Mothers’ Union Jubilee Celebration and Pentecost Devotion 5th June 2022

Strengthen her, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter;
Confirm and stablish her with thy free and princely Spirit,
the Spirit of wisdom and government,
the Spirit of counsel and ghostly strength,
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness,
and fill her, O Lord, with the Spirit of thy holy fear,
now and for ever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Prayer of Consecration from the Coronation of the Queen)

When Elizabeth was anointed Queen by the Archbishop of Canterbury at her coronation service the prayer spoken called for the Holy Spirit to fill her now and forever. The Queen’s biographer William Shawcross wrote that this anointing was the most solemn and important moment of her entire life. I do not suppose those gathered that day imagined that we would one day be celebrating the seventieth anniversary of her coronation. Few monarchs in history have reached 70 years on the throne and those that have were crowned at a younger age than our Queen.

It seems so appropriate that these anniversary celebrations fall at Pentecost. A time when we commemorate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the gathered disciples shortly after the Ascension of Jesus. A gift that came with the sound of a violent wind and tongues of fire. A gift that enabled them to speak in other languages. A gift which empowered the rest of their lives and the rest of their ministry.

The Archbishop prayed that the Holy Spirit would also bring the gifts of wisdom, counsel, knowledge and true godliness to the Queen. Just as we find recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, we see how in the Queen’s life, the gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit have enabled her to carry out her duties so diligently over the past 70 years. As a committed Christian, the Queen embraces Jesus Christ as the model and teacher of her life of service, something she has spoken about in many of her Christmas Broadcasts.

The Queen has been the patron of Mothers’ Union since coming to the throne in 1952 and has been a beacon for the promotion of faith within our homes and families. She has also been a role model for strong and inspiring female servant leadership. Servant leadership inspired and sustained by faith in God. Servant leadership inspired and sustained by the gifts of the Spirit. Servant leadership that we are all called to exercise in our mission as members of the Mothers’ Union.

I pray that this Pentecost and Jubilee weekend we may all sense the renewed presence of the Holy Spirit inspiring us to share the love of God in our communities, our families and our churches.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra