Funeral of Benedict XVI: Why the pope rests in three different coffins?

“I have the pain to announce to you that the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, died today at 9:34 am, at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, in the Vatican” announced in a press release the Holy See last December 31. This Thursday, January 5, 2023, the Vatican therefore buries its pope in Saint Peter’s Square.

Unusual funerals insofar as it is the very first time that a pope is present and presides over the funeral of his predecessor. A presence of Pope Francis which is explained by the fact that Benoit XVI renounced the seat in February 2013.

Why so many coffins?

But while the funeral has already begun, the rites are already multiplying. Among the notable features of the ceremony: the coffins… Or rather THE coffins! And for good reason, the remains of Benedict XVI will rest in a cypress coffin to respect tradition. Then in turn this cypress coffin will be placed in a lead coffin which will itself be placed inside an oak coffin… That is 3 coffins in total!

As a reminder, inside the first coffin personal effects will be placed there: coins minted during his pontificate, his pallium, liturgical ornament of bishop and pope will rest for eternity with Benoit XVI.

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