Funeral Rites

Funeral rites for Pope John Paul

The funeral of Pope John Paul begins with a private ceremony and ends with his coffin placed inside a casket made of zinc and another made of walnut.

An outline of the papal rites includes the following details. At 10 a.m, high-ranking prelates, led by the pope's longtime secretary, place a pouch of medals and a scrolled biography of the pope inside his coffin. A white silk veil is placed over his face. Then the coffin is closed. The two-and-a-half-hour funeral Mass is to be celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, deacon of the College of Cardinals.

The cardinals and patriarchs of the Eastern Rite Churches will take part, all in red vestments, while dignitaries from 80 countries look on.