Masses for all at Sagrada Familia
Tourists have the opportunity to attend a mass in several languages in Barcelona's most famous temple
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Are you a practicing Catholic planning to visit Barcelona in the coming months? The Sagrada Familia, the most emblematic building in the city, designed by the architect Antonio Gaudi, celebrates a free international mass every Sunday at 9 a.m. for foreign visitors.
The popularity of this mass in several languages can be seen as early as 7:30 a.m., when the Gaudí square fills up with people — more than 200, according to La Vanguardia — who queue outside the doors of the basilica so as not to be left out. Not only is it an opportunity to attend the religious service in a spectacular setting, but also to enter the temple for free and save the cost of the entrance fee (which ranges from $28 to $43, depending on whether it includes a guided tour or a climb up the towers).
Mass is held in several languages (Latin, Catalan, Spanish, English, Italian and French) and visitors can download the guide in the language of their choice via a QR code.
The international morning mass was incorporated to the temple in 2017, reaching such popularity that in October 2019 the temple decided to incorporate a second international mass on Saturdays at 8 p.m. to expand the capacity. However, the pandemic made the service disappear and it has not returned. Since then, the Basilica has hosted an international mass every Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
Throughout the year, the Sagrada Familia offers extraordinary masses, some of which are broadcast live on the Internet. Visitors will find information about the celebrations on the mass calendar on the website of the temple.
The most recent extraordinary Mass was the funeral Mass for the eternal repose of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who consecrated the Basilica in 2010. More than a thousand people attended the celebration praying for the eternal repose of the Pope Emeritus.
The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Cardinal Juan José Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona. In his homily, the Cardinal remarked, of Benedict XVI, the "great intellectual capacity he developed to the point of being recognized as a great teacher," remarking that he knew how to "create a true dialogue between faith and the culture of our time." Finally, he prayed for the eternal rest of the Pope Emeritus, asking "from the window of heaven, bless us and intercede with the Lord so that our faith does not falter and that we may be courageous and humble apostles of the Gospel."
A fruit of the work of the brilliant architect Antoni Gaudí, the Sagrada Familia was a project driven by and for the people, and there are already five generations who have seen the evolution of the temple in Barcelona. Today, more than 140 years after the first stone was laid, the Basilica is still under construction.