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tv   President George H.W. Bush Houston Funeral Service  CSPAN  December 7, 2018 4:01am-5:39am EST

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public service by america's cable television companies and we continue to bring new coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] yesterday, president bush's remains were flown from washington to texas. by train totraveled his final resting place at the george bush presidential library and museum in college station, texas. ere are the events beginning at st. martin's episcopal church where he was eulogized by james baker and his grandson, george p. bush. ♪
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♪ ♪
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>> on behalf of the family and st. martin's episcopal church i welcome you to this service and celebration of the life and faith of our 41st president, george herbert walker bush. if you would, please turn in your bulletins to page 6. let us sing together with strength o beautiful for spacious skies. ♪ o beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain america,
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america, god shed his grace on thee and crowned thy good in brotherhood from sea to shining sea. o beautiful for heros proved in in liberating strive who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life america, america may god thy
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gold refine and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to o beautiful for pilgrim feet whose stern, impassioned stress a thoroughfare of freedom beat across the wilderness america, america god shed his grace on
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thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea ♪ >> please be seated. we have one anthem we are going to play and this was one of the anthems offered on the day at the 41st president's inauguration. this is "my country." ♪
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this is my country, land of my birth this is my country grandest on earth ♪
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this is my country ♪
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>> with faith in jesus christ, we receive the body of our brother, george herbert walker bush, for burial, but pray with confidence to god, the giver of life, that he will raise him to the perfection in the company of the saints. deliver your servant, george, o sovereign lord christ from all evil and set him free from every bond, that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitation where with the father and the holy spirit you live and reign one god forever and ever, amen. let us also pray for all who mourn that they may cast their
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care on god and know the consolation of his love. almighty god, look with pity upon the sorrows of your servant for whom we pray. remember them, lord, in mercy, nourish them with patience, comfort them with a sense of your goodness, lift up your countenance upon them and give them peace through jesus christ our lord. amen. please stand.
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>> he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live. who saw the liveth and believeth in me shall never die. i know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. and though this body be destroyed that shall i see god whom i shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold and not as a stranger. for none of us liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself for
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if we live we live unto the lord and if we die we die unto the lord. whether we live, therefore, or die we are the lord's. blessed are the dead who die in the lord even so saith the spirit for they rest from their labors.
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>> let us sing together our national anthem. >> ♪ o say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last
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gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the
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brave ♪ ♪ >> the lord be with you. remain standing and let us pray. o god, whose mercies cannot be numbered accept our prayers on behalf of thy servant george herbert walker bush, and grant george an entrance into the land of light and joy and the fellowship of thy saint, jesus christ, son our lord, who reigneth with thee, one god now
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and forever. amen. please be seated for the lessons. >> a reading. the steadfast love of the lord never ceases. his mercies never come to an end. they are new every morning. great is thy faithfulness. the lord is my portion, said my soul. therefore, i will hope in him. the lord is good to those who wait for him. to the soul that seeks him. it is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the lord. for the lord will not cast off forever, but though he cause grief he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. for he does not willingly afflict or grieve. the word of the lord. >> thank you, god.
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>> today's appointed is psalm 23. the lord is my shepherd. i shall not want. he maketh me lie down in green pastures. he leadth me with still waters. he leadth my soul. he leadth me in the path of righteousness for his namesake. >> yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for thou are with me thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. >> thou preparest the table before me in the presence of mine enemies. my cup runneth over. surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever.
