The funeral service will be steeped in royal tradition and “pay tribute to The Queen’s remarkable reign and lifetime of service as Head of State, Nation and Commonwealth.”
The state funeral will conducted by the Dean of Westminster at Westminster Abbey, starting at 11 a.m. (6 a.m. ET), with the Archbishop of Canterbury giving the Sermon and Commendation. The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, will read the first Lesson, while the UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who the Queen appointed just two days before her death, will read the Second Lesson.
To represent each year of the Queen’s life, the abbey’s Tenor Bell will be tolled 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 procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried into Westminster Abbey. As the coffin is moved inside, the Choir of Westminster Abbey in the Nave will sing the Sentences — lines of scripture set to music which have been used at every state funeral since the early part of the 18th century, the palace said.
During the service, a specially commissioned choral piece inspired by the Queen’s “unwavering Christian faith” will be performed by the choir. “Like as the hart” is a setting of Psalm 42 by the Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir, which will be sung unaccompanied.
Other music selected for the state funeral include the hymn “The Lord’s my shepherd,” which was also sung at the then-Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip in 1947, and the anthem “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 the Sovereign’s Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will play the traditional lament, “Sleep, dearie, sleep” — a fitting farewell to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
The second service of the day will be a more intimate occasion, conducted 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 worship when they are in residence at Balmoral, and the Chaplain of the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park.
The royal family will gather along 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 committal service were composed by William Henry Harris, a former organist of St. George’s between 1933 and 1961. It is thought that the young princess was taught to play piano by Harris, according to the palace.
The service will also feature several nods to the the Queen’s family, with the choir singing “The Russian Contakion of the Departed,” which was also sung during 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 Queen’s father’s funeral in 1952.
As the committal service draws to a close, the Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault, set beneath St. Georges, as the Dean reads Psalm 103, which concludes with the words, “Go forth upon thy 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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