Pope Benedict’s funeral tomorrow will make history | World News

He made history during his lifetime and now Pope Benedict XVI will do so in death.

For the first time in hundreds of years, the Vatican will hold a funeral for a former pope, with the current pope presiding.

The service will begin in the morning, three days after Benedict’s body, clothed and encased in rosary beads. remained on displayAllowed tens of thousands of mourners to file past.

led by Pope Francisthe service will include traditional elements as well as some that are unique to the funeral.

A document, written in Latin and detailing some of the most notable events of Benedict’s papacy, will be buried alongside coins and other papal regalia.

The service will begin with introductory rites, a wish for “eternal rest and…eternal light.”

It will include readings from Isaiah and the first letter of St. Peter.

It will refer to him as “Pope Emeritus Benedict” and describe him as “Successor of Peter and Shepherd of the Church, a fearless preacher of your word and a faithful minister of the divine mysteries.”

Benedict will be buried in a traditional triple coffin, with a cypress wood casket first sealed with zinc and then another wooden casket.

He will be buried under St. Peter’s Basilica in an area once occupied by the coffin of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

People line up in St. Peter's Square as the body of former Pope Benedict lies in state in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, January 4, 2023.  REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Mourners line up in St Peter’s Square to pay their respects.

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Death of Pope Benedict XVI
World leaders paid tribute to the former Pope on his death at the age of 95.

The funeral rites for the pope emeritus will be different from those held after the death of the current pope.

Only two international delegations have been formally invited – from Italy, where the Vatican rests, and from Germany, the home country of Benedict, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Germany is likely to send its president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Many countries will still send senior figures to the event. The UK will be represented by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan. The King of Belgium and the Queen of Spain will be present.

And the funeral will be watched by a wide audience around the world.

Former Pope Benedict

For some observers, this will be an occasion that reflects a more modern view of the papacy, as a role that can rightfully be abandoned in favor of a younger, fitter successor.

For others, though, it will reawaken two fundamental questions – one, did Benedict set a precedent for work that was more ephemeral in character than put to death; And two, how will Pope Francis’ attitude change, now that he is the only living person to be named Pope?

On the one hand, it may give him more impetus to push his own initiative and ways of thinking, now that his predecessor (who lived in a converted monastery inside the Vatican during his retirement) has passed away. .

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Life of former Pope Benedict XVI

Yet on the other hand, there are those who believe that Francis, himself troubled by ill health, will soon begin to wonder whether he too will follow Benedict’s precedent by stepping down from the leadership of the Catholic Church. would like to

Francis will conduct the service from a wheelchair.

These are the questions that will come after today’s funeral. But right now, the focus is on one thing — the grim act of allowing more than a billion Catholics around the world to bid farewell to the man who led them for nearly a decade.

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