Saturday, July 10, 2010

It is Sunday, July 4th, 2010 and the alarm clock rang at 6:00 a.m. as usual, but today rang with a special motivation. In four more hours we must be seated at St. James’ Cathedral to enjoy a Choral Mattins (Choral Morning Prayer) where Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are attending.

After the security control at the entrance of the cathedral, we moved to our designated location, the 14th row of pews. There were great expectations for the great moment, maybe for the majority it was their first time to see the monarch directly.

10:40 the choir and clergy enter the cathedral.
10: 45 the Premier of Ontario entered
10:49 the General Lieutenant entered
11:00 silence invaded the cathedral and the Queen arrived
11:01 the Queen & the Duke took their places
11:03 we sang the Royal Anthem
11:04 we sang the National Anthem
11:05 the liturgy for Mattins started and was led by Archbishop Johnson
11:50 the Queen presented a gift to the Mohawk representatives on occasion of the 300th anniversary of the visit of 4 Mohawks to Queen Ann.
11:55 the Queen & representatives rededicated St. George’s Chapel destroyed by fire in 2008.
11:57 Her Majesty unveiled a commemorative plaque at the chapel
11:58 The Queen and the Duke signed the visitor book
12:00 The Queen left the cathedral with Archbishop Johnson.

The liturgy was very traditional and was sung by the choir of St. James’ Cathedral, the 34 singers did an amazing performance singing the Venite, Psalm 87, Te Deum Laudamus, Jubilate Deo, the Anthem, commissioned by Mr. Eric Hanbury to commemorate the Royal Visit. We sung two hymns: “Praise to the Lord....” (Tune: Lobe den Herren) and “From all that dwell below the skies” (Tune: Lasst Uns Erfreuen). It seems to me that everybody wanted to sing even louder and better having the Queen in the same service, obviously was a great motivation to thank God.

The homily was brief, only 8 minutes, and is was not transcendental in content. The readers where the two chaplains of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal of the Mohawk, at St. Paul’s Grand River Territory and Christ Church Tyendinaga Territory.

At the exit of the cathedral , there was a big crowd waiting to greet the Queen and the Duke. The Queen was very friendly to the people and she looked great in her beautiful dress and hat in bright light blue. The Queen smiled to me when I waved my hand when she was passing by and she left for the Royal York Hotel from lunch and then to continue at Woodbine for the Queen’s Plate.

It was a great experience to see very close the Queen and the Duke, and to worship with the Head of The Church of England to the same God in the same spirit and faith.
God Save the Queen!

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