Prayer before presentation for new pope
By David Uebbing
VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News)—In a change to past papal elections, the new pope will have the chance to adore Jesus in the Eucharist before he makes his appearance on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi told journalists March 11 that, “when the pope goes to the loggia, he passes the Pauline Chapel and will stop there for a brief moment of personal prayer and silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament.”
The Vatican press office was buzzing with journalists looking for news about the March 12 conclave, which will begin at around 5 p.m.
Before looking ahead to the voting, Father Lombardi reviewed the cardinals’ final general meeting, which was held the morning of March 11.
The cardinals made 28 interventions before the assembly voted to end their meetings, given that the conclave was to begin on Tuesday.
Father Lombardi reminded the media of the general schedule for the conclave and then later walked through the ceremony that occurs immediately after a new pope is chosen.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the cardinal deacon, will ask the candidate if he accepts his “canonical election as supreme pontiff” and what name will use.
If he says yes, then white smoke is sent up while the pope goes to the Room of Tears, vests in his papal garments and then returns to the Sistine Chapel. The cardinals then hold a small ceremony that involves prayer, reading the Scriptures and a time for the cardinals to offer their congratulations to the new pope.
This is followed by the singing of the “Te Deum,” the Church’s traditional hymn of thanks to God, and a procession out of the chapel.
As the new pope makes his way between the Sistine Chapel and the balcony where he is presented to the people, he is expected to stop for a brief moment of personal prayer and adoration in the Pauline Chapel. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran will then introduce the new pope with the famous Latin words “Habemus papam!” (“We have a pope!”) This will be followed by the name he has picked.
The total amount of time that will lapse between the appearance of the white smoke and the pope’s appearance on St. Peter’s balcony will be about 50 minutes. The first vote of the conclave was expected to take place as early as the evening of March 12, with the possibility for smoke to appear around 8 p.m.