Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 28 – Crown of Glory and Righteousness

In another moment, the bells in the north-west Abbey tower will be pealing wildly, and ‘by signal given’ the mighty guns at the Tower will be firing. The millions of souls on the streets will be cheering “God Save the Queen! God Save the Queen,” but not before the cry is raised by those voices inside as a crimson wave produces hands and arms uplifted, placing sparkling coronets on humbled heads. In another moment, England and all the Commonwealth will be crowned in the glory of this coronation.

The Archbishop is standing before Elizabeth, whose eyes are fixed upon him. The coronation crown has been situated just so on its cushion, and many practices on stand-ins have guaranteed that it will be put right side to the front on the royal head.

Archbishop Fisher lifts the ancient crown very high; it seems suspended in air for a moment, and then . . . it rests where it belongs, on the head of the Sovereign of the Realm, the fortieth from William the Conqueror, but at least the 63rd from the very first rulers of the British Isles, and when the tumult in the Abbey finally began to recede, the Archbishop spoke these words that had been spoken of those who sat where she was sitting since 973 . . .

“God crown you with a crown of glory and righteousness, that having a right faith and manifold fruit of good works, you may obtain the crown of an everlasting kingdom by the gift of Him whose kingdom endureth forever.”

Might there have been a little housewife, a humble coal miner or gardener or cobbler or bank treasurer who knew, as the moment came at last, that their moment would come some day, when they would have crowns of righteousness and faithfulness to lay at the feet of Jesus. Without doubt, such thoughts must have filled the hearts of at least those members of Cor Unum, there that day, in the splendor and glory of that wonderful coronation moment.

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