November 16, 2019, 2:58

US Rep. Elijah Cummings to lie in state, funeral services set for Baltimore

US Rep. Elijah Cummings to lie in state, funeral services set for Baltimore

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will lie in state in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, ahead of funeral services at his church of nearly four decades in his home district of Baltimore.

There will be a public viewing in the two-story chamber following a formal ceremony for members of Congress, the Cummings family and invited guests on Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 25, 2016 US Representative Elijah Cummings gestures during Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(MORE: Rep. Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee Chair, is dead at 68)

A wake and funeral for Cummings will be held at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore on Friday, Oct. 25. The wake will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the funeral at 10 a.m, according a church spokeswoman. Bishop Walter S. Thomas Jr., the church’s pastor since 1975, is scheduled to deliver the eulogy.

He predicts the 4,000-seat sanctuary will overflow with people paying respects as lawmakers from both political parties are expected to attend.

“For all who pass through these doors, it has been very somber,” Thomas told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday. “We’ve lost a friend, a loved one, a member, a role model. You can roll out the whole list of nouns. He steps into all of them with big shoes.”

(MORE: Americans from all walks of life come to Capitol to honor President George H.W. Bush)

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Cummings will lie in repose at Morgan State University, where he served on the Board of Regents. Following the viewing, there will be a community-wide celebration of the congressman at the university’s Murphy Fine Arts Center from 6-8:30 p.m.

Morgan State University President Dr. David Wilson said in a statement on Thursday that the university is “deeply saddened by the loss of one our fiercest advocates and supporters.”

“Rep. Cummings was not only a dear friend to Morgan, he was family. His wisdom, wise counsel and superb leadership will be greatly missed,” Wilson wrote. “The City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and our nation, will forever be indebted to the legacy of this great public servant.”

Ulysses Munoz/AP

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, center, leads a moment of silence in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, outside the congressman’s office in Ellicott City, Md.

(MORE: Democrats to subpoena key witness blocked from testifying in impeachment probe)

Cummings, the son of sharecroppers who became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, later rose to become Chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Just five months ago, he delivered the commencement address at the historically black research university in Maryland.

“Your lives are in front of you,” Cummings told the graduating class in May. “And so I beg you to go out and stand up for this democracy.”

Cummings died Oct. 17 at the age of 68, due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges, according to a statement from his office. In lieu of flowers, the Cummings’ family has suggested the public make donations to The Elijah Cummings Youth Program.

House votes originally scheduled for next Thursday will be held late Wednesday night — as it’s customary to cancel voting when a dignitary has the rare honor of lying in state in the U.S. Capitol.

The last persons to lie in state were former President George H. W. Bush last December and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in August 2018.


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