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British Coronation Service #2

The Wearing of the Crown!

                          THE CORONATION SERVICE
                      OF BRITISH KINGS AND QUEENS #2


     After having been invested with the emblems and insignia of
royal dignity, the King (seated over the Stone of Destiny)
receives the Crown. This act is the great climax of the
Coronation Ceremony and formally expresses the common tie between
all the subjects of the Empire. This unity is manifested in the
personality of the Sovereign. In other words, "the symbol and the
bond of British unity are not in the flag, an institution, or a
constitution, but the occupant of the Throne" ("Governments of
the British Empire" by Prof. Barridale Keith).

The crown which is used for the act of Crowning, and worn for a
short while during the Ceremony. The two arches signify Heredity
and Independent Monarchy, and are depressed at the center to
indicate a royal, not an imerial, crown.

The Royal Crown (or Crown of England) is also known as St.
Edward's Crown, because it is a copy of the one used by King
Edward the Confessor (founder of Westminister Abbey). The
original crown was destroyed with most of the Royal Regalia
during the brief period of the Commonwealth. There are several
interesting and highly significant points in the design of the

First: At the summit of the whole design, even above the Crown
itself, stands the Cross, the Cross of Jesus Christ. The King, in
accepting this Crown, acknowledges his allegiance to, and the
supremacy of, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second: The rim or circlet of the Crown is set with twelve large
stones of various colors each surrounded by diamonds. The number
and the coloring of the twelve stones are most significant. They
are identical with those which God commanded Israel's High Priest
to wear throughout her history as a Kingdom-nation.


     If we go back to the earliest days of God's Kingdom-nation
at Sinai, we find God commanded that Israel's High Priest should
wear a "Breastplate" of pure gold set with twelve precious
stones. The number (representing the 12 tribes) and colors of
those stones is most significant, being reflected in the national
colors of Britain (Red, White and Blue) and the Royal Purple and
Gold. These were outstanding colors within the Tabernacle in the
Wilderness. God said to Moses:

"Thou shalt make a breastplate of judgment with cunning work;
after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue
and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen (white)
shalt thou make it ... And thou shalt set it in settings of
stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be sardius,
a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the
second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And
the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth
row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold
in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of
the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like
the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be
according to the twelve tribes" (Exodus 28:15-21).

     The King in wearing the Crown of twelve stones is literally
the "high priest" or head of the Church of the Nation and as such
foreshadows the day of redemption, deliverance and kingship
spoken of by the prophet Zechariah who wrote: "And the Lord their
God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for
they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign
upon his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great is
his beauty! (Zech. 9:16,17).

     When the Crown is placed upon the King's head, the
Archbishop prays to the original Jehovah, King of the Israel
Kingdom-Race, saving: "0 God, who crownest thy faithful Servant
with mercy and loving kindness: look down upon this thy servant
(name) our King, who now in lowly devotion boweth his head to thy
Divine Majesty; and as thou dost this day set a Crown of pure
gold upon his head, so enrich his royal heart with thy heavenly
grace, and crown him with all princely virtues which may adorn
the high station wherein thou hast placed him, through Jesus
Christ Our Lord, to whom be honor and glory for ever".


     After the Homage the King exchanges the St.Edwards Crown for
the Imperial Crown of State which is worn on the return journey
to Buckingham Palace.


     After the Crowning, the King is presented with a
purple-velvet-bound Holy Bible from the Altar. This custom
originated at the Coronation Ceremony of William and Mary, who
were Protestants. Today, as then, the Archbishop places the Bible
in the hands of the King saying: "Our gracious King, we present
you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world
affords. Here is wisdom. This is the royal law. These are the
lively Oracles of God".

     Such presentations of His own living Word was the command of
God to His Kingdom People over 5000 years ago, for God said to
His servant Moses: "When thou are come unto the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell
therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all
the nations that are about me ... And it shall be, when he
sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a
copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the
priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read
therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the
Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these
statutes to do them" (Deut.17:14-19).

     As the Crowning nears its completion a further
acknowledgement of Divine Providence is given by the choir who
sings the following Anthem, inspired by the words of David's
Psalm 21:1-3:

"The king shall rejoice in thy strength 0 Lord. Exceeding glad
shall he be of thy salvation. Thou hast presented him with the
blessings of goodness; Thou hast set a Crown of pure gold upon
his head."


     At the completion of the Crowning, the whole congregation of
the people, accompanied by loud and joyous blowing of the
trumpets, give voice to their recognition of the rightful choice
of the King by shouting loudly and repeatedly, "GOD SAVE THE
KING!" Once more we are reminded of the deep spiritual
significance of this ceremony. It is a hallowing, a dedication, a
setting apart and a repetition of the Children of Israel
expressing their pleasure and approval in joyous acclamation at
the coronation of their Kings: "And all the people came up after
him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great
joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them" (I Kings
1:40) "And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar,
as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the
king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with
trumpets" (2 Kings 11:14).

     Finally, His Majesty, the King, anointed, crowned and vested
with all the titles and insignia of Royal power and dignity,
leaves the Westminster Abbey in solemn procession, and passes
into the streets of the city to receive the plaudits of the


Her Majesty, wearing St.Edward's Crown and seated on the Throne,
receives the homage of her bishops during the Coronation ceremony
in Westminster Abbey.


To be continued

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