Taken from the Homily by Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn at the National Ecumenical Service to Celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee and 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Sunday, 19 March 2017, 6 PM- St Paul’s Anglican Church, Manuka:
We have gathered here tonight to celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee and 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We thank God for her leadership and her steadfastness over so many years.
In the First Collect for today there is a prayer that seems particularly apt when applied to the qualities of Her Majesty. The Collect gives thanks to God “to our sovereign Queen Elizabeth”, because God has given her “gifts of faith in your promises, and hope for the future and love of her people”. This I think is the first quality of extraordinary leadership that Her Majesty has given us – living out faith, hope and love. In doing this she is living out the Baptism she has been given in service to her people.
Faith, hope and love are described as the three theological virtues. They are given as gifts from God. They dispose us to do the good. For those who live out these theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, God gives them knowledge of their origins, their motives and their objectives.
For such a long period of time, we can see that Her Majesty has used these Baptismal gifts of faith, hope and love in great service. For the virtuous way that she has lived out her Baptismal calling, we thank God. It is expressed in her tremendous continuous service over so many years….”