John Lewis funeral: How to celebrate the life of civil rights hero

Rep. John Lewis, civil rights icon, dead at 80

While several events are closed to the public because of COVID-19 precautions, there will be opportunities in Alabama, Georgia and Washington, DC, for people to pay their respects

As a congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis has inspired the lives of many throughout his lifetime. While Lewis’ funeral Thursday at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church will be a private event, there are many opportunities and ways to celebrate his legacy.

Today, John Lewis’ family released details of the Celebration of Life ceremonies that will take place over six days, beginning on Saturday, July 25, 2020. A military honor guard will accompany Lewis during all the events, including the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. and while he lies in state in Montgomery, Washington, and Atlanta. Masks and social distancing will be required at each of the events.

ExploreRemembering John Lewis: Full coverage from the AJC
ExploreJohn Lewis funeral schedule and things to know

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the family is encouraging those who would like to honor his life to watch the ceremonies from their homes with John Lewis Virtual Love events. The ceremonies will be livestreamed on multiple platforms.

The public is encouraged to tie a blue or purple ribbon on their front doors or in their front yards to commemorate his life, and the AJC would like share these moments. If you opt to add a ribbon to your home, please share your photos by emailing AJC-SocialTeam@ajc.com.

Supporters can also post videos, photos, songs, or any kind of virtual tribute to John Lewis by using the tags #BelovedCommunity or #HumanDignity or leave a written tribute at www.theJohnLewisLegacy.com.

ExploreRead and sign the online guestbook for Congressman John Lewis
ExploreEverday people were touched by Congressman John Lewis: Some of their stories and photos

Details of the six-day Celebration of Life ceremonies can be found below:

THE BOY FROM TROY

Saturday, July 25

Troy, Ala and Selma, Ala

A Service Celebrating “The Boy from Troy”

Trojan Arena, Troy University

10:00 am – 11:00 am CT

This ceremony is open to the public, but seating is limited. Participants must obtain a ticket in the parking lot of the arena upon arrival to enter the facility. Due to the needs required to maintain social distancing, only 800 public seats are available. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

Rep. Lewis Lies in Repose

Trojan Arena, Troy University

11:00 am – 2:00 pm CT

Open to the public. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

Selma Honors Congressman John Robert Lewis: 1940-2020

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CT

Given COVID-19 precautions, this event is not open to the public. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

Rep. Lewis Lies in Repose

Brown Chapel A.ME. Church

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm CT

Open to the public. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

“#Good Trouble: Courage, Sacrifice & the Long March for Freedom”

Sunday, July 26

Selma, Ala and Montgomery, Ala

The Final Crossing

Edmund Pettus Bridge

10:00 am CT

The public is invited to view the processional as it travels from Brown Chapel to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

Receiving Ceremony

Alabama State Capitol

Front Entrance Hall State Capitol

2:00 pm – 2:15 pm CT

Rep. John Lewis Lies in State

Alabama State Capitol

3:00 pm – 7:00 pm CT

Open to the public. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

THE CONSCIENCE OF THE CONGRESS

Washington, D.C.

Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28

Special Ceremony

Rotunda, United States Capitol

Mon., July 27, 1:30 pm (updated)

Rep. John Lewis Lies in State

United States Capitol

Mon., July 27, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm (updated)

Tues., July 28, 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Given COVID-19 precautions, Rep. Lewis will lie in state at the top of the East Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol for the public viewing, and the public will file past on the East Plaza. Per the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s order, masks will be required to enter the line, which will begin at the corner of First and East Capitol Streets NE. Social distancing will also be strictly enforced. Given expected high temperatures and the potential for inclement weather, members of the public are encouraged to bring water and umbrellas.

ATLANTA’S SERVANT LEADER Atlanta, Ga.

Wednesday, July 29

Special Ceremony

Rotunda, Georgia State Capitol

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Rep. John Lewis Lies in State

Rotunda, Georgia State Capitol

3:00 pm – 7:00 pm and 8:30-10 p.m. UPDATED

Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Omega Service

Rotunda, Georgia State Capitol

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE

Atlanta, Ga

Thursday, July 30

A Celebration of Life

Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary

11:00 am

Given COVID-19 precautions, this event is not open to the public. Attendees will be required to wear face and mouth coverings.

Internment

South-View Cemetery

In Other News