12/04/2016

Celebrate Her Majesty's 90th birthday with your community #HMQ90

If you or your parish are planning on hosting a summer event why not make it coincide with The Queen’s official 90th Birthday weekend on 10th-12th June?

Share your event plans
Across the country, communities are starting to layout plans to commemorate this momentous occasion. As social and spiritual nuclei of many English communities, parish churches are seizing this opportunity and organising concerts, flower festivals, summer fairs, community exhibitions and many other events to celebrate the Queen’s life.

ChurchCare, which supports parishes, dioceses and cathedrals in caring for their buildings today and for the enjoyment of future generations, is encouraging churches to plan an event that reflects the people, values and interests of your community.

Churchcare has produced a comprehensive online resource to help you plan your event this June, from liturgical materials for those scheduling a service to commemorate The Queen to general advice on planning an outdoor event or street party in your community. They can also help to promote planned events by marking them on their celebration map, and by sharing them on social media with the hashtag #HMQ90.

St Paul’s Cathedral in London will host the official celebration service for the Queen on Friday 10th June, which will be televised on the BBC starting at 11am. For those who would like to model their local celebrations on this service, an outline of the Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving at St Paul’s as well as the texts of Prayers and Intercessions from the service will be available on the ChurchCare website in May, in addition to the prayers published below for use over Her Majesty’s Birthday weekend.

ChurchCare is keen to see parish churches and Church of England schools working together to plan an inclusive event for the whole community. For more ideas on how your school can participate in the festivities click here.

No celebration is complete without music so why not plan a Music Sunday in your parish for the Queen’s Birthday weekend? The Royal School of Church Music can help you plan an event in your community and promote it as part of their annual Music Sunday campaign. For all you bell ringers, you can find information on when the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is planning its peal.

Once you have worked out how your community is going to celebrate the Queen’s birthday this June, share your plans by emailing queensbirthday@churchofengland.org. Churchcare will promote your initiative on the dedicated Celebration Map and on twitter @CofE_ChurchCare using #HMQ90.
Collects and graces for birthday celebrations
The Liturgical Commission has issued two Collects, one for BCP services, one for Common Worship, which Her Majesty has personally approved for use at services celebrating her ninetieth birthday.

There are also two graces for use at church and community gatherings such as street parties. Please use and circulate as widely as possible.

Collects:

BCP:
Heavenly Father, who hast brought our gracious sovereign Queen Elizabeth to the completion of her ninetieth year, and dost gather her people in celebration of the same: grant that we, rejoicing before thee with thankful hearts, may ever be united in love and service to one another, and her kingdom flourish in prosperity and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Common Worship:
Heavenly Father,
as we celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen,
receive our heartfelt thanks
for all that you have given her in these ninety years
and for all that she has given to her people.
Continue, we pray, your loving purposes in her,
and as you gather us together in celebration,
unite us also in love and service to one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Graces:
  1. Bountiful God, giver of all good gifts,
    we give thanks for the many years and long reign of our Queen;
    Bless our food, our neighbourhood,
    and our enjoyment of each other’s company.
    Help us to learn from Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to her people,
    so that our community may be strengthened
    and all may flourish.
    We ask this in the name of Jesus, the King of love.
     
  2. Gracious God, give our Queen continued wisdom and strength
    to carry out the promises she has made;
    and bless (this food, and) those who are gathered here,
    that, sustained by service for others,
    we may faithfully serve you, all the days of our life.
    [With words from The Queen’s First Christmas Broadcast, 1952]