08/23/2011 11:03 EDT | Updated 10/24/2011 05:12 EDT

Jack Layton State Funeral Saturday, Condolence Books Available At NDP Offices



A state funeral for Jack Layton is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. The New Democrat leader died of cancer early Monday.

He was 61.

But the NDP is also inviting people to sign books of condolence for Jack Layton at party constituency offices across the country beginning on Tuesday.

The party says people can visit their local constituency offices and leave messages or share stories about how Layton touched their lives.

People can also go online at www.ndp.ca and click on Express your Condolences.

A book of condolence has also been set up at Toronto's city hall, where Layton's political career kicked off.

Layton's body will also lie in state in the foyer of the House of Commons, reported the Globe and Mail. Visitations will begin at 11 a.m. on Wednesday for dignitaries. Members of the public will be able to visit from 12:30 to 8 p.m. Another visitation will be held on Thursday until 2 p.m.

Torontonians can pay respect to Layton when his body lies in state at City Hall on Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Toronto Star is reporting that the funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at Roy Thomson Hall, 2 p.m.. The CBC is reporting that former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis will be delivering the eulogy. Singer Lorraine Segato, of 1980s Toronto band the Parachute Club, will be singing the group's hit "Rise Up".

The last state funeral held in Canada was for former governor-general Romeo Leblanc. Although state funerals are not generally held for leaders of the opposition, the prime minister offered one to Layton's widow, Olivia Chow. She accepted the offer.