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Churchbells will ring for Benedict XVI

The bells of Austria’s churches will ring when Pope Benedict XVI resigns from office on 28 February. Even the "Pummerin" bell of St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna will ring, which is a rare occasion.

The "Pummerin" bell rings on rare events such as holidays, New Year’s Eve, the death and election of a pope, the archbishop of Vienna, the priest of St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the president of Austria or the mayor of Vienna.

The bell also rang at the requiem for Otto Habsburg, the son of the last emperor of Austria, who died in July 2011. When Pope Benedict XVI is going to resign on 28 February, the "Pummerin" will start ringing on 20.00 and finish after 15 minutes.

On the same day, Nuncio Peter Stephan Zurbriggen will hold a mass for the pope at 19.00. The ringing of the bell will be followed by an evening of prayers "for a good new pope".

From the moment of the pope’s resignation from office until the election of a new one, the pope is not mentioned in the Eucharistic prayers any more.

There will be a concert in honour of the pope in Schottenkirche on 28 February at 20.30. Psalm 23 and compositions by Franz Liszt for soprano, piano and organ will be performed.

Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly announced his resignation on 11 February. Speculations about his successor started immediately afterwards. Some assume that the next pope might come from Africa or Latin America.

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