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Schedule of McCain Memorial Events This Weekend

Here are the programs for memorial events for Sen. John McCain this weekend in D.C. and Annapolis

An honor guard carries Sen. John McCain’s  casket into the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona for a memorial service on Thursday. (Matt York/AP photo via pool)
An honor guard carries Sen. John McCain’s  casket into the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona for a memorial service on Thursday. (Matt York/AP photo via pool)

After a memorial in his home state of Arizona, Sen. John McCain’s body is returning to the Capitol on Friday for memorial services there and at the National Cathedral this weekend.

The senator, a decorated Navy pilot who was shot down and captured during the Vietnam War, will be buried Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy on Sunday.

Here is the schedule of events this weekend for celebrating the senator’s life:


At approximately 10:30 a.m. McCain’s motorcade will enter the East Capitol and be received with a ceremony on the East Capitol Plaza, carried into the Rotunda by Armed Forces body bearers, and placed on the Catafalque.

Cindy McCain will be escorted to her seat, followed by the McCain family. The ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda will begin at approximately 11 a.m.

  • Prelude
  • Invocation by Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, S.J., Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Remarks by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • Remarks by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
  • Remarks by Vice President Mike Pence
  • Presentation of the Senate Wreath by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • Presentation of the House Wreath by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
  • Presentation of the Administration Wreath by Vice President Mike Pence
  • Benediction by Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate Postlude

At the conclusion of the formal ceremony, Cindy McCain will be escorted to view the casket and lead the procession.

At 1 p.m., doors will open for the public to pay their respects to McCain as he lies in state in the Capitol with a Capitol Police guard of honor. The guard of honor will keep vigil overnight.

Capitol speakers and wreath presenters (listed alphabetically)

McCain family attending

  • Cindy McCain
  • Roberta McCain, mother
  • Meghan McCain, daughter
  • Ben Domenech, son-in-law
  • Jack McCain, son
  • Rene McCain, daughter-in-law
  • Jimmy McCain, son
  • Holly McCain, daughter-in-law
  • Bridget McCain, daughter
  • Cindy McCain
  • Doug McCain, son
  • Ashley McCain, daughter-in-law
  • Caroline McCain, granddaughter
  • Shep McCain, grandson
  • Andy McCain, son
  • Lucy McCain, daughter-in-law
  • Margaret McCain, granddaughter
  • Andrew McCain, grandson
  • Sidney McCain, daughter
  • Jason Sweet, son-in-law
  • Joe McCain, brother
  • Sandy McCain Morgan, sister

Other notable attendees

  • Current and former members of Congress
  • Current and former administration officials
  • Current and former senior military officials
  • Members of the diplomatic corps
  • McCain’s Senate staff

Public Guidance

Visitors should enter through the Capitol Visitor Center.

Members of the public may begin lining up Friday morning on First Street NW/SW between Constitution and Independence avenues, or Second Street NE/SE between East Capitol Street and Independence Avenue SE.

Visitors should be prepared for the weather since they will be standing outside before entering the building.

No flowers, sealed envelopes or other offerings/tokens will be allowed into the Capitol or Capitol Visitor Center.

The McCain family asks that if you are so inclined, you can send flowers to your local Veterans Affairs hospital.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial schedule

At approximately 9 a.m. Saturday, McCain will be carried from the Capitol by Armed Forces body bearers and moved by motorcade to the National Cathedral. The motorcade will pause at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where Cindy McCain will lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all who were lost during the Vietnam War.

National Cathedral schedule

McCain’s motorcade will arrive at approximately 9:40 a.m. at the National Cathedral. Cindy McCain and immediate family will be seated and Sen. McCain will be carried into the Cathedral by Armed Forces body bearers and positioned at the Main Crossing of the Nave.

