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Details of service for coronation of King Charles III

History / Sat 6th May 2023 at 06:42am

BUCKINGHAM Palace has published the Coronation order of service for the first time ahead of the crowning of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey today.

Britain’s kings and queens have been crowned at Westminster Abbey for nearly 1,000 years, beginning with William the Conqueror’s on December 25, 1066.

King Charles will become the 41st monarch crowned in that period.

He intends to echo the words of his late mother in a vow that reads: “I come not to be served but to serve.”

Key points in today’s service include the oaths, the investiture and crowning, and the Coronation of the Queen later in the ceremony.

Here is the full order of service for the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

The processions

Following processions of faith and ecumenical leaders and representatives from His Majesty’s Realms, Their Majesties will arrive at the Abbey in the State Carriage and will be greeted by the Dean and the Archbishop.As the procession of The King and Queen moves through the Abbey, the Choir will sing I was glad, in Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry’s celebrated setting of words from Psalm 122 which have been sung at the entrance of the monarch at every coronation since that of Charles I in 1626. The anthem will include the traditional cry of ‘Vivat Rex!’ (Long Live the King!), proclaimed by The King’s Scholars of Westminster School.

Greeting

Before the Archbishop of Canterbury gives a Greeting and Introduction, one of the youngest members of the congregation, 14-year-old Samuel Strachan, a chorister of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, will address The King, saying: ‘Your Majesty, as children of the kingdom of God we welcome you in the name of the King of kings’. The King will reply: ‘In his name and after his example I come not to service but to serve.’

The Recognition

Following a pattern which has remained largely unchanged through the centuries, the Coronation Rite will begin with the Recognition, when the congregation will acclaim the Sovereign with a cry of ‘God Save King Charles’.

The Oaths

The King will take the Coronation Oaths, swearing on the Bible to govern the peoples with justice and mercy, and to uphold the Churches established by law in the United Kingdom.Then, for the first time at a coronation, The King will pray publicly, for grace to be ‘a blessing to all… of every faith and belief’ and to serve after the pattern of Christ.

The Anointing

After the sermon, preached by the Archbishop, the ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus will be sung to a new setting, in languages from across the United Kingdom, calling on the Holy Spirit just before the most sacred part of the Coronation rite: the anointing with holy oil that marks The King as chosen and set apart by God.A anointing screen will shield The King from view as he sits in the ancient Coronation Chair, which will be placed on the Cosmati Pavement facing the High Altar. During the anointing, the Choir will sing Handel’s famous anthem, Zadok the Priest, which draws on words from 1 Kings 1 and was composed for the coronation of George II in 1727. It has been used at every coronation since.Once anointed, The King will be vested in priestly garments that symbolise both humility and splendour.

The Investiture and Crowning

The anointing will be followed by the investing, when items of regalia are presented to The King. These will include spurs and armills of the kind worn by medieval knights, and a sword which The King will first wear and then offer in the service of God. Symbols of secular and spiritual power will follow: an orb, representing the world under Christ; a sceptre representing earthly power, held in a restrained, gloved hand; and the rod with a dove, representing spiritual authority exercised in mercy. There is also a ring symbolising the faithful ‘marriage’ of a monarch to his peoples. Those presenting the regalia will reflect the cultural and religious diversity of the United Kingdom.The moment of crowning will follow, with the Archbishop blessing St Edward’s Crown, and the Dean carrying it to the Coronation Chair. As the Archbishop places the crown on The King’s head, the congregation will again cry ‘God Save The King’ as trumpets sound, the Abbey’s bells are rung and gun salutes are fired at the Tower of London.

The Enthroning and Homage

Wearing St Edward’s Crown and carrying the sceptres, The King will move to sit in a throne in the centre of the Abbey. He will be encouraged by the Archbishop to ‘Stand firm and hold fast’, confident in God ‘whose throne endures for ever.’The King will then receive Homage, with oaths of allegiance sworn by the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Bishops of the Church of England, then from HRH The Prince of Wales on behalf of The Royal Family, and finally – for the first time at a coronation – the Archbishop will invite the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms, both in the Abbey and watching on television, to join in a declaration of homage.’

The Coronation of The Queen

The Coronation of The Queen will follow that of The King in a similar but simpler ceremony in which she will be anointed and crowned and presented with her own items of regalia.Their Majesties will then receive Holy Communion.

https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-news/buckingham-palace-publishes-order-of-service-for-the-coronation-of-the-king-and-queen

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