WASHINGTON D.C. – Thousands of people attended Saturday’s funeral Mass in Washington for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Mass was held at the nation’s largest Roman Catholic church — the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It can hold at least 3,500 people.
President Barack Obama paid tribute to Scalia at the Supreme Court on Friday. Scalia’s flag-draped casket rested on a funeral bier first used after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
Scalia’s son Christopher wrote in a remembrance in The Washington Post on Saturday that his father loved opera, classical music and the Yankees. He recalled what would happen to anyone who said “um” at dinner. His dad would “lead a chorus of ‘ummmmmmms’ to spotlight this oratorical shortcoming.”
Scalia’s oldest son, Eugene, said on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham’s radio show earlier this week that his father “loved the court” and the court’s work. He also addressed conspiracy theories that his father did not die of natural causes, calling them a “hurtful distraction.”
The youngest of the nine children, Rev. Paul Scalia, led the Mass.
He said that most important to him and his eight siblings was the love his father showed them.
Mixing humor into the homily, the younger Scalia said his father sometimes forgot their names or mixed them up but he excused him because there were nine of them.
He recalled how his father reacted once after accidentally standing in his son’s confessional line. The justice said: “‘Like heck if I’m confessing to you.'” Paul Scalia joked that “the Roman collar was not a shield against his criticism.”
The family left the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to head to a private burial for the late jurist.