Michael Jackson laid to rest in private ceremony, his grave will not be public

wenn5346404Michael Jackson was finally laid to rest last night in a private ceremony at Forest Hills Cemetery in Glendale, California. Friends and family including Liz Taylor, Macauley Culkin, and Chris Tucker were at the ceremony for the King of Pop, who passed away over two months ago from an apparent accidental drug overdose. The Jackson family was an hour and a half late to the cemetery, arriving in their motorcade around 8:30 despite a start time of 7:00 pm. Mourners waited patiently in nearly 90 degree weather for the Jackson family to arrive. When the outdoor ceremony began, Micheal Jackson’s three children placed a jeweled crown on top of his casket. It was also covered in white flowers, with white lilies and roses throughout.

Jackson will be interred in a mausoleum in Forest Hills that is not open to the public. The Associated Press has reported that the Jackson family has purchased 12 plots in Forest Hills Glendale, although they don’t specify where they are or whether family members plan to be buried in the mausoleum near Michael.

The Jackson family has released some photos to the public of the ceremony, and we have some of those here. They’re also said to have used artificial lighting that suggests that the private funeral may become publicly available, either through a reality show or DVD release, at some point:

aris Jackson wept as she stepped into the mausoleum where her father, Michael, was to be entombed. Katherine Jackson, overcome by sorrow, turned back when she was faced with her son’s final resting place.

On a sultry Thursday evening, amid a sea of white flowers and with a bejeweled crown placed atop his casket by his children, the King of Pop was given an intimate, private version of the lavish public memorial held shortly after his death in June.

Gladys Knight performed the hymn “Our Father” (The Lord’s Prayer) and moved many to tears, according to one guest who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the day.

When it was over, many of the the 200 mourners hugged each other. Among them were Elizabeth Taylor, Jackson’s ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, Barry Bonds and Macaulay Culkin.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who gave a eulogy at the public event and at Thursday’s service, also extolled Knight’s earlier performance of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

“Gladys Knight sang her heart out. Now we prepare to lay him to rest,” Sharpton posted on his Twitter account during the service that was held outside and then within the marble mausoleum.

The mourners followed the crowned, lushly flower-draped casket as Jackson’s five brothers – each wearing a bright red tie and a single crystal-studded glove – carried it into the mausoleum. The 11-year-old Paris cried as the group entered the imposing building and was comforted by her aunt, LaToya.

Paris and brothers Prince Michael, 12, and Prince Michael II, 7, known as Blanket, began the service by placing the crown on their father’s golden casket. They were composed through most of the hour-and-a-half ceremony.

As it ended, Katherine Jackson appeared extremely weary and had to be helped to her car, according to the guest. Earlier, she had a difficult time going into the mausoleum; she was overcome, turned back, and it wasn’t clear if she went in at all, the guest said.

The Jackson family’s tardy arrival delayed the service for nearly two hours; no explanation was given to mourners. The invitation notice indicated the service would begin promptly at 7 p.m.; it began closer to 8:30.

The 77-year-old Taylor and others were left waiting in the late summer heat, with the temperature stuck at 90 degrees just before sunset, and some mourners fanned themselves with programs for the service. As darkness fell, police escorted the family’s motorcade of 31 cars, including Rolls-Royces and Cadillacs, from their compound in Encino to Forest Lawn, about a 20-minute journey, with the hearse bearing Jackson’s body at the end.

About 250 seats were arranged for mourners over artificial turf laid roadside at the mausoleum, and a vivid orange moon, a mark of the devastating wildfire about 10 miles distant, hung over the cemetery.

There were two oversized portraits of a youthful, vibrant Jackson mounted next to the casket amid displays of white lilies and roses. At Jackson’s lavish public memorial, red roses covered his casket.

A large, blimp-like inflated light, the type used in film and television production, and a boom camera hovered over the seating area placed in front of the elaborate marble mausoleum. The equipment raised the possibility that the footage would be used for the Jackson concert documentary “This Is It,” or perhaps the Jackson brothers’ upcoming reality show.

[From AP via The Huffington Post]

It seems like so long ago that Michael Jackson died, as if we’ve somehow learned something about life since then. I know that sounds so esoteric, but it’s hard to describe it. It’s like those of us who grew up with his music all kind of faced our own mortality when he passed. Seeing these photos of his friends and family tears at my heartstrings. RIP Michael, you will not be forgotten.

(We usually do not publish photos of private funerals, but these are the ones released by the family.)

