Advertisement

Transcript of Ted Kennedy's Funeral Service

Transcript of Ted Kennedy's Funeral Service

By The Kennedy Family - August 29, 2009

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. In the name of the very reverend father, Patrick Woods. The provincial superior of the Redemptors of Baltimore Providence and the Entire Redemptors community, it is my privilege to welcome you this morning to the Basilica of Our Mother of Perpetual Help affectionately known as Mission Church.

Most eminent Cardinal Shawn O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, welcome once again to this basilica. The redemptors fathers and brothers are most grateful for the many occasions you've joined with us here and we look forward to many future visits. We gather today with sadness but with hope as we mark the passing of the distinguished senior senator from Massachusetts, the honorable Edward Moore Kennedy.

To Mrs. Kennedy and all of the family, we offer our sincere condolences and prayers. In this place of faith and hope and healing, we come together with confidence, that Senator Kennedy is gone forth to eternal life in the presence and the mercy of the Lord.

We are honored this morning to welcome president and Mrs. Obama, vice president and Mrs. Biden. Honorable former presidents and first ladies of the United States, members of Congress, representative of the British prime minister, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, mayor of Boston Thomas, and all of the distinguished guests.

As we begin our liturgy this morning for Senator Kennedy, be assured that all of you are always welcome in this blessed and holy place. May each of us share in the gifts of strength and peace that Senator Kennedy found as he came here to pray, especially at the altar of our mother of perpetual help.

REV. DONALD MONAN, CHANCELLOR, BOSTON COLLEGE: My dear friends a few spent miles from here, the city on a hill stands thus tall against the morning sky. In the sea out towards Nantucket is a bit more forlorn at the loss of one of its most avid lovers. We welcome you to the mass and resurrection, to commemorate the life of Senator Kennedy.

I'm sure I speak for everyone in expressing our sincere sympathy to all of the Kennedy family, and especially to the senator's wife, Vicki. To his sons Teddy and Patrick and his daughter Kara and to his sister Jean, we share your sadness as we share your love and your pride for your husband and father and brother and friend.

In the church's solemn liturgy of the Eucharist, sadness is softened with hope. Here vanished by the faith in the love and compassion of Christ, our Lord, who, through his own death and resurrection, has overcome death. And so as a believing community, let us now pray.

All mighty God, our father, it is our Christian faith that your son died, and rose to life. We pray for our dear friend and brother, Ted Kennedy, who has died in Christ. Through your love and compassion, raise him at the last day, to share the glory of the risen Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the holy spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Amen.

MONAN: All be seated for the liturgy of the word. First reading.

CURRAN RACLIN, SEN. KENNEDY'S STEPSON: The first reading is a reading from the Book of Wisdom. The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed in the view of the foolish to be dead, and their passing away was thought an affliction, and their going forth from us utter destruction.

But they are at peace. Forth before men indeed they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality, chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed. Because God tried them, and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them. And as sacrificial offerings, he took them to himself.

In the time of their visitation, they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble. They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their king, forever. Those who rust in him shall understand truth. And the faithful shall abide with him in love. Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones. And his care is with his elect. The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

KARA KENNEDY, SEN. KENNEDY'S DAUGHTER: Responsorial Psalm 72. Justice shall flourish in his time in fullness of peace forever.

CONGREGATION: Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever.

K. KENNEDY: The mountains shall yield peace for the people and the hills justice. He shall defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the poor.

CONGREGATION: Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever

K. KENNEDY: Justice shall flower in his days and profound peace to the moon be no more. May he rule from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.

CONGREGATION: Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever.

K. KENNEDY: For he shall rescue the poor man when he cries out and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor, the lives of the poor, he shall save.

CONGREGATION: Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever.

K. KENNEDY: May his name be blessed forever, as long as the sun, his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed, all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.

CONGREGATION: Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever.

CAROLINE RACLIN, SEN. KENNEDY'S STEPDAUGHTER: The second reading is a Letter of Paul to the Romans. If God is for us, who can be against us? He, who did not spare his own son, but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God's children once? If it's God who acquits us, who will condemn?

It is Christ Jesus who died, rather was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anger or distress or persecution or famine or peril or nakedness or the sword? No. In all of these thing, we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Lord. Jesus or Lord. The word of the Lord, thanks be to God.

REV. MARK HESSION, OUR LADY OF VICTORY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Friends, the Lord be with you.

CONGREGATION: And also with you.

HESSION: A reading from the holy gospel, according to Matthew.

Jesus said to his disciples, when the son of man comes in his glory and all of the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious thrown, and all of the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He'll place the sheep on his right, and goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, come, you are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. A stranger and you welcomed me. Naked and you clothed me. Ill, and you cared for me. Imprisoned, and you visited me.

Then the righteous will answer him and say Lord, when do we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you? Or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, amen.

I say to you, whatever you did, for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me. Then he'll say to those on his left, depart from me you accursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you gave me no food.

I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome. Naked and you gave me no clothing. Ill and in prison and you did not care for me. Then they will answer and say, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger? Or naked or ill or in prison and not minister to your needs?

He'll answer them, amen, amen I say to you. What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me. And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. The gospel of the Lord.

CONGREGATION: Praise be the Lord Jesus Christ.

HESSION: So, good morning, everyone, once again there have been a series of introductions already. But certainly one to great your eminence, Cardinal Sean, President and Mrs. Obama. President and Mrs. Bush. President Clinton and Secretary Clinton. President Carter and Mrs. Carter and our vice president and Mrs. Biden.

All of us in church today, dear friends of Ted and especially you, Vicki. Caroline and Kara, Teddy, Patrick, your mother Joan, a sister, everyone in the world would love to have in you, Jean, with your devotion. Dr. Larry and a great team of doctors and nurses and so many helpers at Hyannisport these last weeks and months. And most especially, the youngest of Ted's gang, Gracie and Max, Kylie and Teddy.

In the Catholic tradition, the mass of Christian burial weaves together memory and hope. The worship of the church locates us, precisely between a past we reverently remember, and a future in which we firmly believe. We gather today as a community drawn from across the nation to entrust the life of Senator Edward Kennedy into the hands of God, and to provide you consolation and support.

We bring with us treasured memories of Ted Kennedy, memories not only of a national leader, and a master legislator, but of a beloved husband, a great father, a terrific grandfather, a sweet uncle, a dear friend, a trusted colleague, a wise mentor.

We enter this church with these memories, acutely alive for each of us. We gather to treasure the memory, and to share our sense of loss. The liturgy of the mass, it's scripture, it's music and ritual are designed to acknowledge these memories to provide a context of prayerful and communal reflection in which they can be held as deeply personal, and sacred.

But the liturgy does not leave us in the past alone, it points us in Christian hope to the future. Our prayer expressed in confidence and hope, is about the destiny of our brother and friend, with his future with God. The biblical readings of the day, selected by Ted and Vicki and his family move us from memory to hope, from the past to the future.

Curran proclaimed the first lesson of the mass, speaking the words of wisdom, the souls of the just are in the hand of God. We believe our lives are in the hands of God in life and death. St. Paul states our case with his usual confidence and Caroline proclaimed it with such beauty.

For I'm sure that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor death nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

That confidence, the triumph of life over death is rooted in the central belief of Christian faith, the resurrection of Christ, the Lord. The Christian conviction upon which all faith is built is that Christ, who passed through death to new life, will, as he promised, lead us through death to new life as well.

On this day, we hold the memory of the life of Senator Kennedy with reverence and with respect. We also recognize that like all of us, his life has a destiny beyond history. The destiny of risen life in the kingdom of God, the gospel of Matthew from which I proclaimed, focuses our attention on this destiny by reminding us of the words of Jesus, and the tests he posed for entrance into that kingdom.

Oh, come, blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.

In this text on this day, our memories, and our hopes converge. These works of the kingdom were daily concerns of the public life of Teddy Kennedy. They were the fabric of his mind, heart and hands, as he sought to realize them in a society dramatically more complex than the society in which Jesus spoke these words.

Our hope, our confident Christian hope, is that the fruits of his work as a political and public figure, have well prepared him for God's kingdom. As we together reflect upon Ted's life, the choice of this incredible basilica church, as the place for his funeral, provides a fitting context for our thoughts, and prayers. This basilica reminds us of two important aspects of the senator's life and work.

First, we've come to know, in the days since his death, that when critical illness threatened his own daughter, he came to this place daily to pray. He came here, like generations before him, seeking the healing hand of God. We're reminded that the most public personalities, also live a very personal existence. This church, was the place of private prayer for a public man.

Second, this church sits in the midst of neighborhoods where the important issues that animated Ted Kennedy's career, are so, frankly, visible. The needs of the poor, social justice, health care and education, housing and the minimum wage. The senator's choice of this church for his funeral mass resonates with the meaning and the purpose of his life and work.

As I search for words which could capture his life, I've been struck by how many different perspectives could be brought to bear upon it by so many gathered today, by Vicki and their children, by the many members of the Kennedy clan. By the presidents, by members of both Houses of the United States Congress and of both political parties, by dedicated staff who served him over four decades.

And as we've seen these last days, especially by the citizens of Massachusetts whom he faithfully served. The extraordinary diversity of these many memories, is rather overwhelming.

It is neither my place, nor within my power to capture them all. I know Ted and Vicki and their family as their parish priest. My sources of reflection are the scriptures and the pastoral experience of ministering to Ted and his family.

My vision, like yours, can't encompass the totality of his life. My memories seen through the lens of a Catholic parish priest are about how one person, one man, a husband, a father, a public figure, a Catholic, and a citizen, tried to meet the tests of the kingdom of Matthew's gospel.

To know him, as a pastor, was to be introduced to the Kennedy family. The senator led the family. He was supported by it through a long and complex career, and he was sustained by your family as its life entered its final chapter. All of us know by instinct the fundamental importance of our families.

None of us expect to face the great responsibility of being the most visible figure in a family whose narrative is woven through the history of our nation over the past century. As a priest, I saw him treasure and draw strength from his family. Like others here today I watched as his role of this family's leader required that he sustain them all through life and death, through victory and tragedy.

It is not too much to say that his abiding political and legislative concern for the welfare of families, especially those at the socioeconomic edge of American life, was routed in his own experience of a vibrant and caring family life. Senator Kennedy was a tower of strength to his family, and a towering presence on the American public landscape.

Others are better suited than I to describe in detail his legacy, as a pastor, my description seeks to root his public life in his personal convictions. No person's faith is easily summarized.

The broad demands of Christian discipleship are clear enough in principle. Few of us, if any, meet them all, but we're all called to pursue the full vision of faith, even as we recognize the inevitable gap between what we're called to, and what we, in fact, achieve. Indeed, most of us have a strong suit matched with gaps and struggles.

There are few passages which express this more pointedly, and more poignantly, than Senator Kennedy's own eulogy for his dear brother, Robert, at St. Patrick's Cathedral 41 years ago, in 1968. There, when he said, "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death, beyond what he was in life. To be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war, and tried to stop it."

Like both of his brothers, Ted Kennedy was a public man, with a public faith. His strong suit was a central stream of biblical faith, expressed both in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

His strong suit was the faith of the great Hebrew profits of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos. It was they, who tied the quality of faith, to the character of justice in the land. It was they who stood in defense of the widows, the orphans and refugees of their time. The striking resemblance of these groups to the women, children, families and immigrants in poverty of our time, did not escape Ted Kennedy's notice.

His public faith was reinforced and nurtured in the Christian scriptures. We've heard Matthew today, now we should remember the gospel of Luke, commonly known as the gospel of the poor. The Jesus of Luke knew the poor of his time well. He was in their midst often. He advocated for them, defended them and reminded his disciples of God's special concern for them. At the heart of Luke's gospel stands the person of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Senator Kennedy had a special respect for her great prayer, the Magnificate.

A prayer which simultaneously glorified God for his blessings and promised God's protection of the poor. In his final days the senator and Vickie and I pondered this prayer in terms of the meaning of his life's work. Our blessed mother proclaims these sentiments.

God's mercy is from age to age, to those who fear him. He is shown might with his arm and disbursed the arrogant of mind and heart, he's thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry, he's filled with good things, the rich he has sent away empty. Ted Kennedy, of course, lived in a far more complex world than that of Jesus' time and place.

But that challenge, evoked from him his public gifts. He understood the complexity of the society in which he lived. He was renowned for his mastery of the data, for his sense of the possible and for his genius in crafting law and policy in ways which benefited the widows and orphans of our time.

Again, he described the motivation of his public life, in light of the legacy of his brother Robert's vision when he spoke these words. Our future may be beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature, nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our hands, matched to reason and principle that will determine our destiny.

Every public figure, has a uniquely personal life, distinct from, but not totally separated from the public world of work and achievement. Others have remembered in the past week, and will address this morning, the record of achievement of Ted Kennedy.

I'd like to close with this reflection. As one lives more toward the final moments of life, the public character fades, and the deeper personal convictions and commitments which have sustained a person through a long and complex life, come to occupy the center stage.

This was the case in the last few weeks and months, as Ted and Vicki together faced the last measure of his life. Like any priest would be, I was present for them, and with them. The faith which had sustained a visible historic presence, now became the faith which teaches us how to see this life in light of the next life.

The gift of the Eucharist, which Jesus promised would nourish us in this life, and would carry us to eternal life, became a source of even greater strength and comfort for Ted and Vicki. As the end approached, the convictions that sustain Senator Ted Kennedy through so many public struggles, became the source of quiet confidence in a truth taught by his church at the second Vatican counsel in these words.

We do not know the time for the consummation of the earth and of humanity, but we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide, and whose blessedness will answer, and surpass all the longings for peace, which spring up in the human heart.

Today, at this holy Eucharist, we pray, we are confident that Ted Kennedy has entered this new dwelling of God. For as the liturgy today inspires us, Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven. May he rest in peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we pray to the Lord, not only for Teddy, but for all of us he leaves behind. Among his brothers and sisters, he was the youngest. So now his grandchildren, his younger nieces and nephews and the youngest child of one of his nieces will offer the intercessions.

