This weekend the United Kingdom is celebrating the coronation of the new King. Many in this country are proud of the pomp and ceremony which Britain does very well. The Coronation is an ancient Christian ceremony; which has evolved down throughout the centuries. I pray that the Christian elements of the ceremony are described in such a way by commentators, that many will return to the faith or make enquiries to find out more about Jesus.

The sacred oils used to anoint the King, have been consecrated in Jerusalem. The olives used to make the oil were grown on the Mount of Olives where the King’s paternal grandmother was buried, and the oils have been consecrated by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem. The King’s late Father, the Duke of Edinburgh, had been baptised into the Greek Orthodox Church prior to becoming an Anglican when he married Queen Elizabeth. For the new King, the oil is not only a symbol of his Christian belief but has personal family connections too.1 The Sovereign is anointed on his head, hands and breast calling on the Holy Spirit to guide his reign.2

The new king has said he sees himself as someone who will protect faith and not just be the ‘Defender of the Faith’.3 As people of faith, we welcome his resolve to protect our rights to worship and practice our faith. As Christians we are also aware that the celebrations on show for an earthly king will pale into insignificance when compared to the celebrations we hope to be part of when we meet our Heavenly King.

1 Holy oil for King Charles’ coronation consecrated in Jerusalem | Reuters

2 Why are British monarchs anointed? | The Church of England

3 King Charles to be Defender of the Faith but also a defender of faiths | King Charles III | The Guardian