The official farewell to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist began at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with hundreds of mourners visiting his flag-draped coffin, which was borne to the building he loved by pallbearers including John Roberts Jr., the man who would succeed him.

The somber ceremony symbolized a sudden changing of the guard at a Courtunaccustomed to such fast-breaking developments. Six of Rehnquist’s fellowjustices, along with most of his former law clerks stood on the marble stepsof the Court waiting to receive the coffin. Several, including retiringJusticeSandra Day O’Connor, his friend and colleague for more than 50 years, werein tears.