Medieval ritual, which consists of the Camerlengo lightly striking the head of the dead pope three times with a silver mallet. Each time he does so he calls out to the pope by his birth name. When there is no response an announcement is made to all those who are present that the pope is dead.
The fisherman’s ring and the papal seals are then broken. The Camerlengo’s main responsibilities are to prepare for the funeral and burial of the pope as well as make all the arrangements for the election of a new pope.’