Piazza St. Peters showing  the other people unable to be inside. If you want to see the interior and the mass, it is rebroadcast at midnight in the United States, and I expect at that time  in other countries or there are other  videos on YouTube.( Check your TV for exact time.)

Merry Christmas, my dear friends!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY2oUBy8igc

Image from Google Images. . .  .public domain

This Is Christmas Eve in  Roma!

15 Responses to Christmas Eve at St. Peter’s Basilica,Rome

  1. Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May you be surrounded by love, happiness and good blessings x

  2. teny says:

    Merry Christmas! Hope you have wonderful time 🙂

  3. Rome is a beautiful place, I would love to visit it again.

  4. This is a topic that is close to my heart… Many thanks!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

  5. annetbell says:

    Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:

    We were actually at St. Peter’s Cathedral one Christmas Eve after David was living in Rome for a semester!

  6. Annet, hoping you have a blessed and beautiful Christmas Season, almost here! This was so lovely, I think this is the most extraordinary photograph I have seen of this special event. I embrace this in a big hug, which is up there in my memories of my own three little cherubs who played donkeys and lambs in the Christmas pageants in our church. Happy New Year, too!

    • annetbell says:

      What a lovely message! No higher compliment for a blogger. . . thank you. With love and best wishes for you and your family for a joyful Christmas and New Year. We travel 24 hours starting Saturday AM to arrive in India on 12/29 in India at 3 AM! So excited ! Stay tuned!!

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, Religions of the World, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Christmas Eve at St. Peter’s Basilica a Roma

  1. Pingback: FEATURED: 🎄#Christmas Eve at St Peters Basilica a Roma 🎄 | ' Ace Friends News '

  2. Pingback: A Roman Surprise. . . . . . | TalesAlongTheWay

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