Published April 02, 2005
The following is a rough schedule of the events that will take place between Pope John Paul II's death and the election of the new pontiff.
Day 3: The pope's body will lie in state for viewing by the public in the Papal Palace in Castel Gandolfo.
Day 4: The pope's body will remain on view at Castel Gandolfo until afternoon, when it will be brought to St. Peter's Basilica.
Days 5-6: The pope's body will lie in state near the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica.
Day 7: A funeral mass will be said at St. Peter's Basilica attended by world dignitaries. After the mass, pope will be buried in the grottoes under the basilica.
Days 8-15: Each day during the mourning rites, a cardinal or ranking prelate will say a special mass for the pontiff in St. Peter's.
Day 16: Cardinals will join in a special prayer service and then withdraw to the Apostolic Palace, signaling the start of the conclave.
Days 16-20: Conclave (for election of the new pope) can't begin until at least 15 days after the death of the pope, but must begin within 20 days. The conclave should not last more than 4 days.
Sometime between days 16-24: A new pope is elected. After a decision is reached, white smoke appears. Minutes later, the senior cardinal deacon will announce from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, "We have a pope!"
About an hour after the smoke appears, the new pope greets the crowd. The next day the pope will celebrate a Mass with the other cardinals and deliver his first homily.
The Inaugural Mass is usually held the following Sunday on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica. A day later, the pope receives all journalists who have been covering his election.