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Praying for a New Pope
Praying for wisdom during the Conclave
The next Pope of the Catholic Church will be elected during a conclave, a balloting process carried out by 117 eligible cardinals in the Sistine Chapel.
The fact that in the liturgical books of the Catholic tradition we have a great treasury of prayers and scripture for all imaginable occasions is illustrated by the fact that the Sacramentary includes prayers for a Mass for the Election of a Pope in the section entitled ‘Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions’. Other appropriate prayers are to be found in the same section of the Sacramentary under Masses for the Universal Church.
Scripture readings are provided in the Lectionary Volume 3 under the same headings.
According to the Church’s liturgical calendar, we are currently celebrating the Season of Easter. During this time, the Mass for the Election of a Pope may be celebrated on any day except Sunday. On Sundays the election of the Pope can be recalled in the introduction to the Mass, the hymns, the intercessions, and the preaching.
Here are some of the prayers from the Mass for the Election of a Pope:
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.
you renew us with the saving sacrament
of the body and blood of your Son.
In your love for us
give us the joy of receiving a shepherd
who will be an example of goodness to your people
and will fill our hearts and minds with the trust of the gospel.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
(Prayer after Communion)
Although there is no special preface for the Election of a Pope, the Preface of Apostles I would be appropriate:
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
You are the eternal Shepherd
who never leaves his flock untended.
Through the apostles
you watch over us and protect us always.
You made them shepherds of the flock
to share in the work of your Son,
and from their place in heaven they guide us still.
And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven
we proclaim your glory
and join in their unending hymn of praise.
In the Eucharistic Prayer, the pope is not mentioned in the intercession for the leaders of the Church.
The use of these liturgical resources enables Catholics to pray with one voice during this critical time of decision making, asking that the Holy Spirit will guide and guard the Church.