Derived from Sir Edward Grey’s quote ‘the lights are going out all over Europe’, the Abbey will shift from light into darkness, until one candle remains at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
At 11pm the lone candle will be extinguished to indicate the precise moment the declaration of war was announced.
The Vigil will consist of music, scriptural readings, psalms, poetry, and accounts from 1914.
“We are delighted that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will represent The Queen at our national service of vigil and prayer. We hope that every place of worship in the United Kingdom will use the day for solemn reflection about the implications of the First World War for our own day,” The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall noted.
The service will be broadcast live on BBC 2.