Catching up with Jesus – Queen Elizabeth Rests


SO much stuff is on the internet – and so much stuff is on live TV – but a serious chunk of people (like me) have been watching the Queen’s coffin’s final travels and stops in so many wonderful cathedrals.  I have been able to watch on internet TV – in the evening- condensing full 5 hour or 12 hour or 1 hour increments – many are there without commentary – the best way to not have people talking over your watching of the real emotions. 

Some small commentaries are helpful – and fast forwarding is helpful because you really don’t have time to watch 12 hours…  So I find the “on demand” news that interests me so much better than the regular news – so much more processing than tears – so much more interesting than not. 

This 20 minute video is perfect capsule of a beautiful service entering Westminster Hall – and the singing is so perfect in young voices – singing the Psalms. Below I have posted the text of the service – the prayers are wonderful teaching scriptures. Oh what a blessing to have the Word layering into the World of houses and computers of so many people.  The website with the scriptures has other pages filled with advertisements etc but on THIS page it is the scriptures that Jesus knows are laying out –  not “In State” like the Queen – and not “In Static” like dead words – but “In Anticipation” for live people to pick up hearing the living Word – for Jesus wants to be heard. Living Word  

If we wonder at the age of 2000 years after Jesus – how amazed we are at the chapel building being constructed 1000 years ago – in 1097 – halfway to us from when Jesus walked the earth before crucifixion and ascension – then they too must havebeenin awe for a thousand years they knew people  kept the Word sacred for sharing.  We have to be amazed that the reverence is there – the dedication is there – the Word is there. And yet aren’t we all simply catching up with Jesus? Because Jesus is not “going places” but WAS THERE and is ALREADY THERE. Jesus the Alpha and the Omega came for us and is now waiting for us – for all of us.

Catching up with Jesus – in order to kneel – the Queen’s guards laid their flags down on the ground at her feet. the Beefeater and soldiers rested and leaned into their weapons to bow their whole bodies. They paid tribute. We too one day will pay tribute to King of Kings, alongside with all earthly “kings” of leaders – and bow our heads and knees – some in worship and some in defeat – to the Word.

Jesus is the One who laid down His Life to be raised again. He wants us to be raised with Him – He raises Kings and Queens to follow Him. We can too.


Here is the service:

As the coffin enters, the choir of Westminster Abbey and the choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace sang the following from Psalms:

LORD, thou hast searched me out, and known me:thou knowest my down-sitting, and mine up-rising;
thou understandest my thoughts long before.
Thou art about my path, and about my bed:
and spiest out all my ways.
For lo, there is not a word in my tongue:
but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether.
Thou hast fashioned me behind and before:
and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me :
I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit :
or whither shall I go then from thy presence?
If I climb up into heaven, thou art there :
if I go down to hell, thou art there also.
If I take the wings of the morning :
and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;
even there also shall thy hand lead me :
and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me :
then shall my night be turned to day.
Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee,
but the night is as clear as the day :
the darkness and light to thee are both alike.
For my reins are thine :
thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made :
marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
My bones are not hid from thee :
though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect :
and in thy book were all my members written;
which day by day were fashioned :
when as yet there was none of them.
How dear are thy counsels unto me, O God :
O how great is the sum of them!
If I tell them, they are more in number than the sand :
when I wake up I am present with thee.
Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart :
prove me, and examine my thoughts.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me :
and lead me in the way everlasting.
GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
James O’Donnell (b 1961) Psalm 139: 1-18, 23-end

Following the song, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby opened with this prayer:
O GOD, the maker and redeemer of all mankind: grant us, with thy servant Queen Elizabeth, and all the faithful departed, the sure benefits of thy Son’s saving passion and glorious resurrection; that in the last day, when all things are gathered up in Christ, we may with them enjoy the fullness of thy promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Archbishop of Canterbury then read a Bible passage from John 14: 1–6 in which Jesus comforts his disciples:
LET not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Dean of Westminster David Hoyle then offered the following prayers:
O MERCIFUL God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth and believeth in him shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us (by his holy apostle Saint Paul) not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him: we meekly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our sister doth; and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight, and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world: grant this, we beseech thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our mediator and redeemer. Amen.

As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say:
OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Next, the choir sang the following motet:
JESU, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.

Edward Bairstow (1874-1946) Bernard of Clairvaux (c 1090-1153) translated by Edward Caswall (1814-78)

David Hoyle then offered this collect, which is a prayer meant to gather the intentions of the people and the focus of worship:
O GOD, the protector of all who trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

Welby then pronounced this blessing from Numbers 6: 24-26:
UNTO God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you: the Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you: the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

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