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If you watch the whole Barbara Bush funeral, you really get a sense of her personality and how she fit into Houston as a community, but especially life at St. Martin's Episcopal Church (the largest Episcopal congregation in North America).
The service was loaded with interesting choices, in terms of the readings and hymns – all negotiated in fine detail, months before her death, by the clergy and the extremely literate Barbara Bush.
Lot - Humor - Service - Life - Figures
There's a lot of humor in the service, since we are talking about the life of one of the wittiest figures to grace the American political stage in the 20th Century. There are quite a few tears, too, since she led a large family and clearly had a big impact on all of them.
However, let me note that the service also contained one big surprise and/or mystery and, sure enough, it concerned Barbara Bush's faith. I am sure that religion-beat reporters – had any been given this choice assignment – would have caught it.
GetReligion - Post - Bush - Matriarch - Death
So what was it? In my GetReligion post following the Bush matriarch's death, I noted that George H.W. Bush and his wife were dyed-in-the-wool, old-school Episcopalians and that this fact helped shape their lives, culture and style. You can see this right at the top of the fine New York Times story about the funeral:
HOUSTON – At the Episcopal church that has been her spiritual home for more than 50 years, the former first lady Barbara Pierce Bush was celebrated at her funeral as one of the most beloved political matriarchs in American history.
Mrs - Bush - Wife - President - Mother
Mrs. Bush, the wife of the 41st president and the mother of the 43rd, died on Tuesday in the bedroom of her home in Houston. She was 92, and took her last breaths holding the hand of her husband of 73 years, former...
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