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Justice Antonin Scalia Bid Farewell at Mass In Washington, D.C., Sons Delivers Homily

( [email protected] ) Feb 20, 2016 12:54 PM EST
A funeral Mass for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was held Saturday morning (Feb. 20) as people in the nation's capital mourned the passing of a jurist who left indelible effects regarding U.S. laws. Justices, judges, congressional leaders, cabinet secretaries, the vice president and a presidential candidate gathered at the nation's largest Roman Catholic church to pay tribute to Justice Scalia.
Pallbearers carry the casket of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia from the hearse and into his funeral mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, February 20, 2016.
REUTERS / Carlos Barria

A funeral Mass for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was held Saturday morning (Feb. 20) as people in the nation's capital mourned the passing of a jurist who left indelible effects regarding U.S. laws. Justices, judges, congressional leaders, cabinet secretaries, the vice president and a presidential candidate gathered at the nation's largest Roman Catholic church to pay tribute to Justice Scalia.

Scalia was the longest-serving member of the current Supreme Court, reports The New York Times. He died at age 79 last weekend at a Texas ranch after nearly 30 years on the bench.

See coverage from The Gospel HeraldAntonin Scalia:  Supreme Court Justice Found Dead, Called 'Man of God, Patriot'

The justice's coffin was taken to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and draped by an American flag, which was removed as the coffin was brought into the church.

The homily was delivered by his son the Rev. Paul D. Scalia.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, hailed Scalia as an "extraordinary man" according to The New York Times,  and offered the family "our heartfelt sympathy at the loss of your husband, your father, your grandfather and friend and pledge once again our prayers that god will grant him eternal rest and you comfort and consolation."

Many believe Justice Scalia, who relished vigorous debates, would be surprised by the fierce battle that has erupted over his now-vacant seat. But the funeral focused on the powerful legacy he left.

U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. attended the funeral on behalf of the White House. President Obama and Michelle Obama met privately with some members of Justice Scalia's family while at the court Friday.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate who vowed to make the election a referendum on the court and block any Obama nominee, rearranged his schedule to attend Saturday's funeral even as voting opens in South Carolina's crucial Republican primary. 

Antonin Scalia Friday Supreme Court
(Photo : Reuters )
President Obama and Michelle Obama met privately with some members of Justice Scalia’s family while at the court Friday.

Tags : Scalia, Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, Mass, washington, Washington DC news, Rev. Paul D. Scalia