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>> my friends, we're here today in the house of the lord to say goodbye to a man of great faith and great integrity. a truly beautiful human being. and to honor his noble character, his life of service and the sweet memories he leaves
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for his friends, his family and for our grateful nation. for more than 60 years, george herbert walker bush has been my friend and he's been my role model. today, as we entrust his soul to heaven, his name to history and his memory to our hearts, i must begin with an apology. jefe, i'm about to do something you always hated, and that your mother always told you not to do, brag about yourself. [laughter] i will do this, because it must be done, and because as a lawyer, i see that thing beloved by all lawyers, a loophole. [laughter] now, don't brag about yourself, you once wrote, let others point
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out your virtues, your good points. well, today, mr. president, i am that other, with the special privilege and joy of sharing your good points. as we have heard, and as we know, george bush was a charter member of the greatest generation. as we gather here to salute him, his incredible service to our nation and the world are already etched in the marble of time. after becoming the youngest naval aviator, he served in increasingly responsible positions on behalf of his country. congressman, ambassador to china and to the united nations, director of the c.i.a., and vice president. then, as history will faithfully record, he became one of our nation's finest presidents.
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and beyond any doubt, our nation's very best one-term president. for millions and millions across the globe, the world became a better place because george bush occupied the white house for four years. he was not considered a skilled speaker but his deeds were quite eloquent. and he demonstrated their eloquence by carving them into the hard granite of history. they expressed his moral character, and they reflected his decency, his boundless kindness and consideration of others, his determination always to do the right thing, and to do that to the very best of his ability. they testify to a life nobly lived.
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he possessed the classic virtues of our civilization and of his faith. the same virtues that express what is best about this country. these same ideals were known to and they were shared by our founding fathers. george bush was temperate in thought, in word, and in deed. he considered his choices and chose wisely. the berlin wall fell in november, 1989, less than one year into his presidency. it was a remarkable triumph for american foreign policy, as joyous east and west germans danced on the remains of that hated wall, george bush could have joined them, metaphorically, and claimed victory for the west,
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for america, and frankly, for himself. but he did not. he knew better. he understood that humility toward and not humiliation of a fallen adversary was the very best path to peace and reconciliation. and so he was able to unify germany as a member of the north atlantic treaty organization, notwithstanding the initial reservations of france, the united kingdom and the soviet union. thus, the cold war ended, not with a bang, but with the sound of a halyard rattling over a pulley over the kremlin in 1991 as the flag of the soviet union was lowered for the very last time. need we ask about george bush's courage?
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during world war ii, he risked his life in defense of something greater than himself. decades later, when saddam hussein invaded kuwait in august, 1990, and began to brutalize kuwaitis, george bush never wavered. this will not stand, he said, and he got the rest of the world to join him in reversing that aggression. yes, he had the courage of a warrior, but when the time came for prudence, he always maintained the greater courage of a peacemaker. he ended the wars in central america. he signed two nuclear arms reduction treaties and he brought israel and all of its arab neighbors face-to-face for the first time to talk peace. his deeds for his fellow man always spoke for him. give someone else a hand, he
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would say, and he did. when a friend is hurting, show that you care, he would say. and he did. be kind to people, he would say. and he was. to the parents of a young son to the parents of a young son lost to cancer, he wrote, "i hope you will live the rest of your lives with only happy memories of that wonderful son, who is now safely tucked in god's loving arms around him." his wish for a kinder, gentler nation was not a cynical political slogan, it came honest and unguarded from his soul. after they left the white house, george and barbara bush continued to display their compassion for others. their dedication to the points of life, the barbara bush foundation or family literacy and countless other
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charities is a model for all former first families, past, present, and uture. to these virtues we can add one more source of his character, his family. as a friend once put it, george bush believed that family is a source of personal strength and the values one needs to face life. and of course, history has shown that few families have accomplished as much as his has. barbara wrote the book on how to be a great first lady. his legacy lives on with his children, who have contributed so very much to making our nation great. and who knows what the future will bring for his grandchildren, and their children. i have always been proud that george bush used to describe our relationship as one of big brother and little brother.
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he used to say that one of the things that he liked best about me was that i would always tell him what i thought, even when i knew he didn't want to hear it. then we would have a spirited discussion about that issue. but he had a very effective way of letting me know when the discussion was over. he would look at me and say, "baker, if a you are so smart, why am i president and you're not?" he was a leader, and he knew it. my hope is, in remembering the life of george herbert walker bush, and in honoring his accomplishments, we will see that we are really praising what is best about our nation, the nation he dearly loved and whose values he embodied. there is more to say than time permits. and anyway, when measured
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against the eloquence of george bush's character and life, our words are very inadequate. and so i conclude these remarks with his words, written some years ago to his old tennis buddy. "we have known each other a long time," he wrote to me, "we've shared joy and sadness and time has swiftly ran by. now it races on even faster, and that makes me treasure even more this line of william butler yates about where man's glory begins and ends, namely, with friends. my glory is, i have you as such a friend." to which i reply, on behalf of his friends here today across america and throughout the world, we rejoice, mr. president, that you are safely tucked in now, and through the
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ages, with god's loving arms around you. because our glory, george, was to have had you as our president and as such a riend. george: good morning. today i stand before you as the oldest grandson as the man i simply knew as gampy.
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george herbert walker bush was the most gracious, decent, and humble man i will ever know. we are here to give thanks for his extraordinary life, but i would like to talk about some of the things he was thankful for, the things that, to him, mattered most. my grandfather was thankful for his family. when he began running for president in 1988, my grandfather released a campaign book outlining his views for the future. the book opened with a letter to a grandson. it was addressed to me and recounted some of our recent experiences together in maine. "p," the letter read, "i have been thinking about it a lot. the most fun was the big rock boat. watching you play on it. near the end of summer when the moon was full, the tides were high there was a special day when it seemed like the boat was real." in those few words, my
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grandmother said more about his life that i can tell you about this morning. here's a man gearing up for a role of a lifetime, and his mind went back to his family. this is a book about policy issues, and yet he still found time to write about an imagine -- imaginary boat that he built with his grandson. in a typical day he would wake up around 5:00 a.m. to review security briefings and grab his first coffee. when the coast was clear, all the grandkid would try to snag a spot between him and ganny. while they read thewe grew up -- we all grew up with a legendary paper. figure talking about where the bluefish were running. he would be the first to host intense horseshoe matchups among family, secret service, or any willing head of state. while encouraging trash talk like power outage, if your horseshoe was short, or woodrow wilson if you were long and our shoe hit the backstop.
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his typical spread included barbecue, tacos, a healthy dose of bluebell ice cream and klondike bars. he would challenge all the grandkids for the first asleep award. in classic fashion, he would write letters of encouragement to us all, whether one of us had a hard semester at school, whether one of us and for the record, not me, drove his fidelity onto the rocks. or one of us, definitely not me, ended up in ganny's crosshairs. i knew too much. at the close of one summer after he left public service, gampy wrote an email to us all saying, the only thing wrong with the last five months, that -- is that none of you were here enough. promise that you would spend more time with us by the sea. as you know, i had to give
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up fly-fishing off the rocks in maine, but there are plenty of wonderful things to do. i think of you all an awful lot. i just wonder how each of you is doing in school, and in life. if you need me i'm here for you because i love you very much. in the psalms, god makes this promise with long life i will satisfy him and show him my salvation. today, we know that my gampy did enjoy a long and extraordinary life and we know he's enjoying the beginning of his next life. rejoining those for whom he lost but now by grace has found again. my grandfather was thankful for his country. he was grateful to lead a country where people can go as far and as fast as their dreams can take them. a place where individuals can -- working alone or in groups can help the condition of their fellow man on a voluntary basis, a bright hope for america he evoked so brilliantly when he spoke of a thousand points of light. he often spoke about the creed of duty, honor, country, and the values that sustained the
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republic for its over 240 years. but this wasn't something he just talked about. this was something he lived. having flown 58 combat missions in the pacific and having been shot down and rescued at sea, he never saw his own heroism as being greater than anyone else who has worn the uniform. i know this because i've experienced it personally. he was proud when walker joined the marine corps and i joined the navy. even prouder when we served overseas. our service never compared to him, yet, we couldn't convince him of that. we saw the personal goodness that led to his recognized historical greatness. he left a simple yet profound legacy to his children, his grandchildren and to this country -- service. undoubtedly, when the last words are written on him, they will certainly include this -- that the fulfillment of a complete life cannot be achieved without service to others.
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you should know that my grandfather was thankful for his god. he once told us as grandkids, god is good, but his love has a cost. we must be good to one another. it was his faith, his love for others that fulfilled him, that drove him, that led him to a life of public service. here in houston at a prayer breakfast, he once reflected on his time on the deck of a submarine which rescued him after he was shot down during world war ii. to get some fresh air, he went on the deck, stood the watch, looked out in the dark. he said the sky was clear, the stars were brilliant like a blizzard of fireflies in the night. there was a calm inner peace. halfway around the world in a war zone. a calm inner peace, god's therapy. today, after 94 years, the heavy hand of time has claimed the life of my gamps but in death, as in life, my
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grandfather has won. for he's exchanged his earthly burdens for heavenly home and is at peace. yes, george herbert walker bush is the most gracious, most decent humble man that i will ever know. it is the honor of a lifetime to share his name. god bless you, gampy, until we need again. maybe out on that rock boat we uilt together. nancy: the first letter of paul to the corinthians.
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"and i will show you a still more excellent way. if i speak in the tongues of mortals and angels but do not have love, i am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. and if i have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and knowledge, and if i have all faith, so as to remove mountains but do not have love, i am nothing. if i give away all my possessions and if i hand over my body so that i may boast but do not have love, i gain nothing. love is patient. love is kind. love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. it does not insist on its own way. it is not irritable or resentful. it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.
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it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." georgia: "love never ends. but as for prophecies, they will come to an end. tongues will cease. knowledge will come to an end. for we know only in part and we prophesy only in part. when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. when i was a child, i spoke and thought like a child. i reasoned like a child. when i become an adult, i put an end to childish ways. for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face-to-face. now i know only in part. then i will know fully, even as i have been fully known." both: "and now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is
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love. the word of the lord." >> praise be to god. >> a favorite hymn of the president. "eternal father, strong to save." i invite you to turn to page seven. we sing the first two verses before the gospel, the last two fter the gospel.
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rev. bastian: the holy gospel of our lord jesus christ according to john. martin -- martha said to "jesus, lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. but even now i know that god will give you whatever you ask of him." jesus said to her, "your brother will rise again." martha said to him, "i know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." jesus said to her, "i am the resurrection and the life. those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes
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in me will never die. do you believe this?" she said to him, "yes, lord, i believe that you are the messiah, the son of god, the one coming into the world." the gospel of the lord. >> praise be to you, o hrist.
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rev. levenson: bow your heads for prayer. almighty god, the source of all life, may our eyes and our hearts this day give thanks for this remarkable life. may our eyes and our hearts turn to you as did the heart of this great man. in christ's name i pray, amen. >> amen. rev. levenson: a few days before barbara bush's death, i was called to the bush home, and the president asked me to pray with her. i went and knocked on her door,
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and barbara answered. "hello, russ, i am not checking ut yet!" rev. levenson: we talked for a bit. i asked permission to anoint her head with oil and pray with her. we did. we prayed. i left and she called me to come back in. "bar, are you ok?" i said. she said, "yes. ust tell him i adore him." today, we are gathered to celebrate the life of a man that we all adored. the beginning of a journey that began june 12, 1924, george herbert walker bush was born
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into the cradle of a loving family that held fast to the values of friendship and family and faith, of integrity, honesty, and loyalty, of character, of courage and service. now, at the end of that journey, the cradle that sustained him throughout his 94 years of life has released him to the loving arms of his heavenly father. the end depends on the beginning. and this is a good ending, because from the very beginning, george bush was committed to a life, not for himself, but for others. and so, we gather today charged with three tasks. saying goodbye, giving our thanks, and lifting up our lives to hope. bidding farewell is the hardest of these tasks, because we must acknowledge the world is not the same without this great man.
