BATON ROUGE — Today, Governor John Bel Edwards’ office released details of Thursday’s Interfaith Service and public visitation for former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who passed on Sunday following a courageous battle with cancer.
Governor Blanco’s casket will be escorted by Louisiana State Police from Lafayette to Baton Rouge on Thursday morning. She will be guarded until her burial Saturday in a private service. Her grandsons will be pallbearers.
Governor Blanco was a devout Catholic who was welcoming to those of faiths different from hers, as reflected in the diversity of ministers participating in the Interfaith Service, which will also feature reflections by both Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education and a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Blanco, and Governor John Bel Edwards.
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of the Diocese of New Orleans will preside over the service with participation of other clergy. Friends of the Blanco family will recite a Litany for Louisiana, similar to one that was a part of her inauguration celebration.
The Southern University Gospel Choir and the St. Aloysius School Performance Choir, both based in Baton Rouge, will sing as part of the Interfaith Service.
Following the service, the Louisiana National Guard will give Governor Blanco a 21 gun salute as she is brought up the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol, where she will lie in state.
The Interfaith Service and other parts of the Celebration of Life will be broadcast live and streamed online by Louisiana Public Broadcasting at www.LPB.org/live. Pool video and photography will be available to media outlets. Media should contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
TIMES OF NOTE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 22
Please note that times are approximate. For an overview of the three-day celebration, click here.
9:30 a.m. Gathering
Music will begin inside of St. Joseph Cathedral.
Southern University Gospel Choir will perform “Every Praise” and “Total Praise.”
St. Aloysius School Performance Choir will perform “You Are My Sunshine.”
Family of Governor Blanco greets hearse outside in front of St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge.
As the procession of clergy, pallbearers and family members enter St. Joseph Cathedral, the gathering hymn will be “Praise to the Lord Almighty.”
10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Interfaith Service
Welcome by Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
Louisiana salute and draping of the Louisiana State Flag by Louisiana State Police Honor Guard and Governor John Bel Edwards.
Opening Prayer by Bishop Michael Duca.
Reading of Psalm 23 in Hebrew and English by Rabbi Barry Weinstein and Rev. Jennifer Jones.
Reflection No. 1, by Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, current Commissioner of Higher Education and former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Blanco.
Song by the Southern University Gospel Choir, “I Shall Wear a Crown.”
Reading from the Quran in Arabic and English by Jane Aslam of the Islamic Center and Rev. Herman Kelly.
Readings from the New Testament by Rev. Raymond Jetson and Rev. Sharon Alexander.
Reading of the poem “The Governance of Power” by former Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque.
Song by the St Aloysius School Performance Choir, “This Little Light of Mine.”
Reflection No. 2 by Governor John Bel Edwards.
Archbishop Aymond invites all to stand for a Litany for Louisiana, similar to one that was recited as part of Governor Blanco’s inauguration celebration.
Rev. Leo Cyrus and Rev. Van Stinson will begin the Litany for Louisiana. Readers for the litany will include: Sam Jones, John Breaux, Walt Leger, Jr., Jimmy Clarke, Gayle Benson, Dale Atkins, Renae Connelly and Erin Mosley.
Archbishop Aymond will conclude the litany.
Rev. Robin McCullough Bade will offer a closing prayer.
State Troopers will remove the Louisiana state flag from the casket and fold it. Governor John Bel Edwards will receive the folded flag and present it to Raymond “Coach” Blanco, the former governor’s husband.
Southern University Gospel Choir will lead those assembled in the closing song, Amazing Grace.
Clergy, pallbearers and family will process from St. Joseph Cathedral.
Following the Interfaith Service, a vehicle procession of Louisiana State Police vehicles will escort the casket and the Blanco family to the Louisiana State Capitol.
12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Honor Procession
Governor Blanco will arrive at the Louisiana State Capitol, driven by Louisiana State Police, followed by family.
Louisiana State Police Honor Guard, the Louisiana National Guard and the members Governor Blanco’s former protective service detail will carry her casket up the front steps, which will be lined by members of her cabinet and staff.
Stopping midway up the steps, the Louisiana National Guard will give her a 21 gun salute and Taps will be played.
Waiting for her casket at the top of the front steps will be her husband Raymond “Coach” Blanco, her mother Lucille Babineaux, Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards, Senate President John Alario and House Speaker Taylor Barras.
Upon entering the State Capitol, Governor Blanco’s casket will be arranged and prepared for visitation.
1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Governor Blanco Lies in State
The Blanco family will receive visitors in the Louisiana State Capitol Rotunda. Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards will begin the visitation, around 1 p.m.
Visitors should enter through the ground floor of the Louisiana State Capitol, where they will be screened by security and routed through to the Rotunda. Bags larger than a small purse will not be allowed.