Mary and the Rite Regulating the Conclave

Today Vatican Information Service published the details of the liturgical rite that precedes the conclave.  Below is an excerpt of the rite:

The regulations also state that, for this ceremony, the senior cardinal in the hierarchy—who currently is Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re—will preside over the celebration, which begins with the sign of the cross and the proclamation of the following words:

“May the Lord, who guides our hearts in the love and patience of Christ, be with you all.”After this brief prayer, Cardinal Re will invite all those gathered to begin the procession towards the Sistine Chapel, where the Conclave will take place, with these words:

“Venerable Brothers, after having celebrated the divine mystery, we now enter into Conclave to elect the Roman Pontiff.

The entire Church, joined with us in prayer, constantly calls upon the grace of the Holy Spirit to elect from among us a worthy Pastor of all of Christ’s flock.

May the Lord direct our steps along the path of truth, so that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, we may always do that which is pleasing to him.”

After this prayer, the cardinals process into the Sistine Chapel following the minister bearing the cross, the choir, the masters of ceremony, the secretary of the College of Cardinals, and the prelate who will give the meditation to the Cardinal electors. The procession is ended with a deacon, dressed in alb and stole, bearing the book of the Gospels, along with Cardinal Re and the Master of Ceremonies.

As the Cardinal electors prepare to enter the conclave, the intercession of Mary, spouse of the Holy Spirit, Queen of Apostles, and Queen of Saints is invoked.  The rite acknowledges the intercession and guidance of Mary and the saints throughout the process.  As the Church is joined with the Cardinals in prayer, may we continue to implore the intercession of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, and the saints for their prayers for the Church during this important time. 

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