Egypt's Coptic Pope Shenouda III (Photo: Reuters)
Masses to mark 40 days since the death of Pope Shenouda III will take place Wednesday at Cairo's Abbassiya Cathedral and the St Bishoy Monastery in Wadi El-Natroun where the pope is buried.
The cathedral hosted a memorial service for the pope on Tuesday attended by political leaders, members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), MPs, and heads of political parties.
The memorial included a documentary about the pope and speeches that praised his life and patriotism.
The pope died on 17 March aged 88.
His death ended an exceptionally eventful tenure that impacted Copts in many ways over more than four decades.
Named Coptic Pope of Alexandria on 14 November 1971, Shenouda's first ten years in charge of the Coptic papacy were the most eventful of his lengthy stint, due to disputes and disagreements with late president Anwar Sadat over domestic and foreign affairs.
Shenouda was known as the 'Arab Pope' for his strong anti-Zionist stance. He issued a papal decree in 1979 prohibiting Copts from travelling to Israel in solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.