The planned church service to remember the Duke of Edinburgh in St Giles Cathedral once Covid restrictions allow

The plan was revealed in the response approved by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to the Queen’s traditional letter of greeting read at the Assembly’s opening session on Saturday.

The response also assured the Queen of Kirk’s prayers following the Duke’s death in April at the age of 99, the oldest wife of a reigning British monarch.

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The former moderator, the Very Reverend Dr Martin Fair, who gave the role to Lord (Jim) Wallace of Tankerness at the start of this year’s Assembly, read the response for the Assembly’s approval.

A service will be held in St Giles once pandemic restrictions allow

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It read: ‘Your Majesty has been continually in our thoughts since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

“We know you will have been sustained by your Christian faith, but your loss will have been keenly felt and we wish to assure Your Majesty that many in the Church of Scotland and beyond have prayed for you and members of the royal family in these testing times.

“In due time, and when pandemic restrictions allow, we will gather in St Giles Cathedral to thank the life of the Duke and his contribution to the Scottish nation.”

The response went on to thank the Queen for her ‘concern and prayers for the people of this country as they have come through the pandemic’.

And he said: “These are indeed difficult days clouded by illness, bereavement, unemployment and economic damage. We would humbly acknowledge Your Majesty’s steadfastness throughout these troubled times – a leadership that has never been lacking during the years of your reign. We have always felt your desire to serve and in this we are aware that Our Lord did not come to be served but to serve.

Prince William is attending the Assembly as this year’s Lord High Commissioner, representing the Queen, and in his address to the opening session he spoke of the Royal Family’s love for Scotland and of his own memories, including the “sadest” when he was told of his mother’s death while at Balmoral.

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