Tuesday, August 24, 2010
August 25 – Before the Sceptres
In a moment, Queen Elizabeth will be holding both the Royal Sceptre and the Rod of Mercy and Equity in her grasp. She will be fixed and transfixed by the power she holds in her hands. Others wear crowns and coronets, others are brilliantly clothed, others wear robes and mantles and sparkling jewels, but only the Queen sits enthroned with double-fisted authority.
Today, all that authority is vested by the people. They choose to issue warrants and medals in her name. They choose to give her honor and respect Her Majesty’s majesty. Very little of what she does, very little, comes of her own volition, but everything she does issues from theirs. Remarkably, she has much less power than an American President, though he may wish he had much more.
Before those Rods are delivered from the Altar, as has been done from antiquity, she receives a Glove. Lord Woolton, one of the newest peers at that time, came and knelt before Elizabeth and presented to her a glove for her right hand, the symbol of the abolished Danegeld. This glove reminds her, even in such a glorious moment, superlative beyond measure, to have a gentle hand in taxation. The barons of old had kept their place in the Coronation in perpetuity, reminding the Monarch that without their supervision, their management of lands and lakes and laborers, there would be no England over which to rule.
The amazing thing, when we think of it, is that the Monarchy has kept this part of the ceremony alive. Not all rulers have been as wise as Elizabeth.
We all, in Cor Unum, reign over some small patch of earth and some tiny pocket of people, be they three-year-olds. If we “reign” in the majesty of His Majesty, it will be felt, and what we DO NOT ASK of others will tell our tale.
"They Fit Like a Glove!"
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