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Arriving Rome on Easter - where can I attend church?

Arriving Rome on Easter - where can I attend church?

Old Mar 6th, 2019, 09:11 AM
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Arriving Rome on Easter - where can I attend church?

Just that. Our overnight flight arrives from the US on Easter morning so we will be exhausted and jet lagged. We'll drop our bags at our hotel until our rooms are ready that afternoon. There will be four of us. I want to attend an Easter Day church service. We won't look beautiful but we will be decently and modestly dressed. We aren't Catholic but we are Christian and churchgoers. I want an authentic Roman Italian Easter service, so we expect it to be in Ialian and/or Latin. I would love to attend a service in a beautiful, old church with glorious music as part of it, if possible.

Does anyone one have any experience with this and suggestions for us?

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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 09:55 AM
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How about the Vatican?
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 10:00 AM
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Activities of the Holy Father Pope Francis - 21 April 2019 | Vatican.va

Looks like the mass at the Vatican is at 10am and the Papal Blessing follows at noon.
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 10:05 AM
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I would simply ask the hotel desk about the nearest church for that.
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 10:45 AM
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I would love to attend Mass at the Vatican! But it's my understanding you need to get tickets months in advance (they're free but you have to do it far in advance) and I've read that even with a ticket, you have to line up and possibly wait for several hours and even then you might not get in ... Also, I know what the closest church is to my hotel and I've asked the hotel if that church has an Easter Day Mass we could attend but I don't have the information yet and I couldn't find information online other than the hours it's open for tours.

I'm happy to take a cab outside the immediate vicinity if there's a good Mass option we would be actually be able to get into without hours of waiting - anyone here been to Easter Mass in Rome?

Also, I've read that the following day, Monday, is Pasquetta, sort of a celebration day with fireworks over the Tiber. Can anyone recommend a restaurant for dinner that would offer outdoor tables and a great view of the fireworks?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 01:26 PM
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In Rome it's nearly impossible to walk more than 5-10min in any direction without encountering a church & many of these seemingly random neighborhood churches are hundreds of years old and beautiful inside.

Where are you staying?
When I'm traveling I use www.masstimes.org to find out what time the church has a mass. Since you know the name of the church nearby the hotel you could look there to see if a schedule is listed.
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 04:37 PM
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We have visited the Rome Baptist Church several tunes whilst in Rome. Located in Piazza San Lorenzo, the people are warm& I enjoy have enjoyed every visit.
One memorable date occurred when the church announced that the next Sunday, the annual all-church “dinner on the ground” would be held in the Borghese Gardens. That is pretty different from what we do in Dallas!
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 07:06 PM
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What a wonderful place to spend Easter bakerstreet!
Personally, I think mass at the Vatican would be special but during the major holy days (especially Easter) it will be too crowded. A smaller church like pctraveler has described sounds even better.
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Old Mar 6th, 2019, 07:52 PM
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My Dad and Mom often went to Rome at Easter and used to regularly go to one of the Papal basilicas, Santa Maria Maggiore, which at least is a magnificent church. There are some English language churches, one nearby, but sounds like you prefer the Italian.
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Old Mar 7th, 2019, 07:09 AM
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I don't think you can go to a Mass by the Pope without requesting special tickets far in advance. They can't just let the crowds get out of hand, after all.

It sounds like you really want a Catholic church,. maybe say so if you mean that. No Protestant church will have a service in Latin. And most of them are English-speaking, that I know of (Protestant churches in rome). Which does leave Catholic churches. Although Latin isn't used in church services very much any more, anywhere. You have to find some church dedicated to old customs. I think this church in the center does have Latin mass, usually at 11 am.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santis...llegrini,_Rome
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Old Mar 7th, 2019, 09:29 AM
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If you tell us the name and address of your hotel, people familiar with Rome may be able to recommend specific churches in your neighborhood.
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Old Mar 7th, 2019, 12:31 PM
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Yes, Bette is has the right approach. We need your hotel, or the closest piazza or cross streets at minimum. There are many excellent churches, both small and large.

We were at Rome on Christmas. There are very few taxis and lots of crowds. The tradition at Christmas is that 50 percent of taxi drivers take the day off to go home to their famillies. I wouldn't be surprised if Easter is the same. Italians are very family oriented.

And given that you are jetlagged, trying to find a subway or bus to a church makes no sense, when there are so many close by.
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Old Mar 9th, 2019, 12:10 PM
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There are two beautiful churches in central Rome that have excellent music.

Santa Maria Maggiore, on the piazza of the same name, is a late Roman/early medieval papal basilica with splendid mosaics. They have a solemn Easter mass at 10 AM. The last time I was there, the mass was in Latin, and I would be very surprised if that had changed. I They have an excellent choir by Italian standards, which sad to say have come down a long way since Palestrina.

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, on Piazza della Repubblica, is in the ruins of the ancient Diocletian Bath complex. Its conversion to a church was designed by Michelangelo. They have Easter masses at 8, 10.30, and noon. The noon mass should be with its excellent choir and famous organ. Usually there is a brief organ concert, beginning at 11.20, before the noon mass.

