British royal wedding: Harry and Meghan put personal touch on wedding ceremony
The bride will not vow to obey, Harry will wear a ring and the soul classic Stand By Me is among the chosen music.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are bringing their own modern touch to their royal marriage ceremony, fusing the traditional and the contemporary.
The couple’s Order of Service reveals the soul classic Stand By Me by Ben E King will echo around the 15th century St George’s chapel, performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir.
Harry will also wear a ring, Meghan will not promise to obey her husband and the wording of the service is more contemporary than traditional.
The gospel choir will perform Etta James’ uplifting version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine – a favourite in African-American churches – as the newlyweds leave the chapel.
The service will also feature English Baroque composer William Boyce’s Symphony no 1 in B flat.
Although the ceremony in the gothic surrounds of Windsor Castle’s chapel is deeply religious, the service will use the words from the more up to date Marriage Service from Common Worship (2000), which features modern language, such as ‘you’ rather than ‘thee’ or ‘thou’.
The Official Order of Service for the Wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle is now available to download.https://t.co/dRHckWM0j8— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 18, 2018
The prince and his American former actress bride will pledge themselves to one another “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”.
In The Declarations part of the service, they will also promise to love, comfort, honour, and protect one another and be faithful to one another for the rest of their lives.
The 600-strong congregation, which will include the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, will be asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury: “Will you, the families and friends of Harry and Meghan, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?”
The guests will answer: “We will”.
Welsh rugby anthem Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer – otherwise known as Bread of Heaven – is among the hymns – likely to have been chosen by rugby fan Harry.
He is a prince of Wales, but is actually patron of England’s Rugby Football Union, while brother and best man the Duke of Cambridge is royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.
With Meghan’s father Thomas Markle pulling out of attending the wedding due to ill health just two days before the big day, the Order of Service still makes reference to Mr Markle escorting his daughter through the Quire.
This duty will now be performed by her soon-to-be father in law, the Prince of Wales, while Mr Markle is thousands of miles away in Mexico.
There was not enough time to reprint the 600 copies of the 20-page A4 Order of Service.
Diana, Princess of Wales’ sister Lady Jane Fellowes will deliver a reading from the Song of Solomon, which stresses the strength and power of love, with Harry and Meghan wanting the family of the prince’s late mother to play a role on the day.
Kensington Palace said the couple had thought carefully about the music and hymns and other parts of the ceremony, and also turned to Charles for help.
“Like any couple getting married, Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken a great deal of care in selecting all elements for their service,” the palace said.
“This has been a collaborative effort led by Prince Harry and Ms Markle.
“They have also sought the advice of the Prince of Wales for the orchestral music before the Service begins.”
Music before the service includes Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves and Elgar’s Chanson de Matin.
In keeping with royal wedding tradition, the National Anthem will be played at the end.