The 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation in June 2013 will be marked with a service of celebration at Westminster Abbey at 11.00 a.m. on Tuesday 4th June. Her Majesty’s Coronation originally took place at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, nearly eighteen months after succeeding Her father, King George VI.
The coronation oaths that her Majesty made were worded carefully as they carried great meaning. The oaths concerned intention to exercise a good governance of the people under Her Majesty’s jurisdiction across the world; to uphold law and justice with mercy in Her judgments; to use Her powers to uphold the Christian Gospel, the Protestant Reformed Religion; to maintain Church of England and its ministers.
The service is best quoted directly for what happened next:
‘Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, shall go to the Altar, and make her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the promises: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and is now brought from the Altar by the Archbishop, and tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), and saying these words: “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.” Then the Queen shall kiss the Book and sign the Oath. The Queen having thus taken her Oath shall return again to her Chair, and the Bible shall be delivered to the Dean of Westminster.’
It is in this single sentence that the combination of human responsibility and divine enabling come together. They provide a model of service and empowering for those in authority whose powers are to be used for the blessing of others. In this we have a glimpse of the Lord God’s use of power for the benefit of all.
Let’s give thanks for Her Majesty and pray for the Royal Family as we celebrate this remarkable anniversary together. Let’s also reflect on the ultimate Sovereign, Jesus Christ, under whose reign we live and to whom we are to give our loyalty and devotion.
Christ Church Magazine, June 2013