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Order of Service

Following is the Order of Service for the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 September 1997:

During the Procession of the Cortege from Kensington Palace, the Tenor Bell is tolled every minute.

The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by Martin Neary, Organist and Master of the Choristers.

The organ is played by Martin Baker, Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey.

Music before the service, played by Stephen Le Prevost, Assistant Organist, Westminster Abbey:

Second Movement (Grave) Organ Sonata, No.2 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-47)

Prelude on the hymn tune Eventide Hubert Parry (1848-1918)

Adagio in E Frank Bridge (1879-1941)

Prelude on the hymn tune Rhosymedre Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

Choral Prelude: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV639 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Elegy George Thalben-Ball (1896-1988)

Martin Baker plays:

Fantasia in C minor BWV537 Johann Sebastian Bach

Adagio in G minor Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671-1751)

Slow movement, from the Ninth Symphony (From the New World) Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)

Canon Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Nimrod, Variation 9 arranged from Variations on an original theme (Enigma) Op.36 Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Prelude William Harris (1883-1973)

The members of the Spencer family are received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.

All stand as they are conducted to places in the North Lantern, and then sit.

All stand as the Procession of Visiting Clergy moves to places in the Sacrarium, and then sit.

Members of the Royal Family are received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster and are conducted to St Georges Chapel.

All stand as they are conducted to places in the South Lantern, and then sit.

Her Majesty the Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.

All stand as Their Majesties and His Royal Highness are conducted to their places in the South Lantern.

All remain standing as the cortge enters the Great West Door.

The Collegiate Body of St Peter in Westminster moves into place in the Nave.

All sing



The cortge, preceded by the Collegiate Body, moves to the Quire and Sacrarium, during which the Choir sings.


I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

(St John 11: 25,26)

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

(Job 19: 25-27)

We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

(1 Timothy 6: 7; Job 1: 21) William Croft (1678-1727) Organist of Westminster Abbey (17-8-27)

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears unto our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee. Amen

(Book of Common Prayer)

Henry Purcell (1659-95) Organist of Westminster Abbey 1679-95.

I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours.

Revelation 14: 13. William Croft.

All remain standing. The Very Reverend Dr Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster, says


We are gathered here in Westminster Abbey to give thanks for the life of Diana, Princess of Wales; to commend her soul to almighty God, and to seek his comfort for all who mourn. We particularly pray for God's restoring peace and loving presence with her children, the Princes William and Harry, and for all her family. In her life, Diana profoundly influenced this nation and the world. Although a Princess, she was someone for whom, from afar, we dared to feel affection, and by whom we were all intrigued. She kept company with kings and queens, with princes and presidents, but we especially remember her humane concerns and how she met individuals and made them feel significant. In her death she commands the sympathy of millions. Whatever our beliefs and faith, let us with thanksgiving remember her life and enjoyment of it; let us rededicate to God the work of those many charities that she supported; let us commit ourselves anew to caring for others; and let us offer to him and for his service our own mortality and vulnerability.

All remain standing to sing


I vow to thee, my country

Cecil Spring-Rice (1859-1918) Thaxted. Gustav Holst (1874-1934).

All sit.

Lady Sarah McCorquodale reads:

If I should die and leave you here awhile, Be not like others, sore undone, who keep Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep. For my sake-turn again to life and smile, Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do Something to comfort other hearts than thine. Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

All remain seated.

The BBC Singers, together with Lynne Dawson, soprano, sing:

Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) from The Requiem.

All remain seated.

Lady Jane Fellowes reads:

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.

All stand to sing


The King of Love My Shepherd Is Dominus regit me J B Dykes (1823 - 76) H W Baker (1821 - 77) Psalm 23

The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP, Prime Minister, reads:


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. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, J is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

All remain seated.

Elton John sings:

CANDLE IN THE WIND Bernie Taupin (b 1950) Elton John (b 1947)

All remain seated for

THE TRIBUTE by The Earl Spencer.

All stand to sing


Make me a channel of your peace. Sebastian Temple. St Francis of Assisi translated by Sebastian Temple.

All sit.

