LONDON – Hundreds of people lined the streets of the English city of Cambridge on Saturday, and they were applauded when the hearse with the remains of the famous British scientist Stephen Hawking arrived at the church.

Approximately 500 guests had been invited to the private funeral at St. Mary the Great Church to honor Hawking, who died on March 14 at the age of 76, after sharing the popular imagination with his writings on space and time caught.

Actor Eddie Redmayne, portrayed Hawking in the biography drama "The Theory of Everything" (2014) read a sermon from Kohelet during the service. There was also a reading by astronomer Royal Martin Reese and praises by one of Hawking's children and a former student.

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More: Heaven is a fairy tale story: That's what Stephen Hawking says when people die [19659008] The bell of Great St. Mary's, as the local church is called, rang 76 times at the beginning of the service. Later, a private reception was held at Trinity College.

The service was led by Rev. Cally Hammond, Dean of Cambridge University's Gonville and Caius College, where Hawking was a member for 52 years.

Flags were at half-mast in many parts of Cambridge to pay tribute to Hawking.

Hawking, suffering from motor neuron disease, was known for his pioneering research on black holes and other phenomena. He remained stubborn for decades, writing ground-breaking work as he gradually lost control of his muscles.

He was also a bestselling author and pop culture figure known for his appearance on "The Simpsons"

Hawking is cremated at a later date and his ashes are said to be in London's Westminster Abbey at the remains of his colleague Isaac Newton buried.

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