Byrd Will Lie in State in Senate Chamber

Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:01am

Updated: 1:15 p.m.

The body of the late Sen. Robert Byrd will lie in repose in the Senate chamber Thursday, according to a Senate aide with knowledge of the arrangements.

The closed casket will stand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the chamber where the West Virginia Democrat served for more than five decades. Members will be asked to file into the chamber at 10:30 a.m., when Chaplain Barry Black will deliver a prayer. Because of the events, after Wednesday evening the Senate is not expected to vote for the rest of the week.

Byrd’s body will travel to West Virginia on Thursday night, and a funeral in his home state is expected to occur Friday, although details are still being worked out.

Byrd died Monday morning, after being admitted to the hospital last week for dehydration and heat exhaustion. A handful of Members came to the floor Tuesday to deliver tributes to their late colleague, who was the longest-serving Member in history.

Byrd will join a small group of Senators to lie in the chamber since World War II. The casket of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) stood in the Senate chamber after his death in 1957, before his body was flown back to Wisconsin to be buried. The casket of Sen. William Langer (R-N.D.) was displayed in the chamber in 1959, the last time such an arrangement was carried out. Arrangements are typically made at the request of the family, according to the Senate Historical Office.