Cathedral service gives thanks for Queen's 'deep links' with Scotland and its people

The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields delivering the homily during the service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh.(Photo: Church of Scotland)

A service of thanksgiving for the life of the Queen was held in St Giles' Cathedral in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh on Tuesday where thousands lined the streets to see her coffin.

The service was attended by King Charles III, the Queen Consort, members of the Royal Family, Prime Minister Liz Truss, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and other politicians and religious leaders. 

In his homily, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, spoke of his "gratitude" for the Queen's "deep links with our land and its people".

"Her love of the Balmoral estate is well known and being there latterly brought her great comfort," he said. 

"There she was valued as a neighbour and a friend and there she drew strength and refreshment during the summer months.

"She was active in the life of civic Scotland, travelling across the country to support numerous causes, entertaining guests at Holyrood Palace and presiding at ceremonial events, many of which took place in this church.

"Here she received the Scottish crown in 1953, an event vividly memorialised in the painting by the Orcadian artist Stanley Cursiter.

"Her links with the Scottish churches were also deep and lasting.

"She was the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but she worshipped in the Church of Scotland here north of the border, at Canongate Kirk and especially at Crathie Kirk where she took her pew each Sunday morning, prevented from doing so latterly only by infirmity.

"She perceived little difficulty in belonging to two Churches and appreciating the strength of each." 

As others have done, Dr Greenshields spoke of her "genuine" Christian faith and her "remarkable" annual Christmas broadcasts where her faith was given "clear and sincere expression".

"She spoke unashamedly of her trust in God and of the example and teaching of Jesus Christ whom she sought to follow as best she could – indeed, of that faith she said she had no regret," the Moderator continued.

"Her focus on family, on community, on reaching across divisions and differences were evident to us through these short yet meaningful festive messages.

"For 70 years, she reigned as our Queen.

"She has been present amongst us as a follower of Christ and a member of his Church. And for that and much else beside, we give thanks to God together here this day." 

He concluded his homily with prayers for King Charles III. 

"Today we mourn her passing but we also celebrate the long and happy reign that we experienced with her.

"And we pray God's blessing upon King Charles who will surely draw strength from his mother's example and the many affectionate tributes of these days and from our assurance to him as a Church of our steadfast prayers at all times and of our unstinting support to him as was offered to his mother, the Queen," he said. 

The Queen's coffin is lying in rest at St Giles' overnight before its journey to London ahead of the state funeral on Monday 19 September.

St Giles' will be open until 3pm on Tuesday for members of the public to pay their respects.