Your Excellencies! Fathers! Plans for 28 February? Masses for the Pope? For the Election? Bells? Processions? Prayers?

To all bishops and priests out there….

Do you have any special plans for 28 February?  After?

His Holiness ceases to be Pope, Bishop of Rome, and becomes “Pontiff Emeritus” at exactly 20:00 Central European Time on 28 February.  Have you worked out what time that is where you are?

Perhaps there is special “thanksgiving” Mass to be celebrated?

Perhaps you will ring the church bells for, say, 10-15 minutes before the hour itself?

What’s up?

I wrote about the Mass and procession at Mater Ecclesiae parish in New Jersey HERE.

In the Diocese of Madison, where I am, His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Morlino has issued a decree giving priests permission (according to GIRM 374) to say (Ordinary Form) Masses for the Pope in white vestments on weekdays of Lent and, after the resignation is in effect, Masses for the Election of a Pope or a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit on weekdays of Lent.  And then, after the election of the new Pope Masses for a Pope on weekdays of Lent (if there are any!).  And, of course, mutatis mutandis, this would apply to the Extraordinary Form.

What has your diocese determined?

Also, the bells at the chancery in Madison will ring for a few minutes leading up to the moment of the resignation’s effect.

When great needs press us, and this will be a great need, we turn to prayer and fasting and to our sacred liturgical worship.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has just redistributed the USCCB’s “LITURGICAL NOTES AND RESOURCE MATERIALS FOR USE UPON THE RESIGNATION OF THE POPE”

    as found here

  2. MrTipsNZ says:

    Bishop Barry Jones of the Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, will celebrate Mass at 7PM (NZ time) 28th Feb, in honour of the leadership and great gift of Benedict XVI’s pontificate. When our Cathedral was destroyed and diocese ravaged by earthquakes in 2010-2011, Benedict has displayed constant concern, care and support for our situation. He has been a true anchor from 12,000 miles away.

  3. Robert_H says:

    Grand Rapids, Mich diocese:

    Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew

    Bishop Hurley will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI at 12:05 p.m. at the cathedral on Feb. 28, the final day of the pope’s papacy. All are welcome to attend.

    If you are unable to attend but would still like to participate, the Mass will be live streamed on the diocesan website.

    In addition, on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. EST (8 p.m. in Rome) the bells of Catholic churches throughout the diocese, including those of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, will ring out to mark the conclusion of the papacy of Pope Benedict.

  4. The Bishop of Venice, H.E. Frank Dewane has ordered a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated in every Parish on the evening of February 27th.

    His letter is here:

    Ave Maria University will have all three Masses on the 27th offered in Thanksgiving of the Petrine ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, and then an Eucharistic Holy Hour at 7pm.

  5. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    I don’t think my diocese has any plans, but since the following day is First Friday, would it be appropriate to sing either Te Deum or Veni Creator Spiritus — either before or after Mass?

    God bless, and thank you for your priesthood.


  6. James0235 says:

    From the website of the diocese of Columbus:

    Bishop Campbell will preside at a Mass in honor of Pope Benedict XVI, to be celebrated at Saint Joseph Cathedral on Wednesday, February 27, 5:15 p.m. Priests in and of the Diocese have been invited to concelebrate; deacons are welcome to vest and sit as a body. All the faithful of the diocese are invited to attend.

  7. acardnal says:

    I hope that Bp. Morlino will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on at St. Patrick’s at noon.

    I saw him interviewed very briefly about the qualities a new Pope should have – I think he answered one question – on CBS Evening News yesterday and it looked like he may have been Rome. (?!)

  8. Philangelus says:

    We’re having a Mass of thanksgiving on the 27th, I believe, and our parish priest said of the Pope, “but he’s very sorry he won’t be able to be here,” and it took people a few moments to actually laugh. I thought it was hilarious.