Both churches are an easy walk from Termini station, the main rail station in Rome, connected by direct nonstop train to the airport. If you don't have time to go to the hotel, you could leave your bags at the left luggage facility at the station.

Both churches have their own schools of music. Santa Maria Maggiore has a traditional all-male choir featuring lots of Gregorian chant, to go along with the very traditional pre-Vatican II Latin mass. Santa Maria degli Angeli has a mixed male/female choir which sings Gregorian chant and also Bach and other classical liturgical music. I myself prefer the post-Vatican II mass, maybe because the old form was before my time. The Tridentine (old-style) mass feels to me a bit like a theatrical performance.

Last edited by bvlenci; Mar 9th, 2019 at 12:21 PM.
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Old Mar 9th, 2019, 12:13 PM
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Easter isn't at all like Christmas in Italy. There should be no problem finding a taxi, and all the restaurants do a booming business.
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Old Mar 9th, 2019, 12:17 PM
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The problem with going to the nearest church to your hotel is that you may not find "glorious music". You're more likely to find a guitar and an off-key, nasal soprano. Maybe not even that.
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Old Mar 9th, 2019, 12:56 PM
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Just so that you know, non-Roman Catholic, non-Eastern Catholic and non-Orthodox Christians aren't allowed to receive communion in a Catholic Church, and with such a vast number of international visitors, local priests often ask if you are Catholic before giving you communion. Going up to receive just a blessing isn't done much in Rome or in Italy (where vast majority of population are Catholic).
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Old Mar 9th, 2019, 02:02 PM
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Actually, Orthodox Christians are not in comunion with Rome, either.

But I never heard of a priest asking people if they were Catholic. A priest once told me that communion can't be refused to someone who presnts himself to take it. In other words, a priest can tell you privately that you can't take communion until you've repented and been absolved, but if you present yourself at the communion next Sunday, he can't refuse to give it to you.
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Old Mar 11th, 2019, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
The problem with going to the nearest church to your hotel is that you may not find "glorious music". You're more likely to find a guitar and an off-key, nasal soprano. Maybe not even that.
I'm glad to hear taxis are plentiful; thank you for that correction. To clarify, I didn't mean for them to visit any random church. Looking to her post:

Originally Posted by bakerstreet View Post
Just that. Our overnight flight arrives from the US on Easter morning so we will be exhausted and jet lagged. We'll drop our bags at our hotel until our rooms are ready that afternoon. There will be four of us. I want to attend an Easter Day church service. We won't look beautiful but we will be decently and modestly dressed. We aren't Catholic but we are Christian and churchgoers. I want an authentic Roman Italian Easter service, so we expect it to be in Ialian and/or Latin. I would love to attend a service in a beautiful, old church with glorious music as part of it, if possible.


Often overnight flights get in early, but how early? What is reasonable to get through customs, collect bags and get to the taxi? It just seems like if any piece of that goes wrong, most especially their plane is late, they may not make it if the recommended church is far from their hotel. That was my thought process, anyway. Maybe offer a recommendation and a backup?

Santa Maria degli Angeli --I heard the end of one of their masses and it was great.

Good to know that Santa Maria Maggiore has great music. Santa Maria Maggiore is one Rome's four papal basilicas. The others are St. Peter's, St. John Lateran (Giovanni Laterano) and St. Paul outside the Walls (San Paolo fuori le Mura).

I'm wondering about St. John Lateran... which is actually more famous for its historic organ. Do they not have a good choir anymore? That is really sad.

Wondering also about Santo Spirito. Have you been, bvlenci? They are also known for their historic organ. Their website links to some of their masses, some organ with cantor but another video I opened was organ with choir. It was hard to judge the video fairly as I don't think they really set up mikes for the videocamera.

https://www.divinamisericordia.it/
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Old Mar 12th, 2019, 04:20 PM
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One of the churches I suggested, Santi Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, has its main Easter service at noon. I would think that anyone who arrived in the morning would be able to make that service. Santa Maria Maggiore has its main service at 10, which might be a little difficult, My own preference would be Santa Maria degli Angeli.

I haven't been to St. John Lateran, but I would expect them to have a decent choir. I think they have a very strong group of soloists, but I prefer choral singing that doesn't heavily feature solos. The director is Marco Frisina, well-known in Italy for the many hymns he's composed, including "Eccomi" (Here I am) which is almost always sung at funerals. (I plan to put it in my letter of last wishes that I don't want it sung at my funeral.) The style of his hymns is rather modern, with catchy tunes, but often with Biblical texts. He has a very catchy setting of the 23rd Psalm, for instance.

I don't know anything about the choir at Santo Spirito.

The excellent choir at Santa Maria degli Angeli doesn't sing every Sunday, unfortunately. The last time I was there, there was no choir at all, and no organist. They would certainly be singing for the noon Easter service, though.
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Old Mar 12th, 2019, 11:06 PM
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Mass on Easter Sunday will be the usual Sunday mass so go by those recommendations of those who know above,The Easter ceremonies are held on The Saturday evening.
Ive never been in a catholic church where the priest asked if you were catholic before receiving communion and certainly as a lay Eucharist minister I wouldnt even know.And who cares anyway?
Hope you get to see a beautiful mass with great music.
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