Plans for Whitney Houston’s memorial have shifted from public to private, with an invitation-only event scheduled for Saturday at noon, the New York Post reports. While many believed Houston would be remembered with a service at the 19,000-seat Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, it appears family members are choosing to keep the memorial more intimate. Arrangements are being handled by Whigham Funeral Home and a service will be held in Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston got her musical start singing in the choir. “They thank all of the fans and friends and the media but at this time, this is their private time,” owner Carolyn Whigham told the Post on Tuesday. “They have shared her for 30-some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell for their daughter, mother.” The funeral will not be open to the media.
But just because there are no plans for a formal public memorial does not mean crowds won’t gather in attempts to say goodbye to the singer in her hometown. Houston’s body landed at New York’s Teterboro Airport around 11 p.m. Monday night, after flying from Los Angeles with her mother Cissy. It was then driven to Whigham Funeral Home in a golden hearse, where fans were waiting outside to pay their respects.