The Queen’s Speech: Easter 2020

Just when you think that all is lost, that we are past the post-Christian stage of history, to the out-and-out anti-Christian stage, there are glimmers of hope.

One such glimmer is Queen Elizabeth II’s speech to the British Commonwealth which she gave just the other day. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s unabashedly Christian. Would that we here in America still lived in such a happy country where we could proclaim our Christianity in as robust a fashion as Her Majesty did.

Here it is in full:




  1. Alitheia 1875 says

    I don’t see why we can’t proclaim our faith in as robust a way as we choose. If some one wants to complain, let them complain. Two interesting notes, one about her speech, the other not. Apparently we Orthodox aren’t the only ones to hold candles and pass the light from one to another. Perhaps she got this from Philip.  Also, English monarchs are anointed in a very old Anglican church service, not merely installed a tradition that goes back to Byzantine times, then through the Holy Roman Empire and to England.

    • “English monarchs are anointed in a very old Anglican church service, not merely installed a tradition that goes back to Byzantine times, then through the Holy Roman Empire and to England.”
      The earliest priestly inauguration of a King in Britain or Ireland of which we know was that of Aedan macGabrain, King of Dal Riata, by St Columba of Iona in 574AD

  2. Alitheia 1875 says

    PS…..the speech was great!

  3. Inspiring! Long life and happiness to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom!

  4. Tim R. Mortiss says


  5. May God bless her!

  6. George Michalopulos says

    Alithea, you are correct about the anointing.  It is a liturgical rite, a sacrament of the Christian Church which confers a charism particular only to the monarch.

  7. Gail Sheppard says

    What freedom comes from being a monarch!  Wouldn’t you all just love to be able to say what she just said without having to duck?

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Gail, although I understand why you say that, I think we do still have the freedom to say what she says without having to duck.  I mean, yes, for some people there are serious consequences.  But I think we should resist, if possible, having any compunction about saying what she said.  I think we should refuse to duck.

      This may seem a little over the top, what I’m about to write, but…  I guess it’s just how I am.  A little too intense sometimes, or so I’ve heard.

      I’ve been re-visiting Hans and Sophie Scholl’s lives and deaths lately, along with their friend Christl Probst.  Because the hysteria about this virus and people dying, while tragic enough, seems so incongruous when compared with the steady rate of deaths for certain human beings who all die alone, invisibly, such brutal deaths, in the prisons their mothers’ wombs are for them, thousands every day for the past 47 years. 

      One of Sophie Scholl’s sisters said after the war that life then was like living in a beautiful house but knowing that horrible things were happening in the cellar.

      That is the sense I have. Since I first realized what was happening in this country, way back in 1980.  

      Living in this country is like living in a beautiful house, knowing that horrible things are happening… just down the street, behind closed doors.

      During this pandemic, and the shutdowns, the panic seems incongruous, although I do not in any sense mean to minimize anyone’s death.  But people always care about things if they themselves are in danger, and we have all been fortunate enough to survive our mothers’ wombs. 

      In the fall of 1942, Sophie was studying in Munich with Hans.  She discovered her brother’s involvement in the White Rose, a group that had been formed to resist the Nazis.  She tried to join, but her brother felt their family was already in enough danger, so he refused to allow it.

      Sophie wasn’t having it.  Later she told a friend “With all those people dying for the regime it is high time someone died against it.”

      The Gestapo knew the White Rose needed stamps to mail their leaflets and was watching post offices.  Dressing like a loyal Nazi, Sophie went from post office to post office getting the stamps they needed.  Then she walked into one of the White Rose meetings, presented the stamps, and demanded to be included.

      She became their courier in the dangerous task of carrying leaflets from city to city.

      On February 18, 1943 the event they had long dreaded occurred.  Carrying new leaflets in a suitcase, Hans and Sophie went into campus.  After scattering leaflets up and down the halls they found they still had some left.  With classes about to let out, they climbed the stairs and dropped them into the lobby.  The building super saw them, locked the doors, and called the Gestapo.

      On February 22, a court sentenced the three to death for high treason.  Their execution was scheduled for the same day.  The executioner later told the family that he had never seen anyone die as calmly as Sophie.  He claimed she did not even blink when the guillotine blade fell.

      Sophie Scholl didn’t duck.

  8. Good to see the queen sending such a resolute message, it is refreshing to hear a Christian message from a Western leader since it doesn’t happen as often as it should 
    This is for AnonymousPA from the other post, would not go through for some reason:
    Anonymous, sadly I must agree with you about the future of GOARCH, and of Constantinople in general.
    I’m not quite sure there are words to say how very sad I am about that. I think the reason a lot of us focus so much on it on here is not out of obsession, but, because we care, and we don’t want to see anyone cleaved off from the Church. However, after this latest Town Hall it’s clear that this is the way that Archbishop Elipodophoros is going to lead GOARCH, and much like the Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists and RC’s, this will lead to its ultimate downfall. The fact that he is willing to sacrifice doctrine for a group of people (Greeks) that comprise MAYBE half of his own jurisdiction (the rest of which being converts) is very, very telling
    The next question is two-fold:
    1) Will our bishops from other jurisdictions play along with this, or, will they preach true and resolute Orthodoxy? And will they still allow someone with such heterodox teachings lead the Council of Canonical Bishops?
    2) What about the faithful clergy in GOARCH (of which there are very many). What about the monastics, especially the ones founded by Elder Ephraim? What about the laity, a huge percentage of which are converts?
    My hope is that the Antiochians will create a Greek Vicariate. To me this is what makes the most sense

    • George Michalopulos says

      Petros, I agree with you on all these points. I would however like to include another: and that is that LP’s theology as explicated in this town hall allows for the normalization of homosexual unions. Legally at first, then sacramentally.

      • Yes George, agreed. Which is why the Greek Archdiocese is going to be a “gussied up” version of the Episcopalians. Who are the ones trying to push for women’s ordination under the radar? GOARCH
        Not to be pessimistic but I’ve seen this enough times to know that GOARCH is not going to turn things around and to think they will is just blatantly naive at this point. Which is why I would like my second question answered from a Metropolitan/priest/lay in GOARCH as to what the faithful, who actually care about Orthodoxy, are going to do. And more importantly, what are our non-GOARCH hierarchs going to do? 
        I was once told by a priest who is close to Metropolitan Joseph that the Metropolitan essentially said “forget about the Greeks, they are going to go their own way and there will never be Orthodox unity with them”….and that’s from the Antiochian metropolitan!
        it’s getting very close to time to cutting ties with the Greek Archdiocese 

        • Gail Sheppard says

          When he said they’re going to “go their own way”, he may have been talking about their walk toward unification with the RC. Unless God intervenes, I think it’s inevitable now.

          • I think so too, and I believe Met. Joseph realized that when he met with Abp. Elpidophoros a few months ago. The priest I spoke with told me this only a couple of months ago so I think Met. Joseph is onto something 
            The silver lining, if you can call such a sad affair that, is that the EP in Turkey is almost non existent, not all of the flock in Greece is going to go along with it, the Ephraimite monasteries and many of the laity are not going to go along with it, and many of the mission parishes (I’m think ones associated with OCMC) will probably not go along with it as we saw with the mission in Jamaica switching to ROCOR 
            If the EP wants to join Rome, go ahead at this point. Rome can have all of our bad Orthodox 

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I feel the same way, Petros.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                I don’t.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I should have better qualified this.  I feel that Metropolitan Joseph knows about the path to Rome and feels that there is nothing much that can be done at this point.  There was so much space after this statement, I didn’t see the rest.I do not feel that it’s fine to lose Greece, Turkey or anyone else over this. It’s a travesty.  George would lose all his family, who is now MY family, were this to happen.  I apologize for my lack of clarity, Tim. 

            • I sadly agree—the Orthodox herd will be thinned out.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                I think of myself and my fellow-parishioners more as a congregation than as a herd.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Tim, and yet gathering in the pews seems remarkably like cattle going into their stalls dutifully. People tend to pick the same place, etc

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Yes, in my Presby church for years I’d sit next to my grandma, who liked the left side about halfway down. In later years there, I was more at the back with a few amiable oldsters, not unlike myself.
                    When I joined up at my GOA church, I sat, and sit, next to my nouna, a lady younger than me that I met first 40 years ago in that very spot. We both remember those who are long past who would sit in the pew before ours, near the front.
                    When I go to the OCA church now and then, I tend to stand at the left, halfway down, where I can get to a seat when the left foot goes numb. But somehow, I always find myself on that same side.
                    At least we are in church. One more thing to worry about..

