Episcopal dioceses, churches pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

By David Paulsen
Posted Sep 9, 2022

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal dioceses and congregations are joining people all over the world in paying tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch Queen Elizabeth II, who died Sept. 8 at 96, with numerous services planned in her honor.

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California, tolled its bells after news broke of the queen’s death, and at an evensong service later in the day, visitors were invited to sign a condolence book. Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota, Florida, also tolled its bells – 70 times, representing Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne – and a requiem service is planned for Sept. 15. Another service is planned Sept. 14 at Zion Episcopal Church in Washington, North Carolina.

In the Diocese of Rhode Island, two Evensongs are in the works to mark the queen’s death, Bishop Nicholas Knisely said on Twitter. “While she was not our monarch, there are many British and Commonwealth citizens who attend Episcopal churches in Rhode Island and this would be a way for them to give thanks for her life and to recognize what she has meant to so many,” Knisely said.

And in the Diocese of Hawaiʻi, the cathedral has scheduled an Evensong in the queen’s memory for Oct. 9. “As we remember the queen’s life, we can be reminded here in the Diocese of Hawaiʻi of the deep connection between the royal family of the United Kingdom with that of the Hawaiian monarchy – especially the bond between Queen Victoria and Queen Emma,” Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick said in an emailed message to the diocese.

As monarch, Queen Elizabeth served as supreme governor of the Church of England. The monarchy also plays a role in the Church of Scotland, though it is not directly tied to the Anglican Communion’s other 40 independent provinces, including The Episcopal Church.

Even so, Episcopal leaders across the church offered their tributes and condolences in written statements and on social media.

“Today we mourn the passing and celebrate the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. My prayers for peace go out for her, for her loved ones, and for all those who knew and loved her throughout the world,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said. “Her resilience, her dignity, and her model of quiet faith and piety have been—and will continue to be—an example for so many. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.”

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.