Let us look together today and see what only a very few were able to glimpse, even as it occurred; let’s read Brian Barker’s perception of Elizabeth II, moments away from her coronation. There were eight thousand royal and other invited guests in attendance, ringed about on the streets of London by three million more, but Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was alone before God and His representatives, receiving beautiful and priceless relics of coronation antiquity. In fact, she was accepting something much, much more beautiful and without price.
Elizabeth was accepting responsibility before God.
Hers was to care for a nation, the answer to a calling that some say has become more emblematic than emphatic, yet her calling makes England . . . England! Those who meet her on the street bow or curtsey to her, some wearing business suits and some in blue jeans. When she smiles at them, they beam a happy, privileged response. They did then; they do still.
Brian Barker wrote . . . “The silence in the Abbey was intense. The Queen was sitting stiffly upright in the old high-backed chair, a figure of shining gold with the jeweled Sceptres in her hands. At that moment we saw her as no one would ever see her again in her lifetime. She was remote from any familiar conception of royalty . . .
“The still figure in strange golden vestments seemed to have receded into a time far remote from our own. She was like an image in a hieratic ikon, a page from an old richly illustrated manuscript . . .”
May the Abbess suggest? Elizabeth was clothed in an actuality of earthly consecration that none of us ever will ever experience, sartorially or ceremonially, but she was not gowned or vested with more salvation, more unction (anointing,) or greater responsibility than is ours for the calling with which we have been called. We are vested with the promises of God, clothed in Jesus Christ and robed in righteousness.
As was true of Elizabeth in that moment, our splendor may not be seen by all, and seldom is our consecration put on view, but it is as real as the life that is ours in our Lord Jesus Christ. In His Majesty, and in His humility, we bear the glory of royal and eternal love and sacrifice.
Blessed be the name of our glorious God and King, both now and forevermore! Amen.