Around 200 people gathered at St Columb’s Cathedral on Wednesday night for a Service of Thanksgiving recognising the life and work of HM The Queen, who has become the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
Entitled ‘Long to reign over us’, the service was conducted by the Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr William Morton DL, assisted by Rev Canon Samuel McVeigh County Deputy Lieutenant, Rector of Drumachose, Prebendary of Moville and a member of the Chapter of St Columb’s Cathedral, and Rev David Crooks.
Organist for the occasion was Cathedral Organ and Choirmaster, Ian Mills, as music was rendered by the members of The Cathedral Chamber Choir. Prior to the service the music played by Mr Mills was ‘La Paix and Menuet’ by G F Handel and Mr Mills also improvised two Highland Airs, during which the procession of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the Borough of the City of Londonderry, Dr Angela Garvey, took place. The Organ Postlude, ‘Imperial March’ by E Elgar, brought the service to a close.
The hymns were ‘All people that on earth do dwell’, ‘Guide me, O thou great Jehovah’ and ‘Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided’.
During the service the Cathedral Chamber Choir sang the Prayer of King Henry VI, ‘O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast created and redeemed me’.
The Old Testament reading, Proverbs 8: 1,6-12, was read by HM Lord Lieutenant Dr Angela Garvey, while the New Testament reading, taken from Philippians 2: 1-11, was ready by Rev Canon David Crooks, Taughboyne Parish, Donegal.
Prayers were led by both the Dean and Canon McVeigh, and included several for Queen Elizabeth II, and other members of the Royal family, particularly the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
In his welcome and introduction, the Dean of Derry said all who attended the service were aware of the tremendous significance and importance of the event, in theat HM The Queen had now become the longest reigning monarch in British history.
“In this service, in a very sensitive way, and yet, with a deep sense of thanksgiving we are honouring that tremendous achievement,” he said.
The Dean paid special thanks to the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant, Dr Angela Garvey, for agreeing to attend, and he also warmly welcomed the Lord lieutenant’s Cadet, Aimee Duncan, performing her first official duty since taking up the post.
The Dean also extended a deep debt of gratitude to Organist Ian Mills and the members of the Cathedral Chamber Choir for the music and singing for the service.