Also in attendance were Vice President Joe Biden, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, and Kennedy's closest colleagues, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
More than 85 members of the Kennedy family attended, including wife Vicki and his five children, niece Maria Shriver and her husband, Republican Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The sea of dark suits and somber faces also included actor Jack Nicholson and singer Tony Bennet.
Following the funeral Kennedy was flown to Washington for burial.
Much the way mourners lined the streets for his arrival by hearse in Boston on Wednesday, thousands of people stood outside the Capitol, where hundreds of legislators and Congressional staffers crowded the steps outside the Senate to cheer as Kennedy's casket stopped.
His journey from the Capitol to Arlington followed the same route of President Kennedy's 1963 funeral procession.
At Arlington, his casket was accompanied by a "joint casket team," an honor guard composed of members of all the branches of the armed forces. An Army firing party fired 21 shots, and a bugler played "Taps."
Kennedy's grave site will be marked by Sunday morning with a "very modest" walkway leading to it. It will feature a wooden cross and a footstone until a "more substantial" memorial can be placed, said John Metzler, the cemetery's superintendent.