Congratulations to Her Majesty!
Celebrating our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: A blog from Canon Neal
Liverpool Cathedral is decorated with bunting and flags, ready to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth the Second. That is some achievement! To think that the majority of people in the UK alive today have not known another monarch is quite something. 70 years since her anointing in an act of worship in Westminster Abbey; 70 years of service of Britain and the Commonwealth; 70 years of being a faithful ambassador for our nation throughout the world.
We have already been getting into the swing of things here with activities for families over the last few days. Tomorrow evening (Thursday 2nd) we will be joining with people all over the UK to light a beacon to celebrate the Jubilee. The beacon will be situated exactly where the Queen has entered and left the Cathedral when she has visited over the decades. There is more information here.
If you cannot join us in person on the Rankin Steps, then you can watch it on our Facebook and Youtube channels, starting at 21.30. Our amazing choir will be singing during the ceremony, including the epic ‘Zadok the Priest’ by Handel, which has been sung at every coronation since King George II!
Then this Sunday (5th) we will celebrate both the Platinum Jubilee and Pentecost with services in the afternoon at both the Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Cathedral. The service at the Met will start at 3.00pm and last about 20 minutes. People will be invited to make their way over to Liverpool Cathedral for a short service starting at 3.45pm, followed by the Jubilee ‘Big Picnic’ in the Main Space, with many activities. Party time! More on this is to be found here.
The twin themes of anointing and service will be front and center this Sunday. Rightly we will celebrate our Queen’s marvelous example of both these key principles in her life, underpinned and guided by her deep faith. For all the jewels and regalia held and worn by her on her Coronation Day in 1953, the most precious thing given to her, as was emphasized by the liturgy on that occasion, was a copy of the Bible!
“Our gracious Queen:
to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God
as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes,
we present you with this Book,
the most valuable thing that this world affords.”
In that book, Queen Elizabeth would be able to read of the one who came as a Servant King, yet who is the King of kings.
Pentecost reminds us, though, that all of us can be anointed by the Spirit of God. And thereby be made fit for service, service of each other which plays out in our attitudes, words and actions. We are not all called to be monarchs (thankfully!) but we all have a calling from God and all our ministries are important to God.
Maybe this Sunday, as well as a day of worship and parties, will also be a time when we can hear the still, small voice of the King of kings, encouraging us in the works we already do for God. Who knows, God may be calling us to new areas of service, needing fresh anointing? What we seek, therefore, is that encounter with the God who knows and loves us, and encounter that transforms us.
We’d love to welcome you along at some point over the next few days. Please join with us in person, or online. The encounter may leave you surprised and jubilant!
Canon for Mission and Faith Development, and Vice-Dean.