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Repose

Scalia will lie in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court before his funeral


Justice Antonin Scalia will lie in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court before his funeral, according to tradition. The term lie in repose is used in this case, since to lie in state usually refers to the placement of the coffin of a President, military leader, or member of Congress in the rotunda of the Capitol. Both traditions allow for a time of public viewing of the casket.

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The phrase 'to lie in repose' originally had a meaning similar to 'rest in peace'. Later, the distinction between a private and public viewing of the casket was made using 'lie in repose' and 'lie in state'.

Repose means “to lie at rest” or “to lie dead”; it comes from the French word that means “to rest” and ultimately from the Latin word meaning “to stop.” The -pose in repose is from the same Latin root as pause.

The phrase to lie in repose originally had a meaning similar to rest in peace:

A solemn and impressive prayer was then delivered by the Rev. Dr. Wyatt, which was responded to by hundreds present, and when in conclusion he solemnly dedicated the lovely grove to be the city of silence and the home of the dead—there to lie in repose until awakened by the last trump—the scene was deeply affecting and many a dimmed eye showed that it had touched the heart.
The Sun [Baltimore, MD] 15 July 1839

Later, the distinction between a private and public viewing of the casket was made using lie in repose and lie in state:

The body of Ordinary Seaman Louis Fried, the first Southerner to give his life for his country at Vera Cruz, is expected here today and will lie in repose at his home tonight. Early tomorrow the body will lie in state at the court house.
Wichita Daily Times [Wichita Falls, TX], 14 May 1914

Scalia's funeral will be held Saturday.



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