Pope Benedict XVI funeral: is it on TV in UK, time, guide - watch live on Vatican News Facebook page, YouTube

Pope Francis will lead the service for Benedict XVI

Mourners have poured into St Peter’s Square for the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

They are there to pay their final respects to the German theologian, who made history by retiring, and to attend a rare requiem Mass for a dead pontiff presided over by a living one.

Bells tolled and the crowd applauded on Thursday morning as pallbearers carried Benedict’s cypress coffin out of the basilica and rested it before the altar in the piazza as red-robed cardinals looked on.

The German theologian made history as the first pope in 600 years to resign. He died at the age of 95, it was announced on Saturday (31 December).

A statement from Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said: “With pain I inform that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesia Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be released as soon as possible.” Benedict stunned the world almost a decade ago on 11 February 2013 when he announced that he no longer had the strength to run the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church that he had steered for eight years through scandal and indifference.

His dramatic decision paved the way for the conclave that elected Pope Francis as his successor. The two popes then lived side-by-side in the Vatican gardens, an unprecedented arrangement that set the stage for future “popes emeritus” to do the same.

But when will his funeral take place and where will it be held? Here is all you need to know:

Where and when will Pope Benedict XVI’s funeral take place?

Pope Francis will celebrate his predecessor’s funeral Mass in St Peter’s Square, which is in Vatican City. It is an unprecidented moment in which a current pope will celebrate the service for a former one.

It is scheduled to take place on Thursday (5 January). According to tradition a pope is buried four to six days after his death.

Pope Benedict’s funeral service will begin at 8.30am GMT (9.30am local time) on 5 January.

Will Pope Benedict lie in state?

The Vatican said Benedict’s remains would be on public display in St Peter’s Basilica starting on Monday (2 January) for the faithful to pay their final respects. Further details will be annouced in due course.

St Peter’s Basilica is located near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian’s Mausoleum and is known for its central dome which dominates the skyline. It was completed in 1626.

Underneath the cathedral are the tombs of 91 popes as well as Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, Saint Ignatius of Antioch and other figures. Pope John Paul II is the most recent internment, being laid to rest in a tomb following his death in 2005.

Where will Pope Benedict be buried?

The location of Benedict XVI’s tomb has been confirmed by the Vatican. Reuters reports that he will be laid to rest in the Vatican Grottoes in St Peter’s Benedict. Only one pope in the last century has not been laid to rest at St Peter’s Basilica with Pius XI’s tomb instead being located in the Chapel of Saint Sebastian.

Both of Benedict’s immediate predecessors John Paul I (1978) and John Paul II (2005) have their papal tombs in St Peter’s Basilica.

Who will say the funeral mass for Pope Benedict?

Due to Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign as pope in 2013, becoming the first since Gregory XII in 1415 to do so, there have been two living popes for the last nine years.

Pope Francis will say the funeral mass for Benedict XVI, an unprecedented event in which a current pope will celebrate the funeral for a former on.

Can I watch it on TV?

Two official channels will broadcast the funeral live: the Vatican Media Live YouTube channel and the Vatican News Facebook page.