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Special meaning behind songs chosen for Queen's order of service

Gregory Robinson

Published 
| Last updated 

Special meaning behind songs chosen for Queen's order of service

Westminster Abbey has tweeted the touching and deeply personal meanings behind the songs selected for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

The first hymn, ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’, will be sung in an arrangement first heard at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton back in 2011.

This will be followed by 'The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want’, which was sung at the Queen's own wedding to Prince Philip back in 1947.

Meanwhile, today's anthem 'O taste and see' was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen's coronation in 1953.

The music before the service begins. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The music before the service begins. Credit: Buckingham Palace.

Westminster Abbey’s choir and the choir of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace will lead the singing at the service under the direction of James O’Donnell.

At the start of the funeral, all members of the congregation will remain standing as the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster, gives the bidding.

He will begin with: “In grief and also in profound thanksgiving we come to this House of God, to a place of prayer, to a church where remembrance and hope are sacred duties.

"Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer.”

The order of service has been released. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The order of service has been released. Credit: Buckingham Palace.

Everyone in attendance will sing the first hymn ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’.

At the end all will sit as the Right Honourable the Baroness Scotland of Asthal KC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, reads from 1 Corinthians 15: 20-26, 53-end to the congregation.

The choir will then sing a specially commissioned piece composed by the Master of The king’s Music, Judith Weir - ‘Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks: so longeth my soul after thee, O God’.

The bidding for today's State Funeral. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The bidding for today's State Funeral. Credit: Buckingham Palace.

The second lesson will be read by Prime Minister Liz Truss, who will read from John 14: 1-9a.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you,” the passage begins."

Everyone will stand to sing ‘The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want’.

The choir will sing ‘My soul, there is a country Far beyond the stars’ from Songs of Farewell Hubert Parry (1848-1918), Henry Vaughan (1621-95).

The first hymn sung during the ceremony. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The first hymn sung during the ceremony. Credit: Buckingham Palace.

Prayers will be read by the Reverend Mark Birch, Minor Canon and Percenter.

After, the Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will say a prayer.

This will be followed by prayers by Ms Shermara Fletcher, Principal Officer for Pentecostal and Charismatic Relations, Churches Together in England and the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London and Dean of His Majesty's Chapels Royal and The Reverend Canon Helen Cameron, Moderator of the Free Churches Group.

The national anthem will be performed at the end of the funeral. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The national anthem will be performed at the end of the funeral. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The second verse of the national anthem. Credit: Buckingham Palace.
The second verse of the national anthem. Credit: Buckingham Palace.

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, Primate of England and Metropolitan and The Precentor, Reverend Mark Birch will say prayers.

Towards the end of the ceremony the attendees will sing the national anthem.

All will remain standing at the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, plays "Sleep, dearie, sleep".

The Queen’s coffin will be led by procession from the church.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@wabbey BBC

Topics: News, UK News, Royal Family, The Queen

Gregory Robinson
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