On 22 February 1996, Pope John Paul II introduced revisions to the centuries-old ceremonies surrounding papal death, repose and burial. The revisions enacted through the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis applied to his own funeral.
Pope John Paul's funeral brought together the single largest gathering in history of heads of state outside the United Nations, surpassing the funerals of Winston Churchill (1965) and Josip Broz Tito (1980). Four kings, five queen, at least 70 presidents and prime ministers, and more than 14 leaders of other religions attended, alongside the faithful. It is likely to have been the largest single gathering of Christianity in history, with numbers estimated in excess of four million mourners gathering in Rome.