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Nation’s Sunday Church-goers mourn the death of Her Majesty

As her coffin left Balmoral, church congregations across the UK were filled with thanks and praise to the families.

The Queen, supreme head of the Church of England, died yesterday in tribute to her ‘faith and devotion to duty’.

After her last meeting with the monarch on June 21, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, revealed that she was not afraid of death and was absolutely committed to the Christian concept of public service and selflessness .

During the morning service at Canterbury Cathedral, he told his congregation it was an “extraordinary unexpected Sunday” when the 11 a.m. service began.

He said they should give due consideration to “our country and all the bereaved, especially the Royal Family”.

Holy Communion takes place on the third day of national mourning.

In a moving sermon at the vast and historic cathedral, most Welby priests said the Queen’s faith was “built on the same rock – the rock of Christ”, adding: “Everyone has their own space, no matter how important it is or not.

“The monarch is not a person in himself, but in the love of God. It is this belief that makes Her Majesty a blessing to us and people around the world, a model of reconciliation.

As he preached in a crowded cathedral, most Welby ministers recalled how the Queen began her speech in Irish at a state dinner in Ireland in 2011, a move that caused the downfall of the president of at the time, Mary McAleese. Breathe.

A year later, she extended a “hand of friendship” to the former IRA commander and later Deputy Chief Minister of Northern Ireland, “despite their differences and their painful history”.

He said the pain of the past week and the days ahead “is a time of deep sorrow and, as Her Majesty herself said, it is the price we pay for love”, adding “The hopeful reality of this love can be uplifting. Healing a heavy heart, healing a weary mind… all that was lost will be found.

At the end of the sermon, Pastor Welby recalled the recent Lambeth conference, when bishops from around the world gathered at his official residence in London.

He said: ‘When we held an environmental themed conference day in London, 1,470 people sat in tents for lunch in Lambeth Palace Gardens and showed their full attention as he read his message. Why? What makes us so obsessed with her?

“It has been said so many times over the past two days, but it bears repeating that one of the main reasons is that in his life and example, God graciously gave us the most wonderful example of Christian living. and Christian death.

“Her Majesty has taught us more, if not more, than any other contemporary figure in words and actions that reinforce them. We remember her not for what she had, but for what she gave. How precious blessings. So how precious she is to us and how much we feel her loss. »

In every corner of the UK, from cathedrals in big cities to small parish churches, similar sounds were heard during Sunday services as people silently reflected on the gravity of the events of the past week.

Reverend Cannon Sally Lodge, who presided over Sunday services at St Stephen and St Agnes Parish Church in the shadow of the Queen’s Household at Windsor Castle, said: “Merciful God, we thank your servant the Queen Elizabeth for the life of her faith and her devotion to duty. Bless our country as we mourn her death and continue to inspire us by her example.

She then praised King Charles III for his “commitment to public service”.

The congregation sang the national anthem and signed a letter of condolence at the end of the ceremony. In other places of worship, tearful congregations lit candles.

Exeter Cathedral clergy were the first to formally take the oath of office as the new monarch on Saturday.

The ordination of a deacon takes place whenever a new priest is sworn in as a member of the local clergy by a local bishop, usually only once a year.

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