This week one thing surprising occurred after I filed my nationwide “On Faith” column, one thing that I’ve by no means seen earlier than in my many years of religion-news work.
What? A retired literature professor responded to my column with a poem.
The subject was simple to foretell. Like hundreds of thousands of different individuals all over the world, however particularly in Nice Britain and the Commonwealth, I’ve spent many hours watching (totally on British tv) the rites and public drama surrounding the loss of life of Queen Elizabeth II.
I’ll publish the column at GetReligion on the ordinary time this weekend, after it has run in most newspapers linked to the Common syndicate. However the podcast crew determined to go forward and use it because the hook for this week’s “Crossroads” (CLICK HERE to tune that in), since so many individuals are speaking in regards to the loss of life of the queen. Here’s a short clip from that column:
All through her life, Queen Elizabeth II understood the symbolic significance of kneeling, in keeping with former Durham Bishop N.T. Wright. After one Church of England synod, she privately expressed shock — disappointment, even — that worshippers in Westminster Abbey merely lined as much as obtain Holy Communion, as an alternative of kneeling.
“Kneeling was essential to her,” mentioned the favored writer, in a “Premier Christianity” tribute. In his encounters together with her, Wright discovered the queen “very pleasant and clearly a really religious, what we’d think about ‘quaint’ Church of England Christian. I keep in mind considering throughout a couple of Christmas broadcast, she has simply preached the Gospel to the nation in a approach that maybe no person else may have executed.”
In response to the column, a reader raised in Canada — however finest identified for his work at Baylor College in Texas and at Peking College — wrote a poem and despatched it to me.
David Lyle Jeffrey, now a distinguished senior fellow at Baylor’s Institute for Research in Faith, famous that he has by no means thought-about himself a “royalist,” however the queen’s loss of life is definitely a time to discover the “essence of her admirable Christian character and gracious reign.” The previous Baylor provost and literature professor entitled the poem “Regina Exemplaris (Queen of Patterns).” Right here is the way it ends:
… She who longest wore the heavy crown
Knew however to kneel earlier than the unseen throne
And plead her individuals’s trigger as for her personal,
And there to reward the Lord of All, bowed down,
Extra aware of his glory than her excessive acclaim,
Exemplar thus in worship, in reward extra worthy of the Identify.
Sure, the rites marking the period of Elizabeth the Nice, as some are actually calling her, are positively information, however not abnormal information.
As tons of of hundreds of Brits, and others, queue to view her casket, with most bowing in honor, journalists needs to be making ready for her funeral in Westminster Abbey. There have been some advance tales, after all. This characteristic from Harper’s Bazaar promised, “All the details about the Queen’s state funeral — From what to expect to who will attend.”
As you’ll count on, it’s filled with particulars in regards to the schedule, symbolic gestures of honor and the function of royals, politicos and celebrities. And the content material of this Church of England worship service? That’s not a part of “all the small print,” apart from this:
The state funeral service can be led by the Dean of Westminster. The Prime Minister and the Secretary Common of the Commonwealth will carry out readings, whereas the Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the Common Meeting of the Church of Scotland, and the Free Church buildings Moderator will say prayers. The Sermon can be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who can even give the Commendation. The Dean of Westminster will then pronounce the Blessing.
The New York Instances did supply a characteristic that, at first look, had actual potential — particularly for somebody like me, who has been energetic in choral music my total life. The title: “What Music to Expect at Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral.” Right here is the overture:
What’s the sound of a monarch’s loss of life — the music and noise that commemorates the tip of 1 regal life in preparation for the one to come back?
Music performs an unlimited function in British royal ceremonies, notably funerals, like Queen Elizabeth II’s on Sept. 19, which operate as each state and non secular rituals. As a result of the British monarch can be head of the Church of England, the sounds of those occasions are sometimes tied to the Anglican musical custom, springing out of the post-English Reformation Church.
Since 1603, a lot of the royal funeral’s format has stayed the identical, whereas some elements shift to mirror the time and the monarch. The result’s a placing mixture of numerous works that inform each the story of the British monarchy and British music.
What follows is a treasure trove of particulars about royal funerals, composers and, to some extent, the evolution of British choral music.