We now move to the 7th Section of the Coronation Service.
VII. The Anointing
The Creed being ended, the Queen kneeling at her faldstool, and the people kneeling in their places, the Archbishop shall begin the hymn, VENI, CREATOR SPIRITUS, and the choir shall sing it out.
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost thy seven-fold gifts impart.
Thy blessed Unction from above
Is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
The dulness of our blinded sight.
Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace:
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where thou art guide, no ill can come.
Teach us to know the Father, Son
And thee, of both, to be but One;
That, through the ages all along,
This may be our endless song:
Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The hymn being ended, the Archbishop shall say:
LET US PRAY
O Lord and heavenly Father,
the exalter of the humble and the strength of thy chosen,
who by anointing with Oil didst of old
make and consecrate kings, priests, and prophets,
to teach and govern thy people Israel:
Bless and sanctify thy chosen servant ELIZABETH,
who by our office and ministry
is now to be anointed with this Oil,
Here the Archbishop is to lay his hand upon the Ampulla.
and consecrated Queen:
Strengthen her, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter;
Confirm and stablish her with thy free and princely Spirit,
the Spirit of wisdom and government,
the Spirit of counsel and ghostly strength,
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness,
and fill her, O Lord, with the Spirit of thy holy fear,
now and for ever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This prayer being ended, and the people standing, the choir shall sing:
I Kings 1, 39, 40.
Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king;
and all the people rejoiced and said
God save the king,
Long live the king,
May the king live for ever. Amen. Hallelujah.
In the mean time, the Queen rising from her devotions, having been disrobed of her crimson robe by the Lord Great Chamberlain, assisted by the Mistress of the Robes, and being uncovered, shall go before the Altar, supported and attended as before.
The Queen shall sit down in King Edward's Chair (placed in the midst of the Area over against the Altar, with a faldstool before it), wherein she is to be anointed. Four Knights of the Garter shall hold over her a rich pall of silk, or cloth of gold: the Dean of Westminster, taking the Ampulla and Spoon from off the Altar, shall hold them ready, pouring some holy Oil into the Spoon, and with it the Archbishop shall anoint the Queen in the form of a cross:
On the palms of both the hands, saying,
Be thy Hands anointed with holy Oil.
On the breast, saying,
Be thy Breast anointed with holy Oil.
On the crown of the head, saying,
Be thy Head anointed with holy Oil:
as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed:
And as Solomon was anointed king
by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet,
so be thou anointed, blessed, and consecrated Queen
over the Peoples, whom the Lord thy God
hath given thee to rule and govern,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Then shall the Dean of Westminster lay the Ampulla and Spoon upon the Altar; and the Queen kneeling down at the faldstool, the Archbishop shall say this Blessing over her:
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of God,
who by his Father was anointed with the Oil of gladness
above his fellows,
by his holy Anointing pour down upon your Head and Heart
the blessing of the Holy Ghost,
and prosper the works of your Hands:
that by the assistance of his heavenly grace
you may govern and preserve
the Peoples committed to your charge
in wealth, peace, and godliness;
and after a long and glorious course
of ruling a temporal kingdom
wisely, justly, and religiously,
you may at last be made partaker of an eternal kingdom,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This prayer being ended, the Queen shall arise and sit down again in King Edward's Chair, while the Knights of the Garter bear away the pall; whereupon the Queen arising, the Dean of Westminster, assisted by the Mistress of the Robes, shall put upon her Majesty the Colobium Sindonis and the Supertunica or Close Pall of cloth of gold, together with a Girdle of the same. Then shall the Queen again sit down; and after her, the people also.
A Service of Celebration in Westminster Abbey attended by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and Members of the Royal Family will take place today at 11.00am. Here is a photo of the High Altar taken during the service.
Here are words of introduction by the Dean of Westminster:
On 2nd June 1953, the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II followed a
pattern established over the centuries since William the Conqueror was crowned in
Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. Our intention in this Service of
Thanksgiving is to evoke and reflect the shape of the Coronation service itself.
The Queen’s entrance was marked by the Choirs’ singing Psalm 122—I was glad—set
to music for the Coronation of EdwardVII by Sir Hubert Parry. The Queen’s Scholars
of Westminster School exercised their historic right to exclaimVivat Regina Elizabetha!
(‘Long live Queen Elizabeth!’); so it will be today.
The coronation service begins with theRecognition. The content of this part of the
service is, of course, not today what it was in 1953, but the intention is similar: to
recognise with thanksgiving the dutiful service offered over the past sixty years by our
gracious and noble Queen, and to continue to pray God save The Queen.
The Anointing is an act of consecration, a setting apart for royal and priestly service,
through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Ampulla from which the oil was poured rests
today on the High Altar as a reminder of that central act. St Edward’s Crown also rests
today on the High Altar as a powerful symbol of the moment of Coronation.
In today’s Service, a flask of Oil is carried by representatives of the people of the United
Kingdom to the Sacrarium, received by the Archbishop and placed by the Dean on the
High Altar. A prayer asks that all the people, by the grace of God through the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit, should be faithful to our calling, and active in God’s
The Homage today is reflected in a poem written by the Poet Laureate for this
service, and a prayer that we—‘knowing whose authority [The Queen] hath’—may
continue faithfully to serve and honour her.
The coronation service has always been set within the context of the Holy
Communion, as it was in 1953. Holy Communion was historically known as the Holy
Eucharist, meaning Thanksgiving. Following Holy Communion and the Blessing
in 1953, the Choir sang a hymn of praise,Te Deum,set to music by William Walton. The
service today concludes with a hymn of thanksgiving and the Walton Te Deum.
It is our prayer that, in thanksgiving forThe Queen’s faithful service, we, her people,
may commit ourselves afresh to the service of God and of all his people.
John R Hall
Dean of Westminster
4th June 2013
Here we see Her Majesty chatting with the Dean. It has been a truly glorious day!
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!