Princess Diana's Funeral Part 20: Song for Athene by Sir John Tavener




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Published on Jun 19, 2007

The Dean commends Diana's soul to enter the Kingdom of Heaven "...where grief and misery are banished, and light and joy evermore abide."

The Welsh Guards shoulder the coffin and, led by the ivory cross, march down the nave to the haunting and deeply moving 'Song for Athene' with words from Shakespeare and the Othodox Funeral Service to music by the still living composer John Tavener who composed it for the funeral of a sixteen year old girl who died in a road accident in 1993:


May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Remember me O Lord, when you come into your kingdom.

Give rest O Lord to your handmaid, who has fallen asleep.

The choir of saints have found the well-spring of life, and door of paradise.

Life: a shadow and a dream.

Weeping at the grave creates the song:

Come, enjoy rewards and crowns I have prepared for you.

More about Sir John at:

The soldiers then stop for the moment of silence observed by the whole British nation.

When I first saw this when I was 20, I was almost on my knees with grief at this moment; I just couldn't stop crying. :'-(

The silence is broken by bells ringing out above which continues as the coffin is carried outside and loaded into the hearse for Diana's final journey. This can be seen in Part 21...


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