WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Father Paul Scalia, son of late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, celebrated his father's legacy Saturday during a funeral Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Scalia, one of nine of the longtime justice's children and priests in the Diocese of Arlington, memorialized his father as a devout, yet "imperfect" Catholic with a deep love for family.
Scalia's casket arrived at the basilica around 11:00 AM Saturday.
"God blessed Dad, as it's well known, with a love for his country," Scalia said. "He knew well what a close-run thing the founding of our nation was. And he saw in that founding, as did the founders themselves, a blessing. A blessing quickly lost when faith is banned from the public square or when we refuse to bring it there."
Among the attendees of the funeral service were Justice Clarence Thomas and Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, who were scheduled to recite scripture readings.
Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, former Vice President Dick Cheney and current Republican presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were also present among thousands of others at the Mass.
Justice Scalia, 79, died last week of reported natural causes. He was known as the high court's longest-serving justice of all current members.
A separate memorial service for family and friends will be held in Scalia's honor on March 1, USA Today notes. The service will be of more secular fashion.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama paid their respects to Scalia Friday as his body laid in repose at the Supreme Court. During the visit, the couple also viewed a painted portrait of the justice, painted in 2007.