          • George Michalopulos says

            Gail, I’m not ready to “go there” yet –but I definitely see something like this on the horizon.

            • George, I am with Gail on this one. When they start sounding like Pope Francis, you know that’s the direction they are going. I was Roman Catholic before becoming Orthodox and this is the religious equivalent of calling someone a deplorable. They sound more like Roman Catholics because that is the way they are headed. The irony is that the Melkites might be more Orthodox than them at this point:

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Well, my dear, you don’t need to be “ready” for it to happen. I’m not making this up, you know.. They said this is what they were going to do.

              What’s that saying? “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.”

              Well, both Pope Francis and Bartholomew have said they’re uniting in 2025. What’s it going to take for us to believe them?

              • Michael Bauman says

                Gail, for some it simply does not matter. “We all worship the same god anyway don’t we”. I am afraid it will increase the pressure on Patriarch John of Antioch to merge with the Melkites, etc.

                We think we have jurisdictional confusion here. Russia is about the only one free of it.

                George does not have to “loose” his family. That is up to them– follow the apostates or God.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  The Church has so many levels to it and for some, they take for granted it is what they think it is. May God be merciful to them, as they are innocent. They can’t react to that which they don’t know.

    • AnonymousPA says

      God Bless the Queen.  Though at 93 years old, I fear that she is made of a faith and hard stuff that just doesn’t exist in her progeny, the English monarchs-to-come.  Remember that, as a teenager during WW2, her mother would not even evacuate then-Princess Elizabeth and her sister from England to avoid the frequent air bombings.  As her mother said, “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave without the King. And the King will never leave.”  
      Maybe I’m wrong but I hardly think that the current generation of royals would act in a similarly courageous and impressive manner.
      As far as Abp E’s “innovative” practices with Holy Communion:  I still can’t get my head around the fact that his view of Holy Communion and its reception by the faithful (or non-faithful, if he has his way) is so laissez-faire.  Most Orthodox Christians have some sort of discipline of regular holy confession that they practice if they are communicants of the Body and Blood of Our Lord.  Most of us pray (or are encouraged to pray) pre-and post-Communion prayers.  Indeed, in most Churches, the recitation of the pre-communion prayer that starts “I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that Thou art truly the Christ…” is a public act that everyone recites.  
      Contrary to some of our Protestant brethren, Orthodox believe that Holy Communion — and the beliefs that the partaker of it must therefore hold — are very public acts — there’s nothing “private” about it.
      That Abp E would be fine if a non-Orthodox-Christian spouse of a member of the GOA had a venti latte along with bacon and eggs on Sunday morning and then received Holy Communion without any prayers or preparation of any sort and no particular belief about Christ or Holy Communion is required — well, all of that is beyond appalling. 

      That many in the GOA don’t see any problem with Abp E’s plan and approach demonstrates how estranged most Orthodox Christians already are from the GOA.
      As for the Assembly of Bishops/Episcopal Assembly, it’s essentially defunct.  Constantinople technically “leads” it, so if you ask them, well yes the AoB/EA is functioning swimmingly.  But to most other Orthodox Christians in America, it may as well not exist.  It does absolutely nothing.
      It’s out of pastoral economy that Orthodox Christians are permitted by many bishops to marry spouses who have been baptized in a Trinitarian manner but who are not Orthodox Christians.  This is a hard one, since without it, in the West at least, there are so few eligible Orthodox Christians going around.  And there are many God-fearing, good people who are not baptized or chrismated Orthodox Christians.  I don’t know the answer — maybe the right answer is to require both spouses to be formally baptized or chrismated Orthodox before anyone is married. 
      I, too, have heard that in the Middle East, for example, Melkite Catholics and Orthodox Christians frequently intercommune.  Same thing in Ukraine, Poland, or Slovakia for eastern-rite Catholics and Orthodox.  But that they do this practice there (or anywhere) does not make it a good or acceptable approach.
      But Abp E’s answer — to devalue and make the Eucharist meaningless — is clearly wrong and clearly separates Constantinople from the rest of the Orthodox Christian world.  

