"The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41's life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our family and fellow citizens".
Inside the Capitol, people in wheelchairs visited the coffin alongside Sully, the two-year-old Labrador retriever assigned to Mr Bush after his wife, Barbara, died in April. At the casket's side, an aide helped Dole into a standing position. Once steadied, Mr Dole saluted.
The Episcopal service will include four eulogies, from Bush's son, the former president, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Senator Alan Simpson and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Evan Meacham, who wrote a biography of Bush.
President from 1989 to 1993, Mr Bush died on Friday at 94.
The public viewing of Bush's casket extends until early Wednesday when the casket will be transported to Washington National Cathedral for the state funeral.
As the nation continues to mourn former President George H.W. Bush, a number of federal and state offices will be closed Wednesday.
He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.More news: Macron Halts Fuel Tax Hike In Bid To Curb Riots
More news: Huawei chief financial officer arrested in Vancouver - Telco/ISP - Finance - Security
More news: How to Watch XFL Team Reveal Livestream
A Bush spokesman tweeted a photo of Sully on Sunday as the dog appeared to take a nap beside the late president's casket in a different location, prompting a flood of goodwill toward the service animal. He was a familiar presence in Washington: a congressman in the late 1960s, then Central Intelligence Agency director, envoy to China and Republican Party chairman.
Bush, father of the 43rd president, George W. Bush, will be buried on Thursday in Texas.
Cannon fire roared again outside the Capitol as the sun sank and the younger Mr Bush stood with his hand over his heart, watching the casket's procession up the steps.
"Here lies a great man", said Rep. Paul Ryan, the House speaker, and "a gentle soul". Bush's Instagram account. She was invited to the White House by first lady Melania Trump.
The New York Stock Exchange, as well as the NASDAQ, will also be closed.
Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.
George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton eventually became close friends and traveled together internationally.