Wednesday, 9 September 2015

In This Great Service...


See here for a theological and political defence of Monarchy. Royal Unction is a Sacrament, just as much in continuity with the Word of God as the Eucharist and Baptism. Kings and Queens derive authority from God Himself by their anointing.

Vivat Regina Elizabetha!

H/T: Ad Orientem.

13 comments:

  1. Everytime I see a bit of that video I become full of a sentiment of envy (or admiration, if your prefer). The old Wisigothic kings of Spain were anointed, and their successors of Oviedo and León were crowned in almost the same way. But after the XIV century the Castilian usurpers gave up that custom and substituted it for a mere oath before the Parliament.

    I have almost no hope, but I wish some day all the European nations will have a true Christian king again.

    K. e.

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    1. The English Coronation Service has been substantially unaltered since the reign of William and Mary. It was "shortened," if you like, by him. He thought it was all "popish," and Mary thought it was all "vanity." But crucially, the ceremony goes back in essentials to that service drawn up by St Dunstan. It is magnificent. The last authentically Catholic Coronation of the 20th century.

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    2. Yes, it is indeed interesting that the Church of England did aware with holy oils for baptism, confirmation, and anointing the dying, but keep them for the coronation service.

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    3. Egads, editing would help..."did away."

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  2. A long comment which I tried to post here disappeared, irrecoverably, upon my attempt to post it. To recapitulate it in brief, I commended the Swedish (Lutheran) coronation rite as pretty good, and then went on at length about how the Swedish regalia, made for the coronation of Erik XIV in 1561, were employed at every later Swedish royal coronation, most recently for the coronation of Oscar II in 1872. Oscar's son and successor, Gustav V, forewent a coronation when he succeeded his father a sking in 1907, in thr face of strong opposition from left-wing parties who complained vigorously about the expense and "ridiculousness" of the ceremony: as a result, neither Gustav not succeeding kings ever wore their crown, although it was, and for all I know still is, placed on a table beside the throne, at state openings of the Swedish Parliament.

    After the "personal union" of Sweden and Norway in 1814 (since the 1530s the Danish kings had treated Norway, altough in theory a separate kingdom, as though it were part of Denmark) a regalia for Norway was made in 1818, and first used in that year for the coronation of Bernadotte (who had begun life as a French commoner of humble birth, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, made one of the 18 "Marshalls of France" by Napoleon in 1804, ennobled by Napoleon in 1805 as "Sovereign-Prince of Ponte Corvo," and adopted by ther childless Charles XIII of Sweden - and of Norway from 1814 - as his heir in 1810) as Charles III John of Norway (Charles XIV John of Sweden). When the Norwegian Parliament dissolved the personal untion with Sweden in 1905, King Oscar II abdicated as King of Norway, and after a referendum chose for Norway a monarchical form of government and the Norwegian government chose Prince Carl of Denmark as the new king, he was crowned in Trondheim as Haakon VII in 1906, but King Haakon's son, Olaf VI, and Olaf's son, Harald V, the present king, both forewent coronation, and so hav enever worn their country's crown.

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    1. Thank you, Dr Tighe. I looked for your comment in the "awaiting moderation" and "spam" folders on the Blogger dashboard but there is no record of it.

      Do you own a copy of Louda's "Lines of Succession." I have an edition from 1999. It's an invaluable work.

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    2. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Preussen_1701_K%C3%B6nigsberg.jpg

      I found this whilst looking up royal unction in google images. "Protestant bishops" and the Calvinist Friedrich I of Prussia. But the anointing remains, from which Christian theology dictates that kings derive divine authority. I wonder if they used chrism, and what the ingredients were?

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  3. Yes, I have the Louda book. The only think I know about Friedrich I's coronation, and that only a vague recollection, is that he took the crown from whatever "bishop pro tempore" that was officiating at the ceremony, and placed it on his own head.

    After finishing my immensely long original comment, I pressed "publish," but what happened then was a demand that I "choose an identity" (under "Comment as") and then "sign in." I tried to do so, but the result was another demand to sign in. I tried to "back out" of it all by clicking on the left-pointing arrow at the top of the screen - but that had the effect of returning me to your blog's "Home," and by then the comment was lost.

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    1. Like the coronation of Napoleon I.

      I'm sorry about your comment but it's happened to me before too. And always with lucid and intelligent comments! I suppose that's sod's law.

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  4. Watching this part of the Coronation Service really brings home the disparity between then and now. That our head of state is crowned and anointed in an explicitly Christian ceremony while nowadays secularism is enshrined in all public services and institutions is one of the great anomalies of the UK. But I guess that says more about the longevity of Her Majesty than anything else. If there is a "coronation service" at all for the next Monarch (assuming there is one) you can guarantee it will be a a fraction of the length and complexity; Christianity will be considerably toned down, and it will be a very multicultural affair. The only departures from tradition that I know of at the 1953 Coronation Service was a congregational hymn and the participation of the Moderator of the Scots Kirk. Just think how bloody awful the next one is likely to be!

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    1. I think you underestjmate the sheer conservatism of the monarchy (at least, I hope you do). It would take an enormous effort on the part of "reformers" to adopt a different coronation rite; and even Charles himself, will have realized the importance of keeping things as they are, by the time the practical arrangements are being made.

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    2. I share your hope, Little Black Sambo, but I can't see that the Church of England ever recovered from the abandonment of the Prayer Book and the Authorized Version. Just like Rome has never recovered from the abandonment of the old Latin ritual. I don't think I even bothered watching pope Francis' "inauguration."

      It's an interesting parallel. Apart from Providence I think there are two reasons Queen Elizabeth is still head of state. One is her amazing ability to keep silent on most political controversies, which would imperil her status in opinion polls on the left. The other is her constancy. If you contrast this with the Papacy, which abandoned the old Coronation ceremonies and its seeming ability to swim with the tide, only faster; John Paul II's highly politicized traveling the globe, the world youth day festivities, taking his cult of personality into every corner of the globe. That was all very different from his predecessors, where Rome was like Whitehall to our government and the pope was just there.

      I do like Prince Charles, of course. My mother, who is actually rather anti-Royal, has always bought from the Duchy Originals range at Waitrose, which was a very bold investment for Charles. I have high hopes for him.

      But I'm getting ahead of myself. God save The Queen! May The Queen live forever!

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  5. Good to see that Cardinal Nichols appears sound on The Queen. (H/T Alan Robinson)

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