Factbox: Order of service for Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral

September 19, 2022 - 3:32 PM
State funeral_Queen Elizabeth
Police officers are seen on The Mall, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022. (Reuters/Andrew Boyers)

LONDON — The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth will be held at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday when world leaders will join King Charles and the British royal family to bid farewell to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Following are some of the details of the order of service for the funeral:

— The state funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey, central London, at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT).

— The funeral will be led by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle, and the sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

— Before the service, the Abbey’s Tenor Bell will toll once a minute for 96 minutes – one toll for each year of the queen’s life.

— At the start of the service, as the queen’s coffin is carried into the abbey, the Sentences will be sung by the choir of Westminster Abbey. The five Sentences – lines of scripture set to music – have been used at every state funeral since the early 18th century.

— The Dean of Westminster will give the bidding before the first hymn, and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, will read the first lesson from the book of First Corinthians.

— A specially commissioned choral piece composed by the Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir, will be sung by the choir. The piece, “Like as the Hart”, is a setting of Psalm 42 to music.

— The second lesson, from the Gospel of John, will be read by British Prime Minister Liz Truss, and will be followed by the hymn “The Lord’s my Shepherd”. The hymn was also sung at the queen’s wedding in 1947.

—  Following the sermon, the choir will sing the anthem “My Soul, There is a Country”.

— Prayers will be said from the High Altar before the choir sings a short anthem, “O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord is”, which was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the queen’s coronation in 1953.

— The Archbishop of Canterbury will give the commendation and the Dean of Westminster will pronounce the blessing.

— Near the end of the funeral, around 11:55 a.m., the Last Post will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the steps of the Lady Chapel. Two minutes’ silence will then be observed across the United Kingdom.

— The Reveille will be sounded by the State Trumpeters before the congregation sings “God Save the King”.

— At the end of the funeral the Sovereign’s Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will play the traditional lament “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep”.

— The queen’s coffin will be borne out of the abbey and taken in procession to Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, before travelling to Windsor for the committal service.

— Afterwards, the bells of Westminster Abbey will be rung, fully muffled, which is the tradition following the funeral of the sovereign.

—Reporting by Alex Richardson; Editing by Janet Lawrence