ISTANBUL — The funeral service for the late Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Mesrob Mutafyan will be held on March 17 at the time of Sunday service (10 a.m.) at the St. Mary Armenian Church in Istanbul’s Kumkapı neighborhood in Fatih district.

Patriarch Mutafyan will be later buried at the Şişli Armenian cemetery in an area designated for patriarchs.

His coffin will rest on a catafalque between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on March 14 and March 15 at the St. Mary Church for mourning visitors to pay him their final respects.

Many church officials from Armenia, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Vatican and Turkey’s churches, along with representatives of diplomatic missions, are expected to attend the funeralceremony commemorating the archbishop.

Archbishop Mesrob II Mutafyan died at age 62 in the Surp Pirgic Armenian Hospital in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on March 8 where he was receiving treatment.

He had been incapacitated since 2008 with an early onset of dementia.

Preparations for the election of a new patriarch for Turkey are expected to begin after a 40-day mourning period.

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