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The Coronation Roll
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The Readings and Sermon

The Archbishop, standing at the High Altar, prayed: “LORD, enthroned in heavenly splendour: Look with favour upon thy servant Charles our King, and bestow upon him such gifts of wisdom and love that we and all thy people may live in peace and prosperity and in loving service one to another; to thine eternal glory, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit reignest supreme over all things, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Rishi Sunak MP was then verged to the Nave pulpit from his seat in the Quire, from where he read the Epistle, from Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:9-17.

The congregation stood. The choir sang the ‘Alleluia’, based on words from Psalm 47:1-2 composed by Debbie Wiseman OBE especially for Their Majesties’ Coronation. 

While the choir sang, the ancient Saint Augustine Gospels were carried by the Master of Corpus Christi College Cambridge, Professor Christopher Kelly, in the Gospel procession to the Nave, just West of the Organ Screen. He was followed by the Bishop of London and Dean of His Majesty’s Chapels Royal, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, who then delivered the Gospel reading from the Gospel of Luke 4:16-21, standing in the Nave.

The Ascension Gospel Choir responded with a second sung Alleluia, also composed by Debbie Wiseman for the Coronation, based on words from Psalm 47:6-7a. During the Alleluia, the Gospel procession returned to the Sacrarium, where it paused for The King to touch the sixth-century Gospel book, before continuing through the Chapel of St Edward to St Paul’s Chapel. 

The Archbishop, standing in the Great Pulpit, delivered his sermon to The King and the congregation present. The Archbishop said that on this day a king was being crowned to serve, for the gain of all, and that with the privilege of power comes a duty to serve. He spoke of the life of Jesus Christ, the King of kings, who was anointed to serve not be served, and whose throne was a cross, whose crown was made of thorns, and whose regalia was wounds pierced in his body. He declared that service is love in action and that this is seen in the life of duty of The King. He noted the young people gathered in St Margaret’s Church, whose lives spoke of service, and that it is this service that binds us together and offers societies that are strong, joyful, happy and glorious. 

The Archbishop then moved and knelt at the High Altar. The King and The Queen knelt on the Faldstools at their Chairs of Estate. The choir then sang the ‘Veni Creator’ in English, Welsh, Gaelic and Irish. While the choir sang, the Dean brought the Ampulla to the Altar, handing it to the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem. The Archbishop of Canterbury then consecrated the oil, saying the Prayer of Consecration as follows:

Blessed art thou, Sovereign God, upholding with thy grace all who are called to thy service. The prophets of old anointed priests and kings to serve in thy name and in the fullness of time thine only Son was anointed by the Holy Spirit to be the Christ, the Saviour and Servant of all. By the power of the same Spirit, grant that this holy oil may be for thy servant Charles a sign of joy and gladness; that as King he may know the abundance of thy grace and the power of thy mercy; and that we may be made a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for thine own possession. Blessed be God, our strength and our salvation, now and for ever. Amen.”

The sixth-century Augustine Gospels are carried by the Master of Corpus Christi College Cambridge during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey, London
Andrew Matthews/PA