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Presentation of the Celebration


The significance of the celebration

1. Recalling the profound emotion caused forty years ago by the embrace between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Pope John Paul II contacted the Ecumenical Patriarch, who joyfully accepted his invitation to commemorate this anniversary with him in Rome in the solemn setting of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

2. This year the Holy Mass for the Solemnity, celebrated by the Holy Father at the tomb of Peter in the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, thus takes on a special ecclesial and ecumenical significance.

3. Certain texts and ritual elements of the celebration emphasize the desire of the Eastern Church and the Western Church to continue along the way towards the full communion willed by the Lord, and to re-establish the unity which they enjoyed in the first millennium.

4. The presence of 44 Metropolitan Archbishops who will receive the sacred Pallium from the Pope at the tomb of the Apostle Peter emphasizes the bond of communion uniting the local Churches throughout the world with the Successor of Peter, to whom the Lord entrusted the task of confirming his brethren in faith.

The Patriarch's reception

5. Patriarch Bartholomew I will be received at the Door of Prayer of the Vatican Basilica by the Cardinal Archpriest and a representation of the Vatican Chapter.
The arrival of the Patriarch and his entourage is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Patriarch will enter the Basilica and proceed to the Chapel of Saint Sebastian, where he will vest in the mandyas.

6. In the Chapel of the Pietà the Holy Father will welcome the Patriarch and go with him in procession towards the altar.

7. The Metropolitans will vest in the Gregorian Chapel.

Introductory Rites

8. The order of entrance procession is as follows: the servers, the concelebrating Metropolitans, the Patriarch's entourage accompanied by Cardinal Walter Kasper, Bishop Brian Farrell and Monsignor Eleuterio Fortino, the altar deacons, the Orthodox deacon and the Latin deacon with the Gospel Books, the Patriarch and the Pope. During the procession the Orthodox choir will chant the great initial doxology, after which the entrance song will be sung by the schola and the assembly.

9. The concelebrating Metropolitans venerate the altar and take their places on the extension of the altar platform. The members of the Patriarch's entourage take their places to the right of the altar, where the Patriarch's seat is also located.
10. The Pope and the Patriarch venerate the altar.

11. Both then proceed to the front of the altar: the Holy Father will have the Patriarch on his right. A seat will be brought for the Patriarch.
The Latin deacon and the Orthodox deacon go to the Patriarch and the Pope respectively for the infusion of incense. The two deacons then incense the altar and the cross.

12. After the liturgical greeting the Holy Father introduces the celebration and the penitential rite.

13. The Kyrie and the Gloria from the Missa de Angelis are then sung.

The Liturgy of the Word

14. The first reading will be read in French, the second in English. The Psalm will be sung in Italian.

15. The Gospel will be proclaimed in Latin and Greek. The Pope and the Patriarch put incense in the thuribles. The Latin deacon and the Orthodox deacon seek the blessing of the Patriarch and the Holy Father respectively. Following the proclamation the Pope and the Patriarch will bless the assembly with the Gospel Books. The Pope will use the Greek Gospel Book, while the Patriarch will use the Latin Gospel Book.

16. At the moment of the homily the Holy Father will present the Ecumenical Patriarch to the assembly and introduce his address. The addresses of the Patriarch and of the Holy Father will follow.

17. For the Creed, the Holy Father and the Patriarch will recite together the Greek text of the Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed, according to the usage of the Byzantine Churches.

18. The Prayer of the Faithful will be introduced and concluded by the Holy Father in Italian. The intentions will be read in the following languages: French, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Polish.

19. At the end of the Prayer of the Faithful the Patriarch will take leave of the Holy Father and return to his seat below, where his entourage is seated.

The blessing and imposition of the Pallia

20. The Pallia will then be blessed and imposed on the Metropolitan Archbishops.

21. The Latin deacons, accompanied by a master of ceremonies, will enter the Basilica and take from the Tomb of Saint Peter the tray with the Pallia to be blessed. They will then bring them to the Holy Father's chair.

22. The Archbishops who will receive the Pallium remain at their places and turn towards the Holy Father. Meanwhile two servers set microphones before the Metropolitans on either side.

23. The Cardinal Protodeacon presents to the Holy Father those Metropolitans who will receive the Pallium and petitions the Pallium for those Metropolitans who are absent.

24. The Metropolitans together recite the formula of the oath.

25. The Holy Father, without mitre and with hands extended, blesses the Pallia.

26. Following the prayer of blessing, the Holy Father takes the mitre and then says for all the Archbishops the formula for the imposition of the mitre.

27. The Metropolitans, accompanied by their masters of ceremonies, ascend individually and kneel on the cushion in front of the Holy Father, who imposes the Pallium on each and exchanges a sign of peace.

28. The Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops then received from the Holy Father the Pallia for the Metropolitans who are absent. The Pallium will be given to them by the Papal Representative in their own countries.

The Eucharistic Liturgy

29. The Liturgy of the Eucharist continues as usual.

30. At the Offertory, the Holy Father infuses incense and the two deacons incense the altar, the cross, the Pope, the Patriarch and the assembly.

31. At the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, the Metropolitans all ascend to the sides of the altar platform. Two of them stand at the altar on either side of the Holy Father. Eucharistic Prayer II is used.

32. At the Rite of Peace, the Patriarch ascends the altar platform and exchanges the kiss of peace with the Holy Father before the altar.

33. At the end of the Communion prayer a seat is placed in front of the altar for the Patriarch, who ascends the platform and sits beside the Holy Father.

Concluding Rites

34. The Pope and the Patriarch bless the assembly, one after the other. The Pope will impart the blessing using the Latin formula, while the Patriarch will do so with the Greek formula.

35. After the Ite, missa est, the Pope and the Patriarch return together to the atrium of the Basilica, as at the beginning, as the Orthodox choir chants troparia in honour of the Holy Apostles.