The Countess of Wessex recorded a reading for Westminster Abbey’s worship podcast to mark Christ’s Ascension into Heaven on Thursday.
Recorded from her home at Bagshot Park in Surrey, Sophie read from the Gospel of Luke for several minutes as she contributed to this new, socially-distant project from Westminster Abbey.
Sophie read from Chapter 24, Verses 44-53, which details Jesus Christ’s Ascension into Heaven as witnessed by his disciples.
“We’re delighted that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has recorded a reading for a special edition of our podcast to celebrate #AscensionDay,” Westminster Abbey tweeted.
The Abbey launched Abbeycast when the United Kingdom began its lockdown procedures, which closed places of worship, in March. The Abbey said it was “for all those missing church services”. The broadcasts always feature readings, addresses, music, prayers and a blessing.
“They have been enthusiastically received by worshippers all over the world. Recordings are made at the Abbey observing social distancing measures and then edited off-site.”
Also featured in the Ascension Day episode were the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle and The Reverend Canon Dr James Hawkey, Canon Theologian. The Abbey Choir, conducted by James O’Donnell, the Organist and Master of the Choristers, performed Sir Charles Villiers Stanford’s Coelos ascendit hodie.
“Even as Christ moves away from his disciples, he offers them a renewed hope which is a road-map for the future; his promise is that the gift of Easter will be known permanently in their lives, as they witness to others what they have seen and heard,” Dr Hawkey says in the podcast.
Prince Charles recorded a reading for the Easter Sunday service last month. Other public figures who have participated include Jacinda Arden, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and The Bishop of London, The Right Reverend and Right Honorable Dame Sarah Mullally.
Listen to the full Ascension Day Abbeycast here.