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Pope Benedict XVI lying in state at Vatican begins: how and when can people view the body, funeral date, location

Pope Benedict XVI lying in state begins.

World news. Pope Benedict XVI lying in state begins. Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to former Pope Benedict XVI when his lying in state begins at the Vatican later.

Pope Benedict XVI died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 95, almost a decade after he stood down due to a state of failing health.

Who will preside over the funeral?

The current pope, Pope Francis, will preside over the funeral – this will be the first time that a Pope will be buried by his successor. The Vatican says the service will be simple, solemn and sober.

Pope Benedict XVI became the first Pope to resign in 600 years in 2013, citing ailing health.

Where will Pope Benedict XVI body be displayed?

His body will be displayed for three days in an open casket at St Peter’s Basilica and people will be able to pay their respects until 7PM each evening.

Where will the funeral take place?

The funeral will take place in St Peter’s Square, before the Pope Emeritus is laid to rest in the tombs beneath the Basilica.

The Vatican released pictures of the body on Sunday, dressed in red papal mourning robes and wearing a gold-trimmed mitre.

The last papal funeral, that of Pope John Paul II in 2005, was one of the largest Christian gatherings in history, and drew an estimated four million people to Rome.

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What are the funeral arrangements for the service?

Arrangements for the service are not yet clear, as many of the traditions associated with the death of a serving Pope are not required – most notably the election of a successor.

Benedict asked that the funeral be marked by simplicity, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told journalists.

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Details of the guest list have not been released, but the Vatican has said that it will include delegations from Italy and Benedict’s native Germany.

According to Vatican news, Pope Benedict XVI’s last words were, “Lord, I love you!” which he is said to have spoken in the middle of the night by a nurse.