May she Rest In Peace
A message from Dean Scott on this sad Thursday
Dear People of St. John’s Cathedral Family:
An era has ended. We have lost our beloved Queen and cherished Sovereign Lady who as we all now know died peacefully at Balmoral Castle earlier this morning and our hearts are very sad this day. As news of Her Majesty’s death rippled across the world today, it came as no surprise to see how deeply this loss is being felt throughout the Realms and the Commonwealth and especially throughout the United Kingdom. We were blessed that she was the Queen of Canada for over seventy years and visited here more than any other country in the Commonwealth – including her two Royal visits to Saskatoon and St. John’s Cathedral – one during her very first visit to Canada as Princess Elizabeth in 1951 and the second as Queen Elizabeth II in 1987. Some of our current Cathedral parishioners who attended the service during her second visit remember it well. It was during this visit that the Choir Room in the undercroft of the Cathedral was named “The Queen Elizabeth Choir Room”. In a special newsletter earlier this year marking her Platinum Jubilee, we included photos from both of those visits, as we had done the previous year in a newsletter notice following the death H.R.H. Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh. These photos are included again here in fond remembrance of those visits as we give thanks to God for her long and remarkable life and her faithful reign as our much loved Queen.
In the coming days and weeks as tributes pour in for her, we will hear many words that we will all resonate with such as: a faithful Queen who personified a sense of duty and a Monarch who epitomized true servant-leadership, unwavering strength, dignity, and wisdom. We already know this so well having witnessed this constantly over and over again in our lifetime as she has been the only Queen we have known for most, if not all of our lives! Her deep faith in Jesus Christ has also been an inspiring example for us and she often spoke of this in her annual Christmas Message in a sincere and natural way, reflecting a deep and mature conviction. As a fellow member of the Anglican Communion, we have been her siblings in faith. At the time of her coronation she made a pledge to reign unto her death, which as we have all seen from the last duties she carried out earlier this week when she installed a new Prime Minister, she has faithfully kept until the very end of her life. She even sent the people of Saskatchewan a Tweet earlier this week saying her thoughts and prayers were with the people deeply affected by the recent acts of violence at James Smith Cree Nation.
Following the protocol that I have received from the National Church, to ring bells or sound chimes in churches and Cathedral “as soon as possible after the death of the Sovereign”, I asked Derwyn Crozier-Smith to sound our chimes 96 times just after midday today in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s life. Prayers will be offered in our Sunday services for The Late Queen, for King Charles III, and for all the Royal family beginning this Sunday. A Royal Memorial service at St. John’s Cathedral will not take place during the time of official mourning, but a civic service will be planned for a date in the very near future following the period of national mourning. Information regarding our service will be posted as soon as details are in place. I will also be getting in touch with St. Paul’s Cathedral in Regina to determine if they will be hosting the Provincial Service.
The official Canadian Commemorative Service for Queen Elizabeth will take place at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, at a date and time to be announced. It will be televised nationally and streamed through the Diocese of Ottawa website. Sometime after the official Canadian service, The Anglican Church of Canada will hold a Memorial Service at St. James Cathedral in Toronto, with our Primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls presiding, and will be livestreamed on www.anglican.ca. Details for both of these services will be forthcoming on the Anglican Church of Canada website.
Our prayers go out to all the Royal family members as they profoundly mourn the passing of their much loved Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother. May our prayers surround King Charles III as he now assumes the full duties of the Sovereign.
Rest eternal grant unto our beloved Queen Elizabeth, and let light perpetual shine upon her.
May she Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.
And may long live the King.
With love and prayers,
Statements from Bishop Harper; our Primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, and The Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury follow:
A Statement from Bishop Harper on the Death of The Queen
To all our church family,
The sad news of the death of the Queen has just reached the office and we look to prayer as we direct our love and intentions for the coming days ahead. Sadness and shock are a few words that have been with us in the past week and now this sad news. Our hearts alone cannot carry this load, but with God Almighty we can move forward and continue when all else has immobilized us. Prayers are requested by all, and we will forward any information as it is given to us. Planning will begin on the next steps of a funeral and memorial services Nationally and locally. As we process the incoming information and updates and progress in our planning we will update all.
A Statement from The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
Upon the death of
Her Late Majesty
Elizabeth the Second
by the Grace of God
of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories
Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith
It is with deep sorrow that we acknowledge the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022 in her 97th year of life.
Earlier this year, the Queen celebrated the Jubilee anniversary of her reign as monarch, having served with unstinting faithfulness in her responsibilities since 1952. She presided through those years with grace and dignity, rooted in her Christian faith and with love for all the people she served.
We mourn her death and commend her to eternal life as a faithful servant.
O God, from whom comes everything that is upright and true:
Accept our thanks for the gifts of heart and mind thou didst bestow
on thy servant Elizabeth,
And which she showed forth among us in her words and deeds;
Deal graciously we pray thee, with those who mourn,
especially the members of the Royal Family,
that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- The Most Reverend Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
A national memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II will be held at St. James Cathedral in Toronto, Ontario, after the official funeral in the United Kingdom and after the national civic commemorative ceremony in Canada. The service will be livestreamed on www.anglican.ca —please watch for a later announcement of the date and time.
We invite every parish in their prayers to remember the Queen with thanksgiving and to pray for the Royal Family in their grief and the transition of the monarchy in coming days.
Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Death of Her Majesty The Queen
It is with profound sadness that I join the nation, the Commonwealth and the world in mourning the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen. My prayers are with The King and the Royal Family. May God draw near them and comfort them in the days, weeks and months ahead.
As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation and society.
As deep as our grief runs, even deeper is our gratitude for Her Late Majesty’s extraordinary dedication to the United Kingdom, her Realms and the Commonwealth. Through times of war and hardship, through seasons of upheaval and change, and through moments of joy and celebration, we have been sustained by Her Late Majesty’s faith in what and who we are called to be.
In the darkest days of the Coronavirus pandemic, The Late Queen spoke powerfully of the light that no darkness can overcome. As she had done before, she reminded us of a deep truth about ourselves – we are a people of hope who care for one another. Even as The Late Queen mourned the loss of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, we saw once again evidence of her courage, resilience and instinct for putting the needs of others first – all signs of a deeply rooted Christian faith.
As we sustain one another in the face of this challenge, our shared grieving will also be a work of shared reimagining. I pray that we commence this journey with a sense of Her Late Majesty’s faith and confidence in the future.
As a faithful Christian disciple, and also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she lived out her faith every day of her life. Her trust in God and profound love for God was foundational in how she led her life – hour by hour, day by day.
In The Late Queen’s life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and – through patient, humble, selfless service – share it as a gift to others.
Her Late Majesty found great joy and fulfilment in the service of her people and her God, “whose service is perfect freedom” (BCP). For giving her whole life to us, and allowing her life of service to be an instrument of God’s peace among us, we owe her a debt of gratitude beyond measure.
The Late Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy: one that is found in almost every corner of our national life, as well as the lives of so many nations around the world, and especially in the Commonwealth.
It was my great privilege to meet Her Late Majesty on many occasions. Her clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness invariably left me conscious of the blessing that she has been to us all.
In my prayers at this time I also give thanks for the marriage of The Late Queen and His Late Royal Highness Prince Philip. Theirs was an inspirational example of Christian marriage – rooted in friendship, nourished by shared faith, and turned outwards in service to others.
May Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory.
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury