Attend Holy Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City!

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St. Peter’s Basilica is the holiest spot in the Vatican City and the largest church in the world, known for its stunning architectural beauty. 

Over ten million pilgrims flock to the Basilica every year to receive blessings directly from the Pope at his holy mass celebrations! 

Visitors planning to explore the Basilica must know all about the mass details of the Church so they can attend these services or schedule their visit around the time.

In this article, we’ll provide detailed information about the daily and Papal mass timings, ticket booking details, confession timings, and much more! 

All the St Peter’s Basilica Mass Times for 2024

St. Peter’s Basilica Mass
Image: OrderofMalta.int

The weekday and weekend masses follow a completely different timetable, so here are all the details you need to know so you don’t miss the service!

The masses mentioned in this section do not have the Pope as the main celebrant, so scroll to the next section if you want to attend mass by the Pope.  

Daily Weekday Masses

The timings mentioned below are mass details from Monday to Saturday every week.

  • Morning Masses

    8.30 am: An Italian mass with a homily in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Eucharistic Adoration follows the mass. 

    9 am /10 am /11 am /12 am: Italian masses with homily organized in the Left Transept on the Altar of St. Joseph.

    In addition to these masses, priests visiting from other places also hold private masses in the Basilica’s side altars at 7.15 am and 8 am.

Please note: The morning masses will be conducted on Wednesdays, except in July 2024, since the Basilica does not open till 12.30 pm because of the Papal Audience.

  • Evening Masses 

    5 pm: Latin mass with an Italian homily on the Cattedra Altar of the Chair. 

    Pilgrims can also attend Eucharistic Adoration services in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel from Monday to Saturday.

    This is organized after the 8.30 am mass and continues till Benediction, during which the final blessings are given at 4.45 pm. 

Sunday Mass 

The timings mentioned below are for all Sundays and also for any other holy days celebrated in the year.

  • Morning Masses

    9 am: Italian mass with a homily organized in the Cattedra at the Altar of the Chair. 

    10.30 am: Latin solemn mass, with an Italian homily organized in the Cattedra at the Altar of the Chair.

    11.15 am: Italian mass with homily in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. 
  • Afternoon Masses

    12.15 am: Italian mass with a homily organized in the Cattedra at the Altar of the Chair. 

    1 pm: Italian mass with homily in the Left Trasept at the Altar of St. Joseph. 
  • Evening Masses

    4 pm: Italian mass with a homily organized in the Cattedra at the Altar of the Chair. 

    4.45 pm: Vespers, which is an evening prayer, joined by singing in Latin at the Altar of the Chair. 

    5.30 pm: Italian mass with a homily organized in the Cattedra at the Altar of the Chair. 

    We recommend you arrive one to three hours before the scheduled mass time to get good seats, as it is on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Do I need Tickets to attend the daily mass at St Peter’s Basilica?

You do not need tickets to attend the weekday, Sunday, and other holy day services at the Basilica unless it is presided over by the Pope.

However, you will be expected to stand in the queue and pass through security checks before entering.

Plan your travel timings so that you are sure you can get in since reservations cannot be made in advance.

Papal Mass Timings at the Basilica

The Pope holds special mass services at St. Peter’s Basilica and in St. Peter’s Square!

However, this is not a regular occurrence; the Pope holds masses only during special festivals like Christmas and Easter. 

In 2024, you can attend masses by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica at:

  • 1st and 6th January: 10 am
  • 17th January: 9 am
  • 2nd February: 5.30 pm
  • 11th February: 9.30 am
  • 24th March: 9.30 am
  • 28th March: Chrism mass
  • 31st March: 10 am Easter Mass
  • 3rd April: 9.30 am
  • 9th, 18th, and 30th May: Timing to be confirmed
  • 24th May: 10 am
  • 29th June: 9.30 am
  • 24th July: Timings to be confirmed
  • 24th December: 7.30 am Christmas Eve Mass

If you want to see the Pope on other dates in Vatican City, you can learn more about his Papal Audience and Angelus service dates from the Pontifical Liturgical Calendar. 

You must have a ticket to attend all the masses said by the Pope.

