Duchess of Cambridge hosts Christmas carol service at Abbey
Wednesday, 8th December 2021
HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a carol service at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 8th December 2021 to celebrate those who have supported their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The service, Together at Christmas, was hosted by The Duchess and was also attended by HRH Princess Beatrice of York and Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi; HRH The Countess of Wessex; and Mr and Mrs Mike Tindall.
Writing in the order of service, The Duchess said:
'The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us all with countless and previously unimaginable challenges. We have lost loved ones, seen our frontline workers placed under immeasurable pressure, and we have experienced heart-wrenching isolation from those we hold most dear.
‘Alongside this, we have seen how communities have come together to support those most in need. And through our separation from others, we have been reminded just how powerful human connection is to us all. Just how much we need one another. And how loving and feeling a sense of belonging to one another can provide comfort in tough times. The importance of simply being together.
‘In our roles, William and I are so fortunate to meet and spend time with phenomenal people across the country who day-in day-out support individuals and families. And over the past two years, we have been truly inspired by countless people who have brought their communities together through simple acts of love and kindness. This Carol Service is our small way of recognising the inspiring contribution so many of you have made.’
About the service
The service was led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who welcomed the congregation to the Abbey and pronounced the Blessing.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Paralympian Kim Daybell gave readings from St Luke's Gospel.
There was music from Leona Lewis who sang O holy night; and from Ellie Goulding who sang Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.
Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay read his own composition, commissioned for the service, reflecting on love and togetherness at Christmas.
Actor Tom Felton read A letter from a soldier to his sister at Christmas; and broadcaster Kate Garraway read Christina Rossetti's poem Love came down at Christmas.
The Venerable Tricia Hillas, Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster, gave a reflection, and led prayers at the Abbey's nativity crib.
The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey directed by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.
How to watch the service
The service will be broadcast in the UK on ITV at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve.