Format: DVD or VHS
Recorded: April 8, 2005
Commentary by: Raymond Arroyo and Rev. Richard John Neuhaus
The largest funeral in history, and perhaps the most widely-viewed event ever, the Solemn Funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II is now available in a permanent form for your viewing, your reference and your archives.
Crowd estimates of the faithful in Saint Peter's Square, in the surrounding streets and at the tele-linked sites like Saint John Lateran Basilica exceeded two million.
The viewing audience (live and on tape delay) was likely hundreds of times that many.
From our perspective here at CanticaNOVA Publications, no other event has precipitated so much interest as have the funeral rites of the late, venerated pontiff, John Paul II, particularly the compelling but simple Litaniæ sanctorum (Litany of the Saints).
This chant was sung as the pope's body was transfered from the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace to the bier over the Confessio in Saint Peter's Basilica for public viewing.
Borne on the shoulders of twelve Roman gentlemen, the body of the pope and the music of the litany made a lasting impression on viewers and listeners.
EWTN did an excellent job of presenting the funeral Mass, with minimal but insightful commentary by Raymond Arroyo, host of The World Over, and Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-Chief of First Things Magazine.
The Mass was celebrated by then Dean of the College of Cardinals, Joseph Ratzinger, and concelebrated by the cardinals present in Rome, who would be the ones to eventually elect him, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI.
A large part of the world got a first-hand view of not only the splendor of Roman Rite ceremony, but of the sound and beauty of its authentic music, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, sung in Latin — still the official language of the Church, both in Rome and beyond.
This DVD or VHS tape records the sights and sounds of this impressive ceremony — a beautiful keepsake to remember the noble death of the man born Karol Wojtyla, and perhaps a prelude to a new citizen of heaven, Saint John Paul the Great!