Papal Mass Ticket Details

If you want to attend the holy mass by the Pope, you can do so for free!

However, you must get a free ticket from the Prefecture of the Papal House six months in advance.

To get these, you can send a letter to the house in 00120 Vatican City State or fax at +39 06 6988 5863. 

If you miss out on sending the request in advance, you can also hope to find leftover tickets from 9 am to 7 pm a day before at the Bronze Door.

This option is only available for those traveling with less than ten people. 

Visitors can also get tickets from the US Visitors Office to the Vatican since they always have a few to give out.

You can contact them via email at visitorsoffice@pnac.org or call them at + 06.6900.1821.

Visitors can also fax the office at + 39 06 679 1448 or send a written request to Via dell’ Umiltá 30, 00187 Rome.

We recommend checking the official website before arriving at the door since the collection dates and times change regularly. 

How long does the mass take?

The daily masses at the Basilica take at least an hour to complete, as all masses include a sermon. 

In case you don’t have an hour to spend, we recommend looking to attend mass in any other Roman Church on weekdays besides St Peter’s Basilica.

If you are attending a Papal Mass, you can expect it to go on for one and a half hours to two hours.

Check out our Visiting Guide on St Peter’s Basilica so you can plan to explore the interiors after attending the holy mass! 

What is the language used in the mass at St Peter’s Basilica?

Most masses in the Basilica are organized in Italian, as it is the native language of the country.

A Latin mass is organized daily, but sadly, the sermon will still be given in Italian.

You cannot find any English masses at St. Peter’s Basilica either.

Confession Details

Visitors who want to make a holy confession in the sacred St. Peter’s Basilica can speak to the attendant standing at the right transept at the far right of the Papal Altar

You can confess in the language you are comfortable with, as the attendant will guide you to the confessional marked with the language the priest inside speaks.

Daily confessions from Mondays to Saturdays are open from 7 am to 12.30 pm in the morning.

Sunday confessions are open from 7 am to 1 pm.

Evening Sunday and daily confessions from April to September are from 4 pm to 6 pm, and from November to March from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Dress Code for St Peter’s Basilica Mass

You must follow the St. Peter’s Basilica dress code when entering any mass or during a simple exploration trip.

Wear clothes covering your shoulders and knees when attending mass.

You will also see most locals wearing long-sleeved clothes, or long dresses and pants, that don’t expose any skin.

No caps, hats, or sunglasses can be worn inside the Basilica’s sacred space. 

If you wear inappropriate clothing, you might not get turned away at the security points, but the attendants will not allow you to attend the mass.

Tips for Holy Mass at St Peter’s Basilica

Here are some helpful tips to ensure a memorable and spiritual experience at St Peter’s Basilica mass in Vatican City!

  • Choose the early morning 8.30 am mass for the least crowd, as most tourists arrive in the afternoon.
  • If you do not get seating space at the front, you will be disturbed during the mass as tourists keep exploring the other areas of the Basilica throughout the day.
  • You must stand in the same line as other visiting tourists since there is no separate line for those attending the mass only.
  • The best seating is in the front or middle rows. You cannot see the altar from the side rows when the Basilica is crowded.
  • Don’t plan on attending masses on Wednesdays since the Basilica is packed with a crowd from the Papal Audience services. 
  • Look for the mass time slot mentioned on your Easter Vigil and Christmas Masses. 
  • For the Pope’s masses, try to collect your ticket two days before the event. It is difficult to get one from the Bronze Door a day before.

FAQs on Mass at St Peter’s Basilica

1. Can anyone attend mass at St. Peter’s Basilica?

2. What time is mass in St. Peter’s Basilica?

3. Is mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica?

4. How often does the Pope say mass at the Vatican? 

5. How do I get tickets for the Papal Mass at the Basilica?

6. What should I wear for a mass at St. Peter’s Basilica?

7. Are there English masses at the Basilica?

8. How early do I need to book tickets for the masses at St. Peter’s Basilica?

9. Do I need to pay to attend daily masses at the Basilica?

10.  What is the mass schedule like on Papal Audience Wednesdays?

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Featured Image: Vatican.va

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