Canonisation Ceremony

Canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop

October 17, 2010 Place: St. Peter's Basilica, Rome,


  • The reading of a brief biography of each Blessed being canonised was read
  • The preparation for the ceremony featured short readings or prayers written by the Blessed. These were read by Sisters Judith Sippel and Katrina Brill
  • At this point there will be a prayer or hymn (chosen to fit the biography which has been submitted by each Postulator).


The Rite of Canonisation – the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father

  • The pope begins with a greeting.
  • The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints accompanies the Postulators to the Holy Father and requests the Holy Father to proceed with the Canonisation of the Blesseds using the formula: Most blessed Father, The holy Mother Church, asks your Holiness that these blessed ones be written in Book of Saints and thus be invoked as such by all Christians.
  • The Prefect then presents a brief biography of those to be canonised.
  • Prayer and Litany of the Saints follows with the concluding prayer to the Litany
  • The relics of the Saints are placed near the altar
  • The choir /cantor sings alleluia three times
  • The assembly repeats the above alleluia three times
  • The choir/cantor sings a brief acclamation.
  • The Prefect thanks the Holy Father and asks that arrangements be made that the Apostolic letter be written regarding the Canonisation
  • Holy Father responds – may this be so!
  • The Prefect and the Postulators exchange a sign of peace with Holy Father
  • THE EUCHARIST FOLLOWS AS NORMAL – the Gloria, the opening Prayer, the Readings etc.

NOTE: The formal aspects of the canonisation ceremony happen prior to the Gloria.

The Rite of Canonisation

A few days prior to the ceremony a large image of each saint was hung in front of the Basilica of St Peter. Mary MacKillop’s image was positioned in the middle and to the right hand side of the main door as one faces the Basilica.

The Canonisation Mass is the proper of the Mass is from the Mass of that Sunday (29th Sunday of Year C).