Photo Credit: Picture Partnership/Westminster Abbey
[Church of England Press Release] Her Majesty The Queen has approved prayers written for the celebration of her 90th Birthday later this year. Two prayers (or Collects) have been published in traditional and modern forms. The prayers are primarily intended for use in services marking the national celebrations in April and June. In addition two graces have been published for use as thanksgivings at the start of other celebrations such as street parties.
The Bishop of Exeter, Robert Atwell, who chairs the Liturgical Commission which prepares liturgy for the Church said: “The Queen has steered Britain through some challenging and difficult times over the past seven decades, providing the country with stability and wisdom. She is an inspiration to many people, young and old. The Queen’s 90th birthday gives an opportunity not only to thank God for her service, but to celebrate the gifts of all older people in our society.”
Dr Matthew Salisbury, National Liturgy and Worship Adviser for the Church of England said: “The prayers offer thanksgiving and praise for the long service of the Queen. They ask that through God’s grace and inspired by her example of faith and service for others we may all receive strength and wisdom in our own lives.”
One of the graces reflects the words used in The Queen’s first Christmas broadcast in 1952, a year in which her father, George VI died and at the end of which she was looking forward to her Coronation, the following year.
Churches are being encouraged to share their plans to mark Her Majesty’s birthday through the Church Care website, which also offers tips and advice on planning events and services and will promote initiatives on a dedicated celebration map and on Twitter through @CofE_ChurchCare using #HMQ90.
Full text of the prayers
Heavenly Father, who hast brought our gracious sovereign Queen Elizabeth to the completion of her ninetieth year, and dost gather her people in celebration of the same: grant that we, rejoicing before thee with thankful hearts, may ever be united in love and service to one another, and her kingdom flourish in prosperity and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
as we celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen,
receive our heartfelt thanks
for all that you have given her in these ninety years
and for all that she has given to her people.
Continue, we pray, your loving purposes in her,
and as you gather us together in celebration,
unite us also in love and service to one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Bountiful God, giver of all good gifts,
we give thanks for the many years and long reign of our Queen;
Bless our food, our neighbourhood,
and our enjoyment of each other’s company.
Help us to learn from Queen Elizabeth’s commitment to her people,
so that our community may be strengthened
and all may flourish.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the King of love.
Gracious God, give our Queen continued wisdom and strength
to carry out the promises she has made;
and bless (this food, and) those who are gathered here,
that, sustained by service for others,
we may faithfully serve you, all the days of our life.
[With words from The Queen's First Christmas Broadcast, 1952]