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Sleep well Whitney

PEACE: Whitney Houston was laid to rest today

THE FUNERAL service for Whitney Houston is underway at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.

Mourners at the New Hope Baptist Church fell quiet as three police officers escorted Houston's silver casket, draped with white roses and purple lilies into the building accompanied by the sounds of the mass choir, aptly dressed in white.

"Whitney you are the only one that can bring us all together. Whitney today is your day and we celebrate," said Pastor Joe A. Carter of New Hope Baptist Church.

Gospel singer, Donnie McClurkin then took the stage and performed an emotional rendition of his song, Stand.

Actor and director, Tyler Perry then took to the altar and shared his experiences of his friendship with the 48-year-old star in front of celebrity friends, which are said to include Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Whitney's godmother, Aretha Franklin.

"There was a grace that carried her down from heaven. There was a grace that kept on carrying her all the way through. The grace that carried her all the way to the top," he said.

"Whitney Houston loved the Lord and in every conversation it was evident that she loved the Lord. What I know about her is that nothing separated her from the Lord," he continued.

Whitney's The Bodyguard co-star, Kevin Costner, will also say a few words, it has been reported.

Stevie Wonder and Aretha Frankin will also perform tributes to the late star at the ceremony, where only a small number of news cameras have been granted access.

Whitney died last Saturday at the Beverly Hilton hotel just hours before she was set to appear at producer Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards gala.

Her cause of death is still unknown, however family members are said to have told TMZ that the star died from a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs, which had been mixed with alcohol.

The I Will Always Love You songstress' funeral was streamed online, allowing her fans to bid her one last farewell.

On Tuesday (Feb 14) the state of New Jersey, Whitney's place of birth, announced that all public building were to fly flags at half-staff to honour her memory.

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