A reflection from Bishop Jane, ahead of the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen

Reflections before Her Late Majesty’s Funeral

Our Late Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is momentous for our generation.  It will mark us.  Many of us have known no other Monarch. Our loss is unique.

As her funeral approaches, I find myself reflecting on the times I saw her, small, beautiful, brightly dressed.  I remember things she said in speeches or in Christmas broadcasts, or things other people who met her have told me.  I am telling stories about Her Late Majesty with almost everyone I meet.

We always tell stories about our lost loved ones.  It’s one of the ways we remember them.  But when we tell stories about the Queen, we tell our own story too.  She was the constant presence in a fast-changing world.  During her reign, we endured economic crises, international disasters, political instability and, of course, the onset of climate change.  Throughout, she was there for us: chin up, gaze steady.   We saw her in photographs, on television and on our smartphones.  We felt part of her life and that she was part of ours.  We loved her, we relied on her, and her steadfast presence characterizes our times.

Her Late Majesty gave unparalleled service.  She never wavered from her twenty-first birthday pledge: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service’.  That speech struck the hallmarks of her reign.  She spoke of the joy of taking responsibility.  She helped us not to be ‘daunted by the anxieties and hardships’ lying ahead.  She encouraged us to ‘go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart’.  That faith in God would carry her through all the years ahead.

Her Late Majesty showed us and told us how important faith was to her.  Everything she did, she did under God.  Prayer sustained her. The life of Jesus inspired her.  She never said what we should do, but her faith and service showed us what was right and good.  We will not see her like again.  As I think about her coming funeral, I encourage you to find your local church, light and candle and say a prayer.  Then, with me, take her words to heart. Let us take our responsibilities joyfully, face the future courageously and trust in the ever-faithful God of our late Sovereign of happy Memory.