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Diocese joins in grieving death of Queen Elizabeth II

Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

The Diocese of Toronto joins the nation and the Commonwealth in grieving the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Canada’s Sovereign for over 70 years, Head of State in fourteen other countries and Head of the 56-member Commonwealth of Nations, the Queen’s life of selfless service and duty was grounded in, and nourished by, a deep and vibrant personal faith in Jesus Christ, a fact she frequently referenced in her public speaking, particularly her Christmas Messages.

Supported by her husband, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen visited every province and territory of Canada over 22 visits, met many thousands of Canadians from all walks of life, and had a particularly warm relationship of mutual respect with the First Nations of this land. When in Toronto, the Queen would worship at St. James Cathedral, and we were always delighted to welcome her here.

For the vast majority of Canadians, she is the only monarch we have ever known, and her passing is a significant moment in our common life together. We give thanks to God for her witness to her faith and her life of duty and service to our country and the Commonwealth.

It is appropriate for individual parishes to mark the Queen’s death with the somber tolling of bells, today and/or on the day of her funeral, 96 pulls to mark each year of her life. Prayers for the Dead, for the Royal Family, and for our nation and Commonwealth, may be offered this Sunday, and if desired at a dedicated memorial service. A requiem service will be held at St. James Cathedral, which will be live streamed. Details will be announced once they have been determined.

Gracious God, we commend to you the soul of your faithful servant Elizabeth, our Queen.
Receive her into your heavenly realm, and crown her with the diadem of glory,
as she lays down her earthly burden of duty and is released to take up the joy of eternal praise.
We give you thanks for the witness of her long life of service, sustained by a sure and certain hope.
We pray that the comfort of your Holy Spirit will be with the Royal Family and all who mourn,
until such time as we are reunited in the general resurrection of all the faithful departed
in the communion of saints and in life everlasting.
This we pray through the mercy of our Risen Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, leave St. James Cathedral after choral matins on July 4, 2010. Photo by Michael Hudson.


A note for churches

Effective immediately, all liturgical references to the Queen – including prayers, collects, intercessions and the Prayers of the People – must be changed to the King, referencing His Majesty King Charles III.

Liturgical resources to observe the death of the Queen are available on the Church of England website.