Each time, please respond, Lord, hear our prayer. Teddy served for 47 years, and he summoned us all to service. And so these intercessions are in his words, for the work of his life, is our prayer for our country, and our world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For my grandfather's commitment and persistence, not to out worn values but to old values that will never wear out. That the poor may be out of political fashion, but they are never without human needs, that circumstances may change but the work of compassion must continue. We pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

GRACE ALLEN, SEN. KENNEDY'S GRANDDAUGHTER: For my grandpa that we will not in our nation measure human beings by what they cannot do but instead value them for what they can do. We pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

MAX ALLEN, SEN. KENNEDY'S GRANDSON: For what my grandpa calls the cause of his life, as he said so often, in every part of this land, that every American will have decent quality health care, as a fundamental right, and not a privilege. We pray to the lord. CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

JACK SCHLOSSBERG, SEN. KENNEDY'S GREAT-NEPHEW: For a new season of hope that my uncle Teddy envisioned, where we rise to our best ideals, close the book on the old politics of race and gender, group against group and straight against gay. We pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

ROBIN LAWFORD, SEN. KENNEDY'S NIECE: For my uncle Teddy's call to keep the promise that all men and women who live here, even strangers and newcomers can rise no matter what their color, no matter what their place of birth, for workers out of work, students without tuition for college and families without the chance to own a home. For all Americans seeking a better life and a better land, for all of those left out or left behind, we pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

KYM SMITH, SEN. KENNEDY'S NIECE: For my uncle's stand against violence, hate and war, and his belief that peace can be kept through the triumph of justice and the truth justice can come only to the works of peace, we pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

ANTHONY SHRIVER, SEN. KENNEDY'S NEPHEW: As my uncle Teddy once told thousands and millions, may be said of us in dark passages and bright day, and the words of Tennyson, that my brothers quoted in love that have a special meaning for us now. I am part of all that I have met though much is taken, much abides. That which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield, we pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

RORY KENNEDY, SEN. KENNEDY'S NIECE: For the joy of my uncle Teddy's laugher, the light of his presence, his rare and noble contributions to the human spirit, for his face that in heaven, his father, and mother, his brothers and sisters and all who went before him will welcome him home. And for all the times to come when the rest of us will think of him, cuddling affectionately on the boat, surrounded by family as we sailed in the Nantucket Sound. We pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

TEDDY KENNEDY III, SEN. KENNEDY'S GRANDSON: For my grandfather's brave promise last summer that the work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on, we pray to the lord.

CONGREGATION: Lord, hear our prayer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lord, our God, giver of peace and healer of souls, hear the prayers of the redeemer, Jesus Christ, and the voices of your people, whose lives were purchased by the blood of the lamb. Forgive the sins of all who sleep in Christ and grant them a place in your kingdom, we ask this through Christ our Lord, amen.

CONGREGATION: Amen.

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dear father, is that your sacrifice with ours will be acceptable to God the all mighty father.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at our hands, praise and glory of his name for our good and the good of all his church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lord, accept this sacrifice we offer for our brother, Ted Kennedy, on the day of his burial, may your love cleanse him from his human weakness and forgive any sins he may have committed, all of this we ask through Christ, our Lord, Amen.

The lord be with you.

CONGREGATION: And also with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lift up your hearts.

CONGREGATION: We lift them up to the Lord.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us give thanks to the Lord our god.

CONGREGATION: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Father, all powerful and ever living God, we do well always and everywhere, to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. In him, who rose from the dead, our hope for resurrection dawned, the sadness of death gives way to the bright promise of immortality. Lord, through your faithful people, life has changed, not ended.

In the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heavy. And so with all the choirs of angels in heaven, we proclaim your glory and join them in their unending hymn of praise. Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Lord, you are holy indeed and all creation rightly give you praise. All life, all holiness comes from you, through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the holy spirit. From age to age you gather a people to yourself so that from east to west, a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name.

And so, father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist.

On the night he was betrayed, he took bread and gave you thanks and praise. He broke the bread and gave it to his disciples and said, take this all of you and eat it. This is my body, which will be given up for you.

When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again, he gave you thanks and praise. Gave the cup to his disciples and said, take this, all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

Father, calling to mind the death your son endured for our salvation, his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice. Look with favor on your church's offering and see the victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we who are nourished by his body and blood may be filled with his holy spirit and become one body, one spirit in Christ.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May he make us an everlasting gift to you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints with Mary, the virgin mother of God , with Joseph, her husband, the apostles, the martyrs and all of your saints on his consonant ascension we rely for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lord, may this sacrifice which has made our peace with you advance the peace and salvation of all the world, strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim church on earth, your servant Pope Benedict, our Cardinal Archbishop Shawn and all of the bishops with the clergy and the entire people your son has gained for you. Father, hear the prayers of the family who have gathered here before you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a special way, Lord, remember our dear friend Ted. In baptism, he died with Christ. May he also share his resurrection when Christ will raise our mortal bodies and make them like his in his own glory. Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters and all who have left this world in your friendship.

There we hope to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day, we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you with every thought through Christ our Lord from whom all good things come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the holy spirit, all glory and honor is yours almighty father, forever and ever. Amen.

And let us pray now together in the words that our father taught us. Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy, keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior Jesus Christ. For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.

Lord, Jesus Christ you said to your apostles, I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins but on the faith of your church and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live forever and ever.

Amen.

Peace of the Lord be with you.

CONGREGATION: And also with you.

Let us offer each other a sign of Christ's peace.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Lord Jesus Christ, with faith in your love and mercy, we ate your body and drank your blood. That does not bring us condemnation but health in mind and body. This is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those who are called to his supper.

