Saturday, June 7, 2008

All Roads Lead to Rome...

We left our hotel, bound for Rome, at 9:30 am. Three hours, one stop, and four permits later we arrived in the Papal city. Our guides were right--all roads DO lead to Rome... or at least the A1 does.

We found lunch in a whirlwind and were robed and ready to go to St. Peter's by 3:30 pm. It's hard to describe how monumental the Vatican really is. It is huge. Columns, ceilings, and murals tower overhead while beams of sunlight reflect off the marble surfaces. Beautiful...

As the parade of purple headed toward the back of the church, the guards unhooked the red velvet ropes and let us pass into the area behind the organ and alter (a place where most people don't go, so the other envious tourists snapped photos of the students the whole way in!). Once inside we couldn't help but look up. The art went on forever--around each curve and arch. It was flawless.

Mass began promptly at 5:00 pm with the ringing of a bell. The Choir sang beautifully throughout the service with many alumni and friends in the audience (taking many, many photos). Having seen the inner workings of the mass, we're really excited to come back on Monday for our official tour of the church.

The evening ended with a wonderful group dinner at the hotel across the street and a free evening for all. Tomorrow we sing for mass at a church down the street and then tour the Forum and Collesium. So, until next time.... ciao!