Queen Elizabeth II's funeral marked by messages of grief and hope

London, UK - Mourners who "follow the queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: 'We will meet again,'" Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said during Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gives a reading at the State Funeral Service for the UK's Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gives a reading at the State Funeral Service for the UK's Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London.  © REUTERS

Welby told attendees of the queen’s state funeral that grief felt across the world arises from the queen’s "abundant life and loving service, now gone from us."

In his sermon, the archbishop said: "People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer."

"But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten."

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"The grief of this day – felt not only by the late queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth, and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us."

"She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives."

Archbishop shares special message with royal family

King Charles III in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey in London.
King Charles III in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey in London.  © REUTERS

The archbishop prayed for the royal family – grieving like so many other families who have lost loved ones recently – but in this case, "doing so in the brightest spotlight."

He said: "May God heal their sorrow, may the gap left in their lives be marked with memories of joy and life."

Welby added: "We will all face the merciful judgement of God: we can all share the queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death."

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"All who follow the queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: 'We will meet again.'"

The remarks echo those made by the queen to comfort the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a televised address in April 2020, the queen evoked lyrics from Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime song, telling viewers: "We will meet again."

Some 2,000 people are gathered at Westminster Abbey to remember the late monarch, before a committal service at Windsor Castle later on Monday.

The service follows the Queen’s lying in state period at Westminster Hall, which ended at 6:30 AM. After the funeral service, her coffin was transferred to Windsor Castle, where it will rest alongside that of her husband, Prince Philip.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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