Lord, I am now worthy to receive you. Only say the word and I shall be with you. May the body of Christ bring us to everlasting life.

(MUSIC)

(SINGING)

EDWARD KENNEDY, JR., SEN KENNEDY'S SON: My name is Ted Kennedy Jr., a name I share with my son, a name I shared with my father. Although it hasn't been easy at times to live with this name, I've never been more proud of it than I am today.

Your Eminence, thank you for being here. You've graced us with your presence. To all the musicians who have come here, my father loved the arts and he would be so pleased for your performances today.

My heart is filled. And I first want to say thank you. My heart is filled with appreciation and gratitude to the people of Massachusetts, my father's loyal staff, who -- in many ways my dad's loss is just as great for them as it is for those of us in our family. And to all of my father's family and friends who have come to pay their respects.

Listening to people speak about how my father impacted their lives and the deep personal connection that people felt with my dad has been an overwhelming emotional experience.

My dad had the greatest friends in the world. All of you here are also my friends, and his greatest gift to me. I love you just as much as he did.

Sarah Brown, Beticia (ph), President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, President Bush, President Carter, you honor my family by your presence here today. I remember how my dad would tell audiences years ago, I don't mind not being president; I just mind that someone else is.

(LAUGHTER)

There is much to say and much will be said about Ted Kennedy, the statesman, the master of the legislative process and bipartisan compromise, workhorse of the Senate, beacon of social justice, and protector of the people.

There's also much to be said and much will be said about my father, the man, the story teller, the lover of costume parties, the practical joker, the accomplished painter.

He was a lover of everything French, cheese, wine, and women. He was a mountain climber, navigator, skipper, tactician, airplane pilot, rodeo rider, ski jumper, dog lover and all-around adventurer. Our family vacations left us all injured and exhausted.

(LAUGHTER)

He was a dinner table debater and devil's advocate. He was an Irishman, and a proud member of the Democratic Party.

Here is one you may not know. Out of Harvard, he was a Green Bay Packers recruit, but decided to go to law school instead. He was a devout Catholic, whose faith helped him survive unbearable losses, and whose teaching teachings taught him that he had a moral obligation to help others in need.

He was not perfect, far from it. But my father believed in redemption. And he never surrendered, never stopped trying to right wrongs, be they the results of his own failings or of ours.

But today, I'm simply compelled to remember Ted Kennedy as my father and my best friend.

When I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with bone cancer. And a few months after I lost my leg, there was a heavy snowfall over my childhood home outside of Washington D.C. and my father went to the garage to get the old Flexible Flyer, and asked me if I wanted to go sledding down the steep driveway.

And I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg. And the hill was covered with ice and snow. And it wasn't easy for me to walk. And the hill was very slick. And as I struggled to walk, I slipped and I fell on the ice and I started to cry and I said, "I can't do this." I said, "I'll never be able to climb up that hill." And he lifted me up in his strong, gentle arms and said something I will never forget, he said, "I know you can do it. There is nothing that you can't do. We're going to climb that hill together, even if it takes us all day."

Sure enough, he held me around my waist and we slowly made it to the top. And you know, at age 12 losing your leg pretty much seems like the end of the world, but as I climbed on to his back and we flew down the hill that day, I knew he was right. I knew I was going to be OK.

You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable, and that is -- and it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father's greatest lessons.

He taught me that nothing is impossible. During the summer months when I was growing up, my father would arrive late in the afternoon from Washington on Fridays and as soon as he got to Cape Cod, he would want to go straight out and practice sailing maneuvers on the Victura, in anticipation of that weekend's races.

And we'd be out late and the sun would be setting and family dinner would be getting cold and we'd be out there practicing our jibes and our spinnaker sets, long after everyone else had gone ashore.

One night, not another boat in sight on the summer sea, I asked him, why are we always the last ones on the water? "Teddy," he said, "you see, most of the other sailors that we race against are smarter and more talented than we are. But the reason... but the reason why we're going to win is that we will work harder than them, and we will be better prepared."

And he just wasn't talking about boating. My father admired perseverance. My father believed that to do a job effectively required a tremendous amount of time and effort.

Dad instilled in me also the importance of history and biography. He loved Boston, and the amazing writers and philosophers and politicians from Massachusetts. He took me and my cousins to the old North Church and to Walden Pond and to the homes of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne in the Berkshires.

He thought that Massachusetts was the greatest place on Earth. And he had letters from many of its former senators, like Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams, hanging on his walls, inspired by things heroic.

He was a Civil War buff. When we were growing up, he would pack us all into his car or rented camper, and we would travel around to all the great battlefields. I remember he would frequently meet with his friend, Shelby Foot, at a particular site on the anniversary of a historic battle, just so he could appreciate better what the soldiers must have experienced on that day.

He believed that in order to know what to do in the future, you had to understand the past.

My father loved other old things. He loved his classic wooden schooner, the Mya. He loved light houses and his 1973 Pontiac convertible.

