Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)

At Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s funeral service in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said his predecessor a final farewell by bowing his head and touching the casket.

On December 31, the previous pope passed away in the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.

Following the service, the coffin was returned to St. Peter’s Basilica by 12 pallbearers wearing white gloves for burial in a crypt below the main floor, where Benedict’s coffin will be interred among two other coffins and papal regalia.

To the sound of cheers and tolling bells, twelve pallbearers—known as the “Papal Gentlemen,” lay servants of the papal household—carried the coffin into and out of the basilica.

The body of Pope Emeritus was taken from the basilica and rested before the altar in the piazza as red-robed cardinals looked on, while Benedict’s longtime secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, bent down and kissed a book of the Gospels that was left open on the coffin. 

Pope Francis who presided over the funeral asked that the angels lead the late pope into paradise and grant him eternal rest.

He further asked that God grants unto the living faithful the assurance of hope and faith. 

Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)

“Benedict, faithful friend of the Bridegroom, may your joy be complete as you hear his voice, now and forever,” Pope Francis said. 

“The Lord quietly bestows the spirit of meekness that is ready to understand, accept, hope and risk. It is the source of an unseen and elusive fruitfulness, born of his knowing the One in whom he has placed his trust.”

Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)

“Holding fast to the Lord’s last words and to the witness of His entire life, we too want to follow in His steps and to commend our brother into the hands of the Father.

Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)

“God’s faithful people now accompanies and entrusts to Him the life of the one who was their pastor. Like the women at the tomb, we too have come with the fragrance of gratitude and the balm of hope, in order to show Him once more the love that is undying”  

Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)
Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)
Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)
Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)
Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)
Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)
Pope Francis presides as Pope Benedict XVI is laid to rest (photos)

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