Conclave: Question re Meditation before 1st election

Tomorrow, tuesday, 12 March, the conclave to elect the next pontiff will begin at 3:45 pm local time with the transfer from Domus Sanctae Marthae to Capella Paolina, followed at 4:30 by the procession from Capella Paolina to the Sixtine Chapel. At 4:45 the Cardinals will swear the oath of the conclave and the order “extra omnes” will be given, forcing all who are not allowed to vote to leave the Sixtine Chapel.
I have heard that AFTER the extra omnes and before the first round of voting, Card. Prosper Grech, OSA, will give a meditation. Now here is my question: Card. Grech was born in 1925, hence he is not allowed to vote. Now, Card. Grech is an excellent choice to give the meditation. But should he not leave at the extra omnes? Or is it more like omnes except whomever the voting Cardinals want to be inside? And who gets to decide that?

This is specifically allowed for in John Paul II’s Universi Dominici Gregis. From paragraph 52:

When the last of the Cardinal electors has taken the oath, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations will give the order Extra omnes, and all those not taking part in the Conclave must leave the Sistine Chapel.

The only ones to remain in the Chapel are the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations and the ecclesiastic previously chosen to preach to the Cardinal electors the second meditation, mentioned in No. 13 d), concerning the grave duty incumbent on them and thus on the need to act with right intention for the good of the Universal Church, solum Deum prae oculis habentes.

Don’t worry. The cardinals know what they are doing. :wink:

Thanks. Awesome piece of information. Good job by the Blessed JP2!

Does anyone know whether the schedule was the exact same for the 2005 conclave? Procession + oaths + meditation seems like it would take up the whole time between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm when they are set to adjourn for the day. Doesn’t seem like that would leave time for a vote.

It was roughly the same in 2005, I have no information on the exact times but back then there was black smoke on day one at 20:04. Pope Benedict was elected in the 4th vote, i.e. the 3rd vote on the 2nd day, the result was announced at 17:49, which means that the vote happened around 17:00 I guess.

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