The Holy See
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Piazza Saint Peter's Square
Saturday, 3 June 2006


I. The Encounter of Pope Benedict XVI with Ecclesial Movements and New Communities will has as its central theme: “The beauty of being a Christian and the joy of communicating this”, which comes from Pope Benedict’s homily during the mass of the inauguration of his petrine ministry (April 24, 2005). The Encounter will take place in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday, June 3, 2006, the vigil of the Solemnity of Pentecost. In this way, the celebration of the mystery of Pentecost will mark the profound significance of this event.

II. At the heart of this encounter will be the celebration of the first vespers of Pentecost, which will include a memorial of the sacrament of confirmation. The Holy Father will preside over the vespers and give a homily. Representatives from the movements and communities will offer a brief mediation on the psalms in light of their personal experiences. The plenary indulgence as stated in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum for the Solemnity of Pentecost will also be “extended” to all those who participate in this vigil.

III. A pre-vesper program that will include moments of prayer, as well as music, songs and testimonies as expressed by various movements and communities will help to prepare a spiritual atmosphere for the solemn recitation of vespers. Some scenes from the gathering of May 30, 1998 will be projected on the video screens. There will also be some moments to reflect on the words that the then Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, addressed on that occasion.

IV. In order to help follow the liturgy and participate in the prayers and songs, a booklet prepared for the occasion by the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff will be distributed to the participants.

V. Two choirs- one of the diocese of Rome directed by Msgr. Frisina, and the other intentionally composed of members from various movements and communities- will animate the program before the arrival of the Holy Father. In this way, they will assist the prayer of all of the faithful gathered in the plaza. The texts of the songs will be incorporated into the above mentioned booklet.

VI. The Pontifical Council for the Laity will be in charge of distributing the tickets for the participation for this Encounter with the Holy Father. As customary, these tickets are gratuitous. Tickets will be divided into the following sections: “Sagrato” tickets for seats near the main altar; tickets for the sections “St. Peter and St. Paul” (seated); tickets for sections one and two (seated); and a general ticket for all other areas of St. Peter’s Square, Piazza Pio XII, and the Via della Conciliazione (all standing sections). The Pontifical Council for the Laity will receive the request for tickets from the person in charge of this for each movement and community. Any other questions, however, can be made directly to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The tickets will be distributed from May 15 onwards. These same tickets will serve as free transportation passes for all means of public transportation in Rome for the entire day of Saturday, June 3.

VII. Entrance to St. Peter’s Square is scheduled for 2.00 pm. It is strongly advised that groups of people do not concentrate in the areas adjacent to the square much time before this. At 3.45 pm, there will be a brief rehearsal of the singing of the vesper psalms, and at 4.00 the pre-vesper program in anticipation of the arrival of the Holy Father will begin. At approximately 17.30 the Holy Father will arrive in St. Peter’s Square and pass through the crowds to greet participants in the “popemobile”. At 6.00 pm, the recitation of the vespers will begin and are scheduled to end at 8:00 pm.

VIII. Throughout St. PeterÂ’s Square and along the Via della Concilazione will be placed giant video screens to follow the ceremony. Participants are asked to bring with them a small portable radio to follow a live broadcast of the event in four languages according to the following frequencies:

English: FM 93.3 MHz
Italian: FM 96.3 MHz
French: FM 103.8 MHz
Spanish: FM 105.0 MHz

IX. Participants will receive colored scarfs for the event. The Square and immediate vicinities will also be equipped with portable toilets, emergency medical services, and bottled water. Numerous volunteers will serve to maintain order in the Square and surrounding areas, at the arrival points and the allocated parking centers, etc.

X. The movements and new communities have been sent forms requesting information details about their respective groups of pilgrims. We ask that these forms be returned to the Pontifical Council for the Laity by May 10, 2006 even if further updating is necessary.

XI. From May 8 onwards, a temporary office will be set up in the premises of the Pontifical Council for the Laity that will coordinate this event and furnish additional information. This office can be reached at: tel. +39 06 698 87 322; fax +39 06 698 87214; e-mail

XII. On the morning of June 4, at 10.00 am, the Holy Father will preside at the Solemn Celebration of the Eucharist of Pentecost in St. PeterÂ’s Square for anyone in Rome who would like to attend. Those who participated in the vigil of June 3 who would also like to attend this Eucharistic Celebration, must request tickets from the Prefect of the Papal Household.