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The Houston funeral for George H.W. Bush has opened with an anthem sung at his inauguration.

The St. Martin’s Parish Choir performed “This is My Country” at Thursday’s funeral, which is the last public remembrance for the 41st president before his burial later Thursday during a private service at his presidential library in College Station.

The funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church also included the hymn “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies.”

An honor guard has escorted the flag-draped casket of George H.W. Bush to the altar of the church where his funeral is being held in Texas.

After the casket reached the altar, attendees stood and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Thursday morning funeral for Bush in Houston.

Grandchildren of former president George H.W. Bush have given readings from the Bible at his funeral in his home state of Texas.

Those reading passages at the Thursday morning service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston included Barbara Pierce Bush, a daughter of George W. Bush, and Noelle Lucila Bush, daughter of Jeb Bush.

Former Secretary of State James Baker remembered his longtime friend George H.W. Bush as having “had the courage of a warrior but the greater courage of a peacemaker” during an emotional eulogy at Bush’s funeral in Houston.

Baker began the eulogy Thursday with an apology. Using the nickname “Jefe,” which is Spanish for “boss,” Baker said he was going to brag about Bush, even though the former president hated boasting.

He called Bush the “best one-term president” in the nation’s history. He also praised Bush’s grace after the fall of the Berlin Wall, saying that Bush understood that humility toward a fallen adversary “is the very best path.”

The only member of the Bush dynasty still in public office says he and former President George H.W. Bush’s 16 other grandchildren grew up in awe of the man they knew as “gampy.”

George P. Bush told mourners Thursday that the former president would challenge his grandkids to games like “the first to sleep award.” The line drew laughs at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where the Bush family worshipped.

The 42-year-old George P. Bush holds the office of Texas land commissioner. He joined former Secretary of State James Baker in eulogizing the 41st president, who died last week at age 94.

George P. Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He was easily re-elected in November to a second four-year term in Texas.

Two of George H.W. Bush’s granddaughters read from Corinthians at his Texas funeral.

Nancy Ellis LeBlond Sosa and Georgia Grace Koch, who are the daughters of Dorothy Bush Koch, read the passage at the funeral Thursday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.

Other granddaughters read passages earlier in the service, including Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of George W. Bush; Noelle Lucila Bush, daughter of Jeb Bush; and Elizabeth Dwen Andrews, whose mother is married to Neil Bush.

George H.W. Bush is being remembered at his longtime church as a man of faith who taught Sunday School, served coffee and watched his children perform in a Christmas pageant.

The Rev. Russell Levenson, Jr. told mourners Thursday that Bush had a “resolute faith” and once asked what heaven would be like. He told those gathered at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church that he imagined Bush was greeted in heaven by his wife, Barbara Bush, “with her hands on her hips, saying ‘What took you so long?'”

Levenson said it was OK to cry because George H.W. Bush was never afraid to shed tears himself.

Bush’s longtime pastor ended the homily with the same prayer used at the president’s 1989 inauguration.

The grandsons of former President George H.W. Bush served as honorary pallbearers at his flag-draped casket was carried out of a Houston church following the last public remembrance for the 41st president.

Among the grandsons who served as honorary pallbearers at Thursday’s funeral service were George P. Bush, Samuel Bush LeBlond and Pierce Mallon Bush.

Country music star Reba McEntire has sung “The Lord’s Prayer” at the Houston funeral service of former President George H.W. Bush.

The Grammy winner on Thursday followed the Oak Ridge Boys, who were one of the president’s favorite musical acts and who sang “Amazing Grace” during the service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston.

The church where the Bush family worships was filled with celebrities for the final public farewell to the 41st president.

The family of George H.W. Bush is headed to a Union Pacific facility to join a special train that will carry the former president’s casket to his final resting place.

Bush’s relatives, including son George W. Bush and his family, left St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston following a funeral that was attended by about 1,200 mourners.

The family is headed to a facility in Spring, Texas, where a special funeral train will depart with a final destination of College Station.

It will be the eighth funeral train in U.S. history and the first since Dwight D. Eisenhower’s body traveled from the National Cathedral in Washington through seven states to his Kansas hometown of Abilene 49 years ago. Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train was the first, in 1865.