With Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII to be canonized into saints on April 27, 2014 during a special mass at the Vatican, the National Museum of Funeral History offers the perfect opportunity this month to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime event and learn more about these dignified individuals in the Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes permanent exhibition.
Experience more than 2,000 years of Papal funeral rituals at the National Museum of Funeral History’s Celebrating the Lives & Deaths of the Popes exhibit. (Photo: Business Wire)
Spanning more than 5,000 sq. ft., the papal exhibit, which opened in 2008 after a three year collaboration with the Vatican, explores the customs of electing and burying a pope, examines traditions that have withstood the test of time and gives visitors the opportunity to virtually experience a popes funeral.
Using premium sound and lighting, three-dimensional scenes, multi-media presentations and numerous full-scale replicas, the exhibit provides an authentic experience for visitors, including the chance to walk through a life-size replica of St. Peters Basilica, transporting museum-goers to the visitation of a pope lying in repose, followed by a funeral mass in St. Peters Square in Rome. The exhibit also includes reproductions of numerous Papal vestments, authentic uniforms worn by members of The Swiss Guard, responsible for the Popes personal security, photographs from the Vatican of the funerals of several different Pontiffs and more.
There are also items specifically connected to the beloved Peoples Pope, John Paul II, such as the sash he wore daily with his cassock, photographs from his funeral mass and original burial in the grotto under St. Peters Basilica, a replica of his burial container and crypt, and a Pope-mobile used during Pope John Paul IIs 1982 trip to the United Kingdom.
About the National Museum of Funeral History
The National Museum of Funeral History houses the country’s largest collection of funeral service artifacts and features renowned exhibits on one of man’s oldest cultural customs. Visitors can discover the mourning rituals of ancient civilizations, see up-close the authentic items used in the funerals of U.S. Presidents and Popes and explore the rich heritage of the industry which cares for the dead. The museum is located at 415 Barren Springs Dr., Houston, TX 77090 and is open Monday Friday from 10 am 4 pm, Saturday from 10 am 5 pm and Sunday from 12 pm 5 pm. Admission is $10 for adults and children age 12 and older, $9 for seniors and veterans; $7 for children 3 11 years old; and free for children age 2 and younger. For more information, visit www.nmfh.org or call 281.876.3063.