Local Christian Churches gather to pray for the Queen
In a spontaneous gathering to honour Queen Elizabeth II, local Anglican and Catholic Church leaders joined in prayer and song at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Manuka.
In his opening address, Anglican Bishop Mark Short noted Queen Elizabeth II’s “remarkable life of duty, service and faith.”
“The Queen’s commitment, faithfulness and stamina sustained her for a 70-year reign. Her steadfast service to nation, commonwealth and God has earnt her worldwide admiration,” he said.
Joined by Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Bishop Short led a packed church in Evensong, a sung evening service equivalent to Vespers in the Catholic Church.
Before the service, Archbishop Prowse referred to Queen Elizabeth as a ‘mother figure’ to all.
“Not only was she a woman of great faith, but also a mother figure to not only Anglicans but the commonwealth and the global church in a time of great fluidity and uncertainty,” he said.
Bishop Short recounted the Queen, and Prince Phillip’s, attendance at Sunday Service in St Paul’s, Manuka, in 1988. The Royal Tour was one of her 16 visits to Australia and included the official opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra.
Several items commemorating the visit were on display in the church including two Glastonbury chairs with specially made hassocks for the occasion.
Leading the congregation, Bishop Short praised the Queen’s example of selfless, dedicated service over many decades.
“Today, we thank God for the remarkable example of these virtues which she has modelled in public life for so long. Queen Elizabeth now finds well-deserved rest in a God from whom she drew strength.”
It was interestig to read of this recent occasion at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Manuka. Catholics believe, that praying for the repose of the souls of the dead is a necessary Spiritual Work of Mercy. However, I understand that most, if not all, Protestant Christians do not have a requirement to pray for the dead (or a belief in Purgatory.) I would be surprised if the service included any prayers for the repose of the soul of Queen Elizabeth II. Indeed, Anglican Bishop Short is reported above as proclaiming, ‘Queen Elizabeth now finds well-deserved rest in a God from whom she drew strength.’ Please God this is so. Nevertheless, it appears to have been a lovely worship service and an opportunity for reflections on her exemplary virtues.