Queen delivers Christmas message of service to others
Published Tuesday, December 25, 2012 1:54PM EST
Queen Elizabeth II, in her first-ever message delivered in 3D, urged her subjects not to forget the spirit of service that marks the Christmas season.
In her annual Christmas broadcast to her subjects, the Queen recalled what has been a year “of great celebration for many,” particularly for the Royal Family, which marked the Sovereign’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Queen called the celebrations to honour her 60 years on the throne “memorable” and “humbling,” and paid tribute to the “strength of fellowship and friendship” among those who gathered together for the various events.
The Queen also paid tribute to the “skill, dedication, training and teamwork” of British athletes at the London Summer Games.
She then paid tribute to those who aren’t able to spend the holidays with their families, including soldiers and police officers, for whom service comes first.
“Those serving in our armed forces, in our emergency services and in our hospitals, whose sense of duty takes them away from family and friends, will be missing those they love,” the Queen said. “And those who have lost loved ones may find this day especially full of memories. That’s why it’s important at this time of year to reach out beyond our familiar relationships to think of those who are on their own.”
She also noted the “spirit of togetherness” that marks the Christmas story, wherein Mary, Joseph and their baby were joined by shepherds and other visitors “from afar.”
“This is the time of year when we remember that God sent his only son to serve, not to be served. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ,” the Queen said. “It is my prayer this Christmas Day that this example and teaching will continue to bring people together, to give the best of themselves in the service of others.”
She then wished her subjects “a happy Christmas.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper also released his annual Christmas message, though a much shorter one, saying Christmas is a time “for Canadians of all backgrounds to come together in appreciation of our most fortunate country.”
He praised Canada as an “island of stability” amid worldwide economic uncertainty, and vowed to encourage job creation and economic growth in 2013.
“But for now, let us be mindful of those who are less fortunate, be grateful for the service of our men and women in uniform, and let us give thanks for Canada, the best country in the world,” he said.
He closed by extending best Christmas and Hanukkah wishes from his family: wife Laureen, and children Ben and Rachel.