The coronation of King Charles III on May 6 will have close links with Biblical events.
Pastor and academic Reverend Dr. Mark Durie explained to Vision Radio how that has been the case for more than a thousand years for the coronation of English monarchs.
“For example, since at least the 13th century, at the very point of anointing the monarch with a oil, passages have been read from 1 Kings where it says that Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed King Solomon with oil.”
“So the understanding of the investiture, the appointment of the monarch is definitely shaped by the Bible.”
“King Charles has arranged for the anointing oil that’s going to be used for his anointing to be prepared in Jerusalem from olives from the Mount of Olives. So it’s actually oil from probably the very place where the oil came from for Solomon’s anointing so many thousands of years ago.”
“That’s a connection that is tying this ceremony to the ceremonies in Jerusalem.”
“It’s traditional at the start of the coronation service to sing Psalm 122. I was glad when they said unto me, We’ll go into the house of the Lord. And it speaks about standing in the gates of Jerusalem. So it’s as if the anointing of the King in Westminster Abbey is taking place in the Temple in Jerusalem, as if it was Solomon’s anointing.”
Reverend Durie also detailed why the coronation will be a deeply Christian ceremony with similarities to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral:
“It’s actually a communion service and it’s the order of service under the responsibility of the Archbishop of Canterbury who has a very strong, clear say in how the coronation is put together. There are many other stakeholders as well but he’s definitely presiding at the service and leading the service.”
“Because it’s a communion service, it includes the normal Anglican elements in a communion service. There are prayers of confession, readings from the Scriptures. People will say the creeds. There’ll be the consecration of prayers for communion. There are blessings, the procession and the recession.”
“There’s no doubt that the service in a number of different ways acknowledges the sovereignty of Jesus Christ and his centrality for law and order in the nations. The orb that is given to King Charles has a cross on the top of it, and it’s a symbol of the world and that Christ is Lord of all the world. There are a number of elements in the prayers and the vows that are made that constantly reference the sovereignty of Christ. And it’s very significant.”
“I think that the very first thing the monarch does after being invested and enthroned and receiving all that regalia, is take communion and kneel down. What that communion means is that it’s a participation in Christ, that life comes from being one with Jesus and sharing in His death and in His life. So that is a very powerful symbol that the King, as the monarch of England and other nations as well, is connected to and draws strength from the life of Christ.”
“One of the striking things about the service is that the King undertakes, as his mother did before him, to defend the faith, to protect its interest. This was a ceremony the Queen undertook to protect the proclamation or the sharing of the Gospel, to uphold the laws of God and the profession of the Gospel. That’s a heavy burden to lay upon the monarch. A serious commitment that’s made to be an advocate for the profession of the Gospel in England.”
Dr. Durie acknowledges that it’s becoming harder for a church to be relevant and adapt in an increasingly secular world.
“I think the Church of England is struggling in some ways in professing the Gospel. And you have this secularisation happening and questions about whether the Church should be established as part of the state. So this is an interesting backdrop to this ancient ritual that dates back a thousand years.”
“Will the secular media acknowledge or pick up on these Christian elements? I was reading Hello magazine and lots of other magazines such as Vogue which have information about the coronation. It’s a sort of the big social event of the year for them. It’s really interesting that Hello magazine completely ignores the Christian elements in the service. It just mentions the things that are somehow relevant to what happens to the King.”
“It doesn’t mention communion. It doesn’t mention reading from Scripture. It doesn’t really mention that this is a service of worship and prayer which has some very strong theological content that runs all the way through the service.”
“We had a similar experience with the funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II. That was a very, very Christian service. And this one will be as well.”
Listen to Reverend Dr. Mark Durie’s full interview on 20Twenty below: