Conclave smoke signal timetable

Vatican firefighters put the chimney in place this morning. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Vatican firefighters put the chimney in place this morning. (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — For smoke watchers the world over, the cardinal electors were given the outline of their daily conclave schedules this morning.

Given their time for breakfast, Mass and lunch; time for a rest and a return to the Sistine Chapel, then the time for evening prayer and dinner, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman gave some broad indications on when to be in St. Peter’s Square to gaze at the chimney on roof of the Sistine Chapel or to watch on TV or the internet cameras fixed on the chimney.

The times below are listed in European Central Time. Remember, Europe — unlike the United States — does NOT go on Daylight Saving Time March 10.

When the balloting is unsuccessful — no candidate reaches the 2/3 votes needed for election — two votes are taken in the morning and two are taken in the afternoon. The two morning or two afternoon ballots are burned together, so there are only two smoke signals a day.

The first smoke signal can be expected about 7 p.m. Tuesday, after the first vote.

Beginning Wednesday, smoke would be expected at about noon and again about 7 p.m.

However, if a pope is elected on the first ballot of the morning, the white smoke would billow forth between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. If he is elected on the first ballot of the afternoon, the white smoke would be seen between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

After a white smoke signal, it takes about 40-45 minutes before the announcement of the name of the candidate who won. He must accept the office, change to white vestments and the cardinals pledge their obedience and pray again.

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2 Responses to Conclave smoke signal timetable

  1. Angela says:

    And for those who can’t be present for the event or cannot keep their tvs on, there are two twitter accounts (that I know of) who will be keeping everyone posted on events as they occur! @ConclaveChimney and @PapalSmokeStack

  2. Patrick says:

    Angela, thanks for letting us know.

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