My father taught me to treat everyone I meet, no matter what station in life, with the same dignity and respect. He could be discussing arms control with the president at 3:00 p.m. and meeting with a union carpenter for -- on fair wage legislation or a New Bedford fisherman on fisheries policy at 4:30.

I once told him that he had accidentally left some money -- I remember this when I was a little kid -- on the sink in our hotel room. And he replied, Teddy, let me tell you something, making beds all day is back breaking work. The woman who has to clean up after us today has a family to feed. And just -- that's just the kind of guy he was.

He answered Uncle Joe's call to patriotism, Uncle Jack's call to public service, and Bobby's determination to seek a newer world. Unlike them, he lived to be a grandfather. And knowing what my cousins have been through, I feel grateful that I have had my father as long as I did.

He even taught me some of life's harder lessons, such as how to like Republicans.

(LAUGHTER)

He once told me -- he said, "Teddy, Republicans love this country just as much as I do." I think that he felt like he had something in common with his Republican counterparts, the vagaries of public opinion, the constant scrutiny of the press, the endless campaigning for the next election, but most of all, the incredible shared sacrifice that being in public life demands.

He understood the hardship that politics has on a family and the hard work and commitment that it requires. He often brought his Republican colleagues home for dinner. And he believed in developing personal relationships and honoring differences. And one of the wonderful experiences that I will remember today is how many of his Republican colleagues are sitting here right before him. That's a true testament to the man.

And he always told me that -- always be ready to compromise, but never compromise on your principles. He was an idealist and a pragmatist. He was restless, but patient. When he learned that a survey of Republican senators named him the Democratic legislator that they most wanted to work with and that John McCain called him the single most effective member of the U.S. Senate, he was so proud, because he considered the combination of accolades from your supporters and respect from your sometime political adversaries as one of the ultimate goals of a successful political life.

At the end of his life, my dad returned home. He died at the place he loved more than any other, Cape Cod. The last months of my dad's life were not sad or terrifying, but full -- fulfilled with profound experiences, a series of moments more precious than I could have imagined.

He taught me more about humility, vulnerability, and courage than he had taught me in my whole life.

Although he lived a full and complete life by any measure, the fact is, he wasn't done. He still had work to do. He was so proud of where we had recently come as a nation. And although I do grieve for what might have been, for what he might have helped us accomplish, I pray today that we can set aside this sadness and instead celebrate all that he was and did and stood for.

I will try to live up to the high standard that my father set for all of us when he said, "the work goes on; the cause endures; the hope still lives; and the dream shall never die." I love you, dad. I always will. And I miss you already.

(APPLAUSE)

REP PATRICK KENNEDY, SEN KENNEDY'S SON: President and Mrs. Obama, distinguished guests, friends of my father all of you, while a nation has lost a great senator, my brothers and sisters and I have lost a loving father. When I was a kid, I couldn't breathe. Growing up I suffered from chronic and crippling asthma attacks, and the medications I had to give to me were very difficult and gave me a throbbing headache every night that I had to use my bronchusal (ph) nebulizer.

Now, obviously, I wish that I did not have to suffer those attacks and endure those headaches. Nor did I like having to grow up having a special no-allergenic, non-smoking room reserved for me whenever we went on family vacations. But as I now realize years later, while asthma may have posed a challenge to my physical health, it propped up my emotional and mental health, because it kept my father by my bedside.

My dad was always sure to be within reach of me, and the side effects of the medication meant that he was always holding a cold, wet towel on my forehead until I fell asleep again from my headache.

As far as the special effort that was made to ensure that I had a proper room to sleep in while we were on vacations as a family, this usually meant that I got the nicest room and it also ensured that dad was my roommate.

I couldn't have seen it at the time, but having asthma was like hitting the jackpot for a child who craved his father's love and attention. When his light shined on me alone, there was no better feeling in all of the world. When dad was away, I often didn't know when he would return, and as a young boy, I didn't know why he wasn't around at Christmastime, when Santa came to the house. And I really wondered why Santa had the same two moles on his face than my dad had.

(LAUGHTER)

And in the same place as my dad. Even after I figured out that, that was my dad and the costume finally came off, he still remained to me a magical figure. As a little kid, I didn't look like much of a sailor, but my dad thought otherwise.

You see, in sailing there are rules as well, much like government. Tireless, mundane rules that will surely make you seasick. The rule was four people on the boat to race, just four. But my dad, of course, dug around until he found a rule around the rule.

Sound familiar to you who served with him in the Senate?

Kids under 12, he found out, especially scrawny little redheads like me, could tag along.

My dad found that rule that meshed with his mission. He refused to leave me behind.

He did that for all of those around the world who needed a special voice, as well. When we raced in foul weather, there was lots of salt water and lots of salty language. Those experiences not only broadened my vocabulary, sure, but will he also built my self- confidence. I saw a lot of his political philosophy in those sailboat races. One thing I noticed was that on the boat, as in this country, there was a role for everybody, a place for everybody to contribute.

Second, in the race as in life, it didn't matter how strong the forces against you were so long as you kept driving forward. There was nothing to lose. Maybe you would even come out a winner.

