tv President George H.W. Bush Houston Funeral Service CSPAN December 6, 2018 11:03pm-12:40am EST
"washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. >> today, president george h.w. bush's remains were flown from washington to texas for his funeral service at a houston church. his remains then traveled by train to his final resting place at the george bush presidential library and museum in college station, texas. here are today's events beginning with the funeral at st. martin's episcopal church where he was eulogized by former secretary of state james baker and his grandson george p. bush. ♪ [band playing]
if you would, please turn in your bulletins to page 6. we sing together with strength. o beautiful for spacious skies. ["america the beautiful" playing] ♪ >> o beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain america, america, god shed his grace on thee
>> 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 >> 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 and 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. one god forever and ever, amen. let us also pray for all who mourn they may cast their 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. -- servants for whom we pray. remember them, lord, in mercy,
>> i am the resurrection and the life sayeth the lord. he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live. whosoever 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 and i shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold and not as a stranger. for none of us liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself, for if we live we live onto the lord, and if we die we die onto the lord. whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the lord's.
>> the lord be with you. remain standing and let us pray. o god, whose mercies cannot be numbered except 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 liveth and reigneth one god now and forever. amen. please be seated for the lessons. >> a reading from lamentations. 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. -- or grieve the sons of men. the word of the lord. >> thank you, god. >> today's appointed psalm is psalm 23. the lord of is my sheppedered,
he may not want. he maketh me lay down in green pastures. he leadeth me with still waters. he leadeth my soul. he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his namesake. >> yea, though i walk through the valley 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.
>> 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 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. 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 lawyer, i see that thing beloved by all lawyers, a loophole. [laughter] now, don't brag about yourself, you once wrote, let others point 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 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. 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 kind -- kindness and consideration of others, his determination always to do the right thing, and to always do that to the very best of his ability. they testify to a life nobly lived. 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. him him him 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, 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? during world war ii, he risked his life in defense of something greater than himself. decades later, when saddam hussein invaded kuwait and -- 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 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 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 charities is a model for all former first families, past, present, and future. 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. 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. [laughter] he would look at me and say, "baker, if a you are so smart, why am i president and you're not?" [laughter] 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 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 ages, with god's loving arms around you. because our glory, george, was to have had you as our president and as such a friend.
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 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 with all grew up 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 your shoe hit the backstop. 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. [laughter] 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 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 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. 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 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. -- meet again. maybe out on that rock boat we built together. nancy: the first letter of paul to the corinthians. "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. 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 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 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 after the gospel. ♪ >> ♪ eternal father, strong to save, whose arm hath bound the restless wave, who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep;
rev. bastian: the holy gospel of our lord jesus christ according to john. 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 in me will never die. do you believe this?" she said to him, "yes, lord, i
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, and barbara answered. "hello, russ, i am not checking out yet!" [laughter]
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. just 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 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. 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 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. 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 in the same year. barbara spoke up. "did it ever occur to you they both made it because you had just been elected vice president?" [laughter] 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 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 it was the right thing to do. only later did he learn 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 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." 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 -- 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. 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 you so long?" [laughter] 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 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. likely.ntinuance make us strong to do your work and heed your will and write on our hearts these words, use power to help people, for we are given power not to advance our own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. there is but one just use of power. and it is to serve people. help us remember, lord."
when we've been there 10,000 years bright shining as the sun we'll have no less days to sing god's praise than when we first begun ♪ [applause] rev. levenson: in the episcopal church, which is the president's tradition, we stand to say things we believe. in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the life internal, i would like for you to turn to page four, and together let us recite the apostles creed. i believe in god, the father
almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and jesus christ, his only son, our lord, who was conceived by the holy ghost, borne of the virgin mary, suffered under pontius pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. he descended into hell. the third day, he rose again from the dead. he ascended into heaven and sits upon the right hand of god, the father almighty. from thence he shall come to judge the living 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 everlasting. amen. please be seated.
lord, thy light and by piece. >> amen. >> grant that all who have been baptized into christ's death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to newness of life, and that through the grave and gate of death we may pass with him to our joyful resurrection. >> amen. >> grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that thy holy spirit may lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days. >> amen. >> grant to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind. >> amen. >> grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in thy fatherly care, that, casting all their grief on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love.
>> amen. >> 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 everlasting. >> amen. >> grant that, increasing in knowledge and love of thee, he may go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service in thy heavenly kingdom. >> amen. >> grant us, with all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, to have our consummation and bliss in thy eternal and everlasting glory, and, with all thy saints, to receive the crown of life which thou dost promise to all who share in the victory of thy son jesus christ, who liveth and
eveneven at the grave we make or song holly lu yet, hallelujah, hallelujah. servant for to they sorrow and pain are no more. >> by hands of merciful savior savior --our merciful give our merciful servant george. receive george into the arms of thy mercy. into the blessed rest of everlasting peace. and into the glorious company of the saints. all men -- amen. bishop of the great diocese of texas offers a blessing. singing him number 562. it was one of the favorites of
the 41st president. as we leave the church we would ask that everyone please remain in your seats unless you were instructed to do so otherwise, please remain in your seats until the family, and leave the church and until we drive away for the president's burial. we ask you continue in a spirit of prayer for this remarkable man's life and the celebration of his life now with our lord. unto god's gracious mercy and protection, we commend you. the lord bless you and keep you. the lord shines upon you and be gracious unto you. the lord lifts up the life of his comments upon you. may the blessing of god almighty