Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Speeches

One of the major traditions at Christmas in the UK is the Queen's speech. I have never watched it before, but as it came on TV my dad (somewhat jokingly) said, "Quick, come, it's the Queen's speech." So we sat down and watched her do what she has been doing every Christmas since 1952.

She spoke of the importance of community and family, recognising the significance of the "God given love" in the two marriages of her grandchildren, Zara Phillips and Prince William.

She also noted the fact that Christmas is not easy for everyone. It was at this point that she really bought the meaning of Christmas home. I have to be honest at this point; I was expecting her to take a mainly secular line with her speech and to add some twee, but non-committal, Christian terms that have as much religious punch as Christmas Crackers. However, she really went for it.

She spoke of "finding of hope in adversity" is the meaning of the season, and how Christmas is a celebration of the power of redemption, hope and forgiveness. She also told us how we need the salvation bought through Jesus:
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed her speech. She spoke of who Jesus was, the need that we be saved, the Godly power of forgiveness and told us it was her prayer that we should all find "the love of God through Christ our Lord." Amen to that, sister.

For the full text of the speech, click here.

The Queen's Commonwealth address seems more upbeat than other speeches this Christmas- especially if you go by article headlines. 'Lament' seems to be the mot du jour, as both the Archbishop of Canterbury 'laments "abuse of trust"' and the Pope 'lamented the enduring presence of violence in the world', according to this article.

taken from

Rowan Williams commented on the riots and the economic problems this country faces at Canterbury Cathedral. He had some points to make, as well, about the rich within this country and whether they are sharing in this economic downturn. The Pope called for the end of violence in Syria, in his Urbi et Orbi this year. Like the Queen, he spoke of how Jesus "brought to the world a universal message of reconciliation and peace". In his Christmas Eve speech he also condemned the commercialisation of Christmas, and asked people to look past the glitter.

To read the Pope's Urbi et Orbi, click here.

What did you do this Christmas?

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