The tenor bell at Westminster Abbey tolled every minute for 101 minutes this morning, before the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen Mother. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, co-celebrated the service together with the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster. Joining the Royal Family among the 2,200-congregation were politicians and other royals from around the world, as well as men and women linked to the Queen Mother through her charity work. After opening hymns, there was a bidding prayer read by the Very Reverend Dr Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster. The lessons were taken from Ecclesiastes and Revelation. In his sermon, the Archbishop said: "Like the sun, she bathed us in her warm glow. "Now that the sun has set and the cool of the evening has come, some of the warmth we absorbed is flowing back towards her. "If there is one verse of Scripture which captures her best, it is perhaps the description of a gracious woman in the final chapter of the book of Proverbs. "It says: 'Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.'" Dr Carey said the Queen Mother's strength was her talent for engaging with people, making every encounter feel "special and personal". The Archbishop added: "There was certainly nothing remote or distant about her own sense of dignity. "It was a dignity that rested not on the splendid trappings of royalty, but on a sense of the nobility of service." Dr Carey also remembered the Queen Mother for her laughter, saying: "Hers was a great old age, but not a cramped one...She remained young at heart, and the young themselves sensed that." After the sermon, the Dean of Westminster concluded the prayers by paying tribute to the example the Queen Mother showed in her "grace, dignity and courtesy". He concluded with a prayer for world peace, with particular mention of the Middle East. The service ended with a hymn chosen by the Queen Mother: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer. The Last Post was then heard before the congregation joined in the national anthem. Afterwards, the coffin was taken outside and put in a hearse. As the cortege began moving up the Mall at the start of the journey to Windsor, there was a flypast by two Spitfires and a Lancaster bomber.
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