Music for the Queen's committal service at St George's Chapel

The music chosen today for the Queen's state funeral has harked back to happier times in her life.

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Many of the pieces chosen for today had special significance to Her Majesty. Hymns sung earlier today at Westminster Abbey included The Lord’s My Shepherd, which was sung at her wedding to Philip in 1947.

The anthem O Taste and See was written by Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose ashes are also buried in the church, for the Queen’s coronation in the abbey in 1953 while another hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Exceeding, was sung in an arrangement first heard for the Prince and Princess of Wales’ wedding in 2011.

The Queen’s Piper helped close the funeral with a rendition of the traditional piece Sleep, Dearie, Sleep. Pipe Major Paul Burns, the monarch’s personal player at the time of her death, performed as the service came to an end, before the coffin left Westminster Abbey for Windsor.

This afternoon's committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, where the Choir of St George’s Chapel will sing.

Some of the music chosen for the afternoon service was composed by Sir William Henry Harris. Sir William was the Organist of St George’s Chapel between 1933 and 1961 and is believed to have taught the then Princess Elizabeth the piano as a child.

The service will also see the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre removed from the Queen's coffin and placed on the altar before the final hymn is sung.

Before the service

Before the Service the organ will be played by the Organ Scholar, Miriam Reveley, and the Assistant Director of Music, Luke Bond. Pieces being played beforehand are:

Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele (BWV 654) by Johann Sebastian Bach

OTraurigkeit, O Herzeleid by Dame Ethel Smyth

Master Tallis’s Testament by Herbert Howells

Psalm Prelude Set 1, No. 1 by Herbert Howells

Psalm Prelude Set 1, No. 2 by Herbert Howells

Melody (Three Pieces) by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Andante Sostenuto (Symphonie Gothique, Op. 70) by Charles-MarieWidor

The Tree of Peace by Judith Weir

Nimrod (Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36) by Sir Edward Elgar (arranged by Sir William H. Harris)

Prelude by Sir William H. Harris

Sheep May Safely Graze (BWV 208) by Johann Sebastian Bach (arranged by Stainton de B.Taylor)

Rhosymedre by Ralph Vaughan Williams

During the service

Psalm 121 (music by Sir Henry Walford Davies, KCVO, OBE)

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills: from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh even from the Lord: who hath made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel: shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord himself is thy keeper: the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;

So that the sun shall not burn thee by day: neither the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:

yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in:

from this time forth for evermore.

Glory be to the Father: and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

The Russian Contakion of the Departed (words translated by William J Birkbeck, music by Kiev Melody)

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints:

where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing but life everlasting.

Thou only art immortal, the Creator and Maker of man:

And we are mortal, formed of the earth, and unto earth shall we return:

For so thou didst ordain, when thou createdst me, saying,

Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

All we go down to the dust; and, weeping o’er the grave we make our song:

Alleluya, alleluya, alleluya.

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints:

Where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing but life everlasting.

Hymn: All my hope on God is founded

The Motet (words by John Donne, music by Sir William Henry Harris)

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.

Hymn: Christ is made the sure foundation

A salute to the Royal Fendersmith (by Pipe Major James M Banks)

God Save the King

Prelude and Fugue in C minor (by Bach)

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