The Countess of Wessex made a special appearance at a service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey, in her first appearance since having to self-isolate.
All Souls’ Day, observed on 2nd November, was marked with a service, paying tribute to the deceased. This year’s service especially remembered those who lost their lives during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Countess wore a light blue floral face mask on arrival in regulation current UK government guidelines, as well as a poppy brooch as we approach Remembrance Sunday.
During the service, Sophie removed her mask and gave a reading from Romans 5: 5-11, also lighting a candle of remembrance.
No hymns were sung, in accordance with current rules, much like at Princess Beatrice’s wedding in July.
The Sung Eucharist for All Souls’ Day Service was held in conjunction with Loss and Hope, a coalition of Christian organisations helping churches of all denominations support the bereaved. The support for the churches is carried out through training and resources. This year Loss and Hope is enabling churches to run their course for the grieving, The Bereavement Journey, online.
Rev Dr Sarah Archer, project leader of Loss and Hope, said: “The ceremony has extra poignancy this year due to coronavirus.
“And The Bereavement Journey course is a very useful resource for the year that we have had. Some people have already found the course much better meeting face to face as they are more comfortable in their home surroundings on Zoom.”
(Sophie, Countess of Wessex attends the All Souls’ Day service at Westminster Abbey)
All Souls’ Day is a day of prayer and remembrance for those who have passed away, observed annually by Christian denominations. The service is held every year to pay tribute to those who have died during the past 12 months.
In early October, The Countess of Wessex was in self-isolation after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus. The news came after Sophie took part in the London Marathon, on behalf of her patronage, Mencap.
Yesterday evening, HRH The Countess of Wessex attended our Sung Eucharist for All Souls’ Day and lit a candle of remembrance for all who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.
— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) November 3, 2020
At the time a palace spokeswoman commented: “Earlier this week The Countess of Wessex came into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Her Royal Highness is not experiencing any symptoms, but is following all relevant government guidelines and is self-isolating at home.”
Extracts from the service will become available to listen in the Abbeycast podcast, released later this week.