The Service is held each year
at Westminster Abbey on a date close to Florence Nightingale’ s Birthday
which is the 12th May.
The Service is
attended by approximately 2,000 people, mainly
nurses, midwives and health visitors, Government Ministers and those associated
with the Foundation.
During the Service, the
Lamp - symbolic of Florence Nightingale - is taken from the Nurses' Chapel in
the Abbey and carried by a senior member of the profession; it is handed from
one nurse to another, thence to the Dean, who places it on the High Altar. This
signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another.
The Lamp is escorted by a procession of
nurses, usually student nurses.
At the Service there
is also a procession of the Nurses' Roll of Honour. This is in remembrance of
those Nurses who gave their lives in the Second World War while caring for the
sick and wounded and whose names are recorded in the Nurses' Chapel. The Roll
is carried by a member of the armed forces and is escorted each year by the
three Matrons in Chief of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.
Pensioners also attend the Service in recognition of the tremendous work
undertaken by Florence Nightingale in reforming the armed forces during her
Services are held
all over the world to commemorate Florence Nightingale. These services are also
a celebration of nursing.
A service is held in
Northern Ireland on the Sunday before her birthday. It moves to a different
part of the country each year.
At St Margaret's
Church at East Wellow in Hampshire, where Florence Nightingale is buried, a
service is also held on the Sunday after her birthday.
Tickets for the Service at Westminster Abbey are available,
free, from the Florence Nightingale Foundation’ s offices during March and