On Tuesday 31 May, we celebrate the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth.

Mary has experienced a dramatic encounter with the angel Gabriel.

When Elizabeth hears Mary’s voice, her baby (who will be known as John the Baptist) leaps in her womb.

Elizabeth exclaims, “Blessed is she who has believed what the Lord told her would be accomplished.” What an astounding prophecy for Mary to receive and hold in her heart.

Fast forward to 1952.

A young Princess Elizabeth, married a short five years, is suddenly thrown onto the world stage when she steps up to fill the shoes of her father - with no time to mourn.

Her dramatic encounter is the coronation ceremony of the 2 June 1953, when she is crowned Queen and anointed with holy oil.

On Friday 3 June we celebrate her seventieth year on the throne - the Platinum Jubilee of our reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth ll.

Called by divine order and separated by centuries, Mary and HM Queen Elizabeth are beacons of light to a world in constant change.

Their active commitment to service, obedience to their calling, steadfast courage and wisdom bestow blessing on humanity.

Mary accepts her role when Gabriel says ‘Nothing is impossible with God.’

Princess Elizabeth hands her father words from the poet Minnie Louise Haskins in 1939,

“Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”

Let us lift up a prayer of blessing and praise for this Treasure in our midst.

Pamela Hull

Worship and Outreach Minister

Coniston and Torve