CHICAGO (CBS) — A steady stream of mourners paid their respects to Francis Cardinal Georgeon the first of two days of visitation at Holy Name Cathedral. The retired archbishop of Chicago, who died on Friday.

The service began at 2 p.m. when the cardinal’s body was officially welcomed back to the cathedral in a ritual known as the rite of reception.

The cathedral rector, Father Dan Mayall set the tone for the service by speculating about how the Cardinal would have viewed what was being said about him.

“Does that mean that the cardinal is going to heaven? I knew Cardinal George well enough to be certain that if I were to make that definitive statement he’d jump out of that casket right now and scold me,” he said.

Dan Mayall said Cardinal George’s journey is beginning, not ending.

“We’re not here to canonize the cardinal and we certainly are not here to condemn him, but we are here to commend him to the Lord, the Lord who said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’”

He said that those who believe that Cardinal George is being taken to that way, truth and life that goes on forever have it right.

After the rite of reception, the casket was opened up and mourners began to file past and pay their respects.

Visitors from across the archdiocese arrived at Holy Name to say goodbye to Cardinal George. CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports before the doors of the great cathedral swung open, the entry line stretched down State and around Chicago Avenue.

First in line was John Gora, from the cardinal’s home parish, St. Pascal’s, who arrived at 5:45 am.

“I cried Friday when I heard the news he’d pass away. He was a local boy that did good,” Gora said.

As an altar boy at St. James parish, Herman Munden saw the cardinal’s humor.

“He came to the church and… at the time, I didn’t know what the crozier was, and I said, ‘Hey, cool hockey stick,’ and he just laughed,” Munden said.

Scott Voice, who drove in from Carpentersville, first met the cardinal at Marysville Academy in Des Plaines.

“I wanted to be here because I feel if it wasn’t for Francis George, America wouldn’t see what a real godly person would be like,” Voice said.

A second day of visitation was scheduled for Wednesday, followed by a funeral mass on Thursday.

George’s funeral on Thursday is by invitation only, but CBS 2 will have live coverage Thursday starting at 11 a.m.

For a full schedule, click here.