National Prayer Vigil for Life Frequently Asked Questions

Is there reserved seating for the Masses?

No. The only exception is reserved seating for those with disabilities.

For all other attendees, seating is on a first come, first served basis and may not be held for other visitors. Personal belongings may not be used to reserve seats. For security purposes, ushers are instructed to remove all unattended bags, coats and other items left in the pews or on the floor.

For details on the Basilica’s current hours of operation, please visit their website.


Do I need tickets?

No tickets are required for any of the National Prayer Vigil for Life events held at the Basilica. All are welcome to attend.


Can clergy participate in the National Prayer Vigil for Life Opening and Closing Masses?

Yes. All concelebrating and attending clergy (bishops, priests, deacons) are required to register and present a letter of suitability in advance. Please click the following hyperlinked texts to access the online registration forms for concelebrating the opening and closing masses. Seminarians are invited to participate in the Procession of Seminarians prior to the Vigil for Life and should register as well. Please also see the Basilica’s website for other important information.


What happens if there's a snowstorm?

The prayer vigil is held rain, snow or shine. Pilgrims should check the Basilica website for changes due to inclement weather. Walkways at the Basilica are treated promptly. Pilgrims and visitors are advised to use caution.


May visitors to the National Shrine during the week of the Roe v. Wade anniversary attend other non-Vigil Masses?

Yes. Visitors are welcome to attend any of the scheduled Masses at the Basilica. If your group has more than fifteen people attending a scheduled Mass, please notify the Basilica's Visitor Services by e-mailing @email. Please refer to the Basilica’s website for the Basilica's Daily and Sunday Mass schedule.

For a beautiful liturgy that avoids the evening crowds, please consider attending the daily Noon Mass.

Priests visiting the National Shrine are welcome to concelebrate at any of the already scheduled Masses but must notify the Basilica's Visitor Services at @email in advance. Please bring your alb. A chasuble and stole will be provided. Priests wishing to concelebrate at the Basilica are required to submit a Testimonial of Suitability from their Bishop or Religious Superior in advance. Please contact the Basilica's Director of Visitor Services at @email for more information.


What is allowed inside the Basilica?

Please limit personal belongings to one small personal bag or purse per person. No luggage or rolling bags are allowed. No banners, posters, or flags may be displayed. No cards, brochures or pamphlets or any other outside materials may be displayed or distributed either inside or on the grounds of the Basilica.


Is Parking available at the Basilica on the Day of the March for Life?

Parking for cars at the Vigil for Life Closing Mass on January 19 is available on a first come, first served basis in the Shrine's Lower Lot and on Harewood Road and 4th Street.

Bus parking for January 19 is available by permit only. Please contact for more information.