Cathedral service gives thanks for Queen’s ‘deep ties’ to Scotland and her people

The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields delivering the homily during the service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.(Photo: Church of Scotland)

A service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s life was held at St Giles Cathedral in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh on Tuesday, where thousands of people lined the streets to view her coffin.

The service was attended by King Charles III, the Queen Consort, members of the Royal Family, First Minister Liz Truss, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other politicians and religious leaders.

In his homily, The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, expressed his “gratitude” for the Queen’s “deep connection to our land and her people”.

“His love of the Balmoral estate is well known and being there lately has given him great comfort,” he said.

“There she was valued as a neighbor and friend and there she drew strength and refreshment during the summer months.

“She was active in the life of civic Scotland, traveling around the country in support of many causes, entertaining guests at Holyrood Palace and presiding over ceremonies, many of which took place in this church.

“Here she was awarded the Scottish crown in 1953, an event vividly commemorated in the painting by Orcadian artist Stanley Cursiter.

“His ties to Scottish churches were also deep and enduring.

“She was Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but she worshiped in the Church of Scotland here north of the border, at Canongate Kirk and especially at Crathie Kirk where she took her pew every Sunday morning, prevented from doing so lately only out of infirmity.

“She saw little difficulty in belonging to two churches and appreciating the strength of each.”

Like others, Dr Greenshields spoke of his ‘true’ Christian faith and his ‘remarkable’ annual Christmas broadcasts where his faith was given ‘clear and heartfelt expression’.

“She spoke shamelessly of her trust in God and of the example and teaching of Jesus Christ which she sought to follow as best she could – indeed, of that faith she said that ‘She had no regrets,’ the moderator continued.

“His focus on family, on community, on overcoming divisions and differences was evident to us through these short but meaningful festive messages.

“For 70 years she reigned as our queen.

“She was present among us as a disciple of Christ and a member of his Church. And for that and many more, we give thanks to God together here today.”

He concluded his homily with prayers for King Charles III.

“Today we mourn her passing, but we also celebrate the long and happy reign we have had with her.

“And we pray God’s blessing upon King Charles who will surely draw strength from his mother’s example and from the many loving tributes in these days and from our assurance to him as a Church of our unswerving prayers at all times and our unwavering support for him as was offered to his mother, the Queen,” he said.

The Queen’s coffin rests in St Giles overnight before her journey to London ahead of the state funeral on Monday September 19.

St Giles’ will be open until 3pm on Tuesday for members of the public to pay their respects.