The service on Saturday will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will mark the beginning of a long weekend of celebrations across the land, including a Coronation Concert on Sunday evening at Windsor Castle and a national day dedicated to volunteering- The Big Help Out-on Bank Holiday Monday. Following the Coronation Service, their Majesties will return to Buckingham Palace as part of the Coronation Procession and they will be joined by other members of the Royal Family. The official events will conclude with Their Majesties, appearing on the Buckingham Palace Balcony with other members of the Royal Family.
As the nation prepares for the Coronation, I have sent a Pastoral Message to be read at Mass before the Blessing and as part of the weekend celebrations, I have granted a dispensation this Friday from the usual Friday abstinence. The coronation on Saturday takes place within the context of an Anglican Eucharist.
I will be offering Mass for the new King and Queen here in the Cathedral on Saturday evening at 6pm. Let us pray that as the nation follows the Coronation Liturgy the Holy Spirit will touch people’s hearts and enkindle within them a deeper faith in God.
The message reads:
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This weekend, the world has witnessed a truly joyous and historic event: the Coronations of their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. It is a remarkable moment of national celebration, one that makes us reflect on the heritage, culture, and faith of this land, and upon the type and quality of society we wish to nurture for future generations. During the moving ceremony, the King took oaths and made promises not only about his role as Head of State, but also in relation to the Church and to religion in general. Significantly, His Majesty has chosen to inaugurate his reign with the religious ceremony of coronation, in this way reminding us that the Christian faith is integral to our national identity. Let us thank him for doing this, because there are many secular and humanist forces at work in our society, that would seek to remove Christianity from the public square, and indeed to eradicate it. The events of this weekend, however, remind us that the Christian faith is integral to our national identity.
As Catholics, we rejoice that our new King shares the same love for Jesus Christ that his mother Queen Elizabeth did, and that he too strives to put that love into practice in public service, not least through charitable endeavours at home and abroad towards the needy, the young and the environment. As we give thanks to God for his strength and conviction, let us pray for him. Indeed, may God give the King and the Queen the graces they need. May He sustain them in all their endeavours, and may He pour out His many blessings on the whole of this United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. God Save the King!
In Corde Iesu,
Bishop of Portsmouth