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Home World News Washington Post World News Palace releases details of funeral Queen Elizabeth helped plan

Palace releases details of funeral Queen Elizabeth helped plan

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Buckingham Palace has released new details about the extensive proceedings being planned for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who has thought carefully about how the world would end her.

The 11am service at London’s Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth was married and crowned, is intended to pay tribute to her “remarkable reign and lifelong service as head of state, nation and Commonwealth,” Buckingham Palace said in a press release on Sunday. The Most Reverend David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, will conduct the state funeral, with the sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Reverend and the Right. Justin Welby.

Lectures will be given by Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, and British Prime Minister Liz Truss. The music will include a specially commissioned piece, along with an anthem composed for Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.

The Queen would have been heavily involved in planning the service, said Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary.

“She was genuinely interested in this service,” said Markham, an Episcopal priest. “She is a very devout Christian. She saw her service as her calling, and she did it as a person who truly believes there is a God and wants to be faithful to that.”

Markham, who studied religion in England, called the queen’s service “resurrection-oriented.”

“There’s a lot of talk about the life to come, and that would be who she was: she was a person of deep faith and very firm faith, and so she was convinced that this is just a season and that the part part of a longer journey in the life of God, I take that from the service.”

John Sentamu, a retired Anglican bishop who was involved in royal funeral planning during his time as Archbishop of York, told the BBC the Queen did not want her funeral to be “dull”. He called it ‘English at its best’.

“The Queen does not and will not want what you call long, boring shifts.”

Before the funeral, Westminster Abbey’s tenor bell will chime once a minute for 96 minutes, with each toll representing a year of Elizabeth’s life. Representatives of Jewish, Baha’i, Jain, Buddhist, Muslim and other faith communities will participate in a procession, along with those from the churches of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. Also present: the Underdean of the Royal Chapel and the Dean of Windsor.

Markham called the inclusion of other religions important and noted that King Charles III has emphasized that the monarchy cannot be exclusively Anglican. Including other religions, Markham said, “recognizes a changing Britain.”

Prince George (9) and Princess Charlotte (7) will join their great-grandmother’s procession with their mother and father, Prince William and Princess Catherine, the palace said. Their brother, Louis, 4, is not on the funeral program.

William’s brother, Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will also be in the procession behind Charles, despite stepping down as senior members of the royal family in 2020.

As the Queen’s casket is carried into the abbey, Westminster Abbey’s choir sings the phrases – lines of scripture set to music that have been used at every British state funeral since the 18th century. The choir of the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace, will sing along with the last two sentences.

Hoyle recalls Elizabeth’s “unshakable devotion to a high calling for so many years as queen and head of the commonwealth,” according to the plan, which is referred to as an “order of services.”

“We remember with admiration her lifelong devotion to duty and devotion to her people,” he will say. “With thanksgiving, we praise God for her constant example of Christian faith and devotion. We remember with fondness her love for her family and her dedication to the charities she held dear.”

The choir will sing a specially commissioned piece called “Like as the Hart” composed by Master of the King’s Music Judith Weir. According to the funeral plans, the piece is inspired by the Queen’s ‘unshakable Christian faith’ and is a setting of Psalm 42 set to music.

Queen had ‘immensely detailed knowledge’ of music, says royal composer

Following Truss’ reading will come the hymn ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’, which was sung at the wedding of then-Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947. Other musical selections include the anthem ‘My soul, there is a land’, which described the palace as “an anthem of great hope.” Markham said the Queen would have been the one to choose it.

The choir also sings “O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord Is,” a composition by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

“You’re going to hear angelic voices from the choir,” Sentamu told the BBC.

Towards the end of the funeral, the final stake will play. The short bugle call is similar to tapping as played in the United States. It will be followed by two minutes of silence across the UK. Later, the congregation will sing the national anthem, “God Save the King”.

It symbolizes the passing of one monarch and the arrival of the next, Markham said.

“There’s the mantra that the monarchy never dies,” he said. “A monarch dies. The monarchy never dies.”

Rachel Pannett contributed to this report.



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