Christmas is celebrated as a religious holiday around the world on December 25. The Vatican’s Christmas Mass for 2019 will be held on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, at 9:30pm local time in St. Peter’s Basilica. For those in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, that is 3:30pm.
St. Peter’s Basilica is located in Vatican City near Rome, Italy, and can only fit a finite number of worshippers within its walls. That being said, the mass will be live-streamed so that those interested can watch the mass as it’s being delivered by Pope Francis, no matter where they are across the globe.
The midnight mass, “Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord,” will be live-streamed via the Vatican News YouTube account. Watch the Vatican Christmas Mass as it is given in St. Peter’s Basilica below:
Catholic TV features what they call “Papal Programming,” and the channel will also be airing the Vatican Christmas mass. According to their programming schedule, the service airs at 8pm and ends at 10pm. The Vatican’s official website has also linked the Christmas Eve Mass live stream for those looking for a place to watch it.
On Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, Pope Francis will address the crowds of people that gather every year on Christmas in St. Peter’s Square and give the “urbi et orbi” blessing to the city and the world at 12pm local time.
The Vatican continues a holiday schedule of special masses and blessings even after Christmas Day passes. On December 31, an evening prayer will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5pm local time, and the “Te Deum” will be sung as a thank you to God for the year as it comes to a close. In the New Year on January 1, a mass will be held at 10am. According to IrishCatholic.com, the mass is “the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Prayer for Peace, in St Peter’s Basilica.”
On January 6, the 12th day of Christmas and the end of the religious holiday’s season, a mass will be held in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10am to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.
In advance of the Christmas holiday, Pope Francis took to Twitter to reflect on the season and what it means. In one tweet, he wrote “In three days’ time it will be #Christmas and my thoughts go especially to families, who are reunited in these festive days. May Holy Christmas be a fraternal time for everyone, one of growth in the faith and of actions of solidarity toward those who are in need.”
While you wait for the 2019 Christmas Mass, NBC News shared the Pope’s nearly two-hour Christmas Eve service from 2017 on their YouTube account. The mass, in full, can be watched below: