“In 1953 the queen began her coronation with silent prayer, just there at the high altar. Her allegiance to God was given before any person gave allegiance to her.”
With world leaders among the 2,000 people gathered in the abbey, Welby 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.”
The queen’s immediate family members were gathered around her coffin during the service. Welby acknowledged their grief and offered them his prayers.
“We pray especially for all her family, grieving as every family at a funeral — including so many families round the world who have themselves lost someone recently — but in this family’s 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 drew his sermon to a close with a reflection on the queen’s broadcast to the nation and the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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