Queen funeral hymns and readings: Full list of music and words explained | The Sun

ALL eyes are on the Queen's funeral as the nation bids farewell to the country's longest-serving monarch.

The order of service for her funeral has been revealed – including music chosen by the Queen.

What hymns will be sung at the Queen's funeral?

The Queen's funeral service is taking place at Westminster Abbey at 11am on Monday, September 19, 2022.

The solemn occasion includes hymns chosen by Her Majesty – including one of the most famous Psalms, The Lord's My Shepherd.

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended

The Queen chose this hymn to be sung at her funeral.

It was written by John Ellerton in 1870 and is often sung to the tune of St Clement.

The hymn was also played at the celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.

It is the official evening hymn of the Royal Navy, with the words focusing on the worldwide fellowship of the church.

The lyrics are:

The day you gave us, Lord, is ended,
the darkness falls at your request;
to you our morning hymns ascended,
your praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank you that your Church, unsleeping
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping
and never rests by day or night.

As over continent and island
each dawn leads to another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor do the praises die away.

So be it, Lord! Your throne shall never,
like earth’s proud empires, pass away;
your kingdom stands and grows forever
until there dawns your glorious day.

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

This hymn is actually Psalm 23 and its main theme is the trust one holds in God.

It is a very important psalm in the Church of England, often sung as a response at funerals – and is believed to be a favourite of the Queen.

Many people will find the words familiar as they are used in the theme tune for popular BBC comedy The Vicar Of Dibley.

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The tune used for the show was written by composer Howard Goodall, whereas in church it is commonly sung to Crimond, which is generally credited to Jessie Seymour Irvine.

The traditional lyrics are:

The Lord’s my shepherd; I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
He leadeth me, he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for his own name’s sake;
within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for his own name’s sake.

 Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear no ill;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.

My table thou hast furnished
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
My head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me,
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be;
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

The Queen also chose Love Divine, All Loves Excelling for her funeral.

This hymn was written by  leader of the Methodist movement Charles Wesley in 1747 and it describes Christian perfection.

The tune is Beecher by John Zundel.

It was sung during the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

The lyrics are:

 Love divine, all loves excelling, 
joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling, 
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion, 
pure, unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with thy salvation;
enter ev'ry trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev’ry troubled breast.
Let us all in thee inherit, 
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning; 
Alpha and Omega be.
End of faith, as its beginning, 
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver, 
let us all thy life receive.
Suddenly return, and never, 
nevermore they temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, 
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing, 
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation; 
true and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation 
perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory, 
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee, 
lost in wonder, love and praise.

What music and words will be at the Queen's funeral?

The service is sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.

Music before the service, played by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist, Westminster Abbey, will be:

  • Fantasia of four parts – Orlando Gibbons
  • Romanza (Symphony no 5 in D) – Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Reliqui domum meum – Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Meditation on "Brother James’s Air" – Harold Darke
  • Prelude on "Ecce jam noctis" Op 157 no 3 – Healey Willan
  • Psalm Prelude Set 1 no 2 – Herbert Howells
  • In the Country Op 194 no 2 – Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Fantasy on ‘O Paradise’ – Malcolm Williamson
  • Elegy Op 58 – Edward Elgar

The sub-organist will play:

  • Andante espressivo (Sonata in G Op 28) – Edward Elgar
  • Sospiri Op 70 – Edward Elgar

The Sentences

During the procession of the coffin into the Abbey, the choir will sing verses from the Bible.

These will be:

John 11 verses 25-26: "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.

Job 9 verses 25-27: "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."

1 Timothy 6 verse 7 and Job 1 verse 21: "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."

The Book of Common Prayer: "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."

Revelation 14 verse 13: "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. Amen."

The Bidding

The Bidding will be read by the Dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle.

IN grief and also in profound thanksgiving we come to this House of God, to a place of prayer, to a church where remembrance and hope are sacred duties.

Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of
God our maker and redeemer.

With gratitude we remember her unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. With admiration we recall her life-long sense of duty and dedication to her people. With thanksgiving we praise God for her constant example of Christian faith and devotion.

With affection we recall her love for her family and her commitment to the causes she held dear. Now, in silence, let us in our hearts and minds recall our many reasons for thanksgiving, pray for all members of her family, and commend Queen Elizabeth to the care and keeping of almighty God.

This is followed by the prayer:

O MERCIFUL God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who hast taught us, by his holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him:

We meekly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our sister doth; and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight; and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son
shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, we beseech thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our mediator and redeemer. Amen.

The First Lesson

Baroness Scotland will read from 1 Corinthians 15, verses 20-26 and 53 to the end.

Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed
up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

The Psalm

The choir will sing Psalm 42 verses 1-7.

It was composed by Judith Weir in 1954.

The words are:

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks : so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God : when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night : while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
Now when I think thereupon, I pour out my heart by myself : for I went with the multitude, and brought them forth into the house of God;
In the voice of praise and thanksgiving : among such as keep holy-day.
Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul : and why art thou so disquieted within me?
Put thy trust in God : for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his countenance.

The Second Lesson

The second lesson read by PM Liz Truss is from John 14 verses 1-9a.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and
how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.