  9. Geoffrey says:

    I haven’t heard anything for the diocese of Monterey in California yet…

  10. Random Friar says:

    I have looked up, under “Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions,” the Mass For the Pope. However, it’s too strongly directed toward present and future Petrine ministry of his, so it would not make sense.

    I think the Mass for Various Needs and Occasions I (“The Church on the Way to Unity”) would work. I might insert “Rome” for the Diocese/Place for which we pray in particular. Here’s the part in particular:

    Priest: Renew by the light of the gospel the Church of N. [diocese/place]. Strengthen the bonds of unity between the faithful and their pastors, that together with … [pope omitted] {name of local bishop} our bishop, and the whole college of bishops, your people may stand forth in a world torn by strife and discord as a sign of oneness and peace.

  11. ceich says:

    In Santa Rosa CA, Fr. Samuel Weber OSB will offer an EF High Mass tonight at 5:30, and Bishop Robert Vasa will offer an OF Mass Thursday at the same time.

  12. Joan M says:

    It was announced last Sunday, and is printed in our Catholic Newspaper, that there will be a Mass at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 2nd, at the Pro-Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies, in thanksgiving for the Pontificate of Benedict XVI.

    There is only one diocese in Trinidad – the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. Our Cathedral, in Port of Spain had been closed to the public while very extensive repairs and renovations are carried out, which is why the Mass will be in our southern city.

  13. iPadre says:

    Providence, Rhode Island – The Diocese of Providence invites the faithful to a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, February 28, 12 noon., at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, 30 Fenner Street. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will celebrate the Mass on the day of the Holy Father’s resignation. All are welcome to come and show their support for Pope Benedict XVI through the Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving.

    The Bishop also encourages all priests to offer Masses that day using the special Mass for The Pope. I used that Mass last Thursday and will do the same this Thursday.

  14. Lucy C says:

    Archdiocese of Detroit – There will be a Eucharistic Holy Hour from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit. Here, in the eastern time zone, 2:00 pm is the time of Pope Benedict’s resignation.

  15. Capt. Morgan says:

    From the Diocese of South Carolina, at least in my Parish and those nearby, not one word. Nada.

  16. padredana says:

    In my parish, I will offer Mass on the evening of the 28th for the Election of a New Pope. That Mass, along with the Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost, will also be offered frequently until the moment the white smoke appears.

  17. ghp95134 says:

    San Jose, CA

    From HE McGrath:

    “…I invite you to a diocesan celebration of Mass in Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, February 28, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph…

    “It is my hope that we of the Diocese of San Jose will mark this historic occasion in the way we mark all major events of our lives: gathering around the tables of the Lord’s Word and of the Eucharist. For that reason, I would be grateful if this invitation were extended to all of the lay, religious and clergy of our local Church….”

  18. majuscule says:

    Archdiocese of San Francisco:

    Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone has asked that all parishes on the morning of Feb. 28, the final day of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, celebrate a special Mass for the pope in thanksgiving for his service and for his long healthy retirement.
    A Mass Feb. 28, at 8 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Gough Street at Geary Boulevard, San Francisco will be celebrated in honor of Pope Benedict XVI.

  19. mrsmontoya says:

    Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco has asked every parish in the Archdiocese to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on that day.

  20. NickD says:

    Just a little thing:

    our school usually has school-wide Mass every Wednesday. We’re having it Thursday the 28, so we can pray in a more concrete way for the current Holy Father, the cardinal-electors, and the future pope.

  21. Laura R. says:

    In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, with Archbishop Gregory as principal celebrant, at 5:30 pm at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

  22. The Archdiocese of Dublin:

    “Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has asked that at the principal Mass in all public Churches in the Archdiocese of Dublin on Thursday 28th February the Mass for the Pope be said in thanksgiving for the Ministry of Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Martin plans to celebrate a Special Mass in the Pro-Cathedral at 17.45 on that day.