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the tectonic plates of our world have shifted. in today's world, we sometimes recoil at the complex emotions instead of shedding tears of grief that honor our loved ones. tears honor those we love. george bush was never afraid to shed tears. and so today, i bid you to follow his example. we also gather to give thanks for the actions of this incredible public servant, who improved the lives of so many around the world, across the nation, and in our great state of texas and in our beloved city of houston. each of us gathered here today joins untold millions around the globe to mourn the death of one of history's greatest leaders. but, we have lost more than a leader. he, like his wife of over 70 years, barbara, had the unique ability to make you feel like he was your best friend and you
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were his. and he pulled it off with charm, humility, humor with few, if any, rivals. so however you do it, whether through quiet meditation or tearful remembrance or jubilant stories, give thanks for his life, and that it brushed up against yours. goodbye, thank you. but, there is one more thing we come to do. and that is to lift up our lives to hope. what i mean by that, president bush was a man of faith. a faith that sustained him in this life and now has brought him new life. the president and barbara bush were devoted and active members of this church, saint martin's, for over 50 years. in a talk the president gave here in 1982, he spoke of his love for saint martin's, his memory of teaching sunday school and serving coffee and worshiping here.
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this is what he said. "i remember sitting in the back as the pew shook with our four boys as dora got the giggles," and he added, "i do not to hold it over the rest of you, but how many of you can say of the christmas pageant, my grandson was a shepherd?" in 1980. and his sister, and angel, both n the same year. barbara spoke up. "did it ever occur to you they both made it because you had just been elected vice resident?" rev. levenson: but there was a deeper purpose in his faith. in an open letter to clergy across the united states, just before his inauguration, the president-elect bush wrote "worship is basic to my own life. our family has endeavored to uphold our faith by
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participation in the life of our church." in an address two years into his presidency, he recalled president lincoln's response at the height of the civil war when asked if he thought that the lord was on lincoln's side. lincoln responded, "my concern is not whether god is on our side, but whether we are on god's side." make no mistake. george bush was on god's side. it is why, together, we carefully chose the lessons of this service, which i hope you will take home and read, lessons that bespeak of the love of god in the comfort of god and the hope of life eternal given to us through his son, jesus christ. martin of tours is the patron saint of this parish. he used his cloak to cover a barely dressed beggar. he did so impulsively, knowing
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it was the right thing to do. only later did he learn in a train -- in a dream that his act had clothed christ himself. george and barbara bush witnessed a similar selflessness. as they worshiped together, they never made a show or a fuss of arriving, worshiping or leaving. they loved to spend time with the members here. they had a favorite spot over there. but if they arrived, and someone had beat them to it, they never created a problem. christmas and easter, crowded days, they often relinquished their seats to a mother with children or a son with elderly parents. one particularly cold day, as the president came in the back, he was met by an usher who did not have an overcoat. "aren't you cold?," the president asked. the young man said, "i am fine."
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before he could finish his sentence, the president whipped off his own coat and placed it on the gentleman shoulders, and walked into service without another word. george bush loved the lord. he knew the lord loved him. it was that connection that birthed in the 41st president, the desire to serve. years ago, we discussed his deteriorating health. at the time, he did not know how that struggle would end. he put a question to me. about a simply as anybody could, he said, "what do you think heaven is like?" it was a confident statement, one that bespoke resolute faith. that of a bash that spoke -- one that bespoke a resolute faith. he did not want to know if there was a heaven or whether he would be there when the end came. he wanted to know what it was like.
