114 Prelim. Information. ROME. Church Festivals.
Church-Festivals. Since the annexation of Rome to the kingdom of
Italy on 20th Sept. 1S70 the Pope has not quitted the Vatican, and the
great ecclesiastical festivals have consequently lost most of their former
attractions. The public ceremonies at which the Pope formerly officiated
in person, such as those of the Holy Week, the benedictions, and the
public processions including that of the Fete de Dieu, have been discon¬
tinued. The Pope still officiates on high festivals in the Sistine Chapel,
but visitors are not admitted without an introduction from very high
quarters. The illumination of St. Peter's and the Girandola, or fireworks,
with which the festivals of Easter and St. Peter and St. Paul used to be
celebrated, have also been discontinued.
The following enumeration of the various festivals, as they were
celebrated prior to 20th Sept. 1870, will still be found useful in many
respects. Details are contained in the Gerarckia Catlolica , and the Diario
di Roma, published annually. The best work on the ceremonies of the
Holy Week and their signification is the Manuale delle cerimonie che hanno
luogo nella seliimana sanla e neW ottava di pasqua al Vaticano (1 fr., also
a French edition), obtainable at the bookshops mentioned at p. 109. Ad¬
mission to the Sistine Chapel, as well as to St. Peter's, on great occasions
(to the reserved part), is accorded only to gentlemen in uniform or evening-
dress, to ladies in black dresses, and black veils or black caps. Gentlemen
stand; seats are reserved for ladies.
The Pope used to officiate in person three times annually, on Christinas-
day, Easter-day, and the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul (29th June); and
four times annually he imparted his benediction, on Holy Thursday and Master-
day from the balcony of St. Peter's, on Ascension-day from the Lateran,
and on 15th Aug., the anniversary of the 'Assumption of the Virgin', from
S. Maria Maggiore. The most imposing ceremonies were those of the Holy
Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter-day, the most important of which took
place in the Sistine Chapel, accompanied by the music ('lamentations', etc.)
of Palestrina and other old masters, on which occasions the papal band
(cappella papale) performed.
The following were the principal festivals:
January 1. Cappella Papale in the Sistine, 10 a.m.
— 5. Cappella Papale in the Sistine, 3 p. m.
— 6. Epiphany. Cappella Papale in the Sistine, 10 a. m.; at 4 p. m.
procession in Araceli.
— 17. S. Antonio Abbate (PI. 11,25, near S. Maria Maggiore), bene¬
diction of domestic animals.
— 18. Anniversary of foundation of the chair of St. Peter, Cap. Pa¬
pale in St. Peter's, 10 a. m.
February 1. Illumination of the lower church of S. Clemente (p. 265).
— 2. Candlemas. Cap. Papale in St. Peter's, 9 a.m.
On Ash-Wednesday and every Sunday during Lent, Cappella Papale in the
Sistine at 10 a. m. The Lent sermons in Gesii (PI. II, 16), S. Maria
sopra Minerva (PI. II, 16), and other churches are celebrated.
March. Every Friday at 12 the Pope repaired to St. Peter's to pray during
7. St. Thomas Aquinas, in S. Maria sopra Minerva (PI. II, 16).
— 9. S. Francesca Romana (in the Forum).
— 16. Festival in the chapel of the Palazzo Massimi (PI. II, 17) in
commemoration of a resuscitation by S. Filippo Neri.
— 25. Annunciation. Cap. Papale in S. Maria sopra Minerva (PI. II, 16).
Palm-Sunday. Cappella Papale in St. Peter's, 9 a. m. Consecration of
palms and procession; then mass. At 2 p.m. confession in the
Lateran (PI. II, 30).
Wednesday. Cappella Papale in the Sistine, 3 p.m. Tenebrse and Mi¬
Holy Thursday. Cappella Papale in the Sistine, 10 a. m. Towards noon
ttie benediction 'LJrbi' from the loggia of St. Peter's. Then
washing of feet in SI. Peter's, immediately alter a dinner to