Celebrating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee


Our Parish celebration of Her Majesty’s sixty year reign takes place on Sunday 3 June, as follows:

9.00am Said Mass with homily (for Trinity Sunday)
Sunday 3 June is also Trinity Sunday, a Principal Feast of the Church. Accordingly, this service is a Mass of the Day and is dedicated to proclaiming the One God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

10.15am Jubilee Celebration – an All Age Mass for the Parish Family
The main service of the day. Representatives from each generation will present some of the symbols used in the Coronation Service, we will learn about their meaning and significance, and the value to us all of public service, duty and committed faithfulness.

12 Noon – 2.30pm ‘The Big Lunch’

As our response to this national initiative we are holding A Bring & Share Picnic on the green behind
St Matthew’s Church or, if the weather is inclement, in the Parish Centre. Further details will be available shortly in church or via the weekly notices sheet.

6.30pm Solemn Choral Evensong (for Trinity Sunday)

7.30pm Organ Recital: 'The Queen's Musick'

Our Director of Music, Stephen Moore, plays music written for the Coronation Service. Admission free, with retiring collection.

The Origins of Royal Jubilees

The origins of Royal Jubilees lie buried in the days of the early Pharaohs some three thousand years before Christ. Thirty years after his accession the Pharaoh was obliged to take part in various ceremonies to demonstrate his continued virility and fitness to rule. One such test was a ritual race he had to run over a prescribed distance. In those days it was called the Heb-sed festival. The word Jubilee is Hebrew and comes from Yobel, which refers to the ram's horn with which Jubilee years were proclaimed.

The concept of Jubilee is a Biblical one. In Leviticus 25.8 onwards we read ‘Count off seven Sabbaths of years – seven times seven years – so that the seven Sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee to you.’

The Book of Leviticus goes on to advocate the return of land to the rightful owners and the freeing of slaves in the Jubilee year. Whether this ever happened in ancient Israel is disputed. The concept, however, lay behind the recent successful Jubilee Campaign to free developing countries from international debt.

Medieval Popes also adopted the idea of a Jubilee and this has developed into what the Roman Catholics call Holy Year. The first was proclaimed by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. The main attraction was the indulgence gained by anybody who put in an appearance in Rome during Jubilee year.

Early English monarchs had few opportunities to celebrate Jubilees. Life was so hard and their profession so precarious that few of them attained the age of 50, still less reigned for 50 years.

In England only two early monarchs marked their Jubilees - Henry III in 1265 and Edward III in 1377, so the first Jubilee to compare with the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee is that of King George III in 1809. Henry III and Edward III both celebrated their Jubilees with celebrations consisting principally of religious observances, pardons to certain offenders and criminals, and other such acts of piety.

In modern times, Royal Jubilees have been celebrated elsewhere in the world. The late Emperor Hirohito of Japan celebrated fifty years in 1976, while the Silver Jubilee of Queen Juliana of The Netherlands was marked in 1973, that of the late Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1974, and that of the late King Baudouin of Belgium in 1976.

To find out more, please visit the Official Jubilee website


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