Eddie Redmayne reads poignant bible passage about time at Stephen Hawking's funeral

'For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted'

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 01 April 2018 14:28
Eddie Redmayne arrives at Stephen Hawking's funeral

Eddie Redmayne led tributes to Professor Stephen Hawking by reading a poignant Bible reading about time at the renowned British physicist’s funeral in Cambridge.

The actor, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Professor Hawking in 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything, gave a reading at the private service which was attended by 500 guests.

The 36-year-old read the gathered guests a reading from Ecclesiastes 3.1-11 titled "Everything Has Its Time".

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh,” the passage read.

“A time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace."

Hawking’s work centred around bringing together relativity - the nature of space and time - and quantum theory to explain the genesis of the universe. His 1988 book A Brief History Of Time sold 10 million copies and was translated into 35 languages.

Redmayne was among the first celebrities to publicly share their condolences for the cosmologist who died two weeks ago at the age of 76.

Casket containing Professor Stephen Hawking is carried into the University Church of St Mary the Great

“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family,” Redmayne said.

Hawking died peacefully at his Cambridge home on 14 March - he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his twenties.

Other high profile guests included Queen guitarist Brian May, tech titan Elon Musk, model Lily Cole, playwright Alan Bennett, and comedian Dara O Briain.

The service was held at University Church of St Mary the Great which is steps away from Cambridge University’s Gonville and Caius College where the world famous physicist spent more than half a century as a research fellow. Crowds also lined the streets of Cambridge for the funeral

“On behalf of our whole family we want to express our huge gratitude to all the wonderful tributes to our father and to those who have sent us messages of condolence,” Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert and Timothy said in a statement.

“Our father lived and worked in Cambridge for over 50 years. He was an integral and highly recognizable part of the university and the city. For this reason, we have decided to hold his funeral in the city that he loved so much and which loved him.

“Our father’s life and work meant many things to many people, both religious and non-religious. So, the service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the breadth and diversity of his life. We would like to thank Gonville and Caius College, the University of Cambridge and Trinity College, Cambridge for their assistance with our father’s funeral service.”

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