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Pope Francis to take over with installation Mass on St. Joseph's Day

The pomp and circumstance surrounding the election of Pope Francis have only begun, as the church looks forward to his "installation ceremony" next week.

The installation Mass, a morning-long affair, will take place on Tuesday — on the day of the Feast of St. Joseph.

As many as 200 foreign delegations are expected to attend, alongside celebrities, politicians and thousands from the church's own ranks and from Francis' homeland, Argentina. Vice President Joe Biden will lead a U.S. delegation to Rome for the occasion.

"I am happy to have the chance to personally relay my well wishes, and those of the American people, when I travel to Rome for his Inaugural Mass," Biden said in a statement Wednesday.

The installation usually takes place on Sunday during Mass, but the Feast of St. Joseph's day is a Vatican holiday. 

During the inauguration, Francis will receive his papal regalia, including a pallium, which is a wool cloak or a mantle, and his "fisherman's ring." A new ring is cast in gold for each pope, to remind that the pontiff is a successor of Saint Peter, who was a fisherman by trade.

The ceremony, however, is not as opulent as the papal coronation Masses of yore.

Pope Paul VI was the last to receive the papal tiara at his ceremony in 1963.  Pope John Paul I, his successor, chose to begin his service with an installation Mass instead of a coronation.


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