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21 Responses to “Michael Jackson laid to rest in private ceremony, his grave will not be public”

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  1. EricNYC says:

    I was never a Michael Jackson fan but I feel so bad for him. Nobody deserves to die like that. Bless his soul.

  2. Paulette says:

    I was never a Michael Jackson fan and I’m not going to start giving an eff now.

    My response to all of this: meh.

  3. manda says:

    yeah, i don’t really care either but i think it’s a shame that the plot isn’t open to the public. a nice “f-you” to his fans, in my opinion

  4. LolaBella says:

    I hope you can finally RIP, Michael.

  5. Hieronymus Grex says:

    Finally he can rest, may he find the peace in the after-world he was denied in life.

  6. Diane says:

    More publicity for the family, with film to be included in a movie.

    One more private funeral = )

  7. Kevin says:

    That casket looks like it should have a set of 24″ inch spinners on it.

  8. LolaBella says:

    It totally kills me that Michael’s brothers and father are profiting in any from his death when he clearly tried to keep them out of his life when he was alive. They disgust me.

  9. Kevin says:

    Also Hiero…he was Jehovah’s Witness. He doesn’t believe in the seperation of the soul and body. His belief is that he is asleep in death and will be resurrected at the end of times if God sees fit to raise him. He didn’t believe that he would be awake or aware of things that are still happening. Just saying.

  10. filthycute says:

    Kevin, Michael let go of the JW religion a long time ago.

  11. Anak says:

    Now lets see if the media will leave his kids alone! They are missing their dad, living in another house, possibly with other rules, food, etc. So many things to deal with and under a microscope like the media. This is very sad. They deserve respect!

  12. Fat Elvis says:

    Hope he was embalmed, or at the very least, that his coffin was tightly sealed. Yikes.

  13. eternalcanadian says:

    that was pretty rude of the jacksons to be so late to the funeral after all the fuss of preparing for it. to have people like elizabeth taylor waiting in 90F heat for almost two hours is unacceptable.

    it’s amazing the media-whores they’ve become since his death. of course they want to get money from it so they’re going to do everything they can to milk his death for money.

    i do understand the reason for not making his grave public. it’s the same with princess diana. the grave gawkers would be too much.

    i feel bad for the kids. they don’t know who their biological father is. and now there’s news reports saying the reason michael isn’t their biological father is coz joe jackson beat up michael by kicking his genitals so much the testicles were damaged so he was basically sterile. nice, eh? not.

    oh, and don’t forget. his death is a homicide so we’ll have a media circus for the trial of whoever is arrested. it’ll be oj simpson all over again with drama in the courtroom and all that crap.

    funny thing. farrah died the same day as michael. nothing about her since.

  14. Moore says:

    manda, I think its tucked away so that it doesn’t get easily vandalized. I hate to hear about any grave being disrespected but people do stupid things. I’m hoping that was the reason for it.

  15. Kelly says:

    You lose the privilege of calling a funeral “private” when you hire a professional photographer and then release (ok, “sell”) the photos.

    Just sayin’…

  16. boomchakaboom says:

    I remember watching the Jackson 5 on TV with my mom and brother; the 8-track tape we had with Michael singing Rockin’ Robin, Ben, and other songs; partying in the 80′s and really gettin’ down with Billy Jean, Beat It, Thriller. It really feels like a piece of my life has gone away. More so since my mom has gone also. She was a huge fan of Michael Jackson from the first time she saw him on TV as a little boy. Damn.

    RIP, Michael. And mom. And Elvis. Rest in peace. I loved you all.

  17. No Pity for MJ says:

    Did he not have life insurance? What is up with his mother asking for his own estate to pay for his funeral? That’s so effed up. These people aren’t hurting for money, people with far less pool together to provide a funeral for loved ones. The Jackson’s are money hungry nutbars, especially that mother.
    I heard on the radio yesterday, “MJ’s been on ice so long they’re now calling him the King of Popsicles”.
    There are greater men and women who have died who are more deserving of the attention MJ’s gotten out of this. I’m glad it’s finally overwith.

  18. For Sooth? says:

    Is it terribly awful of me so say that this so so after the fact that this is yawn inducing?

  19. 4Real says:

    Michael has been laid to rest but not the media hype. Let’s hope it all dies down now(no pun intended)!

  20. Taylor Garcia says:

    It is so sad that Michael Jackson died. Michael Jackson will always be the KING OF POP. Rest in peace Michael Jackson.