I’m sitting here in my living room at home after watching program after program reporting on the passing of Our Wonderful Lady, “Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.” This was her full official title.
Huh, the Commonwealth, besides England, it includes Canada and 52 other countries. The Faith involves Christ, as she, as Queen, became the Head of the Church of England. Coronated at Westminster Abbey, her role then involved the appointing of Archbishops, Bishops, and Deans in regard to church structure.
Her role in the imagination of a young boy was to help the whole world.
I remember standing in the classroom, early each morning, singing to God to save our noble gracious Queen, asking for long life for her. The words go,” Send Her victorious” I sang them with full gusto, but as we do so often as children, I got the words wrong here. Yet, in my desire to stay true to the obvious theme of ‘God Save the Queen,’ I sang the words ‘Center victorious,’ which meant to me she was in the middle of settling all disputes and struggles and resolved them all so we could enjoy lives of peace.
As the words to the Commonwealth Anthem continue, I concluded, if she was ‘happy and glorious,’ then to my young heart, this meant we must be a source of joy to her as her subjects, and she, through her smile back at us, was sharing that glorious happiness with us. What a wonderful Lady and friend! So, the desire to want her to ‘reign over us’ for a long time, as the words indicate, was a natural overflowing desire and a good thing to sing to God on her behalf each morning.
Firstly, each school day, we would pray our ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ then we would sing “God Save the Queen,” and then lastly, but for sure, ‘Oh, Canada, ‘ which always indicated order of preeminence.
As far as ‘Oh, Canada,’ I figured the reason we were ‘glorious and free,’ even though we asked God to keep our land that way, was because, besides what He did directly, invisibly, and intimately, the noble Queen did through her governance at His bidding. I always knew, instinctively, she was also at service, under God, as His agent. As adults, of course, we realize her humanity also.
As that young boy, I felt she took care of us, kinda like a warm grandmother. If I ever met her, I thought to myself; I’m sure she would give me a hug; she has children of her own and would be motherly. As it turns out, this was so; she was fiercely dedicated to the idea of family. Yet, as she saw the need for us in the commonwealth, she eventually allowed greater transparency in the royal family, so they could be related to more easily.
I was destroyed when we stopped praying the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ and singing ‘God Save the Queen’ in school. I became very disappointed in our country for allowing this. This was my first political decision in my life, although I had no idea what politics was at that age.
I remember missing this devotional event every morning for most of my public school life and even somehow, hopefully, expected to experience it again when we moved to the Port Perry area and entered the school system here. My hope was it was only a local choice, but sadly, this wasn’t so.
I never knew there were actually five verses to the Anthem, which further indicate the heart of a prayer for her keeping and guidance. Huh, is it any wonder, when we took the Lord’s Prayer out of school and stopped singing this Anthem prayer for the Queen, Canada came under such confusion and struggle as a nation. Just look at the timing of events in our history. It’s no wonder we have such political division when not acknowledging our God and the Sovereign through which He can work, at least in the capacity this trickle-down authority is given by Him for. Once turned from, it can never be filled by human hubris and its structures. This can only be met by ordained humble obedience, and this was Her Majesty’s determined choice; she understood this as Her priority over all others.
Now that’s the kind of person I can eagerly pray for.
But now, let’s pray, “God Save the King!”