phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Lying in repose vs lying in state

Posted by ESC on June 08, 2004

In Reply to: Lying in repose vs lying in state posted by vlu on June 08, 2004

: What is the meaning of "lying in repose" and "lying in state" in reference to the now deceased former President Reagan?

A former president's remains may lie in repose at a church or other suitable location. During repose, which is open to the public, a military Guard of Honor stands watch over the remains.

The term "lying in state" is used only when referring to repose in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, a government building.
Lying in state is the formal honor accorded by placement of the former president's remains in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol with a ceremonial honor guard to attend him. Although lying in state continues through the night, it differs from lying in repose, which occurs at a church or other suitable location.

The former president's remains are received with ceremony at the Capitol after arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.

An Armed Forces Guard of Honor maintains a vigil over the remains throughout the period of time the remains lie in state. Public viewing is allowed continuously during the lying in state until one hour before the departure ceremony.


However, not everyone lying in repose in the Capitol is "lying in state":
Jan. 28, 1998
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The bodies of Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson were lying in repose Tuesday in the majestic hall beneath the Dome of the U.S. Capitol, the building where the two police officers worked and died.
The two men are lying in repose rather than lying in state. The latter honor is given only to those entitled to a state funeral.