A “Right Royal Do” !

Sr Mary Clare Mason dj, invites us to share in the recent festivities to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and to join the Daughters of Jesus of the District England in giving thanks for her Majesty’s example of faithful and devoted service.

The United Kingdom celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd with four days of pageantry thanking her for her steadfast devotedness to the service of her people whether they be in the United Kingdom or further afield in the Commonwealth.

Her vow of service

In 1947, at the age of twenty-one, she made a radio broadcast in which she pledged herself to this service At the end of the broadcast, she asked God to help her in her vow and to bless all who were willing to share in her service of others.

The Queen is noted for her faith and all her Christmas Broadcasts refer to Jesus and how he has been an inspiration in her life. The Queen sees her authority as coming from God and it is to him that she will be accountable. Not only is she “Defender of the Faith” according to the Church of England, but she also sees her role as that of enabling people of other faiths to practice their faith in freedom.

For the Queen, the most important point in the Coronation Service was her anointing with holy oil, a symbol of being anointed for service to her people. This aspect of the Coronation was seen to be very sacred, so it was not televised but took place under a canopy. Her Majesty’s seventy-year reign has been one of diversity and inclusivity, inspired by the example given to us by Christ in his ministry. One of her favourite Gospel passages is that of St Luke 10, 25 – 37, the story of the Good Samaritan and of love of neighbour.

 

The whole country gets ready to party

At the end of May 2022, flags and bunting began to appear in the streets and shop windows, all in preparation for a four-day celebration of thanksgiving. The annual time-honoured tradition of “Trooping the colour” which started the event was followed by the lighting of beacons across the nation and Commonwealth. The beacon outside Buckingham Palace was a metallic structure in the shape of a tree adorned with containers of young trees to be planted later on in every county of the United Kingdom.

 

The Queen’s hommage to the front-line workers

A religious service of thanksgiving took place at St Paul’s Cathedral, with 400 guests representing the front-line workers during the pandemic. This tribute was also repeated at the big concert outside Buckingham Palace and the Pageant on Sunday, where many seats were given to those who care for the country. Not only was the nation thanking the Queen, but she wanted those who had “kept the nation safe “to be remembered.

In her message at the start of the pandemic she had said, “We will succeed, better days will return, and we will meet again”. In her thank you message to the nation for all that was being done to celebrate as a nation she reminded us not only to thank God for the past but to look forward with confidence and enthusiasm – a message for our General Chapter ?

In local communities across the country, there were street parties, a tradition that dates from the end of World War One when they were known as “Peace Parties”. Some held garden parties, but Srs Teresa and Mary Clare celebrated indoors with their next-door neighbours as the weather was too cold and windy to be outside.

Prayers of thanksgiving

Prayers of Thanksgiving were said in Churches on the Sunday and Sr Teresa attended a local ecumenical service. The Catholic Bishops asked that the National Anthem be sung at the end of every Mass – a first in my lifetime.

I was eight years old when the Queen ascended the throne in 1952 and remember her car passing by our farm as she travelled to the town of High Wycombe to visit the factory where the Coronation Stamps were to be made. Little did I realise that 60 years later I would meet her personally when I was presented with the Maundy Moneywhich she distributes each year to those who have served the local community.

The influence of Jesus Christ on the Queen

For the Queen’s ninetieth birthday, a book entitled “The Servant Queen and the King She Serves” was published in tribute to her Majesty. In it we read :

“The measure of how Jesus Christ influences the Queen

is not only in her public pronouncements

but in the priorities she sets for her life

and how she goes about her daily life”.

A fitting example for all those called to serve as ordained ministers or consecrated religious.

Sr Mary Clare Mason dj,

Westgate-on-Sea, England

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