O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that your servant Elizabeth, being raised with him, may know the strength of his presence, and rejoice in his eternal glory; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May Queen Elizabeth II, the most prominent layperson in the Anglican Communion, rest in peace.
I have heard a range of responses to her death within the Diocese of Arizona; some are grieving deeply at the loss of a world figure who has represented stability and constancy for most of our lifetimes. Others see her, and the nation and institution she represents, as insufficiently committed to redeeming their colonial past, and find the anachronism of royalty troubling.
And some are experiencing both of these at the same time.
There are better people than I to unpack the role of the British Monarchy, and the way it is both entwined with the Anglican Communion and at the same time stands apart from it.
Myself, I know that I plan to get up at 3 am on September 19 so that I can watch her funeral. I will do this largely because I know that liturgy—especially the burial office—brings people together. This will be a chance to pray with and for people all over the world, in real-time, and to meditate on the role of leadership, our relationship to history, and our stewardship of the future.
For those who wish to reflect more on the Queen’s life as a Christian, I commend this article by retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, “Queen Elizabeth, Servant of God”.