Spokesman: Graham planned own funeral


Associated Press

MONTREAT, N.C.

A family spokesman says the Rev. Billy Graham carefully planned and signed off on every detail of his funeral, which will be next week.

The funeral March 2 will cap nine days of mourning for postwar America’s most famous evangelist, who died Wednesday at his home in North Carolina’s mountains at age 99.

Graham family spokesman Mark DeMoss said Thursday that the music and speakers will all have connections to Graham’s life and ministry. He says he will release details later.

DeMoss says the invitation-only funeral is being held in a tent at Graham’s Charlotte library in tribute to the 1949 Los Angeles tent revivals that propelled him to international fame.

Graham will be buried in a prison-made plywood coffin next to his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Rev. Billy Graham’s body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for two days next week.

Ryan says he’s inviting members of Congress and the public to pay their respects to the man called “American’s Pastor” on Feb. 28 and March 1.

It’s a rare honor for a private citizen to lie in honor at the Capitol. According to the U.S. House, civil-rights hero Rosa Parks was the last to do so in 2005.

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