The Anthem from Songs of Farewell

The choir will sing The Anthem from Songs of Farewell, which was written by Hubert Parry in the First World War.

It comprises six choral motets, with My Soul, There Is A Country by Henry Vaughan being sung as the anthem at the Queen's funeral.

Songs from the series became the main hymns in services given by the Church of England.

The words are:

My soul, there is a country
Far beyond the stars,
Where stands a winged sentry
All skilful in the wars:

There, above noise and danger
Sweet Peace sits crowned with smiles
And One, born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files.

He is thy gracious friend
And, O my soul, awake!
Did in pure love descend
To die here for thy sake.

If thou canst get but thither,
There grows the flow'r of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress and thy ease.

Leave then thy foolish ranges,
For none can thee secure
But One who never changes,
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.


A series of seven prayers will be read giving thanks for the Queen as well as praying for those who are grieving.

Let us give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth’s long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service.

GOD, from whom cometh everything that is upright and true: accept our thanks for the gifts of heart and mind that thou didst bestow upon thy daughter Elizabeth, and which she showed forth among us in her words and deeds; and grant that we may have grace to live our lives in accordance with thy will, to seek the good of others, and to remain faithful servants unto our lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Confident in God’s love and compassion, let us pray for all those whose hearts are heavy with grief and sorrow.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray for His Majesty The King and all the Royal Family; that they may know the sustaining power of God’s love and the prayerful fellowship of God’s people.

ALMIGHTY God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla The Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family: endue them with thy Holy Spirit, enrich them with thy heavenly grace; prosper them with all happiness; and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In recognition of Queen Elizabeth’s service to this United Kingdom, let us rejoice in her unstinting devotion to duty, her compassion for her subjects, and her counsel to her ministers; and we pray for the continued health and prosperity of this Nation.

ALMIGHTY God, whose will it is that all thy children should serve thee in serving one another: look with love, we pray thee, on this Nation. Grant to its citizens grace to work together with honest and faithful hearts, each caring for the good of all; that, seeking first thy kingdom and its righteousness, they may possess all things needful for their daily sustenance and the common good; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us give thanks for Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to the Commonwealth throughout her reign, for her service and dedication to its peoples, and for the rich bonds of unity and mutual support she sustained.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, hear our prayer for the Commonwealth, and grant it the guidance of thy wisdom. Inspire those in authority, that they may promote justice and the common good; give to all its citizens the spirit of mutual honour and respect; and grant to us all grace to strive for the establishment of righteousness and peace; for the honour of thy name. Amen.

We give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth’s loyalty to the faith she inherited through her baptism and confirmation, and affirmed at her coronation; for her unswerving devotion to the Gospel; and for her steadfast service as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection she may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in all good works, to the glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray that we may be given grace to live as those who believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to eternal life.

BRING us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitation of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.

The choir sings: "O TASTE and see how gracious the Lord is :
blest is the man that trusteth in him."

The Lord's Prayer

Then The Lord's Prayer will be said:

In confidence and hope, let us pray to the Father in the words our Saviour taught us,

OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom
come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

The Commendation

The commendation will be read by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

He will begin: "Let us commend to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer, the soul of Elizabeth, our late Queen."

This will be followed by two prayers of commendation.

HEAVENLY Father, King of kings, Lord and giver of life, who of thy grace in creation didst form mankind in thine own image, and in thy great love offerest us life eternal in Christ Jesus; claiming the promises of thy most blessed Son, we entrust the soul of Elizabeth, our sister here departed, to thy merciful keeping, in sure and
certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, when Christ shall be all in all; who died and rose again to save us, and now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, in glory for ever. Amen.

GO forth, O Christian soul, from this world, in the name of God the Father almighty, who created thee; in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who suffered for thee; in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured out upon thee and anointed thee. In communion with all the blessed saints, and aided by the angels
and archangels and all the armies of the heavenly host, may thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

The Anthem

The second anthem was composed by James MacMillan from this service, and will be sung by the choir.

The words are adapted from Romans 8 verses 35a and 38b.

They are: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Alleluia! Amen."

The Blessing

The final blessing will be read by the Dean:

GOD grant to the living grace; to the departed rest; to the Church, The King, the Commonwealth, and all people, peace and concord, and to us sinners, life everlasting; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

What hymns will be sung at the Queen's committal?

The Queen's committal is held at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle at 4pm.

This is a more intimate ceremony where the members of the Royal family member say their last goodbye to the Queen.

The Queen's coffin will be carried in a procession to the chapel where another ceremony is held, followed by her family.

A series of hymns were chosen to make the last ceremony for the Queen a special one.

All My Hope on God is Founded

The hymn was originally written in German but then translated to English in 1899.

It established itself in the Church of England hymnbooks in the 20th century.

Christ Is Made The Sure Foundation

This hymn is sang in many royal events such as weddings and jubilees.

The last time it was played in a royal ceremony, was during the Platinum Jubilee which marked the 70-year reign of the Queen.

What readings will be given at the Queen's funeral and committal?

At the Queen's funeral, two readings will be given: 1 Corinthians 15: 20–26, 53–end, and John 14: 1–9a.

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Then, further readings will be given at the Queen's committal service in Windsor.

These are Revelation 21: 1–7 and Psalm 103: 13-17.

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