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.
See coverage from The Gospel Herald: Antonin 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.