POPE BENEDICT XVI TO BE BURIED IN 3 COFFINS
The three coffins used for the internment of a Pope are as follows:
A cypress coffin. The mortal remains of the Holy Father are placed inside this coffin. A copy of the program from the funeral Mass is placed in the innermost coffin made of cypress, as are bags of silver, gold, and copper coins. The number of coins in each bag equals the number of years of the papacy. The simple wooden coffin made of cypress signifies he is an ordinary human being like everyone else. The coffin is sealed and wrapped with three silk ribbons before being placed in a lead casket. The picture below is the cypress coffin.
A lead casket — The lead casket, which is soldered shut, is engraved with the pope’s name and dates of his papacy, as well as a skull and crossbones. The lead coffin is more durable and the Pope’s name and the years of his pontificate are engraved on it. Important documents he issued are also placed in this coffin. The lead coffin will in turn be placed in an elm coffin and interred under a marble slab.
An elm casket — Finally, the lead casket is placed in an elm coffin which is nailed shut with golden nails, the elm coffin is meant to indicate the Pope’s dignity, since elm is a rare and precious wood in the area of Italy around Rome.