Dear <<First Name>>
The United Reformed Church has prepared the resources, below, for individuals and congregations to use following the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
with every good wish
Coordinator, Daily Devotions from the URC Project
Reading Psalm 107: 23-31
Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the mighty waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their calamity;
they reeled and staggered like drunkards,
and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out from their distress;
he made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they had quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
The death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, brings a moment to reflect on an extraordinary life. For many, this death will leave them feeling shaken, as the life of someone who has for so many decades been at the heart of our nation comes to an end.
He was born in Corfu and baptised into the Orthodox Church. Later received into the Church of England, many who have known the Duke of Edinburgh bear witness to the depth of his faith and his theological knowledge. A regular visitor to Mount Athos, and a keen questioner of preachers, his faith was much more than nominal.
With a childhood marred by political turmoil and danger, as his family fled from Greece, Philip was, in many ways, often almost alone in the world as he grew up. Gordonstoun School and the British Royal Navy gave him roots and a home, and with marriage to Princess Elizabeth his life’s path was set. She described him, in 2012, as a ‘constant strength and guide’ and his supportive role as a husband was one he fulfilled over decades of marriage. It is often said that he felt the loss of his own career keenly, but he became a hardworking member of the Royal Family, taking up causes and projects with formidable energy.
Many of us will have been, or will know, someone who learned a love of the outdoors, spurred on by the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Countless young people have learned endurance and survival skills, navigating maps and building fires, walking in the hills and bedding down in tents, achieving things they would not have imagined possible. Prince Philip has also been a tireless campaigner on behalf of threatened wildlife and for the preservation of the earth.
Known for his blunt and forthright speech, and for being the man who was always one step behind the Queen, he was a determined supporter of his wife, an energetic sportsman, a committed conservationist, with the strength of character to remain steady through changing and difficult times. Queen Elizabeth often acknowledged her debt to him and encouraged the whole nation to recognise it too.
At this moment of his death we have an opportunity to reflect and to give thanks, for a life of dedicated service to nation and commonwealth. We pray for his family and closest friends, for those who will mourn and miss him most. And we draw hope from the faith into which he was baptised, declaring that Christ is risen.
O God, our rock and our redeemer,
we come to worship you
and to give thanks for your servant Philip.
We thank you for his long life,
for his dedicated support of his wife in her vocation as Queen,
and for his service to commonwealth and nation.
We thank you for the Duke of Edinburgh award,
for the work of the World Wide Fund for Nature
and for so many causes he inspired and supported.
We thank you for what he has meant
to each one of us…
We treasure memories
of meeting him ….
We rejoice that he lived and shared
the faith we hold,
and that, by your grace,
he survived danger and threat.
We pray for those who will miss him most deeply,
that they may find comfort and hope.
We celebrate and affirm our faith
that death is defeated,
that new life awaits your children,
and that creation is renewed in Christ.
And, in this day and time, we pray,
as we are always glad to pray,
may your Kingdom come. Amen.
Other suggested readings
Genesis 1: 24-26
(the creation of wild animals and the responsibility of humankind)
Psalm 121 (I lift up my eyes to the hills…)
Ephesians 5: 25-33 (the love of a man for his wife)
1 Corinthians 15: 17-26 (Christ has been raised from the dead)