Oakgrove offers sympathy in solidarity with all who mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The death of every public figure impacts on all of us. In this case, each of us is moved by the death of a mother and grandmother. The very long and public life led by The Queen means that her death has a particular impact on so many of us, right across the world.
The Archbishop of Armagh has observed how much The Queen connected with people – even though so many of those people lived lives so different from her own, touched as she was by privilege and power. Her connection was based on the respect she showed to others, and her compassion for them, qualities to which all of us can aspire.
In life, The Queen celebrated diversity, cherishing her role as Head of the Commonwealth, bringing together leaders of countries across the globe. In her lived example, she promoted reconciliation, shaking hands of peace, famously, with Martin McGuinness. In her historic address on her State Visit to Ireland, The Queen spoke of the relationship between these islands, and counselled that “we should bow to the past, but not be bound by it”. The symbolism of two leaders, from different backgrounds, reaching out in a handshake of friendship, was a mark of their courage. That symbolism has built for all of us a better, more peaceful society. The healing of relations between Britain and Ireland was helped by the powerful bonds forged by The Queen and Presidents of Ireland, noted in the tribute from Michael D. Higgins.
The Queen’s life was marked by duty, first spoken publicly at the age of 21, when she pledged to serve her people for her whole life, whether it be long or short. The Queen kept that promise, steadfast in her commitment of service, right to the end.
Ahead of her time, The Queen was a female leader, doing her work and loving her family. Such a life served to inspire women young and old, as countless tributes have make clear.
Faith mattered greatly to Her Majesty. The only book for which she wrote a foreword was “The Servant Queen and The King She Serves”, bearing witness to her steadfast faith in God and her belief that, whatever her power, her duty was to Him.
Within the Oakgrove community, those who share that faith in God, from our diversity of religious backgrounds, can remember in prayers and kindest thoughts the life of The Queen, and all those mourn, that they will be comforted.