As the Scriptures have promised us, those who humble themselves will be exalted.
The crown-less Elizabeth, in a symbolic gown of monastic simplicity, hidden from view, anointed to care for others in the power and ministry of the Holy Ghost, must now receive the emblems of her authority, and she must “put on” the adornments of her new life.
First, the Colobian Sidonis, a white linen undergarment which she wore over her coronation gown and the anointing dress. From earliest times, from the days of the Emporers of Byzantium, the mortal monarch has been loathe to put on glory without first accepting the garb of simplicity and humility.
Over the Colobian Sidonis came the resplendent Supertunica. She looked the vision of a Byzantium Empress in it. With flowing skirts and sleeves reaching nearly to the floor, she was covered in the gold of it from head to foot. It was belted at the waist by a golden girdle. Now, in shining, golden splendor, Elizabeth returned to St. Edward’s chair for her crowning.
Bare-headed, a vision of ancient and distant splendor and majesty, what shines through the gold and the orthodoxy was “right.” The symbols of power were about to come to her in succession, but without crown or diadem, the surpassing majesty of the next part of the ceremony was captured in the real-life display of the Windsor motto, “Dieu et Mon Droit” . . . God is My Right.
Now by anointing and by proclamation, by the authority of the Church and the consent of the people, by her own Oath and Promises, she was standing rightfully at the head of a nation, rightfully clothed in ancient and royal majesty, in the perfection of both humility and honor together, and she was about to receive every token of her rightful “highness” as their Guardian and Defender of the Faith.
Is there a correlation between Elizabeth on that day and us, the Brothers and Sisters of Cor Unum, when in the humility of Christ we at last reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus, when we “put off” the old man with its corruptions and lusts, and “put on” the anointing which IS Christ? Not at all that we may walk back in front of a mirror for the rest of our days, but, as Elizabeth would have to do the NEXT morning, to get down to the business of being heir of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ, Guardians of those know Him and of those who need Him, Defenders of the Faith in all our appearance at His throne?
A shining, golden imagery for us, certainly, but if we will heed it, may it be for us an abiding reminder here in Cor Unum, that we reign in the splendor and the majesty of the Holy Spirit of God.