Travel

Once-in-a-Lifetime Christmas Recipe: Step 1 – Christmas Eve Vatican Mass

 

Planning a European trip is difficult. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time and you have a budget to work around with… Due to various reasons, I changed plans several times when itineraries were almost complete with costs, schedules and the whole nine yards…

But things happen for a reason. And all those reasons led me to the best “version” of this trip which now includes a Roman holiday and a Vatican Christmas πŸ™‚ I knew it couldn’t get any better than this.

As soon as I placed Italy in my line-up, Vatican was not far off especially since I could schedule Rome to coincide with Christmas. That got me soooooo excited researching about Christmas masses.

Of course, it has got to be the mass that the Holy Father presides! I’d love the idea of attending simbang gabi on Christmas Eve in Vatican. I learned that to attend these popular masses you need to reserve tickets way before. Some people place their reservations 6 months prior and some were able to secure tickets as late as November. I thought August is just the perfect time.

I downloaded the form at this website http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/biglietti_en.html and had it sent through fax to Vatican through my friend in Dubai. 

I was not expecting a response in 2-3 weeks but yesterday, 7 days after we sent the form, I got a call from Vatican. It was 13:46 pm, somebody was looking for “a name” that I can hardly hear due to the bad reception. I told the caller that he dialled the wrong number, but was persistent and said he was calling “my number” from Vatican. Vatican!!! That rings a very loud bell in my mind… So I asked him again who he wanted to speak to. He was looking for my friend! Haha… I told him that if it was about the request for tickets he can speak to me since I was the one who prepared the form. He told me he was trying to send a fax but could not get through with the number written on the form. Also, since I indicated in the form that we request response through postal mail and fax, he told me he cannot very well comprehend the address. My friends would know that I write  this small and I can understand the “dilemma” of the caller πŸ™‚

He wanted us to resend the fax request so he can send the response. Quickly thinking, I asked if I can just dictate the information over the phone, which we did. He now has the right fax number and address πŸ™‚

Curiously, I asked if our request has been granted. He said YES and he was sending the official response IMMEDIATELY πŸ™‚ My friend received the fax message in minutes!



The most-awaited letter from Vatican πŸ™‚


I have read several blogs and comments in forums that Vatican was notorious for slowest, if not nil, responses and I was a bit worried if their response will ever get through to me…  

I felt so lucky having been “called” by Vatican to verify information. I felt doubly blessed that all these things happened within one week from sending our request. Mass tickets are reserved for us, so…

It’s time to work on the visa. Haha… I thought getting the tickets were more difficult than the visa so I did the tickets first.

Meanwhile, I will dream of getting the best seat in the mass. I will visualize a perfect weather and a comfortable wait at the queue. I will pray for surprise treats popping here and there the whole day of December 24 and especially during the mass. This is definitely going to be the highlight of the whole trip!

Reading experiences of others on the Christmas Eve mass has made me excited about December and I just can’t wait before it’s my turn to write about mine πŸ™‚ 


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