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As Mormons file reverently by the remains of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley today, only the top half of his body will be visible. It will be clothed in a white tie and shirt.

Hinckley, the 97-year-old LDS leader who died Sunday, often dressed in white as he dedicated new temples. It is Mormon temple attire and symbolizes human innocence in the Garden of Eden.

In this way, Hinckley's viewing and burial rites will be no different than any other temple-going Mormon. His body will have no special garb signifying his role as "prophet, seer and revelator."

Nor will his funeral Saturday have any extra rituals. It will, for the most part, be the same folksy affair common for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, light on ceremony and heavy on story-telling.

The service will begin when the casket, which will be closed in a private ceremony, is rolled onto the dais at the front of the 21,000-seat Conference Center. Hinckley's family will follow behind the casket. The meeting will open and close with prayers, and include reminiscences and eulogies as well as sermons.

Church officials have not released a list of speakers for Hinckley's funeral, but that hasn't stopped the Mormon faithful from speculating about who will have the honor.

The service may mirror the April 11, 2004, funeral for Hinckley's wife, Marjorie, during which the couple's five children took turns at the lectern quoting their mother's words and sharing her famous one-liners.

At least some members of the family will likely speak this time, too, and there are plenty of Hinckley's words to repeat. During his nearly 13-year tenure, Hinckley gave more than 2,000 speeches. He often made off-the-cuff quips, wrote books and told personal stories.

The funeral could resemble one of Hinckley's memorable public celebrations for his 90th and 95th birthdays. It may not feature the lively music of Mormon convert Gladys Knight, as those galas did, but almost certainly will include a rendition of "Danny Boy," a Hinckley favorite that dated from his LDS mission to England in the 1930s and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the hymn, "My Redeemer Lives." Hinckley wrote the lyrics and his former missionary companion, the late G. Homer Durham, wrote the music.

One participant in Hinckley's 95th birthday will not be back for the funeral - TV newsman, Mike Wallace.

Wallace of CBS News' "60 Minutes" developed a close relationship with Hinckley after interviewing the Mormon president for a program that aired in April 1996. The 89-year-old, however, underwent triple-bypass surgery Friday and cannot attend the funeral, said Kevin Tedesco of CBS News.

Hinckley is the first president since Brigham Young whose funeral will not be in the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square. Joseph F. Smith is the only exception. He didn't have a public funeral at all because he died in 1918 at the height of the Spanish flu epidemic.

Young left detailed instructions to make sure his successors knew what he wanted.

Young didn't want the men in his family to wear "crepe on their hats or their coats," nor the women to buy black bonnets, black dresses nor black veils, according to a version of the will quoted by Brigham Young University historian Donald Q. Cannon.

"There was to be no weeping and wailing," Cannon wrote in a 2001 essay about Young's views of death. "Brigham wanted people to remember him for his life's accomplishments and to look forward to a reunion in the resurrection." Young, a former carpenter, even dictated that his casket "have the appearance that if I wanted to turn a little to the right or left I should have plenty of room to do so."

As in Young's day, one part of the Mormon ritual is not open to the public: the closing of the casket.

It is strictly for family and close friends, said Mormon anthropologist Paul Dredge of Boston. "The patriarch of the family pronounces the family prayer - a farewell and blessing for the deceased and his survivors."

This final goodbye to the remains can be an extremely emotional time, Dredge says, and the restricted participation "allows for a less inhibited expression of feelings, a healthy emotional outlet."

Decades ago, Hinckley, then an apostle, officiated at Dredge's marriage to his wife, Nancy.

"We feel a sense of loss at his passing, but like others in the church we don't see his departure as a tragedy," Dredge says. "just the next step in a grand journey."


* JESSICA RAVITZ contributed to this story.