Whitney Houston Funeral Will Be Private

Invite-only service set for her childhood church in Newark

whitney houston 2009
Lester Cohen/WireImage
Whitney Houston performs at the Grammy Salute To Industry Icons honoring Clive Davis in 2009.
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A private funeral service for Whitney Houston will take place Saturday at the singer's childhood church in Newark, New Jersey, a family spokesperson said today. The service at the New Hope Baptist Church will be invitation-only, said funeral director Carolyn Whigham, with no wake. She did not rule out a public memorial service at a later date.

"It was the family's decision," said Whigham. "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 to their daughter, mother."

Houston died Saturday in Beverly Hills at age 48. A coroner's investigation is underway. Her body was flown Monday from Los Angeles to Newark, where it was brought in a gold hearse to the Whigham Funeral Home just before midnight. Outside, fans gathered holding candles.