Tomorrow’s the big day: At 10:00 a.m. Rome time (yep, that’s 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time!), the Cardinals will gather in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff (Mass Pro Eligendo). The principal celebrant will be His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. If you are a morning person with the unadulterated will to rise at that hour, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see all of the Cardinals in the world gather to celebrate the Eucharist.
Or, you can sleep in and watch the reruns later in the day.
For those who plan to rise early and join the Cardinals in prayer for the opening liturgy of the Conclave, you have a few options:
- Watch live on EWTN. Coverage begins at 4:45 a.m.
- Livestream via the HD Vatiplayer. http://www.vatican.va/video/
- On your smartphone or tablet, use the “Pope App” on either iOS or Android.
Later in the day, at 4:30 p.m. Rome time, the Cardinals will process from the Pauline Chapel in the Apostolic Palace into the Sistine Chapel, praying and reciting the Litany of the Saints. Once they enter the Sistine Chapel, the great doors will close—and the Conclave will begin.
PRAYER FOR THE CONCLAVE TO ELECT THE SUCCESSOR TO POPE BENEDICT XVI
Heavenly Father, We the People of God, gathered in solidarity as did the disciples in the Upper Room, pray for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the cardinals who will be in conclave for the election of the next Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the hearts of our cardinals be open to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, beyond human judgment, to elect the candidate most pleasing to you, Heavenly Father, and who will guide the Church at this momentous time in history at the beginning of the Third Millennium.
We invoke our Mother Mary, united in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room, to intercede for the cardinals to select the next Holy Father in docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, her divine Spouse.
Holy Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, we entrust this conclave to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, and offer these prayers for your guidance and protection over the choosing of the next Vicar of your Son.
Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.