Tuesday morning, the dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, leads the celebration of the "Pro eligendo Pontificie" Mass — the Mass for the election of a pope — inside St. Peter's Basilica, joined by the 115 cardinals who will vote.
They break for lunch at the hotel, and return for the 4:30 p.m. procession into the Sistine Chapel, chanting the Litany of Saints, the hypnotic Gregorian chant imploring the intercession of the saints to help guide the voting. They then take their oath of secrecy, listen to a meditation by elderly Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech, and cast the first ballots.
The first puffs of smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney should emerge sometime around 6:30 p.m. Black smoke from the burned ballot papers means no pope. White smoke means the 266th pope has been chosen.
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