The pope presided over a penitential ceremony in a St. Peter's Basilica, where, for this occasion, several priests were available so that anyone could confess. Cardinals and bishops also accompanied the pope.
After proclaiming the Gospel, the basilica became quiet. There was a long silence to carry out the examination of conscience.
The pope preferred not give a homily. Instead, he went directly to the confessional to confess. He then entered one to confess seven people, all lay, for about 50 minutes.
In the meantime, the Sistine Chapel choir sang the impressive Miserere, composed by Gregorio Allegri in the 17th century.