The day’s ceremonies will begin with Benedict’s body being placed in a cypress coffin, along with coins and medals from his pontificate and a text describing his eight years leading the church. Although Benedict’s remains were viewable while he lay in state in St. Peter’s Basilica, the coffin will be closed for the funeral.
Pope Francis will preside over the Mass in St. Peter’s Square. At the last papal funeral, for John Paul II, the service lasted three hours.
After the Mass, Vatican officials will take Benedict’s remains to the basilica grottoes, where he will be buried in the tomb that once held Pope John Paul II. The church will not hold its traditional nine-day mourning period for Benedict, which is reserved only for the death of a sitting pope, the Vatican said.
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