Throughout these days of official Mourning for Her Majesty, we have heard stories and tributes from statesmen to the very humblest, from those senior in years to the youngest, and from people of all and no faith. All in some way have spoken of a woman of compassion, kindness and an extraordinary life of service to others.
At her Majesty’s coronation in 1953, the Queen was anointed with sacred oils by the archbishop of Canterbury and she pledged, in her role as “Supreme Governor of the Church of England” and “Defender of the Faith” to rule not just according to British laws, but the “laws of God,”
In her Majesty’s 2004 broadcast, the Queen said, "For me as a Christian, one of the most important of these teachings is contained in the parable of the Good Samaritan, when Jesus answers the question, 'Who is my neighbour?'. She went on to say,
"It is a timeless story of a victim of a mugging who was ignored by his own countrymen but helped by a foreigner—and a despised foreigner at that. "The implication drawn by Jesus is clear. Everyone is our neighbour, no matter what race, creed, or colour. The need to look after a fellow human being is far more important than any cultural or religious differences."
Her Majesty’s life was devoted to the ‘other’ – to her neighbour. It was a life of service and of faith lived out.
A memory impressed upon my heart, is when Her Majesty visited Ireland in 2011 and spoke of the hope and possibility of reconciled and restored relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom. She knew there could never be true healing without truth and reconciliation. And she named it.
It was this honesty and her own example of setting aside personal pain and trauma, and her desire to work for peace, that have caused some on the island of Ireland, to speak of her Majesty as the Queen of Peace.
This weekend, over 500 World Leaders shall come together at Westminster Abbey for her funeral. What an amazing grace it would be if her heart for love and peace and reconciliation should transcend the grave, and that those who come to the service, should leave as friends. Please God!
In the Holy Bible, our Lord says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of God.’ And elsewhere, our Lord Jesus says,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you: for I was hungry, and ye gave me food: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
As she stands before the Throne of Grace, Her Majesty may well ask, “Lord, when did I do such things for you?’ And the words that are immortalised in the Holy Writ will be to her: “Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.”
And so it is to God that we give thanks, that Elizabeth the Second was our Queen, and it is with immense confidence that we now commit her to her Sovereign Lord and God. Let us pray:
Into your hands, O Father and Lord, we commend your servant, our late Sovereign Lady QUEEN ELIZABETH. Enlighten her with your holy grace and suffer her never to be separated from you, O Lord in Trinity, God everlasting.
May God in his mercy grant us, with all the faithful departed, rest and peace.