Vatican officials say Pope John Paul will be buried in a crypt below St. Peter's Basilica on Friday, after a funeral Mass attended by a host of world leaders and Roman Catholic faithful.
The pope's body is being transferred to the basilica today (Monday) for around-the-clock public viewing throughout the week.
At least 65 cardinals met today (Monday) to set the details of the funeral. A papal spokesman says they decided to schedule the Mass late in the week -- at 10 a.m. on Friday (Rome time / 0800 UTC) -- to accommodate the enormous crowds expected for the service.
Large screens are being set up throughout Vatican City and in parts of Rome so pilgrims will be able to watch the church's solemn farewell to John Paul.
The papal spokesman (Joaquin Navarro-Valls) announced the body of the 84-year-old pope will be carried in a procession into St. Peter's Basilica late today (at 5 p.m., Rome time -- 1500 UTC), and that public viewing will begin one hour later.
Church officials expect about 100 heads of state to attend the pope's funeral on Friday. The Vatican and the Italian government are preparing tight security for an expected two million visitors to Rome this week.
The papal spokesman says the cardinals who met today in a grand hall of the Apostolic Palace, where the pope died on Saturday, did not set a specific date for the conclave that will choose the next pope. They must begin meeting by April 22.