Funeral Mass Information for Pope Benedict XVI
January 4, 2023 • Diocese of St. Augustine
Father Thomas Willis

Father Tom Willis, the director of Liturgy for the Diocese of St. Augustine, will appear on the Morning Show (News4Jax) tomorrow at 7:15 providing insight into the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, will celebrate the Solemn Funeral Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, live from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome at 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. Eastern Time).  Click here to read the statements of Bishop Erik Pohlmeier and Bishop Emeritus Felipe Estévez on the death of Pope Benedict.

 The Jan. 5 funeral Mass for Pope Benedict will be a papal funeral with a few changes to fit with the fact that he was not the reigning pope and has not left behind a “sede vacante.” “The liturgical celebration follows the model of a funeral service for a supreme pontiff, broadly speaking,” Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, told reporters earlier today (Jan. 3).
While based on a traditional papal funeral, he said, it will have “some new elements that give the rite its originality and some missing elements, which are those that are more pertinent to a reigning pontiff.” For example, there are no final prayers offered by representatives of the Diocese of Rome and of the Eastern Catholic churches, since those prayers are specific to the death of a reigning pope, who is bishop of the Diocese of Rome and is in communion with the leaders of the Eastern-rite churches.
Bruni spoke to reporters in the Vatican press office after the booklet for the funeral Mass was published by the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. The Mass booklet features a color reproduction of Caravaggio’s “Deposition” or entombment of Christ – a 17th-century masterpiece housed in the Vatican Museums. Some traditions connected with the death and burial of a pope will be followed, Bruni said, such as three objects being deposited in the pope’s casket before he is buried: his palliums, coins and medals minted during his pontificate, and a “rogito” or scroll that summarizes in Latin the highlights of his papacy. To read more about Pope Benedict’s life and his papacy, visit
EWTN will provide coverage of events in Rome and around the world. Of particular note today, join the network at 4:30 p.m. ET for a special from Rome, Remembering Pope Emeritus Benedict. For more information, visit Note that online programming times are based on your computer’s time zone setting. All schedules are subject to change.

People pay their respects at the body of Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Jan. 3, 2023. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)