    ?Archbishop Martin noted that the prayer of the entire Church for the election of a new Pope is part of a long tradition of invoking the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on those called to be electors and on the one who will be called to guide the universal Church. He asks that during the period of the sede vacante the Mass for the Election of a Pope should be celebrated on some weekdays, particularly on the days when the actual Conclave is being held. A special intention should be inserted in the Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses during the entire period.

    ?Special Masses will also be celebrated on the occasion of the election of the new Pope.”

    But that Cardinal Connell is still alive Archbishop Martin would himself probably have been at this conclave!

  23. Fr AJ says:

    If we do not have the permission of the Bishop, how is it possible to offer Votive Masses to the Holy Spirit or for the Pope, etc., during the weekdays of Lent?

    [Father…. ASK for permission.]

  24. mpolo says:

    Cardinal Meisner is flying back to Cologne today to celebrate a Mass tomorrow evening at 6:30 P.M. in the cathedral. He has commanded that a General Intercession for the papal election be included throughout the Sedes Vacans (with the option of adding the Collect from the Mass for the election of a Pope), and has given permission to celebrate the Mass for the election of a Pope on any day except Sunday and Solemnities during the same period.

    @Fr AJ: As I read the rubric, we can only celebrate the Mass during Lent if there is a pressing pastoral need defined by the local Ordinary.

  25. awkpearl says:

    Diocese of Kalamazoo – Bishop Bradley will celebrate Mass at 12:10 pm on Thursday, February 28 at St. Augustine Cathedral for Pope Benedict and his intentions.

  26. iPadre says:

    Fr AJ – I don’t believe you need permission. Just cannot do so on Sunday during Lent. From “Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions: #2 For the Pope.” What vestments and readings of the day.

  27. Ben Dunlap says:

    Diocese of Wichita: Bishop Jackels will offer mass at 5:30pm on Friday March 1st at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception “in thanksgiving for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, to ask the Lord to bless his retirement, and to beg the Holy Spirit to guide the Cardinals in their choice of Peter’s Successor.”

    The diocese just finished a many-months-long renovation of the cathedral, by the way, which among other things has restored the traditional floor plan of the sanctuary (cathedra at liturgical north and tabernacle at liturgical east).

  28. happyCatholic says:

    Archdiocese of St. Louis had a mass of thanksgiving last Friday on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. I could not attend, living over an hour’s drive away plus dealing with persistent snow.

    Also, has anyone seen the lovely “thank you” video on you tube from young people around the world? It is heartwarming to really see the universality of the Church and so poignant at the same time. It is entitled “Para el joven de 85 anos — For a young man of 85.”

  29. Random Friar says:

    Nothing from my diocese yet, so calls have been put in. I certainly hope I may be able to do so, but will not if not given permission.

    My homily this morning was “Next Pope to be Catholic,” taking the readings esp. from Jeremiah, about the people who abandoned the true prophet for others who adapted themselves to the world instead.

  30. PAT says:

    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, two items:

    Mass of Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and for the Election of a New Pope
    February 28, 2013
    5:15 p.m. Mass Crypt Church
    Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio
    Archbishop for the Military Services, U.S.A.
    Celebrant & Homilist

    Truth & Beauty: A Musical Tribute to Pope Benedict XVI
    February 28, 2013
    8:00 p.m. Concert Crypt Church
    The Choir of the Basilica of the
    National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
    Dr. Peter Latona, Conductor

  31. notenoughflair says:

    From my diocese website (

    The Catholic Diocese of Dallas will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, February 28 at 12 noon at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas. The Mass coincides with the final day of Pope Benedict’s papacy.

  32. PAT says:

    Additionally, for the Mass and Musical Tribute at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, there is a link to a nice flyer [PDF]:

  33. a catechist says:

    This is not so grand, but very sincere:

    Mass of Thanksgiving, 2/27, with the Cathedral’s youth group, story by a local tv station:

  34. Pingback: Praying for our future Pope with the Traditional Latin Mass - CNA Blog

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