  9. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I especially like that she wishes a blessed Easter, which she described as the discovery of the resurrected Christ, to all denominations and faiths–  including non-Christians.
    A simple and powerful thing to profess.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Too bad her Easter blessings to those of other Faith’s might we’ll be considered a crime if delivered by any of her subjects in England. Or, get them assaulted

      • True. She has presided over the complete destruction of the British Empire, and Great Britain itself.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Basil, she “presided” over what you describe, of this there can be no doubt. I don’t believe for a minute she facilitated it, caused it, or encouraged it in any way, shape, manner or form.

          For that we can thank liberals. They and parties like them (the Whigs, Social Democrats, et al) are the seducers of virtue. Aristotle said that once a body politic realizes it can vote itself money from the public fisc, then a society can only survive for another three generations.

          • She’s the one that approves the Parliaments and Prime Ministers. Not an active participant, I will give you that, but a passive one. She could have done something. From the few Brits I know (mostly through military service), she would have had the support of the Armed Forces if she wanted to take action.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Indeed. I hope that next year she will begin with the words “Christ is risen!”

  10. Ronda Wintheiser says

    This may seem off topic, but…  I don’t know where else to put it. 
    Anybody notice that Archbishop Elpidophoros has confirmed/re-affirmed his earlier comments to the effect that he believes non-Orthodox spouses should be able to receive the Eucharist if they were married in the Church?

    • Michael Bauman says

      Mind boggling: full Orthodox wedding without both parties being Orthodox?  Color me naive, but how is such a thing possible?  
      The Sacrament of Marriage in form and content presupposes both partaking of the Cup.  
      Man.   Just let everybody come?   Compounding one horrible decision with another.  When is enough, too much?

  11. Jacob Lee says

    To the clergy who read this blog: does today’s gospel not give you pause? Keeping the lay people out of the Church? Replace scribes and Pharisees with Bishops and Priests.

  12. Michael Bauman says

    Well, I know one Bishop who refuses to go back until we all can

  13. Jacob Lee says

    Can you get excommunicated when the bishops and priests have excommunicated us all in mass?

    • Michael Bauman says

      Jacob, having been actually ex-comunicated for a time it is not the same–not even close.  

      • You admit openly that you were excommunicated for self-willed disobedience. Yours was medicinal to bring about repentance. Comes with the territory.
        The rest of us have been shut out of our parishes – for Pascha, no less – for no reason other than the bishops got scared of the flu, reduced to watching services on the internet (something I refuse to do) and ‘confessing’ over Skype and Zoom.
        No, it is not the same. This is worse because we have done nothing wrong and the hierarchy should have done MUCH more to assist the laity in their spiritual struggles – discreet liturgies at homes, etc. A bit of civil disobedience never hurt the Catacomb Christians of Rome or Russia.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Basil, you are technically correct but the matter was rather less simple than that. I was excommunicated because I refused to give up a woman who had been married three times before. Not Orthodox at the time. Her first husband was an abusive drunk, her second husband ran off with her “best friend” but not before plotting to kill her by setting black powder bombs all around her house. Her third husband, a fine man by all reports, died. A woman BTW who is Orthodox because the Jesus who she met at age five looked exactly as the Jesus Enthroned above the St. George altar.

          I always thought the three marriage rule only applied to those in the Church.

          I knew, and subsequent experience has validated, that we were brought together by God to be one. I had no idea how long the excommunication would last (The Rudder says five years to life).
          Any number of bishops would have blessed our marriage in the Church. In obedience I refused to take that route. Ultimately, we were obedient to the direction of our Bishop which included a time away from the Cup for me. He blessed us to receive together from his hand on the day she was Chrismated, thus blessing our Union.

          …and my own Bishop has shut himself out too. Refusing to partake until we all can. He is also making calls to his people at their homes.

          Sorry, no matter what: Christ is Risen trampling down death by death! I refuse to be as the dwarfs in Narnia bitching and moaning refusing to look up and see. None of us are shut out of the Kingdom. Whenever I doubt that all it takes is one of my wife’s beatific smiles that showers me in the Light for me to know differently.

