Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13 – Once in a Lifetime

With her hand resting on the Levantine leather Bible, Elizabeth stated her Coronation oath. She lifted the volume to her lips and then signed the Oath.

When she returned to her Chair of Estate, a new aspect of ceremony took place as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland came forward to present to the Queen. His stark black robes were perhaps the most contrasting elements in the entire ceremony. He invited her to accept the Word of God as “the most valuable thing this world affords,” and his deep Scottish brogue confirmed, “Here is wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively oracles of God.” The Bible was returned to the altar.

Now the fourteenth century song of the Introit arose, “Behold O God our Defender; and look upon the face of thine Anointed. For one day in thy courts is better than a thousand.”

We may not remember the words spoken to us, even at so heaven-quaking a moment as our salvation or baptism, but Elizabeth remembers. She studied these passages over and over and over again, before the day arrived, practicing each step and turn and sitting and rising in a long cape made of bed sheets, held by her Maids of Honor, up and down the palace floors.

Too bad, perhaps. Too bad if no one has spoken the whole truth over us, and on a very regular basis. Words like these . . . “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace.”

For all the majesty of this Coronation, a devotion of monarch and country to God, one glance of love “ravishes” the heart of God. If no one speaks them in our ears, we must recite them with our own lips.

"Seen By God"
photo by Kerry

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