Guide to Pope Francis’ spectacular inaugural mass



Pope Francis AFP

VATICAN CITY – Tuesday’s grandiose mass in St Peter’s Square to inaugurate Pope Francis, the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, will feature symbolic rituals and spectacular imagery.

Following are the main stages in a rare and historic event expected to last around two hours, with dozens of religious and world leaders as well as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims expected.

The pope will leave his temporary Vatican residence, Casa Santa Marta, a few minutes before 9:00 am (0800 GMT) for a tour through the throngs in St Peter’s Square aboard a papal vehicle.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said it would be a “long tour” of the famous square, lasting until around 9:15 am when Francis will go into St Peter’s Basilica, to the sacristy by Michelangelo’s Pieta, to don his vestments for the mass.

Francis will begin with a stop at the tomb of St Peter, regarded as the first pope, under the basilica’s main altar. The mass will be celebrated on the square outside — where tradition holds that Peter was crucified in around 67 AD.

The first Latin American pope will be accompanied to the observance at the tomb by around 10 patriarchs and top archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Rite who will co-celebrate the mass along with the other cardinals.

Two key symbols of the papacy — the Fisherman’s Ring and the pallium — as well as an ornate Bible will have been placed at the tomb the night before.

The pallium — the same as that used for Francis’s predecessor Benedict XVI — is a strip of wool worn over the shoulders recalling the role of Jesus as a good shepherd. Five red crosses on the vestment recall the wounds of the crucified Christ.

The Fisherman’s Ring, made of gold-plated silver, bears the image of a bearded and haloed St Peter holding a pair of keys — representing the moment Peter was given the keys to heaven.

The ring originally served as both a symbol of the papacy and a seal, but these days the pope has a separate seal with which to mark documents.

Two leading cardinals will bear the objects outside the basilica in a procession during which the prelates will sing a special litany of saints titled Laudes Regi (Praises of the King).

At the altar in front of the basilica, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran will bestow the pallium on the pope, who will then receive the Fisherman’s Ring from Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

A ritual will follow in which six cardinals will swear their obedience to the pope on behalf of the three hierarchical levels of the College of Cardinals.

The mass proper is set to begin at 9:30 am, to be co-celebrated by around 180 clergymen including cardinals, patriarchs and archbishops and Adolfo Nicolas, the superior general of the Jesuit order to which Francis belongs.

The Vatican said about 250 bishops and archbishops will be seated to the left of the altar along with clergy from other Christian churches.

More than 130 diplomatic delegations will be seated on the right, while behind them will be representatives of the Jewish, Muslim and other non-Christian faiths, followed by some 1,200 priests and seminarians.

The liturgy will be that of St Joseph, the patron saint of the universal Church, whose feast day falls on Tuesday.

One detail is that the gospel will be sung in Greek only instead of both Greek and Latin as tradition normally dictates to embrace both Eastern and Western rites. Latin dominates many other parts of the mass, Lombardi noted.

The pope’s homily will be in Italian.

Music will include “Tu Es Pastor Ovium” (Thou Art Shepherd of the Sheep), a rarely performed motet by Giovanni Pierluigi di Palestrina composed in 1585 for the enthronement of Sixtus V.

The mass will end with the singing of the Te Deum.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • sanjuan683

    Nakakasawa na yan balita tungkol kay papa catsup. Hindi yan mahalaga sa mga Pinoy kailangan natin more jobs. Para mabuhay ng maayos.

    • prince_janus

      di huwag mong basahin!

    • prince_janus

      at di ka na rin dapat nagsayang ng post mo!

    • ern

      shame on you. Learn to respect others so that you may be respected. Marami naman pwedeng mabasa, why do you insist reading materials about the pope.

    • maysayako

      palibhasa kasi yung kultong kinabibilangan mo e di news worthy! kahit tabloid di interesado sa inyong kulto! belat!

    • patrickinca

      Heretic! I will ex-communicado de potpot you……

    • ganipecson

      I understand that you may be in another congregation but should your faith release news of this sort, rest assured that I will also be interested in reading it.

    • marco



    DI GANUN din ang suma tutal: CORONATION of a KING without a crown. Halo-halo espesyal din ang kina-in, wala lang leche flan.

    • prince_janus

      Nakaka-inggit talaga ano? Baka gusto mo rin gawing Papa. Papa ng mga bakikang! hahahahaha.

      • UrHONOR

        TATAY na lang, exciting pa! Ho ho ho!

    • patrickinca

      Heretic! I will ex-communicado de potpot et bembang you……

      • UrHONOR

        Arithmetic! I am incommunicado. lol

      • patrickinca

        incommunicado de potpot!!! lol

  • maysayako

    inggit na naman ang mga miyembro ng mga ibang so called christian sect o cult, mga born against at kulto ni matalo pati ni soriano, villanueva at quiboloy! mga bigating world leaders kasi ang aatend! sa kanila kasi ang umaatend lang e mga brgy kagawad, konsehal, mga corrupt na mayor, tongressman at mga pulpol na senador! at kaya umaatend e para lang makakuha ng boto!

  • mxsclxmxn

    Jesus is Lord Church (JILCW, also known as JIL Church, JIL Movement, or JIL, previously named JIL Fellowship) is a Charismatic movement in thePhilippines headed by founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

    JIL started with 15 members in 1978. As of 2010, members growth up to 6 million believers. Its world headquarter is located in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.

    This is private interpretation. Kanya kanya tyo ng reliyon. Bukas meron na naman bagong protestant religion ayon kay pastor siempre!

    • Crazy_horse101010

      yawn zzzzzz

    • patrickinca

      Haaaay the sweet sound of hate mongers… (brings out the pop-corn)

  • mxsclxmxn

    Pastor Apollo Quiboloy —Appointed Son of GOD! <– anak ng tipaklong…pano nangyari ito!

  • mxsclxmxn

    Iglesia ni Cristo believes that Iglesia ni Cristo is the true church established by Jesus Christ, because the name Iglesia ni Cristo or Church of Christ is the name of the church that built by Christ that shown in Romans. 16:16.

    the official doctrines of the church profess that Jesus Christ is the founder of the INC[15] and that Felix Manalo was the last messenger, sent by God to re-establish the Christian Church to its true, pristine form because the original church (Catholic) was apostatized.

    Kawawa naman! Magaling nga maginterpret ng bible itong si Manalo!

    • patrickinca

      Heretic! I will ex-communicado de potpot et bembang them…..

  • ganipecson

    The news marks the big change in the Vatican mode of relationship with the catholic faithfuls. A big change from the traditionally secretive attitude in its rituals to an open-to-the-media policy which brings the church closer to its followers. The news also indirectly proves that St. Peter – whose remains still lies in the Vatican – is the first pope of the catholic church with a steady flow of sequence from St. Peter to Pope Francis. This seemingly side-bar story enhances my faith that I am in the right church. Others may start thinking of concocting tales and stories.

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