My dad was never bowed. He never gave up and there was no quit in dad. And looking out in this audience and looking out at the tremendous number of people who align themselves along the roadways, coming up from the Cape throughout Boston when we went around, who waited in line for hours to see his casket as they came through the JFK Library, there's no doubt in my mind that my dad came out a winner.

I want to thank all of you for the amazing tribute that you've given my father in the last several days. And I want to say just as proud as I was to be a crew on his sailboat, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him in the United States Congress as his colleague.

I admit I used to hang onto his T-shirt and his coat sleeve on the Capitol when I was just a little boy. So, when I got a chance to serve with him on Capitol Hill, all I needed to do was set my compass to the principles of his life.

My father and I were the primary sponsors of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act which was signed into law last year. This bill represented not only a legal victory for 54 million Americans with mental illness who are being denied equal health insurance, but as one of those 54 million Americans, I felt he was also fighting for me to help ease the burden of stigma and shame that accompanies treatment.

I will really miss working with dad. I will miss my dad's wonderful sense of self-deprecating humor. When the far right made dad their poster child for their attack ads, he used to say, we Kennedys sure bring out the best in people. And when he first got elected and my cousin Joe was a member of Congress and I came to Congress, dad finally celebrated saying, finally after all these years when someone says who does that damn Kennedy think he is, there's only a one in three chance they're talking about me.

Most Americans will remember dad as a good and decent hard-charging senator. But to Teddy, Curran, Caroline, Kara and I, we will always remember him as a loving and devoted father. And in the 1980 campaign, my dad often quoted Robert Frost at the conclusion of every stump speech to indicate that he had to go onto another political event. He would paraphrase the line from the "Road Less Traveled": "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep."

Well, dad, you've kept that promise both literally and figuratively to be your brother's keeper. Now, it's time for you to rest in peace. May your spirit live forever in our hearts, and as you challenged us so many times before, may your dream for a better, more just America never die. I love you, dad, and you will always live in my heart forever.

(APPLAUSE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your Eminence, Vicki, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran, Caroline, members of the Kennedy family, distinguished guests and fellow citizens, today we say good- bye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy. The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy, a champion for those who had none, the soul of the Democratic party and a lion of the United States Senate. A man who graces nearly 1,000 laws, who penned more than 300 laws himself.

But to those of us who loved him and ache with his passing know Ted Kennedy by the other titles he held: father, brother, husband, grandfather, Uncle Teddy, or as he was often known to his younger nieces and nephews, the Grand Formage, or the Big Cheese. I, like so many others in the city where he worked for nearly half a century, knew him as a colleague, a mentor, and above all, as a friend.

Ted Kennedy was the baby of the family who became its patriarch, the restless dreamer who became its rock. He was the sunny, joyful child who bore the brunt of his brothers' teasings but learned quickly how to brush it off. When they tossed him off a boat because he didn't know what a jib was, six-year-old Teddy got back in and learned to sail. When a photographer asked a newly elected Bobby to step back at a press conference because he was casting a shadow on his younger brother, Teddy quipped, it will be the same in Washington.

That spirit of resilience and good humor would see Teddy through more pain and tragedy than most of us will ever know. He lost two siblings by the age of 16, he saw two more taken violently from a country that loved them. He said good-bye to his beloved sister Eunice in the final days of his life. He narrowly survived a plane crash, watched two children struggle with cancer, buried three nephews and experienced personal failings and setbacks in the most public way possible.

It's a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. It would have been easy for Ted to let himself become bitter and hardened, to surrender to self-pity and regret, to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet. No one would have blamed him for that.

But that was not Ted Kennedy. As he told us, individual faults and frailties are no excuse to give in and no exemption from the common obligation to give of ourselves. Indeed, Ted was the happy warrior that the poet Wordsworth spoke of when he wrote, "as tempted more, more able to endure, as more exposed to suffering and distress, hence also more alive to tenderness."

Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and the suffering of others. A sick child who could not see a doctor, the young soldier denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. Landmark laws that he championed. The Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children's health insurance, the Family and Medical Leave Act all have a running thread.

That's Kennedy's life work was not to champion the causes of those with wealth or power or special connections, it was to give a voice to those who were not heard, to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity, to make real the dream of our founder. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow. We can still hear him, his voice bellowing through the Senate chamber, face reddened, fists pounding at the podium, a veritable force of nature in support of health care or workers' rights or civil rights. And yet as has been noted, while his causes became deeply personal, his disagreements never did.

While he was seen by his fiercest critics as a partisan lightning rod, that's not the prism through which Ted Kennedy saw the world. Nor was it the prism through which his colleagues saw Ted Kennedy. He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of politics prevented differences of party and platform and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect, a time when adversaries still saw each other as patriots.

And that's how Ted Kennedy became the greatest legislator of our time. He did it by hueing the principle, yes, but also by seeking compromise and common cause, not through dealmaking and horsetrading alone but through friendship and kindness and humor. There was a time he courted Orrin Hatch for support of the Children's Health Insurance program by having his chief of staff serenade the senator with a song Orrin had written himself.

