07 June 2022, The Tablet

Queen Elizabeth II is a soul 'rooted in trust in God' says cardinal


Cardinal Nichols emphasised the centrality of the Queen’s faith, saying she brought to the country stability and the example of service.


Queen Elizabeth II is a soul 'rooted in trust in God' says cardinal

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; James Viscount Severn; Timothy Lawrence & Sophie Countess of Wessex leaving the National Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.
Paul Smith/Alamy

Church leaders joined the chorus of congratulation to the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee last weekend.

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, praised the “calmness that she carries always”, arising “from a soul at peace, rooted in a trust in God and inspired by her Christian faith, of which she speaks so eloquently and demonstrates so faithfully”.

He recalled celebrating the Coronation as a seven-year-old in 1953, “the coronation mug and bar of chocolate in its decorated tin box that I received, along with every child”, and watching television for the first time to view the ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

“Today we thank God for all the years of astonishing service that have been given by Her Majesty from that day of her solemn anointing, through times of peace and great sadness, suffering and joy.”

He concluded: “God bless Her Majesty. May we pray for her always.”

Cardinal Nichols was among the ecumenical guests at the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s on 3 June, alongside the Archbishop of Cardiff George Stack, and the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley. Members of the royal family were welcomed to the cathedral by the Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveny, a Catholic Dublin-born lawyer.

Speaking to LBC on Saturday, Cardinal Nichols emphasised the centrality of the Queen’s faith to her reign, saying she brought to the country “a stability, a depth and a wonderful example of service – a sense of service that goes beyond self”.

Asked about the appropriateness of festivities amid rising poverty, he said it was right to celebrate “a unique, historic occasion”.

“I don’t think that anybody, I don’t think even the homeless guys around the corner here on Victoria Street, would resent the party of the last two or three days.”

He also affirmed the value of the monarchy in contemporary society: “There is more to life than business.  There is a spirit that we need to keep going, and the Queen and the royal family contribute to that as does her witness to faith in God.”

Other bishops to contribute included the Bishop of Shrewsbury Mark Davies, who said that the Queen embodied St John Henry Newman’s observation that God intends “some divine service” for each baptised person. “Elizabeth II embraced this calling with an unequivocal sense of Christian vocation,” he said in his sermon for Pentecost.

The bishops of England and Wales directed parishes to include an intention for the Queen in the prayers of the faithful in the Masses for Pentecost Sunday, and to recite the “Prayer for the Queen” at the end of Mass.

The prayer asks God that the Queen “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 the Royal Family, come at last into your presence”.

On 2 June, the Pope sent “cordial greetings and good wishes” for the Queen’s official birthday, with “renewed reassurance of my prayers that almighty God will bestow upon you, the members of the Royal Family and all the people of the nation blessings of unity, prosperity, and peace”.


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