Feb 12 2013

Ash Wednesday update

Posted by Jenelle in Italy 2013, Travel / Leave a Comment

Papal Mass - St Peter's Basilica

Bill and I attending the Papal Mass last year at St Peter’s.

Here is a quick update on tomorrow.

After doing one leg of our pilgrimage tour this morning, it was time to head to St Peter’s. The media were everywhere. We did our Scavi tour (yes… the tour is so good we did it again!) and then ventured outside to go to the ‘bronze doors’ of the Vatican to pick up our tickets for the Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina.

The stone around that area of the colonnade is being repaired so we were pointed to another area.. this time to the secondary post office on the ‘other side’ of the normal Vatican post office. After lining up, we got our tickets. PHEW. We opened the envelope and they were indeed there. All ready for us to take part in such a special time with the Holy Father.

We then got on a bus and walked through the narrow streets to go to the US Bishops Office to pick up our general audience tickets. One of the nuns was doing an explanation of where to go tomorrow, especially with all of the crowds. She then said “Now – the Ash Wednesday Mass will be there so you can all start lining up early for that..!” Bill and I looked at each other and let her continue telling us all about it. Bill then waited before saying “You mentioned Mass at St Peter’s… what about Santa Sabina?” That is how we found out that at the last minute, the Vatican has changed the Ash Wednesday Mass from Santa Sabina (a tradition that Blessed Pope John Paul started) to St Peter’s seeing as it is Pope Benedict’s final Mass. 🙁 We are so blessed to be here and while it has been an emotional two days, we now are facing a very different Ash Wednesday than we thought.

As a result, we will still be attending the General Audience, but instead of coming back and getting changed into our good ‘Mass clothes’ (I bought over a whole separate outfit and heels for the Mass) we are just going to have to line up straight away for a chance to get into St Peter’s as our Santa Sabina tickets are no longer valid. With another predicted rainstorm tomorrow it is going to be long, soggy, emotional day. Throw in the usual fasting and… what a start to Lent!

It has definitely been an interesting time here – we love Rome so much we have even cancelled our side trip to Assisi and Orvieto on Thursday and Friday to spend more time here. It is just magical. Here, everything makes sense.