The conclave to elect a new pope begins Tuesday at the Vatican. The voting process follows a set ritual every day until the Catholic Church has a new leader. Here is an approximate schedule. Local time listed first.
— 10 a.m.-11:45 a.m. (5 a.m.-6:45 a.m. EDT; 0900-1045 GMT): Cardinals attend Mass in St Peter's Basilica, then return to their Vatican hotel.
— 3:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m. EDT; 1445 GMT): Cardinals travel from their hotel to the Apostolic Palace.
— 4:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. EDT; 1530 GMT): Procession from the Pauline Chapel into the Sistine Chapel.
— 4:45 p.m.-8 p.m. (11:45 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT; 1545-1900 GMT): Each cardinal takes an oath, most likely followed by the first vote. If the vote yields a new pope, white smoke will emerge from the chimney; if not the smoke will be black.
— 8 p.m. (3 p.m. EDT; 1900 GMT): Cardinals pray in the Sistine Chapel.
— 8:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. EDT; 1930 GMT): Cardinals return to their hotel.
WEDNESDAY AND ONWARD
— 7:45 a.m. (2:45 a.m. EDT; 0645 GMT): Cardinals travel to the Pauline Chapel.
— 8:15 a.m. (3:15 a.m. EDT; 0715 GMT): Mass in the Pauline Chapel.
— 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. EDT; 0830 GMT): Prayer in the Sistine Chapel, voting starts.
— 12:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EDT; 1130 GMT): Cardinals retire to their hotel for lunch.
— 4 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT; 1500 GMT): Cardinals return to the Sistine Chapel.
— 4:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m. EDT; 1540 GMT): Voting in the Sistine Chapel.
— 7:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. EDT; 1815 GMT): Prayer in the Sistine Chapel.
— 7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. EDT; 1830 GMT): Cardinals return to their hotel.
After every three full days of voting, the cardinals break for a day of prayer and reflection, then resume for another three days. The first pause will be on Saturday if no pope has been selected before that.
Smoke will emerge from the chimney once at the end of the morning session — about 12 p.m. (7 a.m. EDT; 1100 GMT) — and again at the end of the afternoon session — about 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT; 1800 GMT). But if an earlier vote yields a pope, white smoke would emerge at that time, ending the conclave.
Once white smoke emerges from the chimney, a bell at the St. Peter's Basilica rings. Within an hour, the man who was selected emerges onto the balcony and his identity is known.