Funeral of Pope John Paul II

The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death on 2 April. The funeral was followed by the novemdiales devotional in which the Catholic Church observes nine days of mourning. On 22 February 1996, Pope John Paul II introduced revisions to the centuries-old ceremonies surrounding papal death and burial; the revisions enacted through the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici gregis applied to his own funeral. Pope John Paul's funeral brought together what was, at the time, the single largest gathering in history of heads of state outside the United Nations, surpassing the 1965 funeral of Winston Churchill, only to be surpassed by the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony and the funeral of former South Africa leader Nelson Mandela in December 2013. Four kings, five queens, at least seventy presidents and prime ministers, more than fourteen leaders of other religions attended, alongside the faithful, it is to have been one of the largest single gatherings of Christianity in history, with numbers estimated in excess of four million mourners gathering in Rome alone.

Coinciding with the funeral in Vatican City, bishops at cathedrals throughout the world celebrated memorial masses. In an historical rarity and Eastern Orthodox leaders, as well as representatives and heads from Judaism and Buddhism, offered their own memorials and prayers as a way of sympathising with the grief of Catholics. At the funeral itself, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Eastern Orthodox Church was in the honorary first seat in the sector reserved for delegations from churches not in full communion with the See of Rome; the Archbishop of Canterbury, was present at the papal funeral, the first time since the Church of England broke with the Catholic Church in the 16th century. For the first time the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Patriarch Abune Paulos, attended a papal funeral. Centuries of sacred rituals are set in motion upon the death of a Pope, these are administered by the Cardinal Camerlengo; when John Paul II died, the Camerlengo Eduardo Martínez Somalo removed the Pope's Ring of the Fisherman from his finger ceremonially crushed it with the ceremonial silver hammer in the presence of members of the College of Cardinals.

This was done to prevent the creation of forged, backdated documents, which would appear to have been approved by the late pope. After the ring's destruction, Cardinal Martínez Somalo cordoned off and placed wax seals on the entrances to the Pope's private bedroom and study; this tradition originates from ruthless cardinals looting the papal chambers upon the death of past popes. The Pope's formal death certificate was signed by the physician Renato Buzzonetti, Director of the Department of Health and Sanitation of Vatican City, on the evening of his death. Cardinal Martínez Somalo ceremonially ordered the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to summon the cardinals of the world to Vatican City to elect a new pope. While his predecessors had been embalmed after death, the Vatican claimed that Pope John Paul II was not embalmed and lay in state without normal treatment for preservation, evident by the grey colour taken on by the body, it was customary for popes to have their organs removed after death.

Pope Pius X ended this practice during his reign, the wish of some Popes that John Paul II's heart be buried in Poland was not obliged. John Paul II's body was clothed in the familiar white soutane, over, placed a plain white alb. A stole, the symbol of ordained ministry, was placed around his neck. Over the inner vestments, John Paul II was clothed in a red chasuble. An ancient Byzantine custom, red is the colour of mourning for Popes. Around his collar, the pallium of white lamb's wool was draped. A white zucchetto and a white bishop's mitre adorned John Paul II's head. In his arm rested Paul VI's pastoral cross-staff, used by popes in place of the crozier, his hands clasped a rosary. At first, he lay in state in his favourite pair of Polish-made brown leather shoes, size 44-1/2, which he wore on his travels throughout the world. Following the example of his immediate predecessors, these were changed to plain red leather papal shoes; the body of John Paul II was exposed first in the Papal Residence and venerated by the Clergy before a procession, after which it was placed in St. Peter's Basilica.

After the placement of the body before the Burial Site of St. Peter, the faithful who had gathered in St. Peter's Square were allowed to enter the Basilica to pray before the exposed body, it remained there before a private ceremony of the placement of the body in a cypress casket, was brought outside into the Square for the funeral. For the funeral, the Swiss Guard departed the body to guard the Requiem Mass, presided by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. A first Mass of Repose, such as is offered for anyone baptised in the Catholic Church, commemorating the sending of the soul to God, was led by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Cardinal Secretary of State, on 3 April 2005, the day after the death of the Pope; that Sunday service coincided with the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy, a memorial feast instituted by Pope John Paul II himself. The service was followed by the recitation of the Regina Caeli, at which Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, Substitute of the Secretariat of State read out the words that John Paul II himself wrote for the occasion and was due to recite.

