On Thursday, January 5, 2022, the final funeral rites for Pope Benedict XVI was held at St. Peters Square in the Vatican.
The ceremony followed three days of public viewing of the late pope’s body laid in state.
Right before his wooden coffin was closed, the late pope’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, and Monsignor Diego Giovanni Ravelli, the Vatican’s lead master of ceremonies for papal liturgies, placed a white veil over the late pope’s face, an act that formed part of the rituals for the funeral rites of popes.
“Almighty God, Lord of life and death, we believe that the life of the Holy Father Benedict XVI is now hidden in you … May his face contemplate your beauty,” the prayer said during the ritual reads.
Also, a one-page summary in Latin of Benedict XVI’s papacy, called a “rogito” in Italian, was rolled into a metal cylinder and placed inside the coffin before it was closed.
Videos and images from the private ceremony shared by the Catholic News Agency, show the current Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis touching the coffin in prayer to bid his predecessor farewell before it was taken to its burial place in the St. Peters Basilica.
In the Basilica, the video shows the Pope’s Cypress Wood coffin which symbolises his ordinariness as a human placed in another coffin made of lead.
Included in the metallic coffin according to the burial rites of a pope, is a copy of documents the late papal issued under his seal.
The lead coffin is seen being soldered shut after which the pope’s name, dates of his papacy and skull and crossbones are engraved on top of the coffin.
The third and final coffin of the pope, an oak coffin representing dignity, included a parchment in a copper tube with a list of the Pontiff’s achievements.
The coffin was sealed with golden nails and wrapped with two violet silk ropes as well as with wax and coat of arms of the chamberlain and the Cardinal Dean.
Finally, the coffin was lowered into the ground to end the journey of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Benedict XVI died at the age of 95.
In a statement by the Vatican News, the Pope is said to have died in the Vatican at 9:34 on Saturday, December 31, 2022.
Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, the late Pope retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013.
He was elected Pope of the Catholic Church in 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II.
He chose to be known as “Pope Emeritus” following his resignation in 2013.
See video below: