We’ve heard before . . . “A King is Crowned!” “The Queen at Her Coronation,” but nobody told us about . . . THE ANOINTING!
Now the music of Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” took the participants and guests to another place, to that time on earth when kings and priests were anointed by God to the service of His people. “And all the people rejoiced ... rejoiced, and all the people rejoiced!” The volume was intense and the chorus began to echo into “Amens” as only Handel can do! The trappings of coronation bowed in the tide of those “Amens” to the austerity of anointing ... Elizabeth removed her glittering diadem with her own hands.
The Lord Great Chamberlain did for Elizabeth which every Lord Great Chamberlain before him had done and too the Royal Robe as it was folded in perfect symmetry by the Maids of honor; the precious Collar of the Garter and all its symbolic protection was removed, and the glimmering Coronation Gown was covered by a nearly nun-like garment, plain and white, only superb in its design and Elizabeth’s delicate figure.
Nearly no one saw it. At last Elizabeth was seated on the Chair of King Edward, not yet enthroned but sitting where monarchs had sat for a thousand years. The Garter King of Arms summoned the four knights of the order who took the silver staves of the cloth of gold canopy and bore it over Elizabeth. Suddenly, she was gone, invisible to all but a very few. One who was able to see her face thought she looked more withdrawn from the mundane than the canopy could make her. The cameras were turned off.
From the beak of the tiny Ampula, drops of anointing oil fell into the Spoon. Alone with the Archbishop, her “hands, breast, and head” were anointed, blessed, and consecrated to rule and govern under God, just as have been our service, our love, and our wisdom, here in the Sanctuary of Cor Unum.