Information to the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict on Thursday By Reuters

© Reuters. Preparations for former Pope Benedict’s funeral in operation exterior St. Peter’s Basilica, whereas the previous Pope’s physique lies in state on the Basilica, on the Vatican January 4, 2023. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will preside at a funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Sq. on Thursday for his predecessor former Pope Benedict, who died on Saturday on the age of 95.

Greater than 60,000 individuals are anticipated to attend. There might be official delegations from Italy and Benedict’s native Germany. Others leaders, together with the king and queen of Belgium and the queen of Spain, and about 13 heads of state of state or authorities, will attend in a non-public capability. Most nations might be represented by their ambassadors to the Vatican.

Here’s a information to what’s anticipated to occur:


Since Monday, the physique of the Emeritus Pope has been mendacity in state in St. Peter’s Basilica, the place greater than 160,000 folks had filed previous to pay their respects as of noon Wednesday.

The viewing is because of finish at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT). The physique will then be positioned in a coffin product of cypress wooden, together with a number of papal gadgets similar to vestments symbolising his function as pope and bishop, and cash and medals that had been minted throughout his hold forth. Additionally included might be a lead tube with a deed in Latin itemizing the important thing factors in his hold forth.

The cypress coffin might be closed privately within the presence of some shut aides, similar to Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who was Benedict’s long-time secretary, and different members of the family the place he lived after he resigned the papacy in 2013, the primary pope to take action in 600 years.


At 8:45 a.m. (0745 GMT) on Thursday, ushers often known as papal gents will carry the coffin in procession out of the basilica and place it on the steps dealing with St. Peter’s Sq.. The devoted will pray the rosary for about 45 minutes.

The funeral Mass presided over by Pope Francis is because of begin at 9:30 a.m. (0830 GMT). At first, the pope will sit earlier than the coffin dealing with the group. The Sistine Chapel choir will begin its singing with the introductory rites.

The pope will then transfer to a chair to the facet of the altar and preside from there, sitting more often than not due to knee aliment that impedes him from standing for too lengthy. The celebrant standing on the altar might be Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the School of Cardinals.

Francis will ship the homily on the Mass, which might be con-celebrated by 120 cardinals, 400 bishops and almost 4,000 monks.

On the finish of the Mass, Francis will recite “The Ultimate Commendation and Farewell” asking God to “console the Church”.

The liturgy for the funeral Mass is primarily based on that for a pope who dies whereas reigning, with some minor modifications, notably in a number of prayers and readings.

One prayer will embrace petitions to God for each Benedict and Francis.

Close to the top of the Mass, Francis will sprinkle holy water on the coffin and incense it.

He’ll say in Latin: “Gracious Father, we commend to your mercy Pope Emeritus Benedict, whom you made successor of Peter and shepherd of the Church, a fearless preacher of your phrase and a devoted minister of the divine mysteries.”

The choir will then sing in Latin: “Could the angels lead you into paradise; could the martyrs come and welcome you and take you into the holy metropolis, the brand new and everlasting Jerusalem.”


The pall bearers will then carry the cypress coffin again into the basilica for a non-public service during which it will likely be sealed and wrapped in ribbons.

It should then be positioned right into a zinc coffin, which might be soldered shut. Each will then go into a bigger, picket coffin.

Benedict will then be buried in line with his needs in the identical spot within the crypts beneath St. Peter’s Basilica the place Pope John Paul II was initially interred in 2005 earlier than his physique was moved as much as a chapel within the basilica in 2011.

The burial may even be a non-public service.

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