Participate in Pope Francis’ installation as Bishop of Rome – without leaving home
If you’re planning to get up early to watch the Mass of
Inauguration for the Bishop of Rome’s Petrine Ministry for Pope Francis, you’ll
want to be prepared to make the most of it.
The Mass begins at 9:30 a.m. Rome time (4:30 a.m. EDT). That’s
plenty early enough, but if you want to see the pope circling the Piazza San
Pietro in the popemobile before the Mass, you’ll have to set your alarm for
even earlier. The pope is expected to come out around 8:45 or 8:50 a.m. Rome
time (3:45 or 3:50 EDT). You can expect hundreds of thousands to attend the
outdoor Mass for the first chance to see the pope in this setting. The whole
square will be filled, as well as most of the Via della Conciliazione, all the
way down to the river and Castel Sant’Angelo.
According to the Vatican Information Service (all times
local, EDT in brackets) “Between 8:45 and 8:50am [3:45-3:50 am] the pope will depart
the Domus Sanctae Marthae and start to move through the crowd in the various
sections of the piazza – either in the Jeep or the Popemobile – and greet those
gathered. He will return to the sacristy, via the Pietà side, around 9:15am
[4:15 am]. Mass is planned to begin at 9:30am [4:30 am].
“Regarding the beginning of the ceremony, the pope, once
having entered the Basilica, will head to the Confession (St. Peter’s tomb
under the high altar) while trumpets will announce the ‘Tu es Petrus’ [‘You Are
Peter’]. The Pope will venerate the tomb of St. Peter, together with the
Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches (10 in number,
four of whom are cardinals). He will then be presented with the Pallium, Ring,
and Book of the Gospels that were placed at St. Peter’s tomb the night before.
“The Holy Father will then come back up from the Confession
to the main floor of the Basilica, from which the procession continues. The ‘Laudes
Regiae’ (Christ is King) will be chanted, with some invocations taken from the
Vatican II document on the Church, ‘Lumen Gentium.’ In the Litany of Saints are
particularly to be noted, after the Apostles, the Holy Roman Pontiffs who have
been canonized up to the most recent: St. Pius X. Fr. Lombardi clarified that
these are only the pontiffs who have been named as saints, not those who have
been beatified. The procession will then make its entrance into the square.”
Many news channels will carry the Mass live, as will EWTN. If
your cable or satellite system does not provide a channel carrying the Mass,
you can go directly to a live feed from the Centro
at which you can select audio_eng (other other
language) from the drop-down box at the lower right for an audio commentary in
your preferred language. If that link doesn’t work for you, choose
your download speed and format here
It will be helpful to follow along with the Mass, which is
expected to last about two hours (as you’re getting ready for work and/or
getting the kids off to school). You can download
the official Mass book
produced by the Vatican to assist you with this.
Most of the Mass will be in Latin, but the book includes translations
in English and Italian, which is very helpful.
VIS notes that before the Mass begins, there will be some
specific rites to the beginning of the Petrine Ministry. This follows the
practice begun recently by Benedict XVI in which rituals which are not strictly
part of the Mass are done in a liturgical context but outside the Mass. The elevation
of cardinals and the conferral of palliums on new archbishops are two such
“The Imposition of
the Pallium: Made of lamb’s wool and sheep’s wool, the Pallium is placed on
the Pope's shoulders recalling the Good Shepherd who carries the lost sheep on
his shoulders. The Pope’s Pallium has five red crosses while the Metropolitans’
Palliums [such as that worn by Archbishop William E. Lori] have five black
crosses. The one used by Francis is the same one that Benedict XVI used.
Ring: Peter is the fisherman Apostle, called to be a ‘fisher of men.’ … It
bears the image of St. Peter with the keys. It was designed by Enrico Manfrini.
The ring was in the possession of Archbishop Macchi, Pope Paul VI's personal
secretary, and then Msgr. Malnati, who proposed it to Pope Francis through
Cardinal Re. It is made of silver and gold.
Six cardinals, two from each order [cardinal bishop, cardinal priest and
cardinal deacon], among the first of those present approach the Pope to make an
act of obedience. Note that all the cardinal electors already made an act of
obedience in the Sistine Chapel at the end of the Conclave and that all the
cardinals were able to meet the Pope in the following day’s audience in the
Clementine Hall. Also, at the moment of ‘taking possession’ of the Cathedral of
Rome – St. John Lateran – it is expected that the act of obedience will be made
by representatives of the various members of the People of God.
In a news conference, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director
of the Press Office of the Holy See, noted that the Mass will be the one for
the Solemnity of St. Joseph, which has its own readings (therefore they are not
directly related to the rite of the Inauguration of the Pontificate). The
Gospel will be proclaimed in Greek, as at the highest solemnities, to show that
the universal Church is made up of the great traditions of the East and the
West. “Latin,” Fr. Lombardi said, “is already abundantly present in the other
prayers and Mass parts.”
“The Pope will give his homily in Italian and, as is his
style, it probably will not follow the written text strictly, but will contain
improvisations,” Father Lombardi noted.
Even if you have to stay here, you can be part of the
historic events unfolding in Rome. You just won’t be able to get my favorite Roman gelato
3/18/2013 3:28:00 PM
By Christopher Gunty