Click Below For Pictures Of The Funeral
The Funeral Service For
DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
6 September 1997
At Westminster Abbey, London
During the procession of the cortege from Kensington Palace, the Tenor Bell tolled every minute.
The service was sung by the choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by Martin Neary, organist and master of the choristers.
The organ was played by Martin Baker, sub-organist of Westminster Abbey.
Music before the service, played by Stephen Le Prevost, assistant organist, Westminster Abbey:
Second Movement (Grave) Organ Sonata, No.2
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-47)
Prelude on the hymn tune Eventide
Adagio in E Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
Prelude on the hymn tune Rhosymedre Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Choral Prelude: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV639 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Elegy George Thalben-Ball (1896-1988)
Martin Baker played:
Fantasia in C minor, BWV537 Johann Sebastian Bach
Adagio in G minor Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671-1751)
Slow movement, from the Ninth Symphony (From the New World) Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
Canon Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
Nimrod, Variation 9 arranged from Variations on an original theme (Enigma) Op.36 Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Prelude William Harris (1883-1973)
The members of the Spencer family were received at the Great West Door by the dean and chapter of Westminster.
All stood as they were conducted to places in the North Lantern, and then were seated.
All stood as the procession of visiting clergy moved to places in the sacrarium, and then were seated.
Members of the royal family were received at the Great West Door by the dean and chapter of Westminster and were conducted to St. Georges Chapel.
All stood as they were conducted to places in the South Lantern, and then were seated.
Her Majesty the Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, were received at the Great West Door by the dean and chapter of Westminster.
All stood as Their Majesties and His Royal Highness were conducted to their places in the South Lantern.
All remained standing as the cortege entered the Great West Door.
The Collegiate Body of St. Peter in Westminster moved into place in the nave.
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
GOD save our gracious queen
Long live our noble queen,
God save the queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the queen.
Thesaurus Musicus (c. 1743)
arranged by Gordon Jacob (1895 - 1984)
ORDER OF SERVICE
The cortege, preceded by the Collegiate Body, moved to the quire and sacrarium, during which the Choir sang.
I AM the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
(St. John 11:25,26)
I KNOW that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.
WE brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
(1 Timothy 6: 7; Job 1: 21)
William Croft (1678-1727)
Organist of Westminster Abbey 1708-27.
THOU knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears unto our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and most merciful Savior, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee. Amen
Book of Common Prayer<
Henry Purcell (1659-95)
Organist of Westminster Abbey 1679-95
I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours.
All remained standing. The Very Rev. Dr. Wesley Carr, dean of Westminster, said
WE are gathered here in Westminster Abbey to give thanks for the life of Diana, Princess of Wales; to commend her soul to almighty God, and to seek his comfort for all who mourn. We particularly pray for Gods restoring peace and loving presence with her children, the Princes William and Harry, and for all her family.
In her life, Diana profoundly influenced this nation and the world. Although a Princess, she was someone for whom, from afar, we dared to feel affection, and by whom we were all intrigued. She kept company with kings and queens, with princes and presidents, but we especially remember her humane concerns and how she met individuals and made them feel significant. In her death she commands the sympathy of millions.
Whatever our beliefs and faith, let us with thanksgiving remember her life and enjoyment of it; let us re-dedicate to God the work of those many charities that she supported; let us commit ourselves anew to caring for others; and let us offer to him and for his service our own mortality and vulnerability.
All remained standing to sing
DIANA’S FAVORITE HYMN
I VOW to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
the love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
that lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
the love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
the love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And theres another country, Ive heard of long ago,
most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
we may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
and soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
and her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.
Lyrics by Cecil Spring-Rice (1859-1918)
Music by Gustav Holst (1874-1934).
All were seated. Lady Sarah McCorquodale read:
If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my saketurn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.
All remained seated. The BBC Singers, together with Lynne Dawson, soprano, sing:
LIBERA me, Domine, de morte aeterna,
in die illa tremenda quando coeli movendi
sunt, et terra: dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Tremens factus sum ego et timeo,
dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira.
Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae,
dies magna et amara valde.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Translation: DELIVER me, O Lord, from eternal death in that dread day when the heavens and the Earth shall be shaken, and you will come to judge the world by fire. I tremble in awe of the judgment and the coming wrath. Day of wrath, day of calamity and woe, great and exceeding bitter day. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) from The Requiem.
All remained seated. Lady Jane Fellowes read:
Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.
All stand to sing
THE KING OF LOVE MY SHEPHERD IS
THE King of love my Shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
and he is mine for ever.
Where streams of living water flow
my ransomed soul he leadeth,
and where the verdant pastures grow
with food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me,
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home rejoicing brought me.
In deaths dark vale I fear no ill
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth:
and O what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days
thy goodness faileth never:
good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house for ever.
Dominus regit me.
J.B. Dykes (1823-76)
H.W. Baker (1821-77)
All were seated. The Right Honorable Tony Blair, MP, Prime Minister, read:
1 Corinthians 13
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
4Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
All Remain Seated
Elton John sang
Candle In The Wind '97
Goodbye England's Rose
May you ever grow in our hearts.
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart.
You called out to our country,
And you whispered to those in pain.
Now you belong to heaven,
And the stars spell out your name.
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind:
Never fading with the sunset
When the rain set in.
And your footsteps will always fall here,
Along England's greenest hills;
Your candle's burned out long before
Your legend ever will.
Loveliness we've lost;
These empty days without your smile.
This torch we'll always carry
For our nation's golden child.
And even though we try,
The truth brings us to tears;
All our words cannot express
The joy you brought us through the years.
Goodbye England's Rose,
From a country lost without your soul,
Who'll miss the wings of your compassion
More than you'll ever know.
All remain seated for
By Charles Edward Maurice, Earl Spencer
Brother of the Deceased
I stand before you today the representative of a family in grief,
in a country in mourning before a world in shock. We are all united not only in our desire to pay our respects to Diana but rather in our need to do so. For such was her extraordinary appeal that the tens of millions of people taking part in this service all over the world via television and radio who never actually met her, feel that they, too, lost someone close to them in the early hours of Sunday morning. It is a more remarkable tribute to Diana than I can ever hope to offer her today.
Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty. All over the world she was a symbol of selfless humanity, a standard-bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a truly British girl who transcended nationality, someone with a natural nobility who was classless, who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.
Today is our chance to say "thank you" for the way you brightened our lives, even though God granted you but half a life. We will all feel cheated that you were taken from us so young and yet we must learn to be grateful that you came along at all. Only now you are gone do we truly appreciate what we are now without and we want you to know that life without you is very, very difficult. We have all despaired at our loss over the past week and only the strength of the message you gave us through your years of giving has afforded us the strength to move forward.
There is a temptation to rush to canonize your memory. There is no need to do so.You stand tall enough as a human being of unique qualities not to need to be seen as a saint. Indeed to sanctify your memory would be to miss out on the very core of your being, your wonderfully mischievous sense of humor with the laugh that bent you double, your joy for life transmitted wherever you took your smile, and the sparkle in those unforgettable eyes, your boundless energy which you couldbarely contain.
But your greatest gift was your intuition, and it was a gift you used wisely. This is what underpinned all your wonderful attributes. And if we look to analyze what it was about you that had such a wide appeal, we find it in your instinctive feel for what was really important in all our lives. Without your God-given sensitivity, we would be immersed in greater ignorance at the anguish of AIDS and HIV sufferers, the plight of the homeless, the isolation of lepers, the random destruction of land mines. Diana explained to me once that it was her innermost feelings of suffering that made it possible for her to connect with her constituency of the rejected.
And here we come to another truth about her. For all the status, the glamour, the applause, Diana remained throughout a very insecure person at heart, almost childlike in her desire to do good for others
so she could release herself from deep feelings of unworthiness of which her eating disorders were merely a symptom. The world sensed this part of her character and cherished her for her vulnerability, whilst admiring her for her honesty.
The last time I saw Diana was on July the first, her birthday, in London, when typically she was not taking time to celebrate her
special day with friends but was guest of honor at a charity fund-raising evening. She sparkled of course, but I would rather cherish the days I spent with her in March when she came to visit me and my children in our home in South Africa. I am proud of the fact that apart from when she was on public display meeting President Mandela,we managed to contrive to stop the ever-present paparazzi from getting a single picture of her. That meant a lot to her. These are days I will always treasure. It was as if we'd been transported back to our childhood, when we spent such an enormous amount of time together, the two youngestin the family. Fundamentally she hadn't changed at all from the big sister who mothered me as a baby,fought with me at school and endured those long train journeys between our parents' homes with me at weekends. It is a tribute to her level-headedness and strength that despite the most bizarre life imaginable after her childhood, she remained intact, true to herself.
There is no doubt that she was looking for a new direction in her life at this time. She talked endlessly of getting away from England, mainly because of the treatment she received at the hands of the newspapers. I don't think she ever understood why her genuinely good intentions were sneered at by the media, why there appeared to be a permanent quest on their behalf to bring her down. It is baffling. My own, and only, explanation is that genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum. It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest is this; that a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.
She would want us today to pledge ourselves to protecting her beloved boys William and Harry from a similar fate. And I do this here, Diana, on your behalf. We will not allow them to suffer the anguish that used regularly to drive you to tearful despair. Beyond that, on behalf of your mother and sisters, I pledge that we, your blood family, will do all we can to continue the imaginative and loving way in which you were steering these two exceptional young men, so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition but can sing openly as you planned. We fully respect the heritage into which they have both been born, and will always respect and encourage them in their royal role. But we, like you, recognize the needfor them to experience as many different aspects of life as possible, to arm them spiritually and emotionally for the years ahead. I know you would have expected nothing less from us.
William and Harry, we all care desperately for you today. We are all chewed up with sadness at the loss of a woman who wasn't even our mother. How great your suffering is we cannot even imagine.
I would like to end by thanking God for the small mercies he has shown us at this dreadful time; for taking Diana at her most beautiful and radiant and when she had so much joy in her private life.
Above all, we give thanks for the life of a woman I am so proud to be able to call my sister: the unique the complex, the extraordinary and irreplaceable Diana, whose beauty,both internal and external, will never be extinguished from our minds.
All stood to sing
MAKE ME A CHANNEL OF YOUR PEACE
MAKE me a channel of your peace:
where there is hatred let me bring your love,
where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
and where there is doubt, true faith in you:
O Master grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love with all my soul!
Make me a channel of your peace:
where theres despair in life let me bring hope,
where there is darkness, only light,
and where there is sadness, ever joy:
Make me a channel of your peace:
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
in giving ourselves that we receive,
and in dying that were born to eternal life.
REPEAT FIRST VERSE AS LAST VERSE
WITH NO BRIDGE
St Francis of Assisi
translated by Sebastian Temple
All were seated. The Most Rev. and Right Honorable Dr. George Carey, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan, leads THE PRAYERS
For Diana, Princess of Wales: We give thanks to God for Diana, Princess of Wales; for her sense of joy and for the way she gave so much to so many people. LORD we thank you for Diana, whose life touched us all and for all those memories of her that we treasure. We give thanks for those qualities and strengths that endeared her to us; for her vulnerability; for her radiant and vibrant personality; for her ability to communicate warmth and compassion; for her ringing laugh; and above all for her readiness to identify with those less fortunate in our nation and the world. Lord of the loving: Hear our prayer.
For her family: We pray for those most closely affected by her death: for Prince William and Prince Harry who mourn the passing of their dearly loved mother; for her family, especially for her mother, her brother and her sisters. LORD we thank you for the precious gift of family life, for all human relationships and for the strength we draw from one another. Have compassion on those for whom this parting brings particular pain and the deepest sense of loss. Casting their cares on you, may they know the gentleness of your presence and the consolation of your love. Lord of the bereaved: Hear our prayer.
For the Royal Family: We pray for the members of the royal family, for wisdom and discernment as they discharge their responsibilities in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world.
LORD, we commend to you Elizabeth our queen, the members of the royal family and all who exercise power and authority in our nation. Enrich them with your grace, that we may be governed with wisdom and godliness: so that in love for you and service to each other we may each bring our gifts to serve the common good. Lord of the nations: Hear our prayer.
For all who mourn: Diana was not alone in losing her young life tragically. We remember too her friend, Dodi Al Fayed and his family; Henri Paul, and all for whom todays service rekindles memories of grief untimely borne.
LORD, in certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, we commend to you all who have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances. Give them comfort; renew their faith and strengthen them in the weeks and months ahead.Lord of the broken-hearted: Hear our prayer.
For the princesss life and work: The princess will be especially missed by the many charities with which she identified herself. We recall those precious images: the affectionate cuddle of children in hospital; that touch of the young man dying of AIDS; her compassion for those maimed through the evil of land mines and many more.
LORD we pray for all who are weak, poor and powerless in this country and throughout the world; the sick, among them Trevor Rees-Jones; the maimed and all whose lives are damaged. We thank you for the way that Diana became a beacon of hope and a source of strength for so many. We commend to you all those charities that she supported. Strengthen the resolve of those who work for them to continue the good work begun with her. Lord of the suffering: Hear our prayer.
For ourselves: And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. As we reflect on the princess’ compassion for others, we pray that we too may be inspired to serve as she served. LORD we thank you for Diana’s commitment to others. Give us the same compassion and commitment. Give us a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag down; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose can tempt aside. Grant us, O Lord, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may bring us to your eternal kingdom.
Lord of the compassionate: Hear our prayer.
All remained seated. The Choristers sang:
I WOULD be true, for there are those that trust me.
I would be pure, for there are those that care.
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer.
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all, the foe, the friendless.
I would be giving, and forget the gift,
I would be humble, for I know my weakness,
I would look up, laugh, love and live.
Air from County Derry
in G Petrie: The Ancient Music of Ireland (1853)
Howard Arnold Walter.
The Archbishop continued:
THEREFORE, confident in the love and mercy of God, holding a living faith in Gods mighty resurrection power, we, the congregation here, those in the streets outside and the millions around the world, join one another and the hosts of heaven, as we say together, in whatever language we may choose, the prayer which Jesus taught us:
OUR Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Archbishop said:
THE God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, make you perfect in every good work to do his will: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you and all whom you love, this day and for evermore. Amen.
All stood to sing
Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer
GUIDE me, O thou great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand:
bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore.
Open now the crystal fountain
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fiery cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through:
be thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death, and hells destruction,
land me safe on Canaans side:
songs and praises
I will ever give to thee.
John Hughes (1873-1932)
W. Williams (1717-91) translated by P. Williams (1727-96) and others.
Standing before the Catafalque the dean said:
LET us commend our sister Diana to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer.
DIANA, our companion in faith and sister in Christ,
We entrust you to God.
Go forth from this world
In the love of the Father, who created you;
In the mercy of Jesus Christ, who died for you;
In the power of the Holy Spirit, who strengthens you.
At one with all the faithful, living and departed,
May you rest in peace and rise in glory,
Where grief and misery are banished
And light and joy evermore abide. Amen.
All remained standing as the cortege left the church, during which the choir sang:
ALLELUIA. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Remember me O lord,
When you come into your kingdom.
Give rest O Lord to your handmaid,
Who has fallen asleep.
The choir of saints have found the well-spring of life,
And door of paradise.
Life: a shadow and a dream.
Weeping at the grave creates the song:
Alleluia. Come, enjoy rewards
And crowns I have prepared for you.
John Tavener (b 1944)
extracts from William Shakespeare: Hamlet
and the Orthodox Funeral Service.
At the west end of the church the cortege halted for the 2 minutes silence, observed by the nation.
The half-muffled bells of the abbey church were rung.
All remained standing as the processions moved to the west end of the church.
Music after the service:
Prelude in C minor BWV 546 Johann Sebastian Bach
Maestoso, from Symphonie No.3 Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
Members of the congregation were requested to remain in their places until invited by the stewards to move.