          So, in the same spirit, I choose to be obedient to my Bishop even if he is wrong.

          • Michael, bless you and your good lady.
            Your courage and fidelity is an example to us all.

            • Michael Bauman says

               Brendon, no courage on my part.  I refused to believe the false dicotomy of love without life or life without love. My wife is the courageous one.

          • I’m not making any judgement, but it is what you say it was: a make your bed and lie in it situation. My point is that you chose to take that path and ‘take the hit,’ as it were.
            Something could have been worked out for us. Any real pastor with compassion and love would have worked around the rules to serve the people. Instead, we get bishops, priests, and a chosen elite locked behind the doors while the rest of us can’t come near the church building. And then there’s those bishops that stopped services completely, even for priests in their homes. Total capitulation.
            I’m not bitching and moaning. I – and many others on here – are simply pointing out the hard facts. The hierarchy dropped the ball. The people are not going to forget this.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Basil, they may have gotten it wrong.  But there is a similarity with my personal situation.  For decades the Church has largely ignored the deterioration of marriage in our culture without trying to adequately understand the difference. Thus, to my Bishop, a marriage is a marriage is a marriage equivalent to marriage in the Church.  Thus, my wife and I were, IMO, unjustly excluded from a sacrament due to the blindness of the Church.  
              At least that is how I felt at the time.  

              • Michael,
                It is not my intention with this comment to speak to your specific situation.  I want to make that crystal-clear up front.
                When you wrote that Bishop Basil seemed to feel/believe that “a marriage is a marriage is a marriage equivalent to marriage in the Church” it caused me to think.
                I do not deny that the Mystery of Matrimony in the Church is more than ‘just a marriage.’  But a marriage apart from the Church it is a marriage nonetheless, one in which two become one flesh (and one that has a profound impact upon the persons), as well as one that is normally recognized in the Church.  I realize that some would be quick to argue the second point (that is, that they are recognized in the Church), but a reading of St. Paul’s epistle to the Church at Corinth, as well as the experience of the vast majority of converts agrees with him.  In and through the Church, these marriages carry the potential to become more than ‘mere marriages’, but they remain very real.
                I suppose my point is that I find what I might call ‘legal fictions’ to be abhorrent precisely because they seek to deny reality.  One can be healed of all sorts of things with repentance, including multiple divorces (for whatever reasons); but I do very much admire Bp. Basil for not seeking to deny reality with some sort of magic church dust – such as the legal fictions of marriage tribunals in the Roman Church or the supposed ‘three marriage limit (when understood in a purely legal sense) in the Orthodox Church.
                I also must say that I admire you and Merry for being willing to follow his prescription once the deed was done.  It is rather obvious that good fruit was born of it.  Though the ‘laws’ (canons) are intended for our good and for our healing, they can never exhaust the sheer power of grace that comes of a desire for the life of God, a grace to which your godly bishop acceded when he saw the fruit of it.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Brian, there is a deep mystery in marriage.  The world has violated that mystery.  No ceremony in and of itself creates the one flesh. It is a work of the man, the woman and the Holy Spirit.  It takes all three.  

                • Michael Bauman says

                  The ceremony we did have was in my wife’s Church: The United Methodist American Indian Mission of Wichita.  After the marriage service itself, the pastor also performed a Native American ritual with incense and an eagle feather in which he sealed our marriage against anything coming against it from the past. It was quite like Chrismation actually.  Deeply moving and significant. 
                  God provides. 
                  Somehow, all this is for our salvation.
                  …and please do not think I am telling our story to seek praise for us. There is no praise due us. We just stumbled along as best we could. God, and Him alone, provided the blessing.  
                  I have said many times, do not do what we did.  Even with God’s grace, we had to face our sin too.  He made it easy but it still had to be done.  
                  That is, I believe, also a part of our current situation. 

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Also, it was a process that was guided by our good Bishop.  I was in full communication with my priest all along.  Bp. Basil fully intended to bring both of us together into the Church. He just could not offer us the usual sacrament.  All of it worked together for the salvation of us all.  

  14. Jacob Lee says

    To clergy: if unction is only for when we are healthy is it just smoke and mirrors?