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Order of service for the Queen’s funeral marks important events in her life

The order of service for the Queen’s funeral will have reminders of her life, going right back to her wedding, coronation and evoking memories of past royal funerals.

That the hymns and readings should have such resonance is no accident — the Queen is understood to have been consulted on almost every aspect of her own funeral.

Plans have reportedly been in place for the funeral of the UK’s longest reigning monarch since the 1960s.

Queen Elizabeth II lived well past those early planning stages to reign for 70 years, becoming the first sovereign to reach a platinum jubilee, as she did this year.

The order of service, published by Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey on Sunday evening, will reflect the life and times of recently deceased sovereign.

Starting at 11am on Monday September 19, it will be the first funeral of a king or queen at the abbey since George II in 1760.

What is in the Queen's funeral order of service?

Before the service formally begins, the tenor bell of Westminster Abbey will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, once for every year of Queen Elizabeth’s life.

The funeral service begins with the choir singing what are known as “burial sentences” — four lines from the bible and one from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

Starting with “I am the resurrection and the life” — a central tenet of the Christian faith — those five sentences, which will be set to music, were sung at the beginning of the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002 and have been used at every state funeral since the early 18th century.

The choir will later sing Psalm 23, The Lord Is My Shepherd, a hymn that will have had bitter and sweet memories for the late Queen.

It was sung at her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947 but would also be included as part of her father’s funeral service in Windsor only five years in 1952.

According to The Times, the Queen chose each of the hymns for her state funeral.

Along with The Lord Is My Shepherd, the 2,000-strong congregation will also sing: The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

Love Divine will be in an arrangement first sung at the wedding of William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, in the abbey in 2011.

Before that, another passage of music will denote a significant moment in the Queen’s life.

The choir will sing O Taste and See, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen’s coronation in 1953 — an event that took place in the same London cathedral almost seven decades prior.

Two pieces have been written specifically for the Queen’s funeral.

Judith Weir, appointed master of the Queen’s Music in 2014, composed Like As The Hart, a setting of Psalm 42 which will be played in between the readings.

Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan wrote Who Shall Separate Us From The Love of Christ?, drawing on words from Romans 8.

To end, The Last Post will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry.

It will be followed by a two-minute silence, observed in the abbey and throughout the country, before the national anthem is sung.

Queen’s coffin will then be taken via a procession to Windsor for a committal and private burial.

Who will conduct the Queen's funeral?

The service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle.

He will tell mourners: “Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will preach the sermon and will lead the commendation.

As is traditional, there will be no eulogy for the sovereign.

Who will read prayers at the Queen’s funeral?

Baroness Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, will read the first lesson from 1 Corinthians 15.

The reading includes the passage: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Prime Minister Liz Truss will read the second lesson from John 14, with the poignant line for Christians: “In my Father’s house are many mansions…. I go to prepare a place for you.”

The prayers later in the service will be led by the abbey's precentor, Reverend Mark Birch, and will be said by representatives of the churches of the United Kingdom.

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