The service of remembrance for the life and work of Britain’s longest serving monarch, who died on Thursday, was held at the personal wish of the late Queen where ordinary members of the public were invited to attend with queues stretching out from earlier today. The event was not attended by members of the Royal family with the new King Charles III set to address the nation. It was attended by the Prime Minister Liz Truss and senior MPs including Sir Keir Starmer and other dignatories.
The service led by the first woman to be Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally who spoke of the deby of gratitude that was owed to the late Queen and how her Christian faith had shaped her reign of more than 70 years.
She said: “No words can encompass how much we owe Her Late Majesty The Queen. She will be profoundly and greatly missed. My prayers are with the Royal Family at this time, that they may know in the midst of their loss that ‘underneath are the everlasting arms’.”
The Bishop also reminded the congregation of the importance of her late husband Prince, Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
“If Christ was her anchor, her husband, the late Prince Philip was, in her own words, Her Majesty’s ‘strength and stay’. Yet even in the depths of her own mourning we saw once again her courage and her instinct for putting the needs of others first.”
The late monarch was known for her strong Christian faith which she mentioned increasingly in her later years.
The Bishop noted: “Her Majesty had a remarkable Christian faith, about which she had increasingly spoken in recent years, referring to Jesus Christ as her anchor and role model. Here in this Cathedral Church on the 3rd of June, we joined to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
“The Archbishop of York spoke of her faith in Jesus Christ as a fountain and a well from which she drew deeply, and by which she was replenished through all the challenges and joys of her life.”
In a note of comfort for those grieving, she insisted death is not the end.
“As a Christian I believe that death is not the end. That gives me hope even in the worst of times.
“To speak of hope is not to deny the fear, the loss and the anguish which death brings.
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“Jesus himself stood with Martha and Mary at the tomb of his beloved friend, Lazarus, and wept, wholly undone by his grief. But in that cameo we have the assurance of God’s presence in the world’s pain and a model for our response to human suffering: God is there for us and we are called to be there for others. The words of the prophet Isaiah assure us that the Spirit of the Lord is at work and will bind up the broken-hearted, comfort those who mourn – and give them a garland instead of ashes, and the oil of gladness instead of mourning.”
During the service, Ms Truss, who only became the late Queen’s 15th and final Prime Minister on Tuesday, gave a reading from the Letter of St Paul to the Romans chapter 14 verses 7 to 12.
The reading says: “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”
Prayers of thanksgiving were offered by the Dean designate the Very Revd Andrew Tremlett.
The Queen is due to lie in state for three days during a period of morning and will be buried alongside her late husband at Windsor Catle after the first State Funeral since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 which is expected to be attended by leadeers from around the world.
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