Westminster Abbey marks Agincourt anniversary
HRH The Duke of Kent and HRH Princess Michael of Kent attended a service to commemorate the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 29th October 2015. The National Anthem was sung.
In his bidding, the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: 'This Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster featured large in the story of Henry V. He was here when, on 20th March 1413, he became king. 600 years ago this very day, when news arrived of his glorious victory in the Battle of Agincourt, the rafters rang with hymns of glorious praise to almighty God.
'Here in 1422, the king's body was brought for Christian burial, hard by the Shrine of St Edward. Here, in the chantry chapel raised over his tomb, were countless masses said for the repose of his soul, and entombed the remains of his queen, Catherine.
'A hundred years ago, as our countrymen fought alongside the French, the old enmities had been put away. In the dark days before the Second World War, the story of Agincourt encouraged men and women alike to strive their upmost for freedom from tyranny.
'Today we give hearty thanks for our freedoms, and we pray for an end to tyranny wherever it is found, and for enduring peace and prosperity.'
During the service, the sword of King Henry V was borne through the Abbey Church and presented to the Dean at the High Altar.
The Address was given by the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres KCVO, Bishop of London.
The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow, read 1 Samuel 20: 18-23, 35-42; and Professor Anne Curry, Chair of Trustees, Agincourt 600 read Ephesians 4: 1-7.
Robert Hardy CBE, actor, read the Prologue from Act IV from Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth. Sam Marks, actor, Royal Shakespeare Company, read the Saint Crispin's Day Speech from Henry the Fifth, Act IV, Scene 3.
Pascal Deray, President of La Communauté de Communes des 7 Vallées, read The Account of a French Soldier in the First World War.
Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster, and said by Shenice Osisioma, Year 11 pupil at The City of London Academy, Southwark; Dr Sinclair Rogers, Chairman, Agincourt 600; Robyn Ridgeway, Year 13 pupil at The City of London Academy, Southwark; and the Reverend Professor Vernon White, Canon in Residence.
The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir, conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist.
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