The Catholic Church in New Zealand has been remembering former Pope Benedict XVI as an "influential" leader of the community.
Pope Benedict XVI died Saturday NZ time, aged 95 - nearly 10 years after he resigned from the role.
Archbishop of Wellington and Cardinal John Dew said the Church would offer its prayers for the Pope Emeritus and commemorations would be held across the country.
"There is sadness that someone who had such a role in the church and was so influential as the Pope has passed."
When Pope Benedict chose to resign in 2013 - the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 - it took the Catholic world by surprise, Dew said.
"But as we look back now, I think it was a very brave and courageous thing to do. He said 'I can no longer do this'. At that stage, he was 85," he said.
"And it's an enormous task for anyone ... a position like that needs stamina.
"It was a wise thing for him to do. He knew he was becoming more and more frail and it was time for him to step down."
Pope Benedict would also be remembered as a very good theologian, Dew said.
"He was a very cultured and refined gentleman," he said.
"I notice that today Pope Francis has referred to him as a kind and noble man and that's certainly my impression. I always found him to be really courteous and a gentleman."
Dew, who is also president of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, said they were arranging for a memorial Mass in Wellington on Thursday, which would be the same day as his funeral.
"He certainly would have been remembered at Sunday masses, but there will be special masses offered throughout the country for him."
The dates and times of the memorial Mass in each of the country's six dioceses are yet to be confirmed.