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr George Carey, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan, leads


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. Lord we thank you for Diana, whose life touched us all and for all those memories of her that we treasure. We give thanks for those qualities and strengths that endeared her to us; for her vulnerability; for her radiant and vibrant personality; for her ability to communicate warmth and compassion; for her ringing laugh; and above all for her readiness to identify with those less fortunate in our nation and the world. Lord of the loving: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

For her family:

We pray for those most closely affected by her death: for Prince William and Prince Harry who mourn the passing of their dearly loved mother; for her family, especially for her mother, her brother and her sisters. Lord we thank you for the precious gift of family life, for all human relationships and for the strength we draw from one another. Have compassion on those for whom this parting brings particular pain and the deepest sense of loss. Casting their cares on you, may they know the gentleness of your presence and the consolation of your love. Lord of the bereaved: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

For the Royal Family:

We pray for the members of the Royal Family, for wisdom and discernment as they discharge their responsibilities in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world. Lord, we commend to you Elizabeth our Queen, the members of the Royal Family and all who exercise power and authority in our nation. Enrich them with your grace, that we may be governed with wisdom and godliness: so that in love for you and service to each other we may each bring our gifts to serve the common good. Lord of the nations: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

For all who mourn:

Diana was not alone in losing her young life tragically. We remember too her friend, Dodi Fayed and his family; Henri Paul, and all for whom today's service rekindles memories of grief untimely borne. Lord, in certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, we commend to you all who have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances. Give them comfort; renew their faith and strengthen them in the weeks and months ahead. Lord of the broken-hearted: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

For the Princess's life and work:

The Princess will be especially missed by the many charities with which she identified 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. Lord we pray for all who are weak, poor and powerless in this country and throughout the world; the sick, among them Trevor Rees-Jones; the maimed and all whose lives are damaged. We thank you for the way that Diana became a beacon of hope and a source of strength for so many. We commend to you all those charities that she supported. Strengthen the resolve of those who work for them to continue the good work begun with her. Lord of the suffering: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

For ourselves:

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. As we reflect on the Princess's compassion for others, we pray that we too may be inspired to serve as she served. Lord we thank you for Diana's commitment to others. Give us the same compassion and commitment. Give us a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag down; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose can tempt aside. Grant us, O Lord, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may bring us to your eternal kingdom. Lord of the compassionate: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

All remain seated.

The choristers sing: I would be true, for there are those that trust me. Air from County Derry in G Petrie: The Ancient Music of Ireland (1853) Howard Arnold Walter.

The Archbishop continues:

Therefore, confident in the love and mercy of God, holding a living faith in God's mighty resurrection power, we, the congregation here, those in the streets outside and the millions around the world, join one another and the hosts of Heaven, as we say together, in whatever language we may choose, the prayer which Jesus taught us:

The Lord's Prayer

The Archbishop says:


The God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, make you perfect in every good work to do his will: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you and all whom you love, this day and for evermore. AMEN.

All stand to sing THE HYMN Guide me, O thou great Redeemer Cwm Rhondda. John Hughes (1873-1932) W Williams (1717-91) translated by P Williams (1727-96) and others.

Standing before the Catafalque the Dean says:


Let us commend our sister Diana to the mercy of God, our Maker and Redeemer.

Diana, our companion in faith and sister in Christ, we entrust you to God.

Go forth from this world in the love of the Father, who created you; In the mercy of Jesus Christ, who died for you; In the power of the Holy Spirit, who strengthens you. At one with all the faithful, living and departed, may you rest in peace and rise in glory, where grief and misery are banished and light and joy evermore abide. AMEN.

All remain standing as the cortge leaves the church, during which the choir sings:

Alleluia. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. John Tavener (b 1944) extracts from William Shakespeare: Hamlet and the Orthodox Funeral Service.

At the west end of the church the cortge halts for the minutes silence, observed by the Nation.

The half-muffled bells of the Abbey church are rung.

All remain standing as the Processions move to the west end of the church.

Music after the service: Prelude in C minor BWV 546.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Maestoso, from Symphonie No.3.

Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)

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