Her Majesty The Queen attends The Commonwealth Service

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth at Westminster Abbey on Monday 13th March 2017. They were accompanied by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex.

The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, attended the Service.

In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘We celebrate this year the Commonwealth as a builder of peace. As we give thanks for diversity of faiths, of resources and circumstances in our countries, we must pray that we may be united in peace and friendship and together promote peace in our divided world.’

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness of Scotland of Asthal QC, led the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.

Reflections were read by Achaleke Christian Leke, 2016 Commonwealth Young Person of the Year; and The Honourable Dr Joseph Muscat KUOM, Prime Minister of Malta and Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.

Dr Immanuel Mifsud read his poem The Book; and Kurt Fearnley OAM, Paralympian read Philippians 4: 4-9.

Prayers were said by The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Buddist; Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Reform Judaism; Trupti Patel, Hindu; The Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE, Sikh; Moulana Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Shia Muslim; and Canon Christopher Tuckwell, Roman Catholic. The Chief Rabbi and representatives of other faith communities attended the service.

Cody Simpson, Measha Bruggergosman and George the Poet sang and rapped during the service.

The Abbey Choir, conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers, sang O Hearken by Roxanna Panufnik , and I was glad by Hubert Parry. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist.

Before the Service, there were performances by The Bhavan  in the Abbey forecourt, and by The Commonwealth Festival Choir and Orchestra.

The flags of the 52 Commonwealth countries were processed through the Abbey at the start of the Service.

The Service was televised by the BBC and broadcast on BBC World Service.

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© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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