The Queen's Christmas Message 2003
|Here is the full text of the Queen's
Christmas Message broadcast on Christmas Day at 3 p.m.
This year the Queen spoke from the Combomere Barracks in
Windsor and she praised the work of the Armed Forces and
those who work for others in the community.
I am thinking about their wives and children, and about their parents and friends. Separation at this time is especially hard to bear.
It is not just a matter of separation. The men and women of the Services continue to face serious risks and dangers as they carry out their duties. They have done this brilliantly. I think we all have very good reasons for feeling proud of their achievements - both in war, and as they help to build a lasting peace in troublespots across the globe.
None of this can be achieved without paying a price. I know that all our thoughts at this time are with the families who are suffering the pain of bereavement. All those who have recently lost a close relative or friend will know how difficult Christmas can be.
These individual Servicemen and women are our neighbours and come from our own towns and villages; from every part of the country and from every background. The process of training within the Navy, the Army and the Air Force has moulded them together into disciplined teams. They have learnt to take responsibility and to exercise judgement and restraint in situations of acute stress and danger. They have brought great credit to themselves and to our country as a whole.
I had an opportunity recently at the Barracks to meet some of those who played their part with such distinction in the Iraq operations. I was left with a deep sense of respect and admiration for their steadfast loyalty to each other and to our nation.
I believe there is a
lesson for us all here. It is that each of us can achieve
much more if we work together as members of a
team. The Founder of the Christian Faith himself
chose twelve disciples to help him in his ministry.
In this country and throughout the Commonwealth there are groups of people who are giving their time generously to make a difference to the lives of others. As we think of them, and of our Servicemen and women far from home at this Christmas time, I hope we all, whatever our faith, can draw inspiration from the words of the familiar prayer:
Teach us good Lord
It is this knowledge which will help us all to enjoy the Festival of Christmas.
A happy Christmas to you all."
|The Queen's "familiar
prayer", penned by St Ignatius Loyola, will be
familiar to many Old Poundswickians; it appears on page
15 of The Daily Service and was used at
approriate times in Morning Assembly.
Old Poundswickians the world over will, I am sure, be ready to join together in wishing Her Majesty a happy and peaceful Christmas and a joyful New Year.
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