Transfer of the Pope's bodyI am currently viewing the ceremony of the transfer of the Pope's body from the Clementine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica on EWTN. This first official service involving the papal body is nearing its end. For much of it, the College of Cardinals, along with what looks like hundreds of priests and perhaps more than a hundred bishops processed down the maze of hallways and staircases that date back over 500 years, since the modern Apostolic Palaces were built. During the solumn procession, the Sisteen Chapel choir sang a lengthy Litany of the Saints, invoking many of the great Saints throughout the ages to pray for John Paul II, including the canonized Popes and the ancient martyrs of Rome. Appropriately, the Gospel reading for the service was from John 17:5-8:
And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee.I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were: and to me thou gavest them. And they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things which thou hast given me are from thee: Because the words which thou gavest me, I have given to them. And they have received them and have known in very deed that I came out from thee: and they have believed that thou didst send me.