Nearly 200 priests of the Archdiocese of New Orleans squeezed into a seminary chapel Monday and chanted ancient Christian prayers of penance and confidence in the afterlife around the body of Archbishop Philip Hannan.
The prayer service at Notre Dame Seminary marked the formal beginning of four days of funeral rites for Hannan, 98, who died last week, 46 years after coming to New Orleans.
Hannan will lie in repose at the seminary until Wednesday when, according to plans the Archdiocese of New Orleans released Monday, the St. Augustine High School Marching Band will lead a horse-drawn carriage bearing his body down Canal Street toward St. Louis Cathedral.
The rites will end with a final funeral Mass there Thursday at 2 p.m., the archdiocese said.
At the close of the 34-minute prayer service, church officials opened the seminary to allow members of the public to file past Hannan’s casket. That will continue Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.