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Book Reviews: Baptism & Confirmation & Patterns for Baptism

Book Reviews Baptism and Confirmation Church House Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 9780715123522, 468pp, £40) Patterns for Baptism Church House Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 9780715123492, 392pp, £25) These handsome volumes are the latest additions to Common Worship, the Church of...

The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus Christ: Gospel-Driven Anglicanism

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus Christ  The American Theologian and Pastor, Jonathan Edwards (1703 -1758), once preached a sermon entitled “The Admirable Conjunction of Diverse Excellencies in Jesus Christ”. The...

The Cancelling of the Creator

The Cancelling of the Creator The headline from a national newspaper popped up on my phone: “Daniel Radcliffe is surely the world’s most ungrateful man”. It’s not a title many would be scrambling to win for themselves, but the opinion-piece made the case. Daniel...

Melville-Knox Christian School Opens in Aberdeen

Melville-Knox Christian School Opens in Aberdeen Melville-Knox Christian School Aberdeen officially opened on Monday 7th November after years of prayer, planning and organisation. We give thanks to the Lord that we have been able to reach this significant milestone;...

Barnabas Report: At Least 21 Christians Killed in Mozambique

Barnabas Report At Least 21 Christians Killed in Mozambique During October At least 21 Christians have been killed by Islamist extremists in violent attacks throughout October in northern Mozambique. Jihadists set fire to a church building and several houses in the...

Sanctuary Foundation Offers Free Advent Resource

Sanctuary Foundation Offers Free Advent Resource  Sanctuary Foundation has been aiding those trying to offer assistance for those fleeing the war in Ukraine through its, “Homes for Ukraine” scheme.  The charity has been serving as a liaison by resourcing hosts and...

Annual Clive West Memorial Lecture Set for Belfast

Annual Clive West Trust Lecture Set for Belfast The 2022 Clive West Trust Lecture will take place on Thursday, 22 November at St Nicholas’ Church on the Lisburn Road in Belfast at 19:30. This year’s featured speaker is the Revd Dr Tim Ward.  Ward earned his PhD from...

Church of England Council Rejects Croft’s Position

Church of England Evangelical Council Rejects Croft’s Position In a press statement following the pronouncements of Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, the Church of England Evangelical Council repudiated the departure of biblical teaching advocated by Croft. It said,...

On Transubstantiation: Reformation Anglicanism

Reformation Anglicanism On Transubstantiation By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Transubstantiation became the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church at the Fourth Lateran Council that began, November 11, 1215. The Council of Trent in 1551 went on to confirm the...

Oxford Good Stewards Trust Announced in Response to Bishop of Oxford’s Revisionism

St Paul’s Banbury, Oxford Answers Bishop and Announces  The Oxford Good Stewards Trust The Revd Dan McGowan, Vicar of St Paul’s, Banbury in Oxford Diocese has answered Bishop Croft’s revisionist declarations about same-sex matters and announced the formation of The...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary Reflections on the State Funeral of Her Majest Queen Elizabeth II

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary

Reflections on the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

I was astonished and deeply honoured when I received a telephone call from the Cabinet Office inviting me to attend the State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen, as one of a group of 200 ‘ordinary people’ who were given honours this year.

Despite the best endeavours of Great Western Railways to prevent me from getting there at all (with damage to overhead cables just short of Paddington), it was a magnificent and unforgettable experience. I was required to arrive two hours before the start of the service, and took my seat in the nave, along with other recent honourees. In addition to the Order of Service, I was provided with a separate ceremonial booklet listing exactly who would be arriving when in the numerous processions, from domestic faith leaders to foreign Heads of State and Heads of Government.

The layout of the Abbey meant that (in common with most of those present) what I saw was very limited; but some of the taller public figures—such as the Prince and Princess of Wales—were easy to spot. Then came Her Late Majesty’s coffin, lifted high with the the Orb, Sceptre and Crown sparkling magnificently atop—a poignant reminder of the familiar Coronation Photograph of Queen Elizabeth bearing these emblems of office which now bookended her reign. The service itself was, of course, splendid, with lovely music and well-chosen hymns (rendered with gusto by the congregation, I was pleased to note). I found my voice cracking as I sang the two lines of ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’: ‘Til we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise’.

The Order of Service was said to have been put together by—or at least with the assistance of—Her Late Majesty herself. Whilst it could not be described as a ‘by the book’ Prayer Book service, as expected it nevertheless drew heavily on the Book of Common Prayer. The Sentences, as well as the collect beginning ‘O MERCIFUL God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life….’ came directly from the Prayer Book’s service for the Burial of the Dead (although in the BCP that particular collect comes at the end), as did the lesson from 1 Corinthians 15. The prayer beginning ‘Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort…’ came from the Series One (1928) burial order, whilst other BCP prayers included Collect for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity, and a slightly adapted version of the Prayer for the Royal Family in Morning and Evening Prayer. (Regrettably the use of the ‘old-fashioned’ language of the Prayer Book and the Authorised Version of the Bible has been criticised by some Christians on the grounds that the general public would have difficulty in understanding it; although it is notable that no such complaint has come from the unchurched population.)

The Archbishop of Canterbury was on top form with his sermon, whose clear focus was not on the earthly life of our Late Sovereign Lady, but on the promise of the life to come. A eulogy for The Queen would surely have been simultaneously insufficient and redundant (since so much has been said and written already)—and yet the foremost emphasis of every Christian funeral service is traditionally on our hope in Christ (even if it also proves an opportunity to reflect on the life of the deceased).

Assuredly, our faithful Queen would have understood all this very well. Her funeral befitted the moment when, at last, she could cast down her earthly crown at the feet of the King of Kings.

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