Christmas 2012: Religious Services in Rome

Christmas 2012: Religious Services in Rome

For those of you who don’t see Christmas just as an occasion for shopping or going on holiday, here are some tips on how to celebrate it with a religious service.  

The Pope’s Mass will be held in St. Peter’s and will start at 10 pm on December 24. If you can’t make it to Christmas Eve’s Mass, you can always attend Christmas day’s Mass at 12 pm with the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing by Benedict XVI from the Central Loggia of the Vatican Basilica. [1]

Rome’s n.2 basilica is St. John Lateran, which was the Vatican’s main church until St. Peter’s was renovated in the 14th century, and is still part of the Vatican State. On December 24 at 11.30 pm, accompanied by two choirs – Rome Diocesis’ and Lateranense Music Chapel’s – Rome’s vicar bishop, Cardinal Vallini will celebrate Mass in what was the first of Rome’s four Basilicas and the Western World’s most ancient Basilica. Address: 4, S. Giovanni in Laterano Square. [2]

A very fascinating mass service is celebrated at the Pantheon on the 24th at midnight. [3]

Another very central location is the huge church of S. Maria degli Angeli. Mass starts at 11:30pm but from 10pm you can enjoy their impressive choir and organ. [4]

If you are a traditionalist and love your Mass to be held in Latin, Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, in the heart of Rome, near Via Giulia, is a good choice with their masses at midnight and at 11am on Christmas day. [5]


If you are eager on attending a religious service in English, the beautifully baroque church of Santa Susanna shall be your destination. The Vigil Mass in Rome’s US national catholic temple will start at 7:05 pm – with the Christmas carols kicking off at 6:40pm – in 14, Via XX Settembre. But before that – at 4:30pm – we strongly encourage you to attend the Children’s Pageant Mass, a very touching ceremony. On Christmas Day there is a Mass with choir at 10:30am.

Other downtown catholic services in English are held at the S. Silvestro church in the homonym square at 7:30 pm on the 24th and at 10am and 5:30pm on Christmas day; at S. Isidoro, the Irish Franciscans’ church, at 10am on the 25th. Via degli Artisti, 41; and at St Patrick’s, the Irish Augustinians’ church, in Via Boncompagni 31 at 10am for Christmas.


The American Episcopal Church of St. Paul’s Within the Walls, in Via Nazionale, holds an Advent Lessons & Carols sessions on December 23 from 5pm. On Christmas eve the Musical Prelude starts at 10:30pm, while on the 25th the morning mass is at 10:30. [6]

At St Andrews, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, service begins at 6:30pm on Christmas Eve.

The Anglican church of All Saints, between the Spanish steps and Piazza del Popolo, holds Mass Services at 11:30 pm on the 24th and at 8:30am (said) and 10:30am (sung) on Christmas day.

The Rome Baptist Church, in the very central Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina 35, holds a candlelight Eve Mass at 7pm and a Christmas celebration at 10:30am. [7]


However you would choose to celebrate 2011′s Christmas, BuzzInRome heartfully wishes you all a very Merry Christmas!

(for other info on key religious holidays in Rome, read our Epiphany and Easter stories)