The Accession of Queen Elizabeth II, 1952
Blessed are those whose way is pure, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies and seek him with their whole heart,
Those who do no wickedness, but walk in his ways.
You, O Lord, have charged that we should diligently keep your commandments.
O that my ways were made so direct that I might keep your statutes.
Then should I not be put to shame, because I have regard for all your commandments.
I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, when I have learned your righteous judgements.
I will keep your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.
How shall young people cleanse their way to keep themselves according to your word?
With my whole heart have I sought you; O let me not go astray from your commandments.
Your words have I hidden within my heart, that I should not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord; O teach me your statutes.
With my lips have I been telling of all the judgements of your mouth.
I have taken greater delight in the way of your testimonies than in all manner of riches.
I will meditate on your commandments and contemplate your ways.
My delight shall be in your statutes and I will not forget your word.
O do good to your servant that I may live, and so shall I keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see the wonders of your law.
I am a stranger upon earth; hide not your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed at all times with fervent longing for your judgements.
You have rebuked the arrogant; cursed are those who stray from your commandments.
Turn from me shame and rebuke, for I have kept your testimonies.
Rulers also sit and speak against me, but your servant meditates on your statutes.
For your testimonies are my delight; they are my faithful counsellors.
My soul cleaves to the dust; O give me life according to your word.
I have acknowledged my ways and you have answered me; O teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your commandments, and so shall I meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away in tears of sorrow; raise me up according to your word.
Take from me the way of falsehood; be gracious to me through your law.
I have chosen the way of truth and your judgements have I laid before me.
I hold fast to your testimonies; O Lord, let me not be put to shame.
I will run the way of your commandments, when you have set my heart at liberty.
Who is like the wise man?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
Wisdom makes one’s face shine,
and the hardness of one’s countenance is changed.
Keep the king’s command because of your sacred oath. Do not be terrified; go from his presence, do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he does whatever he pleases. For the word of the king is powerful, and who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ Whoever obeys a command will meet no harm, and the wise mind will know the time and way. For every matter has its time and way, although the troubles of mortals lie heavy upon them. Indeed, they do not know what is to be, for who can tell them how it will be? No one has power over the wind to restrain the wind, or power over the day of death; there is no discharge from the battle, nor does wickedness deliver those who practise it. All this I observed, applying my mind to all that is done under the sun, while one person exercises authority over another to the other’s hurt.
Then I saw the wicked buried; they used to go in and out of the holy place, and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the human heart is fully set to do evil. Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.
There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked, and there are wicked people who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun.
When I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how one’s eyes see sleep neither day nor night, then I saw all the work of God, that no one can find out what is happening under the sun. However much they may toil in seeking, they will not find it out; even though those who are wise claim to know, they cannot find it out.
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image:
teach us to discern your hand in all your works
and your likeness in all your children;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things,
now and for ever. Amen.