The time he delivered shamrock cookies on a china plate to sweeten up a crusty Republican colleague. The famous story of how he won the support of a Texas committee chairman on an immigration bill -- Teddy walked into a meeting with a plain manila envelope and showed only the chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the chairman. When they weren't, he'd pull it back.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Before long, the deal was done.

It was only a few years ago on St. Patrick's Day when Teddy buttonholed me on the floor of the Senate for my support of a certain piece of legislation that was coming up for a vote. I gave my pledge, but I expressed skepticism that it would pass. When the roll call was over, the bill garnered the votes that it needed and then some. I looked at Teddy with astonishment and asked, how had he done it? He just patted me on the back and said, luck of the Irish.

Of course, luck had little to do with Ted Kennedy's legislative success. He knew that. A few years ago, his father-in-law told him that he and Daniel Webster just might be the two greatest senators of all time. Without missing a beat, Teddy replied, what did Webster do?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But though it is Teddy's historic body of achievements that we will remember, it is his giving heart that we will miss. He was the friend and the colleague who was always the first to pick up the phone and say, I'm sorry for your loss or I hope you feel better or what can I do to help?

It was the boss so adored by his staff that over 500, spanning five decades showed up for his 75th birthday party. It was the man who sent birthday wishes and thank you notes and even his own paintings to so many who never imagined that a U.S. senator of such stature would take the time to think about somebody like them.

I have one of those paintings in my private study off the Oval Office, a Cape Cod seascape that was a gift to a freshman legislator who had just arrived in Washington and happened to admire it when Ted Kennedy welcomed him into his office. That, by the way, is my second gift from Teddy and Vicki after our dog Bo. And it seems like everyone has one of those stories, the ones that often start with you wouldn't believe who called me today.

Ted Kennedy was the father who looked not only after his own three children, but John's and Bobby's as well. He took them camping and taught them to sail, he laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings and cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that his parents had instilled in him.

Shortly after Ted walked Caroline down the aisle and gave her away at the altar, he received a note from Jackie that read, "On you, the carefree youngest brother, fell a burden a hero would have begged to have been spared. We're all going to make it because you're always there with your love."

Not only did the Kennedy family make it because of Ted's love, he made it because of theirs, especially because the love and the life he found in Vicki. After so much loss and so much sorrow, it could not have been easy for Ted to risk his heart again, and that he did is a testament to how deeply he loved this remarkable woman from Louisiana, and she didn't just love him back as Ted would often acknowledge Vicki say to him. She gave him strength and purpose, joy and friendship and stood by him always, especially in those last, hardest days.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know what God's plan is for us. What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose and with love and with joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves.

We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world so that someday, if we are blessed with a chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well, that we made a difference, that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said, as has already been mentioned of his brother Bobby, that he need not be idolized or enlarged in death because what he was in life -- and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulder because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became.

We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy, not for the sake of ambition or vanity, not for wealth or power, but only for the people and the country that he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along.

To one widow, he wrote the following, "As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on because we have to. Because our loved ones would want us to and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us. We carry on."

Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, the dream he kept alive. And the single enduring imagine, the imagine of a man on a boat, white mane tussled, smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on towards some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon.

May God bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us pray. Lord God, your son Jesus Christ gave us the sacrament of his body and blood to guide us on our pilgrimage way to your kingdom. May our dear friend Ted who shared in the eucharist come to the banquet of life Christ prepared for us. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And his Eminence Cardinal Sean O'Malley will conduct the final commendation.

CARDINAL SEAN O'MALLEY, ARCHBISHOP OF BOSTON: Mr. President, we thank you for your presence and for your words of appreciation for the life and work of Senator Kennedy. We've gathered here today to pray for a man who has been such an important part of our history and our country.

We are here because Ted Kennedy shared our belief in prayer and in eternal life. Vicki, you and the family surrounded Ted with love at the end of his life and gave us all an example of love and compassion in the face of suffering and death. We die with dignity when we are surrounded by love and such care.

And now, let us commend Ted's soul to God's loving mercy. Before we go our separate ways, let us take leave of our brother. May our farewell express our affection for him. May it ease our sadness and strengthen our hope. One day, we shall joyfully greet him again through Christ, which conquers all things, destroys even death itself.

Into your hands, Father of Mercies, we commend our brother Edward in the sure and certain hope that together with all who have died in Christ, we shall rise with him on the last day. We give you thanks for the blessings which you bestowed upon Edward in this life. They are signs to us of your goodness and of our fellowship with the saints and Christ.

Merciful Lord, turn towards us and listen to our prayers. Open the gates of paradise to your servants and help us who remain to comfort one another with assurances of faith until we all meet in Christ and are with you and with our brother forever. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

CROWD: Amen.

O'MALLEY: In peace, let us take our brother to his place of rest.

 

The Kennedy Family

Author Archive

Follow Real Clear Politics

Latest On Twitter