Funeral of Pope John Paul II will be Friday 8 April at 10.00

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Monday, April 4, 2005

The funeral of Pope John Paul II is due to take place on Friday 8 April at 10 a.m. local time, on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica.

At 5 p.m. Monday, his corpse was moved to the basilica, which was then opened for the public to pay homage to the dead Pope. The basilica will remain open almost around the clock tonight, and possibly throughout the week, closing only between 2 and 5 a.m.

After the funeral ceremony on Friday, his corpse will be buried in the Grotte Vaticane below St Peter's, the final resting place of many previous Popes. This decision came from the absence of a decision of the Pope in merit, in which case the tradition is followed.

The date was revealed at 1:15 p.m. today at a press conference held in Vatican City. Vatican city times are two hours ahead of GMT.