New York City (JFK+50) Thousands of mourners paid their respects to Senator Robert F. Kennedy at the funeral mass held at St. Patrick's Cathedral* on Fifth Avenue here in New York City 46 years ago today, June 7, 1968.
Prior to the mass, mourners "wept, crossed themselves and some kissed his coffin in bereavement."Some were dressed in work clothes while others were in business suits and dresses.
The mourners passed the closed casket in two single file lines at the rate of 5000 per hour.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
New York City (2012)
Photo by Jean-Christophe BENOIST
During the service, which began at 6 p.m. a priest said...
'Let us pray that God will bless Bobby Kennedy, that God will bless this nation...'
This was one of eight masses held on June 7, 1968.
Funeral services for the slain New York Senator were scheduled for the following morning, June 8, 1968, beginning at 10 a.m.
The body of the Senator was flown to New York on June 6 where it was taken off the plane by Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy and Bobby's eldest sons, Joseph and Robert, Jr.
Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., Bobby's mother, waited inside the cathedral for the arrival of her son's body. Bobby's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., unable to attend due to poor health, remained in Hyannis Port.
Mrs. John F. Kennedy knelt and wept beside the casket when it was in position.
Thirty-three Kennedy family members, friends and assistants were on board the flight that brought RFK's remains to New York including John Seigenthaler, editor of the Nashville Tennessean and former assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
"Thousands Say Farewell to Bobby," The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Friday, June 7, 1968.
*St. Patrick's Cathedral is located on the east side of 5th Ave. between 50th and 51st Streets in Manhattan. The architect was James Renwick, Jr. and the style is Gothic Revival. St. Patrick's was completed in 1878 and dedicated on May 25, 1879.