09 Mar 2015
Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh attended an Observance for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey on Monday 9th March 2015.
They were accompanied by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: 'United by ties of friendship, we gather representing a rich diversity of faiths. Our theme is 'A Young Commonwealth', so we shall give thanks for young people with their many gifts and pray that they may be blessed and a blessing.'
The Commonwealth Secretary-General HE Kamalesh Sharma read the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.
Reflections were read by the Speaker of Bangladeshi Parliament, The Honourable Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury; Executive Director, Lifeline Nehemiah Projects and Queen's Young Leader, PJ Cole; and Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi.
Sharanya Manivannan read her poem Gathering and Barkha Mossae, Queen's Young Leader, read Isaiah 40: 27-31.
The Choir of Westminster Abbey performed Truly I tell you, a new anthem composed specially for the Observance by the Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir CBE.
Prayers were said by the Reverend Martin Turner, Methodist Church; Dr Natubhai Shah, Jain community; Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Reform Judaism; Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Muslim community; The Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE, Sikh community; Malcolm M Deboo, Zoroastrian community; and The Reverend Andrea Price, the Church of Scotland.
There were performances by the dance company, dancedigital and South African vocal trio, The Soil.
The Abbey Choir was conducted by Sub-Organist, Daniel Cook, and the organ was played by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist.
The Commonwealth Festival Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of Graham Dinnage and Dr James Ross, performed before the Observance.
The flags of the 53 Commonwealth countries were paraded through the Abbey at the start of the service. A Commonwealth flag was flown in the Abbey forecourt and broken out before the service by the Commonwealth Secretary-General.
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