Pope Benedict XVI to attend Abbey Service of Evening Prayer
Friday, 9th July 2010
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will attend a Service of Evening Prayer at Westminster Abbey during his visit to England and Scotland in September 2010.
The Abbey service at 6.15pm on Friday 17th September will be the only ecumenical service of the Papal Visit.
The Pope will attend the Abbey service after a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams, at Lambeth Palace and an address to a gathering of political and civil society at Westminster Hall.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, together with church leaders from many denominations, will join His Holiness at the Abbey service.
The Pope will be greeted at the Abbey’s west gate by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who will escort him to the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in the Nave, where His Holiness will pray for peace.
During the Service of Evening Prayer the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury will each give an Address from the Sacrarium. They will both pray at the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor, His Grace for Church and State and His Holiness for Christian unity. They will give a joint Blessing from the High Altar.
The Abbey will be full, with a congregation of more than 2000. Attendance is by invitation. The Abbey will ensure that the congregation is as inclusive as possible, by extending invitations via ecumenical groups and Christian denominations across the United Kingdom. Those individuals identified by their church or organisation will be given the details of how to apply online. There will be strict security surrounding the visit with screening of applicants.
The service will be televised live by the BBC and the Order of Service will be posted in advance on the Abbey website to enable television viewers to follow the proceedings.