The rites for the Conclave begin: The entrance procession of the Cardinal Electors

And so it begins.

The procession leaves the Pauline Chapel to go around the corner into the Sistine




Card. Re, the senior Cardinal Elector, guides the process.

At the beginning of the procession he prays:

Venerabiles fratres:
Cum sacris litaverimus, nunc Conclave, ad eligendum Romanum Pontificem, ingrediemur.  Ecclesia universa, nobis in oratione communi coniuncta, gratiam Spiritus Sancti instanter exorat, ut dignus Pastor universi gregis Christi a nobis eligatur.  Dominus dirigat gressus nostros in via veritatis, ut, intercendentibus Beata semper Virgine Maria, Beatis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus sanctis, quae ei sunt placita semper agamus.

Venerable brethren:
Since we offered holy sacrifices, now we enter the Conclave to elect a Supreme Pontiff. The whole church, joined to us in common prayer, earnestly prays for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that a worthy Shepherd of the whole flock of Christ be elected by us.  The Lord directs our steps in this path of truth, so that, as Bless Mary ever Virgin, the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints are interceding, will always bring about those things which are pleasing to Him.






Card. Burke reverenced the altar.

By the way, I really object to the playing of an organ for the responses during the Litany of Saints, even though the Sistine Chapel Choir is with them.  What are they, completely unfamiliar with the tune?  An organ in the Sistine Chapel?  The most famous place in the world for a cappella music (from the “chapel”… which chapel did they have in mind!?!?)





Fantastic camera work.  But then, point a camera anywhere in there and it is still amazing. I once spent time alone in the Sistine Chapel, but that’s another story for another time.

The Cardinal Electors must all take their oath. They first recite the oath together then they all conclude by saying the most solemn part, one by one, with their hands on the Holy Scriptures.





Getting ready for the oath.


Here is one American Cardinal taking the oath…


Et ego, N., Cardinalis N., spondeo, voveo, ac iuro.  Sic me Deus adiuvet et haec Sancta Dei Evangelia, quae manu mea tango.

And I, N. Cardinal, N., promise, vow and swear.  Thus, may God help me and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.

Many of the Cardinals seem not to be aware that Latin words have accents on certain syllables which are determined by the language, rather than by the Cardinal himself.

I had to take an oath before my ordination which ended very much in the same way, having to do with upholding the teaching of the Church.

How to men who take such oaths ever break them?


Various Cardinals of interest making their oath.

Turkson… look how tall Pell is.


Ranjith, who has Pope Benedict’s liturgical vision.


Havin’ a look around.


Card. Burke.  Pope Leo XIV? Gregory XVII?  He has Papa Ratzinger’s liturgical vision.


Extra omnes.


After the lay people were cleared out the head of the Swiss Guard leads the clerics out.






And now we wait.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Phil_NL says:

    Here’s my prediction of the day: if ‘extra omnes’ is said more forcefully than last time (was a bit timid back then), it will end up as the ringtone of the month.

  2. LarryW2LJ says:

    Fr. Z.,

    Not being a musical person nor being familiar with musical terms, I did not realize that was the origin of the term “a cappella”.

    Thanks for that!

  3. gloriainexcelsis says:

    The organ accompaniment hit me, too. Even our untutored congregation is able to sing the responses in the litanies without a prompt.

  4. DLe says:

    And the extra omnes has been given. Though, I’m surprised to see Msgr. Marini with the mantelletta. Was he always an apostolic protonotary?

  5. ljc says:

    After listening to some of the poor pronunciation it was nice to hear the crisp, flawless Latin of Card. Ranjith.

  6. idelsan says:

    Nothing against a Pope from the U.S, but their latin pronunciation is horrible!

  7. Charivari Rob says:

    Any idea to which passage is the Scripture opened?

  8. idelsan says: No, unfair about the Americans. Not all of them.

    Among the worst was a German, who seemed never to have seen a Latin word before.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Actually, at least two Americans had excellent Latin.

  10. chcrix says:

    Can somebody tell me who is the cleric in the photo bearing the caption “Extra Omnes”?

    I have seen him again and again with Pope Benedict, but I’ve never been able to put a name on him.

  11. TNCath says:

    Who is the African cardinal who apparently forgot his mozzetta and looks like he is slouching in the pew?

  12. Phil_NL says:


    That is monsignor Guido Marini, master of papal ceremonies.

  13. Art says:

    Interesting. Is the oath only done in Latin or are the non-RC Cardinals allowed to take the oath in their own liturgical language? e.g. The Maronite Patriarch making the oath in Aramaic.

  14. DLe says:

    Speaking of the Latin, I hope Cardinal Protodeacon Tauran’s Latin is up to par.

  15. robtbrown says:

    idelsan says:
    Nothing against a Pope from the U.S, but their latin pronunciation is horrible!

