Georg Ratzinger headed the famous Regensburger Domspatzen choir, which traces its history back to the 10th century. The choir toured the world under his leadership, performing for Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II. But after his retirement from the post, Ratzinger apologized for using corporal punishment to discipline boys amid a wider investigation into sexual and physical abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
Georg Ratzinger remained extremely close to his brother throughout his career, expressing dismay when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005 that the stress would affect his health and that they would no longer spend so much time together.
During the service, a portrait of Ratzinger was placed next to the altar and the coffin, which was adorned with yellow and white carnations. Incense burned in a bowl to the right of his picture as Voderholzer led prayers and men clad in black and white gowns sang songs in German and Latin.