.- The Office of Liturgical Celebrations has issued a statement saying the Mass pro eligendo Summo Pontifice, which will take place on Monday, April 18, for the opening of the conclave, will be open to all the faithful, so that “the communion in prayer of the entire Church at such an important moment” can be made manifest. The statement underscores that “the entire Church, spiritually united to Mary, Mother of Jesus, called to persevere together in prayer, according to the example of the first Christian community, lifts up humble and insistent prayers to the Lord, so that He might enlighten the electors and unite them in agreement to obtain a unanimous and prompt election of the new Pope.”
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at the Mass.
“Bishops, priests, deacons, members of the institutes of consecrated life and of the societies of apostolic life, as well as the lay faithful of the entire People of God present in Rome, are invited to participate in this Eucharist.”
On Monday, April 18, at 4:30pm, the conclave will begin. Led by the Cross and the Book of the Gospels, the cardinals will process from the Hall of Blessings to the Sistine Chapel. As they walk they will sing the Litany of the Saints, followed by the “Veni Creator.” Upon arriving they will take the oath, collectively and individually to respect the secrecy of the conclave.