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Queen Elizabeth II's 90th Birthday Celebrations To Reflect 'Humble Devotion to Christ' Throughout 60-Year Reign

( [email protected] ) Jun 09, 2016 10:05 AM EDT
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 90th birthday in a series of weeklong events and official engagements that will start on Friday, commemorating her "humble devotion to Christ".
Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles during a reception with parliamentarians to mark the Queen's 90th birthday at Buckingham Palace in London, Britain May 10, 2016. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 90th birthday in a series of weeklong events and official engagements that will start on Friday, commemorating her "humble devotion to Christ".

The Hereford Times reports the festivities will begin on Friday, June 10 where a televised mass service will be held in honor of the Queen at St. Paul's Cathedral. There, Prime Minister David Cameron will read from Luke 12, a passage chosen because it "encourages us not to worry about the things that God will supply for us but to focus on our faith in God's Kingdom - a focus which the Queen has observed throughout her life".

The Archbishop of Canterbury will also preach a sermon in commemoration of the Queen's life, and the first hymn will be "O Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness", which was chosen to recall "the Queen's Christian faith and her humble devotion to Christ". The Old Testament reading taken from Psalm 139 was chosen because it speaks "of God knowing us even before we are born and remaining with us at every stage of our lives".

The prayers, led by six people, will feature descriptions of God taken from the book of Psalms. Representatives from all major Christian denominations in the UK will be present as well as representatives of other faiths. As part of the service they will offer "an act of thanksgiving for everything the Queen stands for", which will be led by the Bishop of London.

The service will be attended by a number of politicians and members of the royal family, and will reflect all aspects of the Queen's life, as well as her faith, according to ChristianToday.

According to the event website, the Queen turned 90 years old in April, however, she also has an official birthday set in June following British royal customs. She is Britain's longest reigning monarch after she surpassed the record of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria on 9 September 2015. She was crowned on 2 June 1953.

In honor of her 90th birthday, the Queen reflected on Jesus' central role in her life in a book entitled The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, released in April.

"I have been - and remain - very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen His faithfulness," the British monarch writes in the foreword.

The book is published by HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

"As I've been writing this book and talking about it to friends, to family who don't know Jesus, to my Jewish barber, I've been struck how very interested they are to discover more about the Queen's faith," said Mark Greene, executive director of LICC, who is the co-author of the book.

"The Queen has served us all her adult life, with amazing consistency of character, concern for others and a clear dependence on Christ. The more I've read what she's written and talked to people who know her, the clearer that is," he added.

In the book, the Queen also talks about the ongoing mass persecution of Christians in the Middle East, which is a subject both she and her son, Prince Charles, have touched upon on a number of occasions.

She highlighted the persecution of Christians in her Christmas address of 2015, which Church observers called the "most Christian message yet" of her 60-plus year reign as monarch.

The full list of birthday festivities and events honoring the Queen can be found here.