The body of John Paul II was dressed in his vestments and moved to the Clementine Hall on the third level of

Harry Womack

Harris "Harry" Womack was an American singer and musician, most notable for his tenure as a member of the family R&B quintet The Valentinos. Harris "Harry" Womack grew up the fourth of five sons to Friendly and Naomi Womack in Cleveland's east side; the brothers were close as they grew up affectionately attaching nicknames to one another, Harry's was "goat", just where, derived from, was never figured it out, but it stuck, with him, for many years. Raised as Baptist, all five brothers began singing together when Harry was seven, forming The Womack Brothers. Like his brothers Bobby and Cecil, Harry took up instruments, playing bass guitar before reaching his teenage years. Along with brothers Cecil and Curtis, Harry was a tenor vocalist while Bobby and Friendly, Jr. were baritones. In 1960, when he was fifteen, Sam Cooke signed the act to his SAR Records label, having told the brothers – and their father – that he was willing to work with them. Friendly Womack made Sam Cooke promise him that the brothers would continue to sing gospel and not what he referred to as "the devil's music".

Following two gospel releases with SAR, Sam Cooke suggested the group change their name. In 1962, Cooke renamed them The Valentinos and produced and arranged the group's first major hit, "Looking for a Love", led by Bobby; the record landed them an opening spot on James Brown's Revue. Following several modestly successful R&B releases, the Valentinos' next hit, "It's All Over Now", was released in 1964. While successful on the R&B chart, the song became internationally successful after The Rolling Stones covered it and it has been covered by several bands hence. Following Cooke's death at a L. A. motel in December 1964, SAR folded and Bobby Womack, now married to Sam Cooke's widow, left the group for a solo career. The Valentinos disbanded before regrouping as a quartet in 1966, signing with Chess Records where they recorded the Northern Soul hit, "Sweeter than the Day Before". However, the group got dropped from Chess after only two singles and Cecil Womack followed Bobby out of the group after he married Mary Wells.

In 1968, the remaining trio of Harry and Friendly Jr. signed with Jubilee Records where they recorded the Cecil-composed "Two Lovers History" before being dropped in 1970. In 1970, Harry started accompanying brother Bobby after Bobby began his successful solo career after several years in limbo due to the scandal surrounding his marriage to Barbara Cooke, playing bass in his band, he and the other Valentinos and Cecil Womack contributed background vocals to Bobby's solo records starting with the 1970 release, My Prescription. Harry and the brothers were promptly featured in the background of Bobby's breakthrough hit, "That's the Way I Feel About Cha" as well as "Woman's Gotta Have It" from 1972. In late 1973, Harry and his brothers backed Bobby again on a remake of "Lookin' for a Love". Prior to that, the Valentinos emerged with a minor R&B hit of Bobby's "I Can Understand It", its success landing them a performing spot on the hit dance show, Soul Train. Harry possessed an alluring, confident stage presence with the surprising ability to'spark' a gig through "seamless" and flawless improvisation.

He was soft-spoken, warm "natured", laid back and reflective, many times those qualities were mistaken for weakness, aloofness or lack of care and concern. He had a great sense of humor and quick wit, sharing it, off stage with choice few. Being quite reclusive, his preference, when not on tour, would be to kick back, relax with friends and treat his female pet snake, who lived in the living room of his Pasadena home, in a rather sizable fish tank, to various delectable live treats. Harry drove, preferring instead the accompaniment of the groups roadie/confidant "Bill Crite", who always made himself available to the band members, on and off the road, their friendship was admirable. 1970 became an busy year for the Womacks' - Bobby squeezing in the recording of Bobby Womack Live on the Liberty Label... Harry's strong bass line resounds throughout the album, but expressly can be heard in the cut, "The Preacher/More Than I Can Stand" which positioned #30 on Billboard R&B Charts – the liner'notes', written by their roadie Bill Crite, are as follows: On Saturday night, in Hollywood – a monster was born!

A living, breathing monster! On this night a recording was made; the artist? Bobby Womack! The monster? A collection of 9 songs, recorded live and in full color. Bobby held church that night and for all of those present, before they left, I know they felt the spirit moving into their bodies and rocking them with a whole lotta' soul.. Although liner notes state the recording was made in Hollywood, it was recorded in the heart of Los Angeles in a small club called The Californian, now defunct, back on the N/E corner of St. Andrews Place and Santa Barbara Avenue. While listening to the recording, there's a portion where Bobby's manager, Ed Wright yells to Bobby, "the police said we got to go – it's 10 after 2..". Womack attempted to wrap up, with Wright closing, "Ladies and gentleman Bobby Womack, Bobby Womack", but the house wanted more, Bobby came back and gave them one more – the police just stood at the door...listening! In 1972 Bobby released the album Understanding; the album reached No. 43 on No. 7 on the R&B albums chart.

