But it was a wonderful excuse to party - Her Majesty's 60 years of dedicated service to God and to others. This post is a round-up of some posts and links that caught my attention over the weekend.
John Elliott's post on Sunday about how Britain celebrates the Queen's 60 years - in the rain describes the cold wet river pageant, wonders if the weekend events showed a country in denial given the economic realities and inequalities and writes in praise of royalty rather than 'fixed' presidents.
An illustration of the inequalities of our society is the situation of the Unemployed bussed in to steward river pageant who worked unpaid and had to spend the night before sleeping under London Bridge. Sometimes there's a fine line between voluntary work experience and slave labour. I think this crossed the line.
The sight of a woman wearing a union flag hijab led to a thoughtful post by Cranmer on Anglican identity in a multi-faith age.
"It is the Queen herself who inspires people of all faiths and none to honour and respect all that she symbolises, embodies and represents. To wear a union flag hijab is to acknowledge the political stability that comes from religious liberty."
The Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon at St Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday was worth hearing, reading and taking notice of its message, based on Romans 12. Here's how it ended:
"This year has already seen a variety of Jubilee creations and projects. But its most lasting memorial would be the rebirth of an energetic, generous spirit of dedication to the common good and the public service, the rebirth of a recognition that we live less than human lives if we think just of our own individual good.
Listen again for a moment to St Paul. ‘We have gifts that differ according to the grace given us … the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness … Outdo one another in showing honour … extend hospitality to strangers … Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another … take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.’ Dedication to the health and well-being of a community is all this and more. May we be given the grace to rediscover this as we give thanks today for Her Majesty’s sixty years of utterly demanding yet deeply joyful service."
Image Credit: Defence Images on Flickr, CC Licence