Hundreds of people lined the streets of the English city of Cambridge on Saturday, and they were applauded when the hearse arrived at the church with the remains of the famous British scientist Stephen Hawking.
Around 500 guests were invited to a private funeral at St. Mary the Great Church for the service in honor of Hawking, who died on March 14 at the age of 76 after capturing the popular imagination with his writings on space and time.
Actor Eddie Redmayne, who portrays Hawking in the 2014 biography drama "The Theory of Everything," read a homily by 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.
The bell in Great St Mary's, as the church is known locally, rang 76 times at the beginning of the service. A private reception was later held at Trinity College.
The service was officiated by Rev. Cally Hammond, Dean of Gonville and Caius College of Cambridge University, where Hawking was a Fellow for 52 years.
Flags were lowered to 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 a pop culture figure who was known for his performance on "The Simpsons", among others.
Hawking is cremated at a later date and his ashes are said to be in London's Westminster Abbey near the remains of his Colleagues Isaac Newton be buried.