For two sisters of one father, Elizabeth and Mary Tudor were about as different as two women could be. Mary, the elder, saw her mother displaced by Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth. Mary was Roman Catholic down to her DNA.  She simply did not live long enough to change England back to the Roman Church for good.  Her hated little sister became Queen and gave the Church of England it’s unique shape and texture. She was neither Roman or Reformed. She was Anglican. Of course they were both Christian a fact that can get overlooked in all the partisan bickering that goes on inside the one faith.

In death they lie in the same space.  The irony of that is not lost on the English. The tomb of Mary and Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey has an wry inscription. The Latin translates: “Partners both in throne and grave, here rest we two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in the hope of one resurrection.”  We do await one resurrection not several. In these days of continued religious contention it is wise to keep that in mind. JWS

Today At the Abbey

Today is the anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Her father died on this day in 1953. The evensong was at 5PM. Marilyn and I sat in the choir in the pew in front of the Officiant. The music was wonderful. Maybe the Memphis BoyChoir can sing here in the future.