Is the liturgy different when a pope dies?

I’m not trying to be ghoulish. Please don’t read any intent into the question that’s not there, m’kay?

Not sure exactly what you mean. It is different to the extent that the prayer “for N our pope” is not included . . .

I mean is a special prayer said for him, is there an additional reading from the Bible, or is there a ritual which occurs?

His name is not mentioned; however, Masses are offered for the repose of his soul. When Pope John Paul II died, our diocese had a Mass for him, celebrated by the bishop. The priests, for their part, offered Masses for the election of a new pope. May this not repeat itself for many more years.

Of course not! :eek:

I was simply wondering if there were any special rites when it does happen.

There are proper prayers for a Mass celebrated for the repose of a Pope - these may be said if the rubrics permit (e.g. not on Solemnities, or Sundays, etc. ). The additional reading may be included at the discretion of the celebrant of such a Mass, if he judges it requires additional solemnity.

It is different to the extent that the prayer “for N our pope” is not included . . .

Is this always the case? Does it concern the Eucharistic Prayer?
I remember that when Pope John Paul II died what the priest said when he said a Mass at our chapel is “…kaisa ni Papa Juan Pablo II, ang aming Papa na yumao na…” that is “…together with John Paul II, our Pope who has died…” or “…together with the late John Paul II, our Pope…”

It should be noted that the Eastern Catholic Churches’ Patriarchs have to send notice of continued ecclesiastical communion upon the election of a new pope.

The pope is commemorated with the dead, not the living, while the papacy is vacant.

His name should not be mentioned since, as Aramis noted, the see is vacant. The only name that should be mentioned is that of the bishop of the particular diocese where the Mass is being celebrated.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit