Monday, September 19, 2022


Please note the majestic black cope and bleached beeswax candles flanking Her Majesty's coffin. This is also a teachable moment for Romans, as Anglicans are wont to call us!

 This funeral homily should be studied by all clergy and seminarians as a great example for the purpose of the funeral homily. It’s brevity speaks volumes too. A funeral homily fit for a queen!


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It was superb, indeed!

John Nolan said...

In the eleven days since HM's passing Catholic churches up and down the country have been celebrating Requiem Masses for the repose of her soul, beginning with one celebrated at Westminster Cathedral by HE Cardinal Vincent Nichols on the evening of her death. Yesterday at the Oxford Oratory the principal Sunday Mass was a Solemn Requiem in the Extraordinary Form.

The option to use the 1962 rite meant that there could be absolutions at the catafalque (removed, along with the Dies Irae, in 1964). The catafalque was draped with the Royal Standard, but there was no homily or eulogy. Nowhere in the liturgy was the word 'regina'; she was simply 'famula tua Elizabeth'. In death there is no rank.

It was profoundly Catholic, a world away from the DIY customized 'funeral Masses' which seem to be the norm these days. Which prompts a further question - should Catholic rites be used for someone who is not only a Protestant, but 'supreme governor' of a schismatic ecclesial community? As an unashamed traditionalist I would say: emphatically yes. I also appreciate Anglican tradition as displayed at the Abbey this morning and at Windsor this afternoon: the dignity of the language, the music, the vestments.

Ecumenism does not mean abandoning tradition or watering down belief, and the Queen, a sincere Protestant, was well aware of this.

Mark said...

It was magnificent—truly perfect and fitting. Everything was profoundly moving and dignified. The weather cooperated, and even the animals (horses and corgis) seemed to have a sense of the occasion!

TJM said...

Maybe this will inspire priests, including Father K, to start wearing LIturgical Black at funerals!

A truly fitting service for a lady whose whole life was dedicated to service, to her country and her family.

Fr Martin Fox said...

It was a good homily, and I agree that so many funeral homilies would benefit from following this example. But I will say I thought it was a little pedestrian, given that there was so much time and opportunity for preparation.

Also, the subsequent prayers offered by a series of clerics effectively canonized the late queen, and that is a lamentable feature of so many funerals, whether in the intercessions, choice of readings, or above all, the homily and eulogies -- which aren't supposed to happen at a Catholic funeral, but they do anyway. The "words of remembrance" aren't supposed to be a "eulogy," ha! I'll pay $100 to the first bishop who succeeds in explaining the difference to an 8-year-old sufficiently to allow the 8-year-old to explain the difference.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. MARTIN Fox, Having heard and now having read "The Prayers" from Queen Elizabeth's funeral liturgy, I find nothing that suggests any "effective canonization."

"Let us give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth's long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service..." A prayer of gratitude to God for the gifts He gave her.

"Confident in God's love and compassion, let us pray for all those whose hearts are heavy with grief and sorrow..." A prayer for all who mourn.

"Let us pray for His Majesty The King and all the Royal Family; that they may know the sustaining power of God's love and the prayerful fellowship of God's people... "For the Monarch, entirely appropriate.

"In recognition of Queen Elizabeth's service to this United Kingdom, let us rejoice in her unstinting devotion to duty, her compassion for her subjects, and her counsel to her ministers; and we pray for the continued health and prosperity of this Nation..." For the nation.

"Let us give thanks for Queen Elizabeth's commitment to the Commonwealth throughout her reign, for her service and dedication to its peoples, and for the rich bonds of unity and mutual support she sustained..." For the Commonwealth.

"We give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth's loyalty to the faith she inherited through her baptism and confirmation, and affirmed at her coronation; for her unswerving devotion to the Gospel; and for her steadfast service as Supreme Governor of the Church of England..." Gratitude for the Queen's faith and dedication.

"Let us pray that we may be given grace to live as those who believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to eternal life..." For all of us.

John Nolan said...

The Anglican Church (officially at least) is Protestant and does not pray for the dead. The prayers quoted by Fr Kavanaugh are entirely within this tradition; thanksgiving for the life and witness of the deceased and consolation for those who mourn.