The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Dan Balz's Take


Obama To Deliver Kennedy's Eulogy

By William Wan
As the coverage of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's death continues, his passing is drawing a lot of interesting discussion on the religious aspects of his life, work and death.

Among the newsier items, the White House has confirmed to the AP and The Boston Globe that President Obama will deliver the eulogy at Kennedy's funeral. As the Globe story notes, the church hosting his funeral will be especially meaningful: "Kennedy's funeral will be held at a time yet to be determined Saturday morning at The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Mission Hill section of Boston. Commonly known as the Mission Church, the 1,450-seat basilica on Tremont Street was built in the 1870s. Kennedy prayed there in 2003 while his daughter, Kara, was being treated for lung cancer."

One of the most fascinating interviews since his passing, came from a local TV station in Boston that caught up with his Catholic priest, Rev. Patrick Tarrant of Our Lady of Victory Church, who talked about Kennedy's last moments:

Tarrant, who was called to Kennedy's bedside late Tuesday as the senator was dying, said it was clear that Kennedy was ready for the journey that awaited him. He described the senator as "a man of quiet prayer" in his last hours.

"The truth is, he had expressed to his family that he did want to go. He did want to go to heaven. He did want to die and he did want to go. He was ready to go. There was a certain amount peace -- a lot of peace, actually -- in the family get-together last night. I couldn't help but think that the world doesn't know that part of the senator at all," Tarrant said in a lilting Irish brogue.

Last interesting tidbit, comes from Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader in the progressive Christian movement, who found a strong ally in Kennedy.

On his blog, Wallis says Kennedy was the first to call him after the 2004 presidential election:

"He invited me to his home, where he and his wife, Vicki, engaged me in a long and very thoughtful conversation into the night about the relationship between faith, morality, and politics. Their own deep Catholic faith was evident and their articulation of it very impressive. Our discussion was not partisan at all -- it was not about how to win religion back for the Democrats. Rather, we focused on the great moral issues facing the nation, and how we as people of faith needed to respond to them."

Read more at God in Government»

Posted at 11:17 AM ET on Aug 27, 2009  | Category:  Religion
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

For some the bitterness never ever seem to subside on the imperfections of 'mortals.'

But I will be reminded :
"For when the one great scorer comes
To write against your name, he writes NOT
That you won or lost, but how you played
The game." (English poet)

Senator Kennedy worked hard... and has left an awesome legacy to those who follow -- friends and detractors, alike.

Edward Moore Kennedy, "Rest In Peace."

Posted by: Victoria5 | August 28, 2009 6:06 PM

Faith, hope and love are the paramount virtues; and of these, the greatest is love.
The Kennedy's brought all three to the table - for our nation and for the world.
They gave us hope in a time of doubt, hope when we had run out of it and love throughout their lives and ours.
The world is now left with that love and it 'shall never die'.

Posted by: bobdonovan_3000 | August 27, 2009 9:22 PM

John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy gave their lives to the service of this country.

His brothers were murdered even as they served in high office. One as President, the other as a US Senator.

The meanness and the spite of those who scorn Ted Kennedy's life is as rude and awkward as it is unworthy of Americans who ask others to serve them in office or on the battlefield.

He served his country because the people of Massachusetts asked him to.

And he was a faithful servant to the end.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | August 27, 2009 8:56 PM

The priest is not to replace the homily (or "sermon") in the service with a eulogy of the deceased. That is why the eulogy is separate and delivered by a lay person of the family's choosing.

Whether the President will be asked to keep his remarks to five minutes in this case is an open question.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 1:52 PM

I thought eulogies were not allowed at funerals. I know the bishops recently released some regulations about this.... are these rules only for the common man? From the Archdiocese web page Obama could say something short.... after the conclusion of the Mass but not during the Mass that is the held for the priest only. Here is the link:

Posted by: jbuck2 | August 27, 2009 1:40 PM

FCD how do you sleep at disrepectful to post such a mean comment - let he who has no faults be the first to cast a stone...or people who - ....shouldn't live in glass houses. You are not Ted's judge - we will all be judged by a higher authority...than you, Thank God - Praise be to God!
The comments here are crazy...I am saddened by Ted Kennedy's passing, and more saddened that sick people use his death to display such evil within them!
This service on Saturday at this church in the Mission Hill area of Boston - with our President Obama giving the eulogy - those are the things that are GOOD and GREAT in this country - and I look forward to seeing and hearing it all!!!

Posted by: rbarry13 | August 27, 2009 1:03 PM


You wonder no such thing. Don't bother with an awkward segue when you just want to post something hateful.

1969 was more than half his lifetime ago, but you want to define his whole life by that one night--why? Because you hate liberals. Why not just say that and be done with it?

Rest in Peace, Senator.

Posted by: yeswiican | August 27, 2009 1:00 PM

I wonder if the eulogy will include a reference to Mary Jo Kopechne.

I'll there hasn't been a day since 1969 where Ted Kennedy didn't her voice calling to him as he ran down the road, past the house nearby where he could have summoned help.

Say good night uncle Teddy.

Posted by: FredCDobbs | August 27, 2009 12:51 PM


Pass meaningful health care reform, and...

BAN microwave / laser "directed energy weapons" use (read: TORTURE / slow-kill homicide) on American citizens, including political leaders...

...and BAN warrantless GPS tracking/surveillance of unjustly targeted Americans...

...the electronic backbone of a Bush-Cheney spawned American Gestapo that is now operating on YOUR watch.

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA."

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 27, 2009 12:02 PM

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