Thursday, April 14, 2005

Vigil of Readings for the Conclave

Unlike civic elections, the election of a new Pope is not dependent upon campaigns but upon the Holy Spirit. In the same way that the catechumens are elected by God through the attentive discernment of the Church, so too are the cardinals who gather in conclave bound to follow the choice of the Holy Spirit through their prayerful discernment of the Spirit's movement.

Below is a vigil of readings (in a similar format as the vigil of readings that takes place at the Easter Vigil) imploring God to send the Holy Spirit upon the cardinals in conclave. The prayer is generously provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Opening Song

Introductory Dialogue
    Leader: Blessed be the Lord,
    People: both now and forever!
Introduction and Opening Prayer
    Brothers and sisters,
    we gather as members of Christ’s Body, the Church.
    We gather as a people who await the movement and action of the Spirit.
    We gather, confident in the Lord’s guidance of and care for his Church.
    So let us call upon God in faith
    to send the Holy Spirit upon the Cardinals in Rome
    who will elect our new Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth.

    Let us pray.
    O God, protector and ruler of your Church:
    you are our eternal shepherd and guide.
    In your mercy, grant your Church a shepherd who will walk in your ways and whose watchful care will bring us your blessing.
    Give a spirit of wisdom to the Cardinals in Rome who are to elect a new Pope.
    May your Holy Spirit lead us all into your kingdom.
    We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Vigil of Readings

    First Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3 (The Lord God has anointed me and has sent me to bring Good News to the poor.)


    Second Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-13 (Come, anoint the young shepherd; he is the one who will be king.)

    Sung Response: Psalm 89, Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

    Third Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8 (Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?)


    Fourth Reading: Romans 12:3-13 (Our gifts differ according to the grace given to us.)

    Sung Response: Psalm 16, You are my inheritance, O Lord.

    Fifth Reading: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 (In the work of service we help in building up the body of Christ.)

    Singing of the Alleluia
    During this hymn, the participants’ candles are lit.

    Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19 (You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.)

Homily or Reflection

Singing of the Veni Sancte Spiritus or the Litany of Saints
During the singing of the Veni Sancte Spiritus or the Litany of Saints all participants move forward in procession, placing their lighted candles in prepared receptacles (pots filled with sand work very well), then returning to their places.

    Together, let us offer our prayers for the Church and the world.

    For the College of Cardinals: That they may be open in heart and mind to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we pray to the Lord.

    For an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the conclave in Rome: That through intense prayer and genuine discernment, the Cardinals may listen to the Spirit's wisdom, we pray to the Lord.

    For the Catholic Church: That we may be united in faith and confidence as we await the Spirit's action in the election of a new Pope, we pray to the Lord.

    For Christian unity: That full communion among all churches will be realized, we pray to the Lord.

    For this holy assembly, and for all who offer worship and praise to God, we pray to the Lord.

    For the clergy, the religious, and all the faithful, we pray to the Lord.

    For our public servants and all who hold public office, we pray to the Lord.

    For peace on earth, reconciliation and healing, we pray to the Lord.

    For the welfare of all peoples and the unity of the human family, we pray to the Lord.

    For the faithful who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, we pray to the Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

    Gathering our prayers into one, we pray as Jesus taught us. Our Father...

Sign of Peace

    As brothers and sisters in Christ,
    let us share with one another a sign of Christ’s peace.


    Presider: The Lord be with you.
    People: And also with you.
    Presider: May almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    (If the leader is a lay person, the following formula is used instead.)
    Leader: May almighty God bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Closing Song