There’ve been two big projects on my plate this week that I’m quite excited about: The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations the first weekend in June, and a Confirmation service at Great St Mary’s in mid-May. I’m particularly excited because of what those two events have in common…
What they have in common is ministry. Our celebrations of the Queen’s Jubilee will fall on Pentecost, Whitsun, the great celebration of the Church’s ‘birthday’, when the apostles gathered in that upper room 50 days after Easter, the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and those followers of Jesus found their calling as the Church. That very day, 3000 people were baptized, the Acts of the Apostles telling us that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” — a practice of Christian discipline which our confirmation candidates will, well, confirm at their confirmation on the Feast of St Matthias, the 14th of May. At that confirmation service Bishop Dagmar will lay hands on our confirmation candidates and also make the sign of the cross in chrism. Anointing with blessed oil is a very historic part of the confirmation rite — and of coronations as well.
The Church of England is a bit peculiar (there’s an opening if I ever saw one) in that although we have and celebrate our ordained ministries of bishops, priests, and deacons, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a lay woman. Here’s a hint: it’s her Platinum Jubilee which we’ll be celebrating in June with a livestream broadcast inside Great St Mary’s of the service at St Paul’s Cathedral (and we hope a celebratory tea to follow), as well as at a special Eucharist on Pentecost itself.
In the weeks leading up to the Queen’s Jubilee Weekend (and more essentially, to Pentecost) I’d like to invite us to celebrate all our lay ministers at Great St Mary’s – which are indeed all of the baptised in our church. Each of us has a unique and holy calling from God to live out our faith, in word and deed, dedicated to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Thank you for your ministry!