The hearse carrying Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's body arrived Saturday evening at the U.S. Capitol (Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) –The hearse carrying Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's body arrived Saturday evening at the U.S. Capitol, where hundreds of lawmakers and congressional staffers awaited on the building's steps.
As the hearse and procession approached, those on the steps - who numbered at least 1,000 - applauded loudly, as did a large crowd of fans and tourists on the lawn and street in front of the U.S. Capitol.
Kennedy's widow, Vicki, hugged several of those on the steps when the procession stopped.
The Rev. Daniel Coughlin, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, gave a short prayer, saying that Kennedy's hopes were "unquenchable, full of immortality."
"Although burned by the weight of his passing, Lord, help his co-workers and collaborators raise the torch of his convictions and commitments for a new generation yet to be born or to all those still untouched by the social responsibility inherent in every aspect of human freedom," he said.
Samuel Bonds of Washington's Duke Ellington School of the Arts led those gathered to honor the late senator in singing "America the Beautiful."
After leaving the U.S. Capitol, the procession will proceed to Arlington National Cemetery, where Kennedy will be buried, 95 feet south of the grave of his brother Sen. Robert Kennedy, which is in turn just steps away from the burial site of his brother, former President John F. Kennedy.
The late president's widow Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is also buried at Arlington.