FUNERAL OF DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
ORDER OF SERVICEat
WESTMINSTER ABBEYSaturday 6 September 1997, 11.00 a.m.
The funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales reflected the life and times of the Princess, combining both traditional and modern elements in a service which lasted about one hour.
As the cortège made its way from Kensington Palace to the Abbey, the Tenor Bell rang every minute. Organ music before the service included pieces by Mendelssohn, Bach, Dvorak, Vaughan Williams and Elgar.
After the cortège entered the Abbey through the Great West Door, the congregation sang the National Anthem.
The congregation remained standing as the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr Wesley Carr, said The Bidding, before singing the hymn I vow to thee, my country.
The first Reading was by the Princess's eldest sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale:
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
After the reading, The BBC Singers, together with the soprano Lynne Dawson, sang extracts from Verdi's Requiem.
This was followed by the second Reading, by the Princess's elder sister, Lady Jane Fellowes:
Time is too slow for those who wait,
All then stood to sing the hymn The King of love my shepherd is. After this the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP read from 1 Corinthians 13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Following this reading, Elton John sang a special arrangement of his song Candle In The Wind:
Goodbye England's rose;
The congregation remained seated for The Tribute by the Princess's brother, The Earl Spencer, before singing the hymn Make me a channel of your peace by St Francis of Assisi.
Prayers were then led by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr George Carey, beginning with the following prayer for Diana, Princess of Wales:
We give thanks to God for Diana, Princess of Wales; for her sense of joy and for the way she gave so much to so many people.
There then followed prayers for the Princess's family; for the Royal family, for all in mourning and for the Princess's life and work:
The Princess will be especially missed by the many charities with which she identifed herself. We recall those precious images: the affectionate cuddle of children in hospital; that touch of the young man dying of AIDS; her compassion for those maimed through the evil of land mines - and many more.
The prayers concluded with the offering of a prayer for the congregation, after which the choristers sang An Air From County Derry before The Archbishop led the recitation of The Lord's Prayer. After The Lord's Prayer, The Archbishop said The Blessing.
The congregation then sang the great Welsh hymn Guide me, O thou great Redeemer following which the Dean of Westminster said The Commendation:
Let us commend our sister Diana to the mercy of God, our Maker and Redeemer.
The congregation remained standing as the cortège left the Abbey, while the choir sang extracts from Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Orthodox Funeral Service, set to music by John Taverner:
Alleluia. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
At the west end of the Abbey, shortly after midday, the cortège halted for a one minute silence, observed by the nation, before leaving the Abbey for the journey to Althorp.