Funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II
Apr 8, 2005
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Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany led a traditional liturgical funeral mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Following the arrival of dignitaries and celebrants, the Pope’s .. Read More
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany led a traditional liturgical funeral mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Following the arrival of dignitaries and celebrants, the Pope’s simple cypress coffin was placed on the steps outside Saint Peter’s Basilica where mass was delivered in several languages including Italian, Polish, German, and Latin. Portions of the mass, including Cardinal Ratzinger’s homily on the late Pope’s life and influence, were translated into English with a voiceover. The Sistine Choir sang throughout the service, which ended with pall bearers turning the coffin toward the crowd and the crowd shouting cheers of respect and “Saint John Paul” in Italian.
The official U.S. delegation included President and Mrs. George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, former President George H. W. Bush, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Other dignitaries included heads of state, diplomats, and leaders of several faiths. The crowd of faithful gathered in the square and around Rome for both the mass and the public viewing in the days before the ceremony was estimated at several million people.
The television coverage was provided by Vatican TV, including commentary in English by Archbishop John Foley (originally from Philadelphia), president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.