Music

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: All the music that will be played during the service

18 September 2022, 22:31 | Updated: 18 September 2022, 23:05

All the music being played at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

All the music being played at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Picture: Getty


As the nation says a final farewell to Her Majesty, here’s a full program of all the music that will feature during her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September 2022.

The service for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be led by the Dean of Westminster, with music sung by the choristers of The Choir of Westminster Abbey and The Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal.

Westminster Abbey’s Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O’Donnell, will direct the choirs and the Abbey’s Sub-Organist, Peter Holder, and Assistant Organist, Matthew Jorysz will play the organ during the service.

The service will feature three hymns, two anthems, and two new works composed for the ceremony by Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan, and Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir.

Other musicians featured will include the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry, led by Trumpet Major Julian Sandford, the Fanfare Team of the Household Division Bands, conducted by Lieutenant Colonel David Barringer MBE, Commanding Officer, Household Division Bands, and the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, who will play out the service.

Read more: The Queen’s funeral: how music will play a role at the Westminster Abbey service

What music will be played on the organ at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?

Before the ceremony begins, the Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey, Matthew Jorysz, will play the following music.

  • Fantasia of four parts – Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625) Organist of Westminster Abbey 1623–25
  • Romanza (Symphony No.5 in D) — Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) arranged by Robert Quinney (1976-)
  • Reliqui domum meum – Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016)
  • Meditation on ‘Brother James’s Air’ – Harold Darke (1888–1976)
  • Prelude on ‘Ecce jam noctis’ Op.157 No.3 – Healey Willan (1880–1968)
  • Psalm Prelude Set 1 No.2 – Herbert Howells (1892–1983)
  • In the Country Op.194 No.2 – Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
  • Fantasy on ‘O Paradise’ – Malcolm Williamson (1931–2003)
  • Elegy Op.58 – Edward Elgar (1857–1934) arranged by Matthew Jorysz (b 1992)

The Westminster Abbey Sub-Organist, Peter Holder, will then play the following works by Edward Elgar before the Procession of Religious Representatives moves to their places in the Nave and the Sacrarium for the funeral.

  • Andante espressivo (Sonata in G Op.28)
  • Sospiri Op.70

At the end of the service, Holder will perform Fantasia in C minor BWV 562 by Johann Sebastian Bach as the coffin and procession leave the Abbey.

What hymns will be sung at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?

The congregation will be invited to sing three hymns during the funeral ceremony at various times during the service. These hymns are:

  • The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended
  • The Lord’s my Shepherd
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

The first hymn, ‘The day Thou gavest Lord is ended’, will be sung as after The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster, gives the bidding. This hymn was notably performed as part of the celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, in 1897

The second hymn, ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’, was one of Her Majesty’s favorite pieces of music, having featured in a list of the late Queen’s top 10 pieces of music revealed in 2016. This hymn will be sung after the second reading, read by the Right Honorable Elizabeth Truss MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’, will be sung after The Lord’s Prayer is said. The hymn was written by prolific hymn writer, Charles Wesley, who wrote over 6,500 hymns including Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

Read more: ‘Love Divine, all Loves Excelling’ – lyrics to Charles Wesley’s beloved hymn

What choral music will be performed at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?

Two new pieces of music have been specially composed for the ceremony by notable living British composers.

The first is ‘Like as the Hart’, an unaccompanied musical setting of Psalm 42 from the Bible’s Book of Psalms by British composer, and Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir CBE.

Speaking to Moira Stuart for the third series of Moira Stuart Meets… on Classic FM the evening before Her Majesty’s funeral, Weir told Stuart that the ceremony will be, “a beautifully performed occasion… even as a musical experience”.

The second specially composed piece is the service’s Anthem, a setting of a text from the New Testament’s Epistle to the Romans by Scottish composer, Sir James MacMillan.

Read more: Who is the current Master of the King’s Music, and what does the title mean?

The choir will also perform an anthem by Hubert Parry, ‘My soul, there is a country’, which is one of six motets which make up the composer’s Songs of Farewell. Parry is a favorite of King Charles III, and in 2021, the then-Prince of Wales presented a film on Parry’s life titled, The Prince and the Composer.

A setting of Psalm 34 by Ralph Vaughan Williams, ‘O Taste and see how gracious the Lord is’, which was composed for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, will be sung following the prayers.

What instrumental music will be performed at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?

The Last Post will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the steps of the Lady Chapel, led by Trumpet Major Julian Sandford.

A two-minute silence, heard across the United Kingdom, will follow, concluding with a sounding of The Reville by the State Trumpeters.

Following this, the congregation will sing the National Anthem, ‘God Save The King’. The Sovereign’s Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, will then play the traditional Lament, ‘Sleep, dearie, sleep’.

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