11 Nov 2014

Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons and their staff attended a Service to Commemorate the Centenary of the First World War at Westminster Abbey on Armistice Day Tuesday 11th November 2014 at 10.30 am.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: 'We gather today as those to whom much has been given, and from whom much is expected. As we give thanks for the great gift of public service, we remember before God those who have died in service to their country in the two world wars and the many conflicts of the past century. With thanksgiving we recall service offered and sacrifices made.

'We come with penitence for the destruction that war brings to individuals, families, and nations. We pray for all those, both civilian and military, who have died or continue to suffer the effects of combat. We thank God for the hard-won freedom from strife that we enjoy in this land. We pray God for a time when such sacrifice may never again be required. But we humbly ask that men and women might always be found who count their lives worthy above all because they serve the greater cause of justice and concord. Trusting in God's grace, we dedicate ourselves anew this day to creating a world in which healing, peace, and virtue flourish.'

The Address was given by the Dean.

The Right Honourable John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, read Micah 4: 1-3 and the Right Honourable The Baroness D'Souza, Lord Speaker, read Revelation 21: 1-6.

The Lord Speaker and the Speaker of the House of Commons laid wreaths at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior after the Two Minutes' Silence at 11.00 am.

Intercessions were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster. Prayers were said by the Venerable Andrew Tremlett, Sub-Dean and Rector of St Margaret's, and the Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Steven Isserlis CBE played Sarabande from the Cello Suite V BWV 1011 by J.S. Bach on the 'trench' cello*.

The service was sung by the Special Service Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist. Martin Ford, Assistant Organist played before the service.

* Made by W.E. Hill & Sons around 1900 as a portable holiday instrument, the trench cello was taken to the battlefields of the First World War by 2nd Lieutenant Harold Triggs of the Royal Sussex Regiment. When Triggs was taken prisoner after an attack on German lines at Peronne in the Somme region he was separated from his cello. He was reunited with his instrument by chance after the Second World War.

See also:

The Order of Service (PDF, 318 KB)

The Address given by the Dean

Click on the images to enlarge

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