  • The song, “Going Home” will be played at this time. The memorial service will begin at approximately 10 a.m.
  • Anthems in procession by The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington
  • Welcome by The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral
  • “Eternal Father, Strong to Save (The Navy Hymn)” sung by the congregation
  • Tribute by Meghan McCain
  • Reading of Poem, “The Requiem,” by Jimmy McCain
  • “My Country Tis of Thee” sung by the congregational
  • Tribute by former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman
  • Tribute by Dr. Henry A. Kissinger
  • “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
  • Tribute by former President George W. Bush
  • Tribute by former President Barack Obama
  • “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
  • Collect for Burial by the Very Rev. Hollerith
  • Prayer for Those Who Grieve by the Very Rev. Hollerith
  • Reading, Wisdom 3:1-5, 9, by former Sen. Kelly Ayotte
  • “The Lord is my Shepherd” led by the Washington National Cathedral Choir
  • Reading, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, read by Sidney McCain
  • “How Great Though Art” sung by the congregation
  • Gospel, John 15:12-13, read by Sen. Lindsey Graham
  • Homily by Father Edward A. Reese, S.J.
  • “Danny Boy” sung by Renee Fleming
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Prayers
  • Concluding prayer led by the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington
  • “America the Beautiful”
  • The Commendation, led by the Very Rev. Hollerith, the Right Rev. Budde, and Fr. Reese
  • Blessing by the Right Rev. Budde
  • Dismissal by the Very Rev. Hollerith
  • Postlude, “Final,” from Symphony I, OP.14 and Piece d’orgue, BWV 572

Tributes and readings (listed alphabetically):

  • Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, friend.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, friend.
  • James McCain, son
  • Sidney McCain, daughter
  • Former President George W. Bush, friend
  • Former President Barack Obama, friend
  • Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, friend
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, friend
  • Meghan McCain, daughter

Pallbearers (listed alphabetically)

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden
  • Warren Beatty, friend
  • Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, friend
  • Former Defense Secretary William Cohen, friend
  • Former Sen. Gary Hart, friend
  • Stephen Dart, friend
  • Richard Davis, friend
  • Carla Eudy, friend
  • Former Sen. Russ Feingold
  • Former Sen. Phil Gramm
  • Vladimir Kara-Murza, friend
  • Ronald Perelman, friend
  • Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, friend
  • Former McCain Chief of Staff Mark Salter, friend
  • Fred Smith, friend
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, friend


U.S. Naval Academy ceremonies

On Sunday at approximately 2 p.m., a private memorial service will take place in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland.

McCain’s family and friends, along with the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1958, Navy and military leaders, and the Brigade of Midshipmen have been invited to the ceremony.

At approximately 1:45 p.m., McCain will be received with ceremony, carried into the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel by Navy body bearers, and placed on a bier. The Navy Band and Navy Ceremonial Guard will provide a formation consistent with Arlington National Cemetery honors for the retired Captain.

A private ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.:

  • Hymn “Amazing Grace” led by U.S. Navy Choir
  • Invocation by Rear Adm. Margaret G. Kibben, chief of chaplains of the Navy
  • Reading of Psalm 107:23-32, read by Mark Salter
  • Tribute by Sen. Lindsey Graham
  • Tribute by Gen. David Petraeus
  • Hymn “Faith of our Fathers,” sung by the U.S. Navy Choir
  • Tribute by Jack McCain
  • Reading of Ephesians 6:10-18 by Doug McCain
  • Final Blessing by Kibben
  • Hymn “Eternal Father” and recessional

Following the ceremony, McCain will be carried by Navy body bearers and placed on the caisson. A procession will then form and proceed to the final resting place at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery.

McCain will be removed from the caisson and honors will be rendered. The procession will proceed to the final resting place, where a private interment will be conducted by the U.S. Navy chaplain:

  • Words of Scripture
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • The Pastcoral Prayers
  • The Benediction

Tributes and readings (Listed alphabetically):

  • Jack McCain, son
  • Douglas McCain, son
  • Gen. David Petraeus, friend
  • Former McCain Chief of Staff Mark Salter, friend


  • Ben Domenech, son-in-law
  • Former McCain Legislative Director Joseph Donoghue, friend
  • Cmdr. Everett Alvarez Jr., friend
  • Jon Fer, friend
  • Frank Gamboa, friend
  • Michael Harper, friend
  • Rear Adm. Thomas Lynch, friend
  • Gen. James Mattis, friend
  • Andrew McCain, grandson
  • Andrew McCain, son
  • Caroline McCain, granddaughter
  • Douglas McCain, son
  • Margaret McCain, granddaughter
  • Shep McCain, grandson
  • John Raidt, friend
  • Adm. John Richardson

Watch: Ryan, McConnell and Pence Honor McCain at the Capitol

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