Mass with Pope at St John Lateran

Mar 3rd, 2009, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Mass with Pope at St John Lateran

Has anyone ever attended a mass with the Pope outside of St. Peter's? I understand he will be celebrating mass at St. John Lateran while we will be in Rome. How early should we arrive, what should we wear? Is it possible to receive Eucharist directly from the Pope? How cool would that be? Thanks for your insight.
juneroma is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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If a woman has a private audience with the Pope, there's a very specidic dress code that the Vatican protocol people explain.

If you're attending a public Mass - or any other service - celebrated by the Pope you wear whatever you like, subject to the absurd Italian obsession with hiding women's arms and knees in the major churches

It really is important to understand this point. Catholicism is a religion, not a fashion parade or respectability contest. Most pilgrims to Rome bring limited wardrobes, and most congregations at Papal services look just like they do at ANY Mass, anywhere: mildly scruffy. The only people wearing special cllthes are members of religious orders, or those with a special point to make (I recently attended a service presided over by His Holiness where the congregation included a group of Bavarians, dressed in leather trousers and the rest of the Bavarian folk uniform).

Dressing up - unless it's a Roman civic occasion, and you're part of the civic party - just isn't what most worshippers do.

It's advisable (not least to get a good photo-op) to arrive 45 mins before, and to check with the church what the timetable for access is.

There really are more important issues with the Eucharist than whose hands are giving it to you. If you really believe Catholic teaching, your comments are beneath contempt. If you don't, you shouldn't be taking it, except at family occasionms to avoid upsetting your mother.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,453
You can't attend a papal mass without tickets, no matter how early you get there - unless you want to stand outside the reserved area, in which case you are unlikely to receive the Eucharist from anyone's hands.

You can request tickets (they are free) through the Prefecture of the Papal Household:

And please don't tell them how "cool" you think it would be to receive the Eucharist directly from the Pope.
Zerlina is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,689
<<If you're attending a public Mass - or any other service - celebrated by the Pope you wear whatever you like, subject to the absurd Italian obsession with hiding women's arms and knees in the major churches>>

Hi flanner - it's not just women's knees that get them going - my DH was made to wear a sarong in a church in florence, despite the fact that he was wearing shorts that had last been seen on the set of "it ain't 'alf 'ot mum". it remains one of my fondest holiday memories.

perhaps we should be kind to the OP and for "cool" read " a moving religious experience"? but s/he mistyped.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,345
Celebration you are hoping to atend is probably the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday (Apr 9), the start of the Easter Triduum. It's celebrated at St John Lateran, the cathedral church of Rome, as it's one of a few occasions when the Pope presides as the Bishop of the diocese of Rome.
It's a very popular occasion and demand for the tickets will be high, so make sure you apply now to the Papal Household Office - though there's no guarantee that you will get any. Better bet is to apply to the Bishop's Office for North American Visitors:
I don't know if there is any unreserved area at the Lateran(standing room only) - if tere is, the Vatican usually ensures there are enough ministers to give out communion by mingling among the crowds.
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