Wednesday, June 08, 2022

A Jubilee Service & An Act of Commitment to Creation

The Service of Thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee took place in St. Paul's Cathedral this past Friday. Her Royal Majesty was not in attendance due to her precarious health (she is 96) but lots of posh people were, don't you know. They paraded in to their appointed places, dressed like peacocks, with commentary about what the seating actually signified -- I'm referring to you, Harry and Meghan. 

I am an early riser so I watched the service which began at 6:30 AM Eastern Canuck Time. I'll admit that I enjoyed the traditional hymns and I'm a sucker for swelling organ music, trumpets, and excellent choirs. 

The absolute clanker of the service was nefarious British Prime Minister Boris Johnston reading the luminous passage from Philippians 4 which begins "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near." If there was any justice his mouth would have been washed out with soap before he left the lectern. 

I watched, mostly, because we were informed beforehand that there would be aspects of the service which honoured Creation, which was important to Queen Elizabeth. She has a strong personal Christian faith.

Perhaps the most moving portion for me was the Act of Commitment led by young people from the British Commonwealth, nations around the planet. Here are excerpts of different portions of the service in word and song  which reflect Queen Elizabeth's desire, concluding with some of the responses from the Act of Commitment: 

She is a tree of life to those who grasp her;

and those who hold her fast are blessed.
By Wisdom, the Lord laid the foundations of the earth;
he established the heavens by understanding.

Words: Proverbs 3. 13-19 Music: By Wisdom
Judith Weir, CBE (b.1954) Master of The Queen's Music

The earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is:
the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas:
and prepared it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord:
or who shall rise up in his holy place?

 Psalm 24

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!’ Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever.

1 Chronicles 16. 8-15, 31-34

O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord:
praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord:
praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye heavens, bless ye the Lord:
O ye waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord:
praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye powers of the Lord,
O ye sun and moon, O ye stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord:
O ye showers and dew, O ye winds of God, bless ye the Lord:
O ye fire and heat, O ye winter and summer, bless ye the Lord:
O ye dews and frosts, O ye frost and cold,
O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord:

Words: Early Christian hymn Music: Benedicite in G (Op. 13a)
Francis Jackson, CBE (1917-2022)

Act of Commitment led by The Reverend Robert Kozak, Succentor; Young people representing countries for whom Her Majesty The Queen is Head of State.

Delighting in the gifts of life, wisdom and understanding
let us commit ourselves afresh to caring for our world
and all for whom it is home.

Rejoicing in the life and reign of Elizabeth our Queen
will you hallow life in all its richness and diversity?
We will.

Inspired by her dedication to her people
will you serve those alongside whom you live?
We will.

Rejoicing in the joy and happiness of this gathering
will you foster community amongst all people?
We will.

Inspired by all that unites and strengthens us
will you work for peace and justice throughout our world?
We will.

Rejoicing in the beauty of this earth
will you protect and care for our environment?
We will.

No comments: