This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 8 May 2023

How to run a Coronation

I was (of course) invited to the Coronation of King Charles III, and so I picked up a few tips on how such events should be run. Indeed, since a Coronation is just a sort of Mass run by Anglicans with a few traditional add-ons, some of the features I observed could easily be incorporated into a Novus Ordo Mass (or, with more difficulty, the Traditional Latin Mass).

invitation to coronation

Proof that I was there!

Now, when the celebrant enters the church, it is not appropriate to have someone carrying a cross in front, as this may offend Muslims, Hindus, Anglicans, Jesuits, and anyone else who has dropped in to keep out of the rain. No, what we need is a Valkyrie with a giant sword.

Penny Mordaunt

"Smite ye the ungodly" (Psalm 160).

If it is a Catholic Mass you will need some special guests to give it a spiritually nourishing flavour. A man dressed as the Pope, perhaps. A ballet dancer practising Ignatian Yoga. Or this:

Karl Jenkins

It's G.K. Chesterton!

An interlude - in America they have different notions of the proper procedures for a Coronation Mass. For example, the presence of a QAnon shaman is considered desirable on ecumenical grounds.

QAnon Shaman

Zadok the Priest and QAnon the Shaman anointed Joe Biden KING!

Back to Westminster Abbey. The best Masses have gospel dancers singing and cavorting around but it is not strictly necessary, so we'll skip that. You may also have young people who have been dragged into church kicking and screaming - they don't want to be there, and you don't want to see them. The answer is to hide them behind a lady with a big feather on her hat.

Princess Anne with feather

In a minute he is going to sneeze...

Well, that's all, folks. And remember, if you have celebrated your Saturday Mass with some high-quality music, then you can always organize a Glastonbury-type concert for the tone-deaf masses the next day; this is a Sunday, and therefore need not be regarded as holy.

Gospel group

"You is not saved only we is saved." (Suitable for either event.)


  1. Sorry but I don’t think it’s Chesterton. Looks like Captain Kangaroo.

  2. Never knew feathers could play such an important part in a coronation.

  3. Wow! Your on-the-spot reporting makes me almost wish I had watched it!

  4. Clearly, those people in the second picture are indietrist walking mummies, with advanced cases of nostalgiosis.

  5. The Queen is the most successful British politician in living memory. By a country mile. No sniggering at the back. Those of you who smuttily misheard Vivat Regina Camilla may blame it on the use of a very old-fashioned British way of pronouncing Latin. There would have been no such trouble if the singers had been Roman-trained, and thus accustomed to Salve Regina. There is a lot of this sort of thing. Some German speakers pronounce Latin as if it were German, kvid pro kvo and what have you. And so on.

    Americans whose families left Ireland in the century beginning with the Potato Famine are bewildered and shocked at the enthusiastically red, white and blue Coronation tea parties held by parishes dedicated to Saint Patrick, at the blessing of the King by a Cardinal, and at the singing of God Save the King at the end of Mass on Sunday. They are never going to understand that, how or why such things were no more incongruous than the fact that the uncompromisingly Protestant Coronation Oath was followed immediately by the Gloria in Latin.

    Byrd's setting was of course by a Catholic, but Latin as a Protestant liturgical language is as old as Protestantism itself, with Latin translations of the Book of Common Prayer given occasional use at certain educational institutions from the start. The Coronation of the first Hanoverian monarch, George I, was conducted almost entirely in Latin, since he spoke no English, nor his prelates any German. Although the Royal Family continued to speak German at home until the First World War, things had moved on a bit by the Coronation of George II, for which Handel composed Zadok the Priest.