Westminster Abbey remembers those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake



Ambassador Hayashi lays a floral tribute at the Innocent Victims' Memorial

A memorial service to remember the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake was held at Westminster Abbey on 5 June 2011. HRH The Duke of Gloucester, patron of the Japan Society, attended the service alongside Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi and around 1800 members of the public. Mr Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was also present.

The service was conducted by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, and was composed of prayers, testimonies, music and readings, in both English and Japanese.

During the service testimonies were given by Professor Ohnuma, Professor of Ophthalmology, University College London and Helen Brittain, British Red Cross Psycho-social Support Team.

A floral tribute was laid at the Innocent Victims' Memorial during the Act of Remembrance. In addition to a prayer of commendation offered by the Dean, Buddhist monks from Nipponzan Myohoji offered prayers for the living and the dead.

The Green Chorus sang Hanyu No Yado (Home Sweet Home) and Diana Yukawa performed Summer Elegy on the violin. The organ was played by Edward Tambling, Organ Scholar.

Fumiko Ferguson read Jeremiah 4: 23-26; 31: 1-6 and Yoshimi Gregory read Revelation 7: 9-end. Akira Koieyama read Ame Ni Mo Makezu (Do not be defeated by the rain).

Prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Sacrist. The Right Reverend Kohichi Takano, Chaplain, Rikkyo School, former Bishop of Osaka, said: As darkness gives way to the dawn of new day, may comfort come to those who have lost much, hope come to those who know only despair, peace come to those who are troubled, and strength to those wearied by the task.

Tamashii Taiko played the traditional Japanese music piece Kitani at the end of the service. A retiring collection was taken in aid of the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.


Westminster Abbey