Hundreds came to evensong at Ripon Cathedral this Wednesday9th September to mark the moment that Her Majesty the Queen became Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
Members of the armed forces joined with civic leaders, mayors, ecumenical church leaders and Queen’s chaplains at a service of Thanksgiving and Evensong marking the Queen’s remarkable reign of 63 years and 216 days.
The service at Ripon Cathedral , came at the invitation of the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd, and was an opportunity to give thanks and prayer for the years of dedication and service the Queen has given to the country.
Music at the service included the introit “I was Glad” by Parry, the same anthem that was sung at the Coronation of her Majesty in 1953.
The Preacher during the service was the Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson. He said, “I am delighted that the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire has invited Ripon Cathedral to host this significant service. It is clear that the nation will be doing more to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday next year.
“It is appropriate, however, that we should pause on this historic day to thank God for the Queen’s unparalleled service to this country and to celebrate Her Majesty’s inspiring commitment to duty over so many years.”
During her time on the throne, the Queen has had a total of 12 Prime Ministers and 6 Archbishops of Canterbury serve under her. She has attended an estimated 25,500 official engagements in Britain, conferred 400,000 honours and awards and received 3.5 million items of correspondence. The Queen has also hosted more than a million garden party guests, a large and varied amount of foreign heads of state, two popes and five astronauts.
The Church of England has issues special prayers to be used on September 9th. One, a modern-language prayer, drawing on the New Testament book of Philippians reads:
whose Son Jesus Christ exchanged the glory of a heavenly throne for the form of a servant,
we thank you that you have given Elizabeth our Queen a heart to serve her people,
and have kept her devoted in this service beyond all who were before her:
encourage us by her example to serve one another, and to seek the common good,
until you call us all to reign with Christ in your eternal kingdom.