Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26 –About to Be Crowned

Let us speak today of the crown of Elizabeth’s crowning. It is St. Edward’s crown, worn only once in a lifetime, at the coronation of the sovereign, and only by six monarchs in all, due to its tremendous weight, nearly five pounds. It is set with 444 precious stones and was worn for the first time by Charles II, in 1661. Others have had the crown laid upon their caskets when lying in state.

Worn only once, officially, but in order to be able to bear this crown during the long and arduous coronation ceremony, it was delivered to the Palace several weeks ahead of time so that Elizabeth could accustom herself to it. During that time she was often seen sitting at her desk or walking the corridor with this magnificent, irreplaceable symbol of her sovereignty sparkling on her head.

How can we begin to imagine the beauty of the stones, enormous rubies and emeralds and diamonds glittering in the light and glinting off the walls? How can we understand what it would have felt like to have it placed upon our heads, the solemn acquiescence of one woman’s devotion, under God, to her peoples and their allegiance to her, and of her understanding of her God-given responsibility?

We are an Abbey, after all, and we have an abbatial practice before us. May the Lord guide us in all that will bring us into the fullness of His Son, and with that in mind, here is a Cor Unum directive for as many as will be pleased to accept it.

For the next weeks, as we take a close look at all the accoutrements of Elizabeth II’s coronation service, let us be sure that we are more than hearers and observers in this pageant. Step by step, to the degree that we have royal robes, let us don them; as we, like Her Majesty, have been given a sword, let us wield it.

As she wore the Coronation Crown “at home” in the weeks before the ceremony, let us put ours on in the morning, beginning today. Hers was worn officially only once; ours are ours forever, with crownings to come and crowns to lay at the feet on our Lord and God. Let’s get “comfortable” in them, which is to say, let us get accustomed to the weight of their glory, which no man can truly bear, but by the grace and strength of the Lord, our King, and to His glory.

The Coronation Crown
dbking, posted on flicker

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