Orders of Service for Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral and Burial Service

Orders of Service for Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral and Burial Service
Orders of Service for Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral and Burial Service

The funeral service will be steeped in royal tradition and will “pay tribute to the Queen’s remarkable reign and her lifetime of service as Head of State, Nation and Commonwealth”.

The state funeral will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster at Westminster Abbey, beginning at 11 a.m. (6 a.m. ET), with the Archbishop of Canterbury giving the sermon and commendation. Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland will read Lesson One, while British Prime Minister Liz Truss, whom the Queen appointed just two days before her death, will read Lesson Two.

To represent each year of the Queen’s life, the Abbey’s tenor bell will ring once a minute for 96 minutes before the service.

The Queen’s great-grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte will form part of the Royal Family’s procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried to Westminster Abbey. As the coffin is moved inside, the Westminster Abbey choir in the nave will sing the phrases – lines of scripture set to music that have been used at every state funeral since the early 18th century, the palace said.

During the service, a specially commissioned choral piece inspired by the Queen’s “steadfast Christian faith” will be performed by the choir. “Like as the hart” is a setting of Psalm 42 by the King’s Master of Music, Judith Weir, which will be sung without accompaniment.

Other music selected for the state funeral included the hymn “The Lord is my Shepherd”, which was also sung at Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip in 1947, and the hymn “O Taste and see how gracious the Lord is”, which was composed for the Queen’s coronation in 1953 by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The nation will observe a two-minute silence towards the end of the hour-long service, after which Sovereign’s Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will play the traditional lament, “Sleep, dearie, sleep” – a fitting farewell to Great Britain’s longest Brittany – reigning monarch.

After the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will travel in a procession through central London to Wellington Arch, where it will be placed in the State Hearse and depart for Windsor, where a burial service will be held at the chapel St. George’s at 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET).

The second service of the day will be a more intimate occasion, led by the Dean of Windsor, who will deliver the bidding. Prayers will be said by the rector of Sandringham, the minister of Crathie Kirk, where the family prays when they are in residence at Balmoral, and the chaplain of the Chapel Royal of All Saints in Windsor Great Park.

The Royal Family will gather with a congregation made up of members of the Royal Household, past and present, as well as personal staff who have worked on the private estates.

Some of the musical selections for the incarceration service were composed by William Henry Harris, a former organist at St. George’s between 1933 and 1961. The young princess is believed to have been taught to play the piano by Harris, according to the palace.

The service will also feature several nods to the Queen’s family, with the choir singing “The Russian Contakion of the Departed”, which was also sung at Prince Philip’s funeral at St. George’s last April. Meanwhile, the Dean will read Revelation 21, verses 1-7, which were read at the funerals of the Queen’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary in 1936 and 1953. They were also read at the funeral of the Queen’s father in 1952.

At the end of the interment service, the Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault, located beneath St. George’s, as the Dean reads Psalm 103, which ends with the words: ‘Go on your journey from this world, O Christian soul.”

The Garter King of Arms will then proclaim the Queen’s styles and titles before her piper plays for her one last time.

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