HRH The Duke of Gloucester, patron of the Japan Society, attended The Great East Japan Earthquake Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 5 June 2011 at 6.30 pm.

The Dean and Chapter of Westminster also welcomed HE Mr Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan, to the Abbey for the time of remembrance for the earthquake that devastated the north-eastern coast of Japan, on 11 March 2011.

The service was conducted by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, and the Address was given by the Venerable Dr Michael Ipgrave, Archdeacon of Southwark. Mr Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office was also present.

During the service testimonies were given by Professor Shin-ichi Ohnuma, Professor of Ophthalmology, University College London and Helen Brittain, British Red Cross Psycho-social Support Team.

A floral tribute was laid at the Innocent Victims’ Memorial during the Act of Remembrance. In addition to a prayer of commendation offered by the Dean, Buddhist monks from Nipponzan Myohoji offered prayers for the living and the dead.

The Green Chorus sang Hanyu No Yado (Home Sweet Home) and Diana Yukawa performed Summer Elegy on the violin. The organ was played by Edward Tambling, Organ Scholar.

Fumiko Ferguson read Jeremiah 4: 23-26; 31: 1-6 and Yoshimi Gregory read Revelation 7: 9-end. Akira Koieyama read Ame Ni Mo Makezu (Do not be defeated by the rain).

Prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Sacrist. The Right Reverend Kohichi Takano, Chaplain, Rikkyo School, former Bishop of Osaka said: ‘As darkness gives way to the dawn of new day, may comfort come to those who have lost much, hope come to those who know only despair, peace come to those who are troubled, and strength to those wearied by the task.’

Tamashii Taiko played traditional Japanese music Kitani at the end of the service. A retiring collection was taken in aid of the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.

See also:

British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal

Order of Service (PDF, 304 KB)

The Address given by the Venerable Dr Michael Ipgrave, Archdeacon of Southwark (PDF, 117 KB)

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