DENVER (KDVR) – A Denver Catholic priest with familial ties to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday joined in with all of England’s cathedrals in having a requiem Mass service for her, bringing a similar celebration to Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Now, Rev. Samuel Morehead is leaving for London to join the festivities.   

“I happen to share some of my family history with the deceased (Queen Elizabeth II),” said Morehead, to the congregation as he opened his Catholic Mass titled “Requiem For A Queen” this past Tuesday evening with more than 100 people in attendance.  

Later, when asked how he is related and if he shares the family tree with her, he said, “It goes back a good number of generations. … There are moments when I’m really close to the royal family, but no, I don’t get dinner table invitations.”   

Whether he gets into the funeral itself, he said, remains to be seen.  

The priest plans to be at all the public festivities with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, a diocese he knows well. Morehead, a Colorado native, grew up going back and forth to London with family, he said at the Mass. He plans to be there for moments like the movement of the queen into her place of burial at Windsor Castle and for the public lying in state.   

The requiem Mass is also known as the Mass for the Dead, offered for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons.   

He focused on the queen’s traits of faith, tradition and honor at the Mass.   

He said often the monarchy is considered the stuff of glitzy celebrity appeal. However, he said, “It is deeply laden with religion and symbolic value. We don’t have anything close to it.”  

“The crown on her head and the role she’s assumed is of God.”   

The priest pointed out the queen’s great devotion to Christianity. The royal family is the head of the Church of England, a Protestant Anglican church, since the 16th Century. Many photos of the queen with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have been taken before showing a visit between the two.   

Whenever the queen went on television, he said, she spoke of Jesus, including her Christmas broadcast. He said he’s never seen a politician do the same: “When you have faith, you can breed true hope,” he said. With faith and hope, he said, “… then you can have love. There’s something deep within the subconscious of this world that hungers and wants what she knew.”  

Her cohorts often said there was never a wiser woman to seek counsel from, he said.   

“The world is desperately hungry for honor,” and it’s an honor steeped in dignity and morality, he said.   

FOX31 and KDVR.com will have continuing coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, funeral and the transition of power to King Charles III.