President George HW Bush honored in private Houston funeral service

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Thursday, December 6, 2018
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Reba McEntire and the Oak Ridge Boys will perform at President George HW Bush's funeral after the eulogies.

HOUSTON, Texas -- America's final farewell to George H.W. Bush shifted to Texas on Thursday, with his friend and former Secretary of State James Baker addressing him as "Jefe," Spanish for "boss," and celebrating him as a president with "the courage of a warrior but the greater courage of a peacemaker."

Baker fought back tears as he concluded his eulogy.

Country music's Oak Ridge Boys, among the president's favorites, sang "Amazing Grace" and Reba McEntire offered "The Lord's Prayer" as three days of official ceremonies in Washington gave way to more personal touches for the Bush in Texas. The night before, more than 11,000 people paid their respects as his casket lay in repose all night at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where his family worshipped.

George P. Bush, the former president's grandson and the only member of the political dynasty still holding elected office, as Texas land commissioner, subsequently struck a more personal tone with the man he and the younger generations called "gampy."

Six of President Bush's granddaughters spoke at the ceremony. The president's grandsons served as honorary pallbearers.

RELATED: Who are George HW Bush's children, grandchildren?

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE: Experience the legacy of President George H.W. Bush

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On Wednesday, the president was honored in a state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral.

President George W. Bush delivered an emotional eulogy, as he remembered his father and mother, Barbara, who passed away earlier this year in April.

"Dad taught us all what it means to be a great husband. He married his sweetheart. He adored her. He laughed and cried with her. He was dedicated to her totally," he said.

FINAL FAREWELL: Heartfelt goodbyes from family and friends at President George H.W. Bush state funeral

Thursday's service begins at 10 a.m. CT. [ SEE THE FULL PROGRAM ]


Eulogists: The Honorable James A. Baker, III

The Honorable George Prescott Bush, Texas Land Commissioner

Singers: The Oak Ridge Boys

Ms. Reba McEntire

Readers: Marshall Lloyd Bush (Lamentations 3:22 - 26, 31 - 33)

Barbara Pierce Bush, Noelle Lucila Bush, Elizabeth Dwen

Andrews (Psalm 23, each read two verses)

Georgia Grace Koch and Nancy Ellis LeBlond Sosa (1 Corinthians 12:31b - 13:13)

Honorary Pallbearers: The Honorable George Prescott Bush

Mr. John Ellis Bush, Jr.

Mr. Pierce Mallon Bush

Mr. Charles Walker Bush

Mr. Samuel Bush LeBlond

Mr. Robert Daniel Koch

Mr. Robert Pace Andrews, II

Mr. Thomas Alexander Andrews

ORDER OF SERVICE: The Burial of the Dead: Rite One

Organ Voluntaries

- "Toccata on Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart"

- "Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals"

Hymn 719, "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies"


- "This is My Country," St. Martin's Parish Choir

Reception of the Body

Opening Sentences

The Collect

The First Lesson

- Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-33, Marshall Lloyd Bush

Psalm 23: King James Version, Barbara Pierce Bush, Noelle Lucila Bush, & Elizabeth Dwen Andrews

Tribute, The Honorable James A. Baker, III, 61st Secretary of State

Tribute, The Honorable George P. Bush, Commissioner, Texas General Land Office

The Second Lesson - 1 Corinthians 12:31b - 13:13, Georgia Grace Koch and Nancy Ellis LeBlond Sosa

Hymn, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" (verses 1-2)

The Holy Gospel, John 11:21-27, The Rev. Martin J. Bastian

Hymn, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" (verses 3-4)

The Homily, The Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr.

Anthem - "Amazing Grace," The Oak Ridge Boys

The Apostles Creed

Anthem - "The Lord's Prayer," Ms. Reba McEntire

The Prayers of the People, The Rev. Peter G. Cheney and The Rev. Dr. Susannah E. McBay

The Commendation

The Blessing, The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle