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St. Peters / Day before Easter

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Mar 3rd, 2013, 09:01 PM
  #1
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St. Peters / Day before Easter

We will be in Rome at Easter time, & just have time to go to St. Peters the day before Easter.
Any suggestions for avoiding long lines . Maybe a tour group or something ? Thanks
deedeedee is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2013, 02:09 AM
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This is Holy Saturday. I would assume that religious services will dominate the sanctuary, and of course the altars will be covered. Others more knowledgeable than I will certainly answer, but I cannot imagine a worse time than Good Friday or Holy Saturday to try to visit St Peter's. Could you change your schedule?
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Mar 4th, 2013, 05:59 AM
  #3
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Ackislander ... Thanks for your reply. Looks like Saturday is it. I have been before. but
wanted my niece to have the experience. Not that I need a reason to return to Rome, but that would be it if we are not able to go.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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After the Good Friday service and the nightly via crucis, during the Holy Saturday no services are held in catholic churches, waiting for the Easter night service. Churches may be busy with confessions or preparing the night service, but no actual services during the day. Still, the holy week is generally very busy in the Vatican, this year even more so as - as you will have heard - a new pope is due to be elected in March, nobody knows exactly when.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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St Peter's will probably close early (lunchtime?) on Holy saturday to prepare for Easter services. Thousands of chairs have to be laid for vast congregations, dignitaries and bishops/cardinals taking part with hopefully the new Pope, sanctuary to be readied, TV cameras set up and microphones hooked up and security sweep etc.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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Here's the official vatican museums website.

at present it is still showing the Vatican museums as open for business on Easter Saturday.

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-In...nfo_Orari.html

Why not book your tickets on line to makes sure? if st. Peter's is still open by the time you've finished the museums, you may be able to get into it via the little door at the back of the Sistine chapel on the right. if it's not still open, you won't ahve lost anything.

you might also try the old trick of getting there REALLY early - the doors to the Basilica open at 7am : http://www.vatican.va/various/basili...lica/orari.htm
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Mar 4th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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It's been quite a few years since I was there on the Saturday before Easter, but you could still go in St. Peter's and the Vatican Museums were open. Chairs were already set up outside with areas roped off and there are always jumbotron screens around the piazza which are used often. Even when the Pope is in Castel Gondolfo you can watch the Sunday Blessing on the jumbotron screens. The Easter service is in the piazza.

Sunday 31,
Easter Sunday Mass, at 10.15 am, in St Peter’s Square

“Urbi et Orbi” Blessing at 12 noon, in St Peter’s Square. No tickets required.

There is a Saturday night service at 9pm in the Basilica, but that shouldn't interfere with afternoon entry.

>>>Any suggestions for avoiding long lines . Maybe a tour group or something ? Thanks<<<

A tour group makes no difference entering the Basilica. Everyone has to go through security screening (the reason for the lines) and tours don't get bumped up front.
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