Bishop Alan Hopes celebrated a Requiem Mass for Queen Elizabeth II at St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich this morning (9th September).
In his homily Bishop Alan said: “We were all shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday evening. All that we feel is shared around the world, as we can see from the tributes which have been pouring in from leaders, politicians and very ordinary people whose lives have been touched by her life and her words.
“Today we begin to reflect on all that she has meant to us as the head of our country over the past 70 years. Much will be said and written over the next days. We as a Diocese will celebrate a Requiem Mass for her nearer the time of the funeral – that will be a time for a fuller reflection.
“Today we can only do three things as we offer this Holy Mass for the repose of her soul.
“First, we must pray for her as she makes her final journey to God. As Catholics we believe that our prayers can help her on that journey during which God makes us worthy to be in His eternal presence. We pray that she will be swiftly received into the merciful presence of God, there to be once again united with her beloved Prince Philip.
“Second, we come to offer this Mass with great gratitude for her life and example, for her long service to our country and the many peoples of the Commonwealth – something she committed herself to from an early age. We return thanks to God that all this came from a deep Christian faith which guided and inspired her throughout her long life.
“And last, her death must remind us of our Christian faith that death is not the end to life but the beginning to a new and fuller life with God which we can never experience here on earth. The promise of this new life come to us through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – God’s promises are always sure and faithful, full of love and mercy – in them we find our hope and peace.
“May she now rest in peace.
“We pray for our country. We pray for His Majesty King Charles III and for all the members of the Royal Family as they grieve their loss.
“May God save the King.”
A Diocesan Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be held at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, in Norwich, on Thursday September 15, at 11am.
Bishop Alan said: “I would like this occasion to be a truly Diocesan occasion when we can all come together to express our sadness at the death of HM Queen Elizabeth. And, as the Catholic community of East Anglia, to offer our prayers for her, for our new King and the Royal Family, and for our country at this time of transition.”
The bishop’s invitation is going out to parishes and schools across the diocese.