Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- While the Mary Queen of Vietnam choir sang, Archbishop Philip Hannan's casket was placed on a horse-drawn funeral carriage outside Notre Dame Seminary.
Then the four-mile journey to Jackson Square began.
"It was just a beautiful celebration of his life, all that he stood for,” said Angela Lucius.
Leading the procession was an honor guard and the St. Aug Marching 100.
Archbishop Gregory Aymond requested the band play "Get Crunk," a tribute to Hannan's love of the Saints, a personal touch intertwined with Catholic tradition.
Along the way, well-wishers lined the streets of New Orleans to catch a glimpse of the people's archbishop, including more than 1,300 from Jesuit High School.
“We're just very honored and blessed to be able to do something for a man who was such a man of God,” said Mike Giambelluca, principal of Jesuit High School. “Such a vibrant, big part of the faith community in this city for so long. This is a small way that we can be part of this.”
Outside Saint Louis Cathedral even more spectators waited patiently for the procession to arrive.
"I thought wow, this is history,” said Bernard Jones, a California resident. “It's sad time to be here, but it’s history and I wanted to make sure I'm here."
Young and old, Catholic and non-Catholic, ignoring the heat for this moment.
Shortly after, the archbishop's casket carried into the cathedral.
"It's a very solemn atmosphere, but at the same time it has a New Orleans feel to it,” said Albert Van Vrancken. “People in New Orleans respect good people like him, and certainly all the accolades he's received are well deserved."
A steady stream of mourners filed into the historic cathedral where Hannan will be buried beneath the altar.
"It really touched my heart,” Aymond said. “I knew that Archbishop Hannan was loved and respected. I loved and respected him as a father, but to see the outpouring of literally thousands and thousands."
Saint Louis Cathedral will reopen its doors Thursday morning for a visitation from 9 a.m. to noon.
The archbishop's funeral Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m.