Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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I am sure we are all still reeling from the shock of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was such an amazing role model to us all, so loved and respected. For me she will be remembered for her strong and undeniable commitment to her Christian faith. I felt especially over the last few years that this became more apparent through her public messages which always mentioned Jesus and the strength she drew from her belief. It has been said that before she was crowned queen she first knelt before the high altar in humility and dedicated her life’s service to Almighty God.


There is something about tradition and ritual in worship, if meant sincerely, communicates the respect and reverence that is due to God. Kneeling for example is an act of veneration and humility. While I realise ritual and tradition are not to everyone’s liking, the words we say and how we say them are important. Below are the words of the Gloria that I love from the Book of Common Prayer for the service of Holy Communion. Although it is written in traditional language that many people are not familiar with, there are reasons for this: archaic language expresses a sense of sacredness; there is something majestic, elegant and poetic about liturgy that contemporary worship doesn’t always convey; it reminds us that our faith is ancient as well as timeless, it has lasted for over 2000 years.


Glory be to God on high, and in earth peace, goodwill towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father almighty. O Lord, the only begotten Son Jesu Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.  Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Gloria sums up quite purely and simply, our adoration of God. There are so many worship songs and prayers that we sing or say in Church today that are all about me or us and seem to lack the adoration and worship of Almighty God.


This is the message of dedication the Queen gave at her coronation:

‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial family to which we all belong, but I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in with me, as I now invite you to do.  I know that your support will be unfailingly given.  God help me to make good my vow and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.’

Perhaps this week might be an opportunity for us all to rededicate our lives to God.


Church of England – Resources for Church Services and Collective Worship in schools to Commemorate the Death of HM Queen Elizabeth II

The Faith of Queen Elizabeth: The Poise, Grace and Quiet Strength Behind the Crown

The Servant Queen and the King She Serves