    American English commonly clips vowels, so that animus and animis sound the same.

    BTW, Germans commonly pronounce caelum as zaelum.

  16. Will Elliott says:

    TNCath says:
    Who is the African cardinal who apparently forgot his mozzetta and looks like he is slouching in the pew?

    I thought the EWTN commentators said that the cardinal in a wheelchair is a Nigerian cardinal. After a quick trip to Google, I believe that is Anthony Cardinal Okogie, who is having health issues:

  17. Catholictothecore says:

    The Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Musuems, the whole of Vatican City, is one beautiful place. There’s nothing quite like it in the rest of the world. Just looking at The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel makes one pause and reflect on the beauty and seriousness of being a follower of Christ. There aren’t too many spots to sit in the Sistine Chapel but if you find one, sit and absorb it all in.

  18. catholicmidwest says:

    Cardinal Dolan cracks me up, and not always in a good way. He is soooo “Gee whiz, golly.” Sometimes it scares me, especially when I remember how the USCCB was taken to the cleaners over Obamacare. Arrgh. The stuff of nightmares.

  19. Lori Pieper says:

    I saw Abp. Ganswein exit the chapel. I felt sure he would be there, as I recalled the Prefect of the Papal Household was supposed to have a role in sealing up the conclave, though it was never mentioned on the news until now. Must be an emotional moment for him.

    I think he is supposed to be one of the first in the conclave right after the new Pope is elected too.

    Watching EWTN – first black smoke just now

  20. Hearing Cardinal Ranjith’s pronunciation brought a smile…

  21. Mark R says:

    German schools “have” a native pronunciation of Latin, as do Finns and Poles (which are closely similar to German). There was a native pronunciation of British Latin, but it is superceded by the reconstructed pronunciation…unless Church Latin is in use. It remains, however, in word like Vivat!, and regina, in which the “i” is pronounced like “eye”. This is change is dealt with briefly in “Good bye, Mr. Chips”. The Book of Common Prayer did have a Latin edition produced, presumably for universities…I wonder if it was ever used?

  22. WaywardSailor says:

    As he took the oath, I thought Cardinal Burke, more than any other Cardinal, physically manifested the gravity and burden of the task before him.

  23. Jean Marie says:

    Be careful to preserve your faith, because in the future the Church in the U.S.A will be separated from Rome.” St. Leopold Mandic (1866-1942 A.D.)

    I wonder if the election of Cardinal Raymond Burke, or another Cardinal who is uncompromisingly orthodox, will bring about the fulfillment of this prophecy. Especially if and when Obama, who the AmChurch heretics put into office twice, starts turning up the heat.

  24. Darren says:

    All I know is I will be up early to not miss the possibility of white smoke by 5:30 AM-ish EDT.

    I can just imagine His Holiness Benedict XVI sitting at his piano playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata while the Castel Gandalfo television nearby is tuned to the Sistine Chapel chimney. When the smoke is white he breaks into the Ode to Joy from the 9th Symphony!

  25. rollingrj says:

    LarryW2LJ, originally,a cappella meant “in the style of the chapel”, meaning that each choir had their own way of accompanying the music with as much or little instrumental support as they deemed necessary. Only later in musical history did the term evolve to what we know it as today–unacompanied (voices only) singing.

  26. pannw says:

    Wow, Darren! What a beautiful image! How I wish I could see him.

  27. Father P says:

    Just a note pro-organ for processions… From the front of the line to the back of the line can be a bit of a distance and eventually there is the problem with a delay between the call and response. If the choir and people listen to the organ rather than each other it does help keep everyone together somewhat

  28. kurtmasur says:

    Can anybody identify the Liturgia Horarum books there on the tables in the Conclave? You can best see it here (green-blue-ish book from the left right next to biretta of neighboring cardinal):
    While watching the event live, one of the cameras had managed to zoom close enough to see that it says Liturgia Horarum. But it doesn’t look like no LH that I’ve ever seen. It can’t be the vinyl nor the leather Vatican prints because the former’s cover is brown the and the latter’s black. And it certainly doesn’t look like the LH in print by MTF in the States. So, does anybody have any information as to the print or version of the Liturgia Horarum being used by the Cardinals during the Conclave?

  29. inara says:

    With 8 children at home, all between ages 8-13, “Extra Omnes” is now my new favorite phrase!!

    I would pay big money for a photo of Cdl. Pell standing next to Cdl. Arinze. :o)

    Cdl. Dolan? oy.

  30. Father P says:


    If you look carefully it has the interregnum umbrella/keys stamped on it. I’m guessing it is a special conclave edition

  31. APX says:

    There was an organ played during the Litany of the Saints? I had no idea. I couldn’t hear anything over the commentator who wouldn’t shut up while it was being sung.

    Interestingly enough, my holy hour coincides with the start of vote #2. I guess I know what I’ll be praying for tonight.

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