Conclave: the first day next Monday

Conclave: the first day next Monday

The Vatican announced the schedule for the first day of the conclave next Monday. At 10 am Rome time, there will be a Mass celebrated for “the election of the Roman Pontiff” in St. Peter’s. All the faithful in Rome are invited to take part.

At 4 pm, a select group of people will be invited to be into the Sistine Chapel before the conclave begins:  the substitute of the Secretariat of State (the second in charge of the secretariat), the secretary for Relations with States, the prefect of the Pontifical Household, the two religious who supervise the sacristy, the priests charged with hearing confessions, and the commander of the Swiss Guard. There will also be authorized personnel from the Swiss Guard, the certain doctors, the floreria (a Vatican office in charge of furnishings), photographers, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center, and the Holy See Press Office. They are the only people allowed entrance into the Sistine Chapel before the start of the conclave for security purposes, i.e. to prevent bugging.

At 4:30 pm, the cardinal-electors will begin the solemn procession into the chapel, preceded by the Cross and the Book of Gospels as the Litany of the Saints is chanted. In addition to the cardinals, others in the procession will include the secretary of the conclave, the master of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the secretary of the cardinal dean, Cardinal Spidlik, who will preach the meditation, masters of ceremonies, the dean, ministrants, and the “Cappella Musicale Pontificia.”

After the meditation and certain prayers, the cardinals will take their oaths, everyone else will be removed, and the doors to the Sistine Chapel will be closed and locked.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli