The Platinum Jubilee celebrations pay tribute to our sovereign Queen Elizabeth who has continued with a world reaching influence throughout her life. She has been blessed with health, strength, a clear mind, and lightning-fast humour. The prayers of many have surely been answered.
As we read articles or see programmes that look back at her beginnings we know that her childhood experiences and young adult life provided important foundations for the future. The death of her father George was of course highly significant, since it immediately led to her accession to the throne marked by the crowning at Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953.
The new technology of the television enabled many to watch the service at Westminster Cathedral. It meant all could see the pomp and ceremony, fur, gold, the jewels encrusted orb, the bracelets of sincerity and wisdom, ritual swords, choir anthems and of course trumpets. The choir sang softly,” Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire” while outside there were the cheer of many voices, bells rang, and cannons fired at the crowning moment. What a marvellous spectacle! People were glued to their black and white televisions to see it all. Well, not quite all.
For one significant action took place in private: the anointing with oil. The Queen’s robe and jewellery were removed, and her Majesty sat on King Edward’s chair dressed in white. A golden canopy was held by the Knights of the Garter to make this a private and unseen act. The Archbishop of Canterbury took some oil and anointed the Queen in the form of a cross, on the palms of her hand, on the breast and on the crown of her head and said: “Be thy head anointed with holy oil: as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed. And as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, so be you anointed, blessed and consecrated Queen over the Peoples, whom the Lord thy God hath given thee to rule and govern.”
Jesus is of course the anointed one, the Christ, who is our ultimate sovereign and to whom all worship is due. The Queen’s devotion to Jesus Christ stands as a testimony to having the humility to seek first the Kingdom of God and all his righteousness. It is significant that the Platinum Jubilee celebrations coincide with the feast of Pentecost: a time when the Holy Spirit anointed all God’s people to serve Him in the world. It is by the Holy Spirit that Jesus’ followers are empowered to fulfil His perfect will. The special hymn called “Rise up and serve” (written by Graham Kendrick) picks up this theme. Let’s ensure that we follow Her Majesty’s good example for the rest of our lives.
Do join our special services on Sunday 5th June as we mark this occasion together.