Victoria Kennedy, greeted family, friends and dignitaries as they arrived for the funeral mass, CNN said. A brief prayer service was held earlier in the morning in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library before an honor guard loaded Kennedy's casket into the hearse for the short trip to the basilica, The Boston Globe reported. Kennedy, 77, died Tuesday of brain cancer.
"Today we say goodbye to the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy," President Barack Obama said in a eulogy. "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 the lion of the U.S. Senate -- a man whose name graces nearly one thousand laws, and who penned more than three hundred himself. " Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and the prime ministers of Ireland and Britain were among the 1,400 guest who filled the basilica.
Friday night, 650 friends, family and colleagues gathered at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library for three hours of story-telling and remembrance, The Boston Globe said. Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., spoke of Kennedy's love of sailing and how the day after Kennedy's death was a perfect day for sailing off Massachusetts. Kennedy is now sailing with the members of his family who died before him, Kerry said, choking up. "Sail on, my friend, sail on," Kerry said. Kennedy will be buried Saturday evening in Arlington National Cemetery near the graves of his brothers, Sen. Robert Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy.