Rich Schultz, AP
The hearse carrying the body of Whitney Houston leaves Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., for a short ride to the New Hope Baptist Church for her funeral Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012.

Whitney Houston's funeral "brought the world to church" on Feb. 18, and many media outlets and observers made note of the spiritual, uplifting and educational elements of the service.

"As Whitney Houston's private funeral unfolded Saturday full of passionate eulogies, some poignant and some humorous, it became clear it was a service steeped in spirituality," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Though many stars were in attendance, the L.A. Times noted, the service "followed the lines of a typical, Baptist funeral."

But to many of the viewers watching, the Baptist funeral may have been atypical.

CNN's Belief Blog featured an article written by Stephen Prothero emphasizing that Houston's funeral was "a chance for people of all races to see what church looks like inside the community that gave Houston (and us) her voice."

"So many Christians who attend church all their lives never see what millions saw earlier today on television," Prothero wrote. "They don't know what a black church choir sounds like. And they have never heard a preacher like (Marvin) Winans, who delivered the eulogy."

And millions tuned in. Houston's funeral drew an average of 5 million viewers to CNN, 1.42 million to HLN, 1.38 million to Fox News and 709,000 to MSNBC, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Though millions came to the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., for the first time as they watched the funeral on TV or online, it was a return to roots for Houston and her family.

A CNN Entertainment article mentions that Houston was a soloist in the junior choir at New Hope Baptist Church when she was 11 years old, and calls her burial "an end" to the funeral her family referred to as her "coming home."

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