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Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise

Updated: 6 days ago

For October's Pelican newsletter, Rev. Chris Smaling reflects on last month's funeral for Queen Eliazabeth II


One of the most moving parts of the late Queen's funeral, for me, was when the Imperial State Crown was removed from the coffin during the committal. It seemed so final, her reign really is over. Never before have the last lines of the great hymn Love Divine, sung at the funeral, ever seemed so poignant to me either.

“till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.”


This vision of casting crowns is found in the book of Revelation (4:10-11). The elders cast their crowns before Christ on the throne. Their crowns gained through their own strength are given up, sacrificed to Him.


We all wear metaphorical crowns, or more humble hats. Perhaps we occasionally don headgear of power, wealth, prestige, control or pride. Things to make us feel secure or give us a sense of status or purpose.

God doesn’t demand we cast down our crown but I do believe we are gently prompted to let go of them. Only when we remove them can we make a true connection with God. It is only without these self-made or self-appointed trophies that we are truly ourselves, the image of God in which we were created.


The Queen was well known for her strong faith and keen sense of God’s calling her into His service. We discover our calling when we remove our crowns, become authentic and become lost in wonder, love and praise of God. Only then can we discover our call to serve God here on earth. ‘Till in heaven, like Elizabeth II, we also take our place.

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