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The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The funeral and committal services for the Queen were brilliant examples of Anglican liturgy well done. The Christian resurrection faith founded on the resurrection of Jesus was proclaimed. The Gospel was preached and everyone who listened was pointed to the gift of life and faith through Jesus.

And while there was pomp and circumstance, as well as admiration expressed for Queen Elizabeth during the church service, the Queen was not exalted. She was referred to as our sister before God, as a Christian soul among the millions that have trusted in God. Those familiar with Church of England funeral services would have noted that the services were not that different in form and content from a service in any parish church for any other deceased, just with some additional ceremony. The liturgy was the same, if not even more condensed than normal. I felt that in contrast with the procession, the church services in a sense showed the very human side of the Queen before God. We are all before the mercy and judgment of God. As the Archbishop of Canterbury said, Jesus Christ, who rose from death, offers life to all—abundant life now and life with God in eternity.

I know that during those service there would have been many—whether in the Abbey, the Chapel or in front of the TV—who did not really listen to the words, would have just seen them as part of the ceremony. For many the church services were just part of the rich, English cultural tradition, no more. Still, I hope that something of the beauty and the true meaning of the Christian faith would have been apparent and some people would have been touched with the Good News.