Praying for the Nation

The Conference of Bishops in England and Wales issued draft prayers to be used at Mass on Trinity Sunday.  They also decreed that the first lesson should be replaced with the Lord's promise to King Solomon from the Book of Kings.  In the Ordinariate I think most of us will have used these willingly; indeed in our Bournemouth Group we also sang the first verse of "God Save the Queen" (to the tune which the Americans pinched and used for "My country 'tis of thee" — what a liberty!).

Yet in some scurrilous church publication it seems there was a letter deploring everything about the Queen's Jubilee — "she's not a Catholic, so why pray for her, &c, &c".  Now that is just the sort of guff which gets Catholics a bad name — and I hope the Ordinariate will loyally defend a Queen who has been, as Archbishop Rowan said in his St Paul's sermon, a model of dutiful service.

Foolishly I forgot to take my camera, but perhaps that is as well; cameras cannot convey the feel of the event.  I have tried to do that with a couple of sketches which I have published in my "Ancient Richborough" blog.  I will try to add one of them here, without much hope of  success, since my computer seems incapable of downloading pictures to The Anglo-Catholic.

So, in brief, in the words of a rarely sung verse of the National Anthem,

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

Author: Fr. Edwin Barnes

Bishop Barnes read theology for three years at Oxford before finishing his studies at Cuddesdon College (at the time a theological college with a rather monastic character). He subsequently served two urban curacies in Portsmouth and Woking. During his first curacy, and after the statutory three years of celibacy, he married his wife Jane (with whom he has two children, Nicola and Matthew). In 1967, Bishop Barnes received his first incumbency as Rector of Farncombe in the Diocese of Guildford. After eleven years, the family moved to Hessle, in the Diocese of York, for another nine years as vicar. In 1987, he became Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford. In 1995, he was asked by then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, to become the second PEV for the Province. He was based in St. Alban’s and charged with ministering to faithful Anglo-Catholics spread over the length of Southern England, from the Humber Estuary to the Channel Islands. After six years of service as a PEV, Bishop Barnes retired to Lymington on the south coast where he holds the Bishop of Winchester’s license as an honorary assistant bishop. On the retirement of the late and much lamented Bishop Eric Kemp, he was honored to be asked to succeed him as President of the Church Union. Both these appointments he resigned on becoming a Catholic in 2010. Fr. Barnes is now a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, caring for an Ordinariate Group in Southbourne, Bournemouth.

19 thoughts on “Praying for the Nation”

  1. I've been a RC priest for 13 years. Dyed-in-the-wool, you might say … At the three Masses I celebrated on Sunday we had the special first reading, I preached about the Biblical concept of monarchy and its significance for today's celebrations, we prayed for our Soveriegn in the Prayer of the Faithful, used the special Prayer After Communion After Prayer After Communion prayer and sang two verses of the National Anthem. I wanted to do the three cheers thing, but …

  2. This past Sunday, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, the Toronto Anglican Use Sodality, after the Angelus at the end of our regular Sung Mass (1:45pm every Sunday at Sacré-Coeur church, 381 Sherbourne St), prayed a form of the loyal prayer the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales released for the occasion:

    Prayer for the Queen

    V. O Lord, save Elizabeth, our Queen.
    R. And hear us on the day we call upon thee.
    V. O Lord, hear our prayer.
    R. And let our cry come unto thee.
    V. The Lord be with you.
    R. and with thy spirit.

    Almighty God, we pray,
    that thy servant Elizabeth, our Queen,
    who, by thy providence hath received the governance of this realm,
    may continue to grow in every virtue,
    that, imbued with thy heavenly grace,
    she may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil
    and, being blessed with thy favour
    may, with her consort and the royal family,
    come at last into thy presence,
    through Christ who is the way, the truth and the life
    and who liveth and reigneth with thee
    in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
    one God, forever and ever.
    Amen

    We followed that up appropriately with God Save the Queen, Canada's Royal Anthem. While we only did the first verse this year, the uniquely Canadian verse can always be added in the future:

    Our loved Dominion bless
    With peace and happiness
    From shore to shore;
    And let our Empire be
    Loyal, united, free,
    True to herself and Thee
    For evermore

  3. We pray for those who are just rulers weather they be Catholic or not. Sure praying for the conversion of Mary's Dowry would also include the monarch however to simply not pray for her because of her opinion (wrong as it may be) is incompatible with the Christian ideal.

  4. You are quite right, Father; and what a wonderful picture you have posted. The Queen has personified Christian duty and service which should be applauded by all Christians. It was heart warming to see hundreds from my village turn out for our celebrations which the parish council, of which I am vice chairman, put on. All the television coverage has stressed the Queen's devoted service.

    As for loyalty, I taught at a Jesuit school, Mount St Mary's, before my present post. Every day the Union Flag flew apart from days when the school flag was flown. The Latin sung Mass at Farm Street at 11am on Sundays (I recommend it; it is beautifully conducted) has the Latin prayer for the Queen sung. I hope the Queen is commemorated in some way in the forthcoming Ordinariate Customary.

  5. As a Roman Catholic, we pray for world leaders every week at our parish. For Queen Elizabeth, I'd encourage British Catholics to do the same; not praying for her is a step towards the opposite direction of her conversion to the Catholic faith. Who knows, since many people consider the monarchy in decline, perhaps they wouldn't care if the Queen or any subsequent monarch became Catholic. It would be heartening to see a picture of a British monarch in churches alongside that of the Pope's and the local bishop's.

  6. From La Stampa, the Holy Father's message of congratulations to Her Majesty:

    Below is the Pope's message to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee:

    To Her MajestyQueen Elizabeth II,
    I write to offer my warmest congratulations to Your Majesty on the happy occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of your reign. During the past sixty years you have offered to your subjects and to the whole world an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.

    I retain warm memories of the gracious welcome accorded to me by Your Majesty at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at the beginning of my Apostolic Visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, and I renew my thanks for the hospitality that I received throughout those four days. Your personal commitment to cooperation and mutual respect between the followers of different religious traditions has contributed in no small measure to improving ecumenical and interreligious relations throughout your realms.

    Commending Your Majesty and all the Royal Family to the protection of Almighty God, I renew my heartfelt good wishes on this joyful occasion and I assure you of my prayers for your continuing health and prosperity.

    From the Vatican, 23 May 2012

    1. I hope it will not be churlish to note, however, that for us Texans, our true earthly king is His Royal Highness Juan Carlos I, of Spain (oh, oops, not if one is a Carlist, though…).

      1. But much as I might be tempted to engage in political romanticism, as Carl Schmitt would say, Juan Carlos is it for us en Tejas.

      2. Nitpicking … For a king of Spain, after Charles the Emperor, it is not HR Highness but HR Majesty (or better, for those separated before 1834, "Sacra Católica Real Majestad").

        Be warned, specially at Corpus Christ, please rememeber that His Divine Majesty (Su Divina Majestad) is used to address the Consecrated Host …

        After the dead of the last undoubtably legitimate Carlist Pretender (D. Alfonso Carlos) in 1936, a sizable number of Carlists did accept the heirs of the husband of Isabella II as the legitimate holder of the Dynastic Rights. It happens to be King Juan Carlos. A tougher question would be if his grandaughters will be …

        1. Ah, well, but King Juan Carlos's father had an older brother (excluded from the succession to the Spanish throne because of his speech and hearing impairments) who married and had descendants, and it is this prince's grandson who is considered by the most consistent Carlists and French legitimists as the Head of the House of Bourbon, and the true heir to the French and/or Spanish thrones.

          1. I knew it would pop up. The sad situation of D. Jaime (and his heirs) was (from a purely formal and theoretical sense, as everything happened in exile) a bit more complex.
            He was skipped of his rights to the Spanish Throne (mainstream or Carlist) on two counts according to the House Laws. First, being deafmute, his father (King Alphons XIII) and deemed him unable to reign, and made him renounce his rights (he afterwards complained of have being conned into). Later, he married (as his elder brother Alphons) in "messaliance", which at that time implied automatic exclusion.
            It was so clear that no Carlist group has ever tried to use him as Pretender.
            Curiously none of this two causes are deemed worth of exclusion by the French Legitimists of the "Blanc d'Espagne" persuasions, and thus his grandson Luis Alfonso (also great-grandson of Franco) is seen acting as Pretender of the French Throne

            btw, no Jacobite in this thread ?

            1. I was going to mention… While I have enjoyed all the coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, and certainly believe that as Catholics we should pray for our rulers, we should also spare a prayer or two for our lawful king, Duke Franz von Wittelsbach of Bavaria!

            2. Interesting once Duke Franz goes to his eternal reward, the Jacobite claim will descend to Prince Joseph Wenzel, grandson of Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein and second in line to the throne.

        2. Yes, when Her Honor and I assisted at Mass in the Plaza de Oriente on the transferred Sunday of Corpus Christi, celebrated by Cardinal Ruoco and others, a couple of years ago, the military band there present struck up the Marcha Real at the elevation of the Sacred Host. Most edifying.

          Later in our journey we had the privilege to be present at a Eucharistic Procession at the gates of the Alhambra, in Granada. In Andalusia anyway, it seems that every Sunday in June sees such processions, which are really encouraging. This one was especially pleasant as it had the connotation that we know who is really in charge at the Alhambra, despite the wishes of some.

  7. We here in our Australian Roman Catholic parish downloaded the prayer from the British Bishops website and prayed it at our three masses for Trinity Sunday. We thought Father would just say the second half of the prayer by himself but in each Mass the whole congregation spontaneously joined in saying the prayer with Father. It was wonderful to have a little bit of joy in a rather sad world.

  8. Following the Solemn Mass on Sunday, just after the Angelus, we prayed the Domine, salvum fac and then sang two verses of the Royal Anthem, God Save the Queen.

    We also gathered at the Rectory, after Low Mass yesteday, to watch the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving service from St Paul's Cathedral.

    As forrmer Anglicans, we're doing our best to preserve the best of the patrimony and maintain loyalty to the Crown in the dominion!

    Lee Kenyon
    Administrator
    St John the Evangelist, Calgary

Leave a Reply