UPDATE: Friday, June 26, 3:50 PM EST:
After delivering a powerful eulogy that both memorialized Rev. Clementa Pinckney and called for the removal of the Confederate flag, President Obama lead the congregation in the singing of Amazing Grace.
See the emotional video above.
Friends, family and loved ones will gather early Friday afternoon to pay their last respects to South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney.
Pinckney, one of nine killed in the June 17 shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was also the pastor of the storied African American house of worship. This week, thousands of people waited in line for hours to say goodbye to the pastor and politician at his public viewing in the South Carolina Statehouse rotunda.
During Friday’s funeral service, President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy for the pastor, who was a personal friend. Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama will also be in attendance.
In an interview just a day after the attack, Obama, who first met Rev. Pinckney during his 2008 presidential campaign, said this about his friend:
“We knew their pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night, and to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.”
Live coverage of the funeral is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Pinckney is survived by his wife and two children. He is expected to be buried at St. James AME Church on Highway 41 in Marion.
This is a developing story.
SOURCE: ABC, PBS
Thousands Honor Sen. Clementa Pinckney At State House Viewing
20 Pictures That Show The Powerful Resilience Of Charleston's Mother Emanuel AME Church
20 photos Launch gallery
1. Mother Emanuel AME Church held its first service since the shooting death of nine African-American church members on June 17.
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2. People line up to enter for Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church.
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3. Two children wait to enter the Emanuel AME Church June 21, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.
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4. A member of the church is seen outside of Emanuel AME before its first service since the Charleston shooting.
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5. A Charleston County sheriff's deputy checks bags as people line up to enter for Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church.
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6. Gloria Moore watches the church as parishioners take their seats at the Emanuel AME Church.
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7. A woman prays as she attends the Sunday service outside of the Emanuel AME Church.
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8. People pray and listen to the Sunday service outside of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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9. Parishioners sit at Emanuel AME Church four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of its pastor and eight others.
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10. The Rev. Norvel Goff, right, prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
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11. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., embraces U.S. Sen Tim Scott, R-S.C., at Emanuel AME Church.
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12. A parishioner prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney at the Emanuel AME Church.
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13. The congregation departs following Sunday services at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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14. A family is seen leaving Emanuel AME Church following Sunday services.
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15. People embrace as they depart the Emanuel AME Church following Sunday services.
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16. Church members comfort one another after Emanuel's first service since the Charleston shooting.
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17. Church members comfort one another outside of Emanuel.
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18. A mother and son surround a memorial for the nine church members killed during the Charleston shooting.
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19. Charleston natives comfort each other during the church's first service since the shooting on June 17.
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20. Activist DeRay McKesson is seen outside of Emanuel AME church.
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In Case You Missed It: President Obama Delivers Powerful Eulogy At Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s Funeral, Sings Amazing Grace was originally published on newsone.com