Lying in repose

Andrei Yushchinsky lying in repose

Lying in repose is the condition of a deceased person, often of high social stature, whose body is available for public viewing. Lying in repose differs from the more formal honor of lying in state, which is generally held at the principal government building of the deceased person's country and often accompanied by an honor guard or guard of honour.[1]

United States

In the United States, the distinction between lying in repose and lying in state is not often observed. Lying in state is generally considered to be when one is placed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. When the deceased person is placed in another location, like the Great Hall of the Supreme Court, they lie in repose, as was the case following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.[2]

The remains of presidents who die in office generally lie in repose in the East Room of the White House while those of a deceased former president generally lie in repose in his home state. However, as an example to the contrary, when John F. Kennedy lay in repose, the term meant "private" as opposed to a public lying in state.

The body of Babe Ruth lay in repose in Yankee Stadium.

The body of singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole lay in repose in the state capital building of Hawaii in 1997.[3]

Not everyone eligible to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda does so. For instance, President Richard Nixon lay in repose at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, Senator Edward Kennedy lay in repose at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts, and Senator Robert Byrd lay in repose in the Senate chamber at the Capitol.[4]


In Canada, when deceased governors general and prime ministers lie anywhere outside of the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, they lie in repose. In the Hall of Honour, the Senate, or the foyer of the House of Commons, they lie in state.

At the provincial, territorial or local levels, current and former politicians may lie in state or repose in government buildings.

See also


  1. Lying in Repose/Lying in State The United States Army Archived August 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Fandos, Nicholas (16 February 2016). "Scalia to Lie in Repose at Supreme Court, With Funeral on Saturday". New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. Correction: February 17, 2016 A headline with an earlier version of this article incorrectly described how Justice Antonin Scalia’s body will be displayed for public viewing in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court. He will lie in repose; he will not lie in state.
  3. Adamski, Mary. Honolulu Star-Bulletin Retrieved 6 April 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. "Schedule for Memorial Services Honoring Senator Robert C. Byrd". 30 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-01.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lying in repose.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.