Pope Benedict XVI, who died at 95 in Vatican City on December 31, will be laid to rest on Thursday, January 5. Tens of thousands of people could attend the funeral service, which will begin at St. Peter's Square at 9.30 am CET. Those who cannot take part in the funeral service in person can watch it live online from their homes.
People from various parts of the world, including the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, India, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Peru, Denmark, Europe, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the UK, can watch the funeral service through the Vatican Media Live YouTube channel, the Vatican News Facebook page, and EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).
The funeral service of Pope Benedict XVI will take place at St. Peter's Square on Thursday, January 5, from 9.30 am CET with Pope Francis as Presider. The main celebrant at the altar will be Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. The funeral service will begin with a 45 minutes rosary, which will be followed by the funeral mass.
Who Will Attend the Funeral Service?
Nearly 60,000 people could attend the funeral service at St. Peter's Square.
Delegations representing Italy and Germany are invited to attend the funeral service, according to a statement by the Holy See Press Office.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, and Queen Sofia of Spain are confirmed to attend the funeral service. Queen Sofia will attend the funeral service representing her son, King Felipe. The Presidents of Germany, Hungary, and Poland are also expected to attend the funeral service.
What to Expect?
A simple funeral service will be held to honor the wishes of Pope Benedict. Since the Pope was not reigning at the time of his death, there will be some changes in the funeral service. Notably, two final prayers from the diocese of Rome and the Eastern rite churches will not be a part of the funeral service, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Pope Benedict XVI will be buried in the first tomb of Pope John Paul II, which is about 100 feet away from the Tomb of St. Peter's.