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he was ready for heaven. heaven was ready for him. my guess is november 30 when the president arrived in heaven, that barbara was standing there, with her hands on her hips, saying, "what took ou so long?" rev. levenson: then a big old texas sized hug from his wife and daughter with the words, we adore you." his very first act after being sworn into office as the 41st president was to lead our nation in prayer. and as the end depends on the beginning, and as we say our goodbyes, i want to invite you to pray in honor and thanks giving, in celebration of this
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man we know and love, this man we adore. would you bow your heads? may his prayer -- this was his prayer -- on the day of his inauguration, his first act as president. "heavenly father, we bow our heads and thank you for your love. accept our thanks for the peace that yields this day and the shared faith that makes its continuous likely. -- its continuance likely. make us strong to do your work and heed your will and write on ur hearts these words, use power to help people, for we are given power not to advance ur own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a
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name. there is but one just use of power. and it is to serve people. help us remember, lord." amen. >> amen. >> we are here, sir. we told you we would be. and, it is an honor. we first sang for him in october, 1983, on the lawn of the white house.
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he said to us "fellas" -- he always called us fellas. "would you sing me a few songs? i am a big fan." for decades, we have sang for him. this is a real honor. what people may not know is, he fancied himself a good bass inger. e was not. we will sing for our president. >> amazing grace, how sweet ou
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the the church, which is president's' tradition, we stand to say things we believe. so in hope of the resurrection,
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may i invite you to please turn to page 4 and together let us ecite the apostle's creed. i believe in god the father almighty maker of heaven and earth. in jifes christ, his only son our lord who was conceived by the holy ghost, born of the virgin mary, suffered under pontius pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. he tee skended into hell. the third day he arose again from the dead. he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of god, the father almighty. from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. i believe in the holy ghost, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life ever lasting.
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amen. lease be seated.
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>> in peace let us pray to the lord. almighty god who has knit the together thine elect in community and fellowship, in the body of our son christ our lord, grant we thee. thigh light and my peace. amen h. >> granted all who have been baptist into church rise to newness of life and that through the grave and gated death we may pass to him our joyful resurrection. amen. >> grant us who are still in our pilgrimmage that by holy spirit may lead us in holeieness and righteousness all our days. amen. >> grant to thie faithful people pardon and peace that we may be cleansed from all our sins and serve these with a
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quiet mind. grant all to show confidence in fatherly care that casting all their grief they may know the consolation of your love. >> give courage and faith to those who are bereaved that they may have strength to meet the days ahead in the comfort of a reasonable and holy hope in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. amen. >> help us we pray in the midst of things we cannot understand to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life ever lasting. amen. >> grant increasing knowledge may go of thee george from strength to strength. >> grant us with all who have died in the hope of the resurrection to have our cons
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mation and bliss ever lasting glory. and with all thy saints to seef the crown of life. of thy son jesus christ who live with thee in the holy spirit, with with god frer and ever. amen. lease sit.
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>> please stand for the commendation in the middle of age 5. christ to the servant of our saints. where sorrow and pabe are no more. christ jfer lasting. >> thou only art immortal and we are mortal. formed of the earth and under earth shall we return.
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thou unto dust shall return. we go down to the dust yet even at the grave we make our song halleluja grant us christ thy ervant with thy saint. oh merciful savior we commend thy servant george. acknowledge we humbly beseech thee a sheep of our own fold a lamb of thy own flock. receive george into the arms of thy mercy, into the blessed rest of ever lasting peace and into the glorious company can of the saints in light. amen. before our bishop of the dicees
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of texas offers a blessing let me share with you that when we leave today we will be singing hymn number 562, onward christian soldiers on page 8 and 9, it was with one of the favorites of the 41st president. as we leave the church we ask that everyone please remain in your seats unless you were instructed to do so otherwise, until the family pal be bearers leave the church and then until we drive a awith way for the president's burial. with we will ask that you please remain here ant continue in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving for this remarkable man's life and the celebration of his life now with our lord. >> unto god's gracious mercy and protection we commit you. lord, bless you and keep you. the lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto
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you. the lord lift up the light of his count innocence upon you and give -- count nens upon you and give you peace. and may the blessing of the father, the son, and the holy ghost be with you always. amen. let us two forth in the name of christ. hanks be to god.
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♪ ♪ >> order.
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[hearse exiting]
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