Churches to embrace Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

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The main church leaders in Northern Ireland have been invited to attend the official service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s cathedral, London on Friday June 3 to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It is hoped Her Majesty will be present at the service, which will also be attended by senior members of the royal family and government representatives, as, over a four-day period (Friday to Monday), the nation will celebrate 70 years of outstanding service by an iconic monarch for the people of the United KIngdom and the Commonwealth.

The Queen, a deeply devout Christian, is head of the Church of England and her inspirational faith qualities have won admiration from people of all faiths across the UK and the Commonwealth.

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The Platinum Jubilee theme will impact on services in the Protestant denominations in Northern Ireland over coming Sundays, with supporting community and social events organised at congregational and parish levels.

The Queen at Paddington station in London earlier this week to mark the completion of London's Crossrail projectThe Queen at Paddington station in London earlier this week to mark the completion of London's Crossrail project
The Queen at Paddington station in London earlier this week to mark the completion of London's Crossrail project

Presbyterian moderator the Rev Dr David Bruce said it will be an honour and privilege to represent Irish Presbyterians at the service in St Paul’s cathedral.

“As The Queen celebrates this landmark anniversary, I know that some of our churches will be holding their own services of thanksgiving. For many people this will be a special time. For Christians we are called to pray for those in authority, which, of course, includes the Queen, as she has been a constant in a changing social and political landscape.”

Dr Bruce added: “Few people in Northern Ireland now can remember a time when The Queen was not part of the very fabric of national life. Queen Elizabeth has always been willing to talk about her personal faith in Jesus Christ. This witness has greatly encouraged many down the years.”

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St Paul’s cathedral, aside from the service of thanksgiving, is the setting for a special exhibition - ‘Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World’. This graphically explores the history of Jubilee celebrations at St Paul’s cathedral across three centuries and examines the jubilee celebrations for past monarchs - King George III, King George V, Queen Victoria and the silver, golden and diamond jubilees of our present Queen.

Using objects from St Paul’s extensive ‘Archive and Collections’, the exhibition displays beautifully embroidered and ornate copes (or ceremonial cloaks) worn by clergy during special services; scrap books collected by staff and volunteers through the years, pictures and paintings from each memorable day.

The Dean of St Paul’s,the Rev Dr David Ison confirms: “It is an honour to hold a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Her Majesty The Queen and to celebrate her 70 years of service to the UK and the Commonwealth. Our historic cathedral holds a very special place in royal ceremonial occasions”.

l A Queen’s Platinum Jubilee service of thanksgiving will be held in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland cathedral, Armagh on Thursday evening June 2 (8pm). The service is open to all members of the community to attend.

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The Church of Ireland has published a set of resources for use in parishes at services celebrating the platinum jubilee The material, which includes prayers, suggested readings and eucharistic propers, is intended to assist clergy, readers and other worship leaders as they prepare services to mark this significant national event.