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What does the Queen think of the Jubilee?

We’ll never know. Our monarch has never forgotten, in 60 years, that she was anointed to serve

By on Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Long to reign over us Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

Long to reign over us Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

The Bishops of England and Wales have sent out a directive for Masses next Sunday, which you can read by following this link. Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday, but it is also the Sunday of the Diamond Jubilee weekend, and this important occasion is to be marked at Mass.

First of all there is to be a special first reading, 1 Kings 3:11–14, taken from the Lectionary, for Masses for the King or Head of State:

The Lord said to Solomon, ‘Since you have not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgment for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you. What you have not asked I shall give you too: such riches and glory as no other king ever had. And I will give you a long life, if you follow my ways, keeping my laws and commandments, as your father David followed them.’

After the post-Communion prayer, there is to be the following prayer for the Queen:

V. O Lord, save Elizabeth, our Queen.
R. And hear us on the day we call upon you.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come before you.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Almighty God, we pray that your servant Elizabeth, our Queen,
who, by your providence has received the governance of this realm,
may continue to grow in every virtue,
that, imbued with your heavenly grace,
she may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil
and, being blessed with your favour
may, with her consort and royal family,
come at last into your presence,
through Christ who is the way, the truth and the life
and who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God,
for ever and ever. Amen.

This is, I think, the same Domine, Salvam Fac, that we used to have years ago at the end of Mass for the monarch, and which some churches still do have.

A Royal Diamond Jubilee does not come round very often, and none of us are likely to see one again; indeed this is only the second in British history. So, it is only right that it should be properly celebrated and that this celebration should be marked liturgically. After all, we are not just celebrating the achievement of one person – it is a national celebration, so I am glad the Church is getting involved.

One wonders what the Queen herself makes of it all.

Long to reign over us Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

But we shall ever know. Her thoughts on this, as on other matters, are something of a mystery. I have at various times met people who have met the Queen, and always asked them what she was like. None of the answers have been very illuminating, though I am told that she is a brilliant mimic. The only person who ever gave me an impression of what she was really like was Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux, now living in retirement in Rome, and happily still with us at the age of 97. Prince Philip, he told me, could be quite fun, but the Queen was always formal. “You never forget for a moment that she is Queen,” he said.

Quite so. And neither has she ever forgotten for a moment, since her accession, sixty years ago, that she is Queen, called, indeed anointed, to serve. Her dedication to duty is a remarkable thing. She, like the good kings of Old Testament times, has certainly followed in the Lord’s ways, an example to us all.

  • nytor

    “Domine, Salvam Fac, that we used to have years ago at the end of Mass for the monarch”

    We have at my church, although I always mentally substitute “rex noster Franciscus” for “regina nostra Elizabeth” due to being a Jacobite!

  • Patrick_Heren

    One of the nicest stories I know about the Queen was told me by Peter Hennessy (now the improbably titled Lord Nympsfield). He teaches a course in the British constitution at Queen Mary’s College, University of London. The Queen was visiting the site at Mile End to open a new building, and it was arranged that she should “drop in” on one of his seminars. She came in, sat down and asked Professor Hennessy and his students to carry on, which they did, albeit self-consciously. After 5 minutes or so she rose to leave, and all stood up. She turned at the door, smiled, and said:
    “You know, the British constitution is a very mysterious thing, and I think it always will be.”
    The door closed, and after a few moments of stunned silence, Peter said to his students:
    “Ladies and gentlemen, that was the British constitution!”

  • teigitur

    Love it!

  • Chris Walters

    And what if you are a Republican? What if you think the monarchy is a deeply flawed, anti-Catholic institution? Why should the universal Mass be politicised in this way? Frankly it’s a lot of nonsense.

    Honestly, it’s enough to make one start looking for the nearest SSPX chapel.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Thanks for sharing this interesting royal memorabilia…..

  • Iain

    Well done. Why we are celebrating a Hanoverian usurper is beyond me. Let us work and pray for a Restoration of the True Monarchy. God save King Francis II.

  • James

    “who, by your providence has received the governance of this realm”

    Just because she was the eldest in a family that holds the throne does not mean it was the will of God that she should be queen.  I think it is one thing praying for the queen, the prime minister or other political figures (which is good), but it is another to presume that they hold their various offices at the behest of God.  It smacks too much of the divine right of kings, and I think we need to be very careful not to enshrine that in the liturgy – after all, we are being told often enough of the need for separation between Church and state, and not to politicise the liturgy. 

    That said, this same Elizabeth bears responsibility for the death of millions of children by signing, without a whimper or objection, the abortion act: a strange thing for the leader of a Christian church to do.  So I cannot agree with your assertion that ” She, like the good kings of Old Testament times, has certainly followed in the Lord’s ways, an example to us all”.    If she had she would not have signed abortion into law without a whimper, she should have done what the king of Belgium did.  I wish her all the best in her Jubilee, but I hope that before she dies she makes some gesture of repentence for her part in enshrining the murder of innocent children in the law of our land.

  • Gjhg

    As John O’Farrell said on Question Time a couple of weeks ago, “What are we celebrating? She didn’t do anything of note to ascend to the thrown, other than have her father die, and has done nothing to maintain her position, other than not-dying.”

    God bless you maam – what an achievement. We’re celebrating an old woman not dying yet.

  • Iain

    Well, if you are a republican, you will not find many with your views in the SSPX. Especially in France it is soundly Monarchist. God Save King Loius XX!

  • nytor

    Vive les rois Louis XX en France et le roi Francois II en Angleterre.

  • Burt

    What does the Queen think of the Jubilee? I don’t know. ‘Call me Dave’ was saying how useful Her Magisty’s  audiences with him are. I just wonder what helpful advice she offers when he offers to tell her the governments latest proposals such as overturning what Christendom has always understood to mean ‘marriage’ on its head (or on it’s ass more like!)

  • Charles Martel

     To the King over the water, Francis II

  • Charles Martel

     Hello James, I agree with you about the abortion issue but you’re a bit off on the rest. There is no separation of Church and State in the UK: that is a French and American idea of the so-called ‘Enlightenment’. Queen Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England after all. Furthermore, prayers for the monarch and our government are absolutely do not constitute a ‘politicisation’ of the liturgy.

  • Tridentinus

     The King of the Belgians at the time abdicated pro tem in order that the Abortion Bill would not have to have his assent. However, by his temporary abdication he ensured the passage of the Bill. He is still once more the King of the Belgians. His re-assumption of his powers means that he is quite comfortable with his country which allows children to be aborted so he is as complicit in the slaughter of the unborn as are his countrymen. Martyrs in the past have also included kings as well as peasants.

  • paulsays

    mocharchy  costs 71p per year for every taxpayer – I think that is good value for the price of a packet of crisps each year! I am also quite sure that our money is made back from the tourism that the Queen creates.

    Another advantage of our head of state is that politics stays adversarial and somewhat brutal – rather than having to treat the PM like a head of state – as you get with a President  - which is quite detrimental to democracy. 

    The one issue I do have with the monarchy is the forced imposition of it on the monarch in question. Nobody chooses to be King or Queen, and I know I would hate to live such a insulated and constrained life – for me freedom is much more important than money. After all Edward VIII found that love trumped being King in order to Marry whom he wanted.

    Therefore for me the Queen gets a great deal of respect… but I often wonder whether she is truly happy or not, and because of that I feel a twinge of sorrow at times.


  • liulan991