For the Inauguration of the
Of the Bishop of Rome
St. Peter's Square, 24 April 2005
celebration, with which the elected Pope officially begins his
ministry, underlines in particular the Petrine dimension of the
Pastors of the Catholic Church. It it becoming, therefore, to point
out the specific importance that the popes habitually assume the
episcopal emblems: the Pallium and the Ring.
The bond with the
Apostle Peter and his martyrdom, that has seeded the birth of the
Church of Rome, ultimately points to those places in which they
conduct the celebrations, first of all the Confession of St. Peter
in the Vatican Basilica.
In the solemn
Eucharistic Liturgy in which are imposed the two Petrine emblems,
the texts and the signs explain the reference to Christ, cornerstone
of the Church (cf. Eph. 2:20), and to Peter, by him called to be the
"foundation stone" (Mt. 16:18).
The stop of the
Pope at the Apostolic Confession of the Basilica underlines the
strict bond of the Bishop of Rome to the Apostle Peter and to his
martyrdom. It is supremely evocative of the martyrdom of Peter, in a
day so solemn, that they convene in the same place where he
confessed his faith with his blood, together with the other
Christians that with him have given the same testimony.
From the Loggia of
the Vatican Basilica hangs a tapestry of the miraculous catch of
fish (John 21:1-8), in which is portrayed the dialogue of Jesus and
Peter, to which the rite specifically refers, both in the Liturgy of
the Word and in the Eucharistic texts.
The Pope, the
Cardinals, and the deacons, in white vestments, process to the
Piazza, stopping first at the Confessio of St. Peter.
Stop before the
Trophaeum of St. Peter
The Pope, together
with the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, descend to the
sepulcher of St. Peter and incense the "Trophy" (i.e. the reliquary
containing the apostles bones).
Two deacons take
the capsule containing the pallium and ring and carry them in the
procession, laying them on the altar of celebration.
The procession then
proceeds to the Piazza and the altar.
God, who in the designs of Your Wisdom has built Your Church on the
Rock of Peter, head of the apostolic college, watch over me, Your
servant, with love: You who have chosen me as successor of St.
Peter, make that I render visibly to Your people the principle and
foundation of unity in the faith and of communion in the love of
Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. He is God and lives and reigns
with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, from ages to ages. Amen.
Reading: Acts 4:8-12
reading: 1 Peter 5:1-5, 10-11
21:15-19 [Latin, then Greek]
the Pallium and Conferral of the Ring
The two Deacons,
accompanied by acolytes, retrieve the Pallium and Ring and bear it
to the chair of the Pope, who is seated. Standing there are the 3
heads of the Orders of Cardinals. Everyone remains standing.
The Proto-Deacon of
the College makes a proclamation, after which he imposes the Pallium
over the shoulders of the Holy Father, while the Schola sings Ps.
The senior of the
Cardinal Priests then leads the prayer.
The Dean of the
College (Cardinal Sodano, the vice-dean under the former Dean,
Joseph Ratzinger), addresses the Pope, after which he confers the
Fisherman's Ring, while the Schola sings Ps.
The Pontiff then
rises, and then silently blesses all those present with the Book of
the Gospel. The Scola sings in Greek, May you live long, Holy
A representative of
the cardinals, the bishops, the presbyterate, the deacons,
religious, married, confirmed youngsters, from various parts of the
world, render obedience to the Holy Father, while the Schola sings
Tu es Petrus (Thou art Peter).
The Homily of the
Holy Father follows.
Intercessions: in German, French, Arabic, Chinese and Portuguese.
The Mass continues
as usual with the Communion Rite and Dismissal.
the Mass Booklet of the Inaugural Mass)