I have no doubt that the nation’s preparations for the King’s Coronation have been unimaginably complex and have focussed the minds and energies of countless individuals, committees and teams over the weeks and months prior to the big day arriving. One of those preparations has been the careful production of a very special oil. Olives, which grow on the Mount of Olives (a location known to many of us as being close to the Garden of Gethsemane) have been gathered and then taken to be pressed at another location outside Bethlehem. The oil has been perfumed with a mix of spices and fragrances – including rose, jasmine, cinnamon and orange blossom. It has then been blessed in a ceremony overseen by the Orthodox Patriarch and the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem. This is now the Chrism Oil which will be used in one of the most sacred parts of the Coronation Ceremonies – as Charles is anointed as King. It seems quite a process, doesn’t it? But oil has been used in ceremonies relating to the crowning of Kings and Queens since ancient times, and oil is used similarly in other church ceremonies. In preparation for the Festival of Easter I with many other local clergy attended a Chrism Mass where, as well as reaffirming our own promises as ministers of the Gospel, we collected holy oils for use in our own churches. With these oils we will anoint and pray for those who are baptised and confirmed, those who are sick, and those who are dying. We pray for them the needful gifts of strength and courage, of grace and mercy and peace, at what are significant moments on life’s journey. Being crowned King is a truly significant, and of course a rather rare, moment. It is one which certainly warrants the offering of prayer, asking that our new King and Queen may be blessed with the gifts they will need to fulfil the tasks ahead.
For most of us who will not be receiving the ‘official invitation’ to this month’s Coronation Ceremonies, we will still be pleased to celebrate in more informal ways. In Collingham (we realise other nearby villages have celebrations too!) we very much hope that people will accept the more ‘homely invitation’ to join in a Big Picnic Lunch on Sunday 7th May, to be held on the Glebe Field. Following on from an 11am Open Air Service, where prayer will be offered for our King, Queen, and Royal Family, incorporating we hope some of the words of local school children, there will simply be a time of good-hearted Village Celebration between 12 noon and 3pm. Bring your Picnic, partake of some additional refreshments and join in the fun – Bungee Run, Bouncy Castle, Football, Face-Painting, a Petting Zoo of Chicks & Lambs, Crown-Making, Bell-Ringing and more… Together let’s make it, ‘a Right Royal Village Do!’
Carolyn Reverend Carolyn (Priest in Charge)