Service of Thanksgiving to Queen Elizabeth is held at Enniskillen Cathedral


Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenant for Fermanagh lighting the beacon.

The congregation attending the Service of Thanksgiving.

The Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee took place this evening in St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen.

The service was filled with music and tributes to Her Majesty.

In his address, the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd Dr. Ian Ellis described it as “a joyous occasion to celebrate a most significant landmark in the life of our nation; the Platinum Jubilee of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.”

He said 70 years was an outstanding record of steadfast duty and service to her subjects, and she had imbued her Royal duties in all of those years with her customary grace and dedication.

He elaborated on the words “duty and service” linking them with the Gospel reading with the words of the Lord Jesus: I am among you as one who serves.

Mrs Jane Styles Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenant reading the first lesson.

Bishop Ellis said; “Duty and service tend not to be popular words today; our society inclines to think in contractual and employment terms when we consider the roles people may have. There is of course nowadays correctly, a focus on rights as many inequalities need to be addressed. However, in New Testament terms the Christian is called to serve and to follow the model of our Saviour Christ who gave up his rights and offered his life as a sacrifice. I think it is this attitude of mind which has influenced Queen Elizabeth who has spoken openly about her personal faith in Christ and how he has sustained her particularly in challenging moments in her personal and regal life.

“That brings me back to those two words ‘duty’ and ‘service’. There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth has seen her role as monarch as the call of God upon her life, and she sees it as her duty and service to God, to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In that service she has dedicated herself unstintingly and consistently to all the public duties and constitutional roles expected of her.

“The Queen’s early upbringing, the influence of her parents and her worshipping life using the prayerbook of the Church of England, have undoubtedly shaped her life. “

Bishop Ellis examined duty and service in more detail and said; 'The Queen had demonstrated that kind of service to her country and commonwealth. She had delivered her historic address during her visit to Dublin in 2011 and in 2012 during her visit to Enniskillen, she led the way in promoting neighbourliness and breaking down barriers to friendship and working together.

He continued; “We might ask ourselves are we truly following this command to love our neighbour as ourselves and to be inspired by the example that Queen Elizabeth has modelled in her life.

Mr Sam Morrow reading the Second Lesson.

“Duty and service is what God requires of all who follow his Son Jesus Christ, we are servants of the servant. During Holy Week on Maundy Thursday we remembered that Christ took a towel, knelt down and washed his disciples’ feet. Queen Elizabeth continues a time-honoured tradition of monarchs in presenting Maundy Money each year on that day to citizens who have given exemplary service to the community. Service to others following the example of Christ has characterised her reign and has indeed been a primary impulse of her life. We thank God today or this example and lifetime of duty and service.

“God does not call us to be great servants but faithful servants. In our time we need men and women not to do great things necessarily, but to be faithful in their duty to God and to neighbour. In our churches we are called to be members of a body serving our Lord and serving each other with humility and faithfulness. In wider society we must become a people more at ease with ourselves across the different traditions and communities. To desire and seek the future common good, development and prosperity of all citizens.

“As we celebrate this festive Platinum Jubilee may we draw inspiration from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth through the example of her faith, her devotion to Christ and dedication to selfless service. Let us bring our own response to God, through trust in his Son and in duty and service as members of the communities to which we belong.

“This evening as we light beacons across the country and across our town may we be inspired by our Queen’s shining example of duty and service to shine brightly as lights in the world of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who came not to be served but to give his life for us all. And may God bless the Queen with the knowledge of our profound gratitude for her unwavering sense of duty and service to us all.

“May God save our gracious Queen.’”

The service was conducted by the Revd Christopher West, Curate Assistant at St. Macartin’s Cathedral.

Monsignor Peter O'Reilly reading the Gospel Reading.

The Old Testament Reading was read by Mrs Jane Styles, Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant for Co. Fermanagh; the New Testament Reading was by Mr. Sam Morrow OBE, Honorary Secretary of St. Macartin’s Cathedral and the Gospel Reading was by The Right Revd Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, PP, VG, Roman Catholic Dean of Clogher.

The Bells of the Cathedral were rung by The Guild of Ringers before and after the service.

The hymns were; “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven,” “O God, our help in ages past,” “Lord of all hopefulness,” “I vow to thee my country” and “Now thank we all our God.” The praise was led by the Cathedral Choir conducted by Mr. David Baxter and accompanied by organist, Mr. Glenn Moore.

Among those attending were clergy from the main churches in Enniskillen.

The service was followed by the lighting of the beacon in the grounds of the Cathedral and music from the Community Massed Pipes and Drums hosted by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (Fermanagh Section) performed a pipers tribute to Her Majesty The Queen.

There were also musical tributes from buglers and a song for the Commonwealth “A life lived with grace” was performed by St. Macartin’s Cathedral Choir.

Afterwards the lighting of 12 beacons in the walls of Enniskillen Castle organised by Enniskillen Rotary Club took place as well as beacons lit by Scouts and Guides on Castle Island and by Scouts at Topped Mountain and also at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School by the NI Battalion Army Cadet Force.

Mr. David Cupples Presbyterian Minister leading the prayers.

Over the next few days there are many events being held to mark the Platinum Jubilee with many churches in Clogher Diocese organising tea parties and community events.

For a list of these, please see the Clogher Diocesan Diary page.

Bishop Ian Ellis who gave the address and paid tribute to Her Majesty The Queen.

The St. Macartin's Choir singing the song for the Commonwealth during the lighting of the Beacon.

The beacon lit in the grounds of Enniskillen Cathedral.