Friday, August 20, 2010

August 21 – Sincerity and Wisdom

For the first time since the coronation of the first Elizabeth, the Dean of Westminster brought the two Armills from the Altar.

These were bracelets, wide and solid gold, lined in velvet as cushioning for the Queen’s wrists. The Armills were the gifts of the people to the Majesty and symbolic of Sincerity and Wisdom. The Archbishop’s prayer was that they would “betoken the Lord’s protection, embracing (her) on every side,” and be to her “pledges of the bond which unites you with your Peoples,” whose gift they were.

These words were spoken also, that she would be “strengthened in all (her) work” and protected against every enemy, “bodily and ghostly.” Her subjects had had their direct part, their own gift and their own part in the presentation of the Regalia.

How we look, sometimes in vain, for Sincerity and Wisdom in our leaders. Not politically correct sincerity, but the kind that is what the word implies sin cere . . . without wax. As products of old were so labeled, so that those purchasing water vessels would go home with the ones that were not fashioned with wax that could be shaped more easily and would leak even more easily, we want those whose lives and policies won’t melt in the heat of day.

One thing is certain . . . Elizabeth hasn’t melted. In her designer clothes and fetching hats, her pocketbook over her arm and her smile at least as warm as it was fifty years ago, she doesn’t melt. The Armills are stored away for another Coronation Day, but she fastens Sincerity and Wisdom about her each day, as must all of us, here in the Monastery of the Heart.

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