Wednesday, May 16, 2012
May 16 - Veni, Creatur Spiritus!
Elizabeth sat upon her Chair of Estate, before her the faldstool at which she would kneel when not at the altar. Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher prayed over over bowed head that “thy servant Elizabeth, our Queen . . . may so wisely govern, that in her time the Church may be in safety, and Christian devotion may continue in peace.” These words had been spoken over the monarchs of the realm since the coronation of King Edgar in 973.
Then, almost as if it were any service of any year, the Epistle and Gospel messages were read, and as they concluded, the voices in the choir began to sing the Nicene Creed. The great and beautiful proclamation of faith filled the Abbey to the vaulted ceiling.
Now Archbishop Fisher brought the entire congregation to the sacramental moments of the ceremony, intoning the ancient Latin cry and hope, “Veni, Creator, Spiritus” . . . “Come, Holy Ghost . . . our souls inspire.”
He had approached the altar, and his hand enfolded the Ampula, a tiny vessel, all of gold, surmounted with an eagle, and one of the few pieces of the Service and Regalia to have survived Oliver Cromwell’s purge of the Crown possessions. Inside the Ampula was the anointing oil, an anointment so precious and rare that on behalf of its formulation, the perfumer had stopped smoking for six months in order to assure the most pure and perfect aroma, and so that Elizabeth would never say, as had one of her predecessors, that it “stank.’
Elizabeth was within moments of the Anointing. Once she would smell that perfume. Once she would wear it. Once she would wear St. Edward’s Crown and sit upon his throne. Once she would hear these words.
We, in Cor Unum, may hear that which has been spoken over us day after day, if we will listen in the volume of the God-breathed text: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (1John 2:27)
Shall we? Shall we earmark those words and read them morning by morning for a season? Shall we hear them even more certainly than Elizabeth heard the words of the Archbishop? We may, if we will, here in the Monastery of the Heart.
"Ampula and Spoon"
MT_New Cerem_Sym_Crown Jewels