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Archbishop Welby leads prayers at Richard III reinterment

Posted on: March 26, 2015 12:43 PM
Horse-drawn carriage carrying the remains of Richard III at the start of its tour of Leicester, 22 March 2015
Photo Credit: Arun Kataria
Related Categories: Abp Welby, England, Leicester

[Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury led prayers and the blessing at the reinterment of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral today.

Archbishop Justin Welby blessed the remains of Richard III during a special ceremony attended by Royal Family members, Bishop of Leicester Tim Stevens, senior UK ecumenical clergy and civic leaders, among others.

The mortal remains were received at the Cathedral on Sunday night during a service of Compline, having been carried from the University of Leicester by the team who discovered them. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, preached at the service.

In the medieval rite of reburial, before reinterment the person’s remains were placed in the church while its usual pattern of worship continued.

This same pattern was followed in the Cathedral this week: the remains were in repose until today, when they were reinterred during a special service based on Morning Prayer.

Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, died aged 32 in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth.

His skeleton was found in 2012, in an old friary beneath a car park.