One of the key songs from the album, "I Can Understand It"


Flaine is a ski area in the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps, is a part of the linked Grand Massif domain. It is in the territory of the communes of Arâches-la-Frasse. Flaine is linked to Samoëns, Les Carroz and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, with 267 km of pistes in total, it featured the first 8-seater high speed chairlift, Les Grands Vans, the first snow cannons to be installed in Europe. Flaine is called the "big snowy bowl" due to it having one of the best snow records in the Alps, it is a modern, car-free resort with a wealth of amenities, all in close proximity to the accommodation. The site was discovered in 1959 by the geophysicist Éric Boissonnas and the Swiss architect Gérard Chervaz, who went on to succeed in their bid to create a fine example of urban development and design, where short-term profitability would be second to aesthetics and care of the environment. Éric and Sylvie Boissonnas entrusted Flaine’s design to Marcel Breuer, the eminent Bauhaus architect whose structural designs are well-known around the world.

These include The "Palais de l'Unesco" in Paris, the Whitney Museum, The Atlanta-Fulton Central Branch Library, Flushing Meadows Sports Park in New York City, the Bijenkorf in Rotterdam. Breuer is known for his innovative use of materials in creating his iconic furniture designs. With one of his signature pieces being the Wassily Chair. Right from the design stage, Éric Boissonnas and Marcel Breuer were careful not to disturb the natural surroundings and integrate the resort into the receiving mountain. In other words, the general layout blends in with the environment's contours, the different levels which make up the resort can not be seen from one to the other; the result is a feeling of tranquillity. The master plan; the construction of the resort was not without difficulty. Chappis and Pradelle left after Breuer joined the team, Boissonnas fell out with the government official in charge of planning France's winter sports industry and when local landowners found out that Boissonnas was a billionaire they threatened to block the building of the access road to the resort until they received adequate compensation.

The result was a three year delay and huge cost overruns, led to greater state involvement in French ski resort development. By the time the resort was opened on the 17 January 1969 it had cost Boissonnas the equivalent of around $250 million from his personal fortune at 2005 prices; the site is divided into two areas. The upper area, Flaine Forêt, at an altitude of 1700 m, consists of a number of apartment buildings named after constellations; the lower area, Flaine Forum, at an altitude of 1600 m, has more restaurants, shops bars and accommodation. The resort boasts a wealth of monumental works of art - "La Tête de Femme" by Pablo Picasso, "Le Boqueteau" by Jean Dubuffet, "Les Trois Hexagones" by Victor Vasarely. Hameau de Flaine is just outside the main resort and in between this and Flaine is "Flaine Montsoleil", a new development which has the same'ski-in, ski-out' feel as the main resort but constructed in a more traditional alpine style. More apartments like Montsoleil are going in just above the Hameau next to the golf course.

Opened in 2011, it has been called "Le Refuge de Golf". Flaine is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Geneva Airport 3 hours drive from Lyon, 30 km from the A 40 motorway, it is close to resorts Les Houches, Les Contamines, large ski area Chamonix-Mont-Blanc as well as the Portes du Soleil region — notably resorts Les Gets and Morzine. Trips to Italy via the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur are possible. Bus services are available several times a day to Taninges in the Giffre Valley where buses to Geneva and Chamonix can be accessed; the bus service is run by Transdev Alpbus. There is skiing for most in Flaine, as the resort enjoys a particular reputation as being all rounded; the most notable runs in Flaine include Styx. In Les Carroz and Samoëns classic runs include Marvel; the predominantly north-facing runs are reliable: package companies offering "snow guarantees" import punters from other French resorts when their pistes have lost the amount of sufficient snow that can be skied on. Flaine was the first resort to feature artificial snow making in Europe from 1973.

In each different grade of run there is a theme in the Flaine bowl. For example most of the blue runs are named after metals/jewels, nearly all the reds are diabolically named and most black runs after stones. Most green runs are named after trees; this only occurs in the Flaine valley though. However the same names are repeated in different resorts. For example "Co