Here’s the program from the late Gov. Hugh Carey’s very moving funeral service held at St. Patrick Cathedral this morning. Archbishop Timothy Dolan was the celebrant for the funeral mass, but the man who really stole the show (so to speak) was his predecessor, Edward Cardinal Egan.

Egan recalled Carey as a friend, a family man, a person of strong faith and convictions and a “political leader par excellence.” He also spoke of Carey’s less serious side, particularly his love of song, joking that he was certain the former governor is already under contract with the Seraphim in heaven and leading them all in joyful praise of the Lord.

Also present was Albany Catholic Diocese Bishop Howard Hubbard, who was close to Carey during his two, four-year terms in the governor’s office. (For those not in the know, the executive mansion is the next-door neighbor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Albany’s Eagle Street).

Many current and former elected officials attended Carey’s funeral mass, including, but not limited to: Gov. Andrew Cuomo; former Gov. Mario Cuomo and his wife, former First Lady Matilda Cuomo; former Gov. George Pataki; Sen. Chuck Schumer; Mayor Bloomberg; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Mayor David Dinkins; Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings; Reps. Peter King and Charlie Rangel; former LG Richard Ravitch.

None of these political luminaries spoke, however. The service was very much a family affair. A number of Carey’s 11 surviving children and a few of his 25 grandchildren either did readings or offered up very personal recollections of their father/grandfather. (He also has six great-grandchildren and many extended family members – so many that Dolan gently joked they probably filled half of St. Patrick’s all on their own).

While Mario and Matilda Cuomo went up to take holy communion, Gov. Cuomo did not.

(This has been an issue of contention, thanks largely to a professor/blogger/consultant to the Vatican’s highest court, Edward N. Peters, who has said the governor should be denied communion because he lives with his longtime girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee, without being married to her. Lee was not at St. Patrick’s today. Hubbard has said Cuomo’s right to communion is a private matter).

I don’t believe Giuliani took communion, either. The former mayor and Egan had a rather public tiff over communion back in 2008.

At the time, Egan, then still the head of the New York Archdiocese, accused Giuliani, who was both a former mayor and ex-presidential contender by then, of breaking their “understanding” by taking communion during the Pope’s visit to the Big Apple.

At issue was Giuliani’s support of abortion rights, not his marital status (his first marriage was annulled; he divorced his second wife and is now married to his third), which, for the record, Gov. Cuomo also supports.

Egan briefly mentioned during his remarks that Carey, who personally opposed abortion yet championed Medicaid coverage for them while he was in office, later said he deeply regretted that stance.

Carey will be buried today on Shelter Island, the site of his family vacation home, where he died last weekend at the age of 92.

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