The music for The Queen’s committal service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

19 September 2022, 13:12 | Updated: 19 September 2022, 16:37

The Committal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will take place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
The Committal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will take place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Picture: Alamy

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

After Her Majesty’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Windsor Castle for a televised committal service in St George’s Chapel. Here’s all the music you will hear during the service.

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The committal service will take place at 4pm at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, four hours after the late Queen’s State Funeral ceremony concludes at Westminster Abbey, London.

During the committal service for Queen Elizabeth II, the Choir of St George’s Chapel will be conducted by James Vivian, Director of Music and the organ will be played by Luke Bond, Assistant Director of Music.

The ceremony will be led by The Right Reverend David Conner, KC VO, Dean of Windsor and the blessing will be pronounced by The Most Reverend and The Right Honourable Justin Welby, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan.

Some of the music in the Committal Service was composed by Sir William Henry Harris, who was the Organist of St George’s Chapel between 1933 and 1961 and is believed to have taught the then Princess Elizabeth the piano as a child.

Here’s all the music that will be featured during this half-an-hour service.

Read more: Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: All the music that will be played during the service

What music will be played on the organ at Queen Elizabeth II’s committal service?

Prior to the start of the ceremony the organ will be played by St George’s Organ Scholar, Miriam Reveley. Afterwards, the Assistant Director of Music, Luke Bond, will perform the following works:

  • Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele (BWV 654) – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
  • O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid – Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944)
  • Master Tallis’s Testament – Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
  • Psalm Prelude Set 1, No.1 – Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
  • Psalm Prelude Set 1, No.2 – Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
  • Melody (Three Pieces) – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
  • Andante Sostenuto (Symphonie Gothique, Op.70) – Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
  • The Tree of Peace – Judith Weir (1954-)
  • Nimrod (Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36) – Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) arranged by Sir William H. Harris
  • Prelude – Sir William H. Harris (1883-1973)
  • Sheep May Safely Graze (BWV 208) – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) arranged by Stainton de B. Taylor
  • Rhosymedre – Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

At the end of the service, Bond will play Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 562, which was also performed at the end of Her Majesty’s funeral earlier in the day.

Read more: ‘Music was really central to the Queen’s life’ – Judith Weir, Master of the King’s Music

What music will be sung at Queen Elizabeth II’s committal service?

The Choir of St George’s Chapel will open the service by singing a setting of Psalm 121 by Sir Henry Walford Davies, KC VO, OBE (1869–1941), former Organist at the chapel.

After the psalm, the congregation will sit, and the choir will sing the Russian Kontakion of the Departed, which was also sung at the funeral for The Duke of Edinburgh.

The hymn, ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’, will follow the bidding in the service. Based on a 17th-century German text and chorale melody, the music for this arrangement was written in 1930 by English composer, Herbert Howells.

After the Lord’s Prayer, the choir will rise to sing a motet – ‘Bring us, O Lord God’ – by Sir William Henry Harris, another former Organist of St George’s Chapel. Harris conducted at both the 1937 and 1953 coronations of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II respectively.

The final hymn in the service will be Westminster Abbey’s ‘Christ is made the sure foundation’, an adaptation of music by Henry Purcell.

The ceremony will end with the congregation singing, like at the State Funeral earlier in the day, the British National Anthem, ‘God Save the King’.

Read more: ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’ – what are the hymn’s lyrics?

What instrumental music will be played at Queen Elizabeth II’s committal service?

The Queen’s Piper, Pipe Major James M. Banks, will play the lament, ‘A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith’, prior to the National Anthem.

Once more, the service will conclude with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 562.