Ukrainian Community Mourns the Passing of Longest Reigning Monarch – Queen Elizabeth II
We receive the news of the passing of our Queen Elizabeth II with equal measures of sadness and gratitude. Her reign has been one of dignity and courage and inspiration – qualities which will be sadly missed. Throughout the 70 years from her accepting the duties of Queen Regnant, Her Majesty has truly exemplified the attributes proclaimed in the Royal Anthem, “gracious” and “noble”.
As Canadians and those of Ukrainian ancestry, we are grateful for her example of respect and dignity and her always refreshing endorsement of human dignity and Christian values during her always greatly anticipated annual Christmas greeting and her recent Easter Greeting. She has always been esteemed by our people in Canada and indeed by the faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada. There is probably not a parish hall where her portrait is not found. Just last month as Ukraine celebrated its 31st Independence Day in the midst of Russia’s brutal invasion, Ukrainian people here in Canada and certainly in Ukraine were heartened by her words of encouragement and support. In her message on that occasion, she expressed to the people of Ukraine, “my warmest greetings on the celebration of your Independence Day. … In this most challenging year, I hope that today will be a time for the Ukrainian people, both in Ukraine and around the world, to celebrate their culture, history and identity. May we look to better times in the future.”
We express our sincerest condolences to the people of the United Kingdom and all peoples of the Commonwealth, including Canada, and we pledge our prayerful support at this time of collective bereavement.
As we do in our tradition, we ask the Lord, “to grant to the soul of Your servant, Queen Elizabeth II, who has fallen asleep, – rest in a place of light, a place of verdure, and a place of tranquility, from which pain, sorrow and mourning have fled….”
Вічна їй пам’ять!
– Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak, OSBM
Statement by Bishop Raymond Poisson, Bishop of St-Jérôme-Mont-Laurier and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) receives the news of the passing of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, with profound sadness. I join my brother Bishops and all of the Catholic faithful of this country in praying for the repose of her soul and in extending sincerest condolences to the members of the Royal Family.
Generations of Canadians have lived under Queen Elizabeth’s long reign. She will be forever remembered for her remarkable service to the people of our country and the entire Commonwealth. We grieve her loss, with all her subjects, and recall in a special way the Church of England, of which she was Supreme Governor.
There is immense inspiration to be found in the life the Queen lived. From the onset of her reign, Queen Elizabeth II vowed to dedicate her life to the service of others. She fulfilled this promise without stint or reservation.
Born on 21 April 1926, Queen Elizabeth II entered this world amid one of the most turbulent periods in history. Having grown up amid the chaos and destruction of the Second World War, as Queen, she guided her subjects in its aftermath and beyond, providing stability and hope.
She visited Canada 22 times. On each occasion, Canadians found in her an example of service, patriotism, respect for humanity, and devotion to God. In 1971, when delivering a speech in Toronto, she remarked: “I want the Crown to be seen as a symbol of national sovereignty belonging to all. It is not only a link between Commonwealth nations, but between Canadian citizens of every national origin and ancestry.” Queen Elizabeth resonated with Canadians from all walks of life.
On this day of great sadness, we do well to reflect on all that is to be learned from the life of Queen Elizabeth II and we pray: Grant her eternal rest, O Lord, and may everlasting light shine upon her.
8 September 2022