Christian leaders are sending their heartfelt praise and condolences to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth as the world mourns the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday afternoon.
By Francesca Merlo & Christopher Wells
Tributes are pouring in after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the afternoon of 8 September 2022. As the world mourns, Church and world leaders send their messages of condolences, as well as prayers for the new king.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols is amongst those paying tribute to the monarch.
In a statement, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, recalled the Queen’s promise, on her 21st birthday to devote her life to the service of her people.
“Now, seventy-five years later, we are heartbroken in our loss at her death, and so full of admiration for the unfailing way in which she fulfilled that declaration,” stated the Cardinal.
He expressed his sorrow and his gratitude “for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II.”
Now, he continued, “our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip,” before concluding his message with a prayer for His Majesty the King, “as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother.”
“God save the King”, concluded the Cardinal.
Separately, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, issued a statement after the announcement from the Palace.
Archbishop Welby said, “It is with profound sadness that I join the nation, the Commonwealth and the world in mourning the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen. My prayers are with The King and the Royal Family. May God draw near them and comfort them in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury noted “Her Late Majesty’s extraordinary dedication to the United Kingdom, her Realms and the Commonwealth,” adding, “through times of war and hardship, through seasons of upheaval and change, and through moments of joy and celebration, we have been sustained by Her Late Majesty’s faith in what and who we are called to be.”
He also recalled her remarkable Christian witness. “As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life. Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life – hour by hour, day by day.”
Archbishop Welby concluded his statement with the prayer, “May Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory.”
English and Welsh Bishops’ prayer for late Queen
The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have released the following prayer which will be distributed to all Catholic parishes across the country.
For the happy repose of HM The Queen
You are the author and sustainer of all human life;
grant that your servant, Elizabeth our Queen,
whom you granted a long and happy reign as Monarch of these lands
may be forgiven her sins and rewarded with that eternal life
promised to all those born again
in the water of baptism and power of your Spirit.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit God, forever and ever,
Eternal rest, grant to her O Lord,
And let Perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Source: Vatican News