HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a candle-lit vigil at Westminster Abbey on Monday 4th August at 10.00pm, which will be held to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Drawing upon Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark that ‘the lights are going out all over Europe’, the Abbey will move from light into darkness, until one candle remains at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, which will be extinguished at 11.00pm to mark the moment of the declaration of war. The Vigil will include music, scriptural readings, psalms, poetry, and contemporary accounts from 1914.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall said: ‘The 4th August 2014 will be an important chance to reflect on the reasons for the outbreak of the First World War and to repent of our collective failure to maintain peace through diplomacy. The vigil at Westminster Abbey will focus our reflection on the events of a century ago which have done so much to shape the history of the past hundred years.

‘We are delighted that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will represent The Queen at our national service of vigil and prayer. We hope that every place of worship in the United Kingdom will use the day for solemn reflection about the implications of the First World War for our own day.’

The special service will be broadcast live on BBC TWO. It is hoped that it will provide a moment of reflection for the nation and that churches, community groups and other faith communities across the UK will hold their own vigils. The Abbey recently published resources to help those planning their own services at www.westminster-abbey.org/worship/first-world-war-vigil-liturgy

© 2018 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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