1. ITV Report

Guide to the inauguration of Pope Francis in the Vatican

Pope Francis delivered his first Angelus prayer and blessing Photo: ABACA/ABACA/Press Association Images

Pope Francis will greet crowds before entering St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican to be inaugurated as the new Pope.

  • Between 8:45 and 8:50am (local time) the Pope will great crowds in St Peter's Square

Pope Francis will depart the Domus Sanctae Marthae and start to move through the crowd in the various sections of the piazza - either in a Jeep or the Popemobile - and greet those gathered.

  • The Pope attends Confession

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. The Pope will venerate the tomb of St Peter, together with the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches (a group of ten, 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.

Pope Francis attends his first audience with journalists and media last week Credit: Alessia Paradisi/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The Holy Father will then come back up from the Confession to the main floor of the Basilica, from which the procession continues.

The procession will then make its entrance into the square. Before the Mass begins there are the rites specific to the beginning of the Bishop of Rome's Petrine Ministry. These include:

  • The Imposition of the Pallium - Made of lambs wool and sheeps wool, the Pallium is placed on the Pope's shoulders recalling the Good Shepherd who carries the lost sheep on his shoulders. The Popes Pallium has five red crosses while the Metropolitans Palliums have five black crosses. The one used by Francis is the same one that previous incumbent Benedict XVI used. It is placed on the Popes shoulders by Cardinal proto-deacon Tauran and, after the imposition, there is a prayer recited by Cardinal proto-presbyter Daneels.
  • The Fishermans Ring - Peter is the fisherman Apostle, called to be a fisher of men. The ring is presented to the Pope by Cardinal Deacon Sodano (first of the Order of Bishops). 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.
  • The Obedience - Six cardinals, two from each order, 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 days 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.
The Vatican pictured before the 115 Cardinals voted for Pope Francis. Credit: Reuters

Then Mass will begin with 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.

Thousands waited in the rain at St Peter's square during the conclave at the Vatican. Credit: Alessia Paradisi/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

At the end of the celebration, and after removing the Liturgical vestments, the Pope will go to the Basilica's high altar, before which he will greet the heads of the official delegations from various countries who will pass before him. He will then go to the Domus Sanctae Marthae (a building completed in 1996 while John Paull II was Pope, built with apartments for those with Vatican business including Cardinals) for lunch.