FOR SEEING THE CEREMONIES
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Provide yourself with a holy-week-book, or Uffizio della Settimana Santa. Take care that your dress is according to rule. For many of the ceremonies ladies require tickets signed by M. Maggiordomo.
On Palm-sunday morning the Pontifical ceremonies begin at S. Peter’s, at about 9 o’clock: no stranger can receive a palm without a permission signed by M. Maggiordomo. In the afternoon the Card. Penitentiary goes at about 4 or half past 4 to S. John Lateran’s, where the Station of the day is held.
On the afternoons of Wednesday and Thursday, (between 4 and half past 4) and of Friday (half an hour sooner) the office of Tenebrae begins at the Sixtine chapel. After it is over, you may go to S. Peter’s to bear the conclusion of a similar service: there on Thursday evening the high-altar is washed by the Card, priest and chapter; on Friday the Pope, Cardinals etc. go thither to venerate the relics after Tenebrae in the Sixtine chapel; and on the afternoons of both days the Card. Penitentiary goes thither in slate. In the evening of these three days the feet of pilgrims are washed, and they are served at table by Cardinals etc. at the Trinita dei Pellegrini.
On Thursday morning you can see the oils blessed at S. Peter’s: this ceremony begins early. There is little difference between the mass (at about half past 9 or 10) in the Sixtine chapel on this day, and on ordinary days, and there is generally a great crowd: the procession after mass is repeated on the following morning; and the papal benediction on Easter Sunday: your best plan therefore will be to go at an early hour to see the blessing of the oils, and afterwards the washing of the feet, at S. Peter’s; and then go to see the dinner of the apostles near the balcony from which the Pope gives His benediction. The Sepulchres, particularly that in the Cappella Paolina, may be visited.
On Friday morning the service of the Sixtine chapel begins at about half past 9 or 10. (Devotion of 3 hours’ agony from about half past 12 to half past 3 at the Gesu, SS. Lorenzo e Damaso etc.; after the Ave Maria the Via Crucis at Caravita, and devotion of the dolours of the B. Virgin at S. Marcello, etc. An hour after the Ave Maria poetical compositions are recited at the Serbatojo dell’Arcadia).
On Saturday morning service begins at S. John Lateran’s at about half past 7. As soon you have seen the baptism at the baptistery, you had better drive to the Vatican, to attend at the beautiful mass of the Sixtine chapel.