As part of the consistory during which the Holy Father will create twenty-four new cardinals, the College of Cardinals met on Friday in the Vatican's New Synod Hall for a day of reflection and prayer.
At 10.30am on Saturday 20 November, the Pope will lead the ceremony for the creation of twenty-four new cardinals, according to the new rite introduced during the consistory of 28 June 1991.
Following a liturgical greeting, the Pope will read the formula of creation, and proclaims the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals then addresses the Holy Father on behalf of them all.
This is followed by the Liturgy of the Word, the Pope's homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each cardinal.
Each new cardinal will then approach the Holy Father and kneels before him to receive the cardinal's biretta and to be assigned a title or deaconry.
The Pope will place the biretta on the cardinal's head and pronounces a formula which includes the following words: "(This is) red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church".
The Holy Father will hands over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assign the title or deaconry and exchange a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals also exchange such a sign among themselves.
The rite concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
On Sunday 21 November, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them the cardinal's ring, "the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter."
As he places the ring on the new cardinal's finger, the Pope says: "Take this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened."
Following tomorrow's ceremony, the College of Cardinals will have 203 members, of whom 121 are electors. The members of the College, by continent of origin, are divided as follows: 111 from Europe, 21 from North America, 31 from South America, 17 from Africa, 19 from Asia and four from Oceania.