Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Couple pray to 'serve and comfort'

Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury

The newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have issued a prayer calling on God to help them "serve and comfort those who suffer".

The royals, who were married at Westminster Abbey, also asked for spiritual help to maintain focus on the things that mattered, and to be "generous" with their "time and love and energy".

The Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, read the words penned by William and Kate - a declaration of intent for their new life together. The senior cleric spoke the prayer at the end of his address to the wedding congregation of around 1,900 family, friends, associates and dignitaries.

He told those gathered in the abbey: "I pray that everyone present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today will do everything in their power to support and uphold you in your new life.

"I pray that God will bless you in the way of life you have chosen, a way which is expressed in the prayer that you have written together in preparation for this day:

"'God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

"'In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

"'Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen'."

The bishop has close links to the groom and his family, becoming a trusted friend of William's father the Prince of Wales when they were students at Cambridge University.

Along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the cleric is said to have given the couple pre-wedding advice on marriage. Speaking from the abbey's great pulpit, the bishop began by telling the newlyweds that becoming husband and wife would ultimately enable them to become their "deepest and truest selves".

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