Church members working to ensure Aretha Franklin's funeral service is meaningful

Practicing for what promises to be a musical epic on Friday

DETROIT – On Wednesday night, every light was on inside Greater Grace Temple.

An army of church members worked behind the scenes to ensure Friday’s funeral service for Aretha Franklin goes off flawlessly.

The Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir is made up of 100 members from multiple congregations.

They’ve been practicing every night this week for what promises to be a musical epic on Friday.

The sanctuary is already set up and ready. Place cards mark where the dignitaries (a list which is growing by the hour) will sit.

Bishop Charles Ellis III and his congregation are no strangers to high-profile events. Rosa Parks’ service was here.

“I want to make sure in the midst of all the glamour and named individuals and famed individuals that will be here and grace this house to make sure everybody understands those are four sons that will never have a mother,” Ellis said. 

The service will be memorable, but Ellis says it must be meaningful as well.

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