Newsletter for Sunday 18 September 2022

16 Sep

Thank you Your Majesty

We feel very sad at the momentous news of the recent death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We have lost a remarkable person who was wise and experienced, and one who gave herself fully to this country in a life of selfless service. Her historical memory goes back further than almost anyone. But even more important was her steadfast Christian witness which was always very personal, and her determination to uphold it and defend it in this increasingly secular and pagan society. For this we are most grateful and give thanks to God. May He reward her for her fortitude.

A good congregation was present for the Requiem Mass we offered for her at St Mary’s last Tuesday evening. We continue to pray for the repose of her soul. Our new King Charles III, in his first speech as king, used the beautiful quotation from Shakespeare: “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” May this be our prayer for her too. There is a memorial to our late Queen at the Altar of St George on the right hand aisle of the church where you may light a candle. Candles are a symbol of respect for those we have held in high regard. I would encourage you to light a candle for her there, and as you do so to pray for the repose of her soul.

I am printing below the statement of His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, following the death of Her Majesty.

Fr Paul Gillham, IC

“On 21 April 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, Princess Elizabeth said, ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.’

Now, seventy-five years later, we are heartbroken in our loss at her death, and so full of admiration for the unfailing way in which she fulfilled that declaration.

Even in my sorrow, shared with so many around the world, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

At this time, we pray for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty. We do so with confidence, because the Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity.

In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, ‘To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’

This faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many. The wisdom, stability and service which she consistently embodied, often in circumstances of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith.

Our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip. This is the promise of our faith, and our deep consolation.

Queen Elizabeth II will remain, always, a shining light in our history. May she now rest in peace.

We pray for His Majesty the King, as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother.

God save the King.”

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