The allure of royal weddings

Maureen Herring

April 29, 2011

I watched the wedding on live television early this a.m. (USA), for several reasons, with several observations. One, my wife and I watched Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981, and Diana's funeral, and so it seemed that once in a decade, a spectacle such as a royal wedding/funeral/coronation would be worth taking in. Two, again, I was awestruck by the beauty of the cathedral(trees indoors!), the historic uniformed/costumed participants, whether in church or on horseback in parade; Three, I was reminded of history, not only of the present royal houses and heredity, but again of the cathedral, London itself, England ("and did those feet, in ancient times . . . "); Four, I enjoyed the _worship and the presentation of gospel during the ceremony via spoken word and by song. The choir was magnificent, but I was also impressed with the people's singing. I was heartened to view people singing hymns, many singing apparently by memory. I would hope and pray that faith is not dead in England, against all reports and rumors to the opposite. I know that hope is the thing that lasts, often when situations are at their darkest and bleakest in outlook---yet hope shines in youth, beauty, promise as well. An event such as William & Kate's wedding brings that hope to hopefully stand against the cynicism of the age.

April 29, 2011

I watched the wedding today as well. I enjoyed the visual sumptuousness of the pageantry, the dignity of the music, and the informative commentary about historic traditions.

The moment that touched me the most was one that the broadcasters quickly glossed over, when 1900 guests at Westminster Abbey and hundreds of thousands on the streets of London joined their voices and sang “God Save Our Gracious Queen.” There was a shot of the Queen, her head modestly bowed, not singing, and her husband, Prince Philip, head held high, singing. Petitioning God to protect and bless his queen and wife. It was an astonishing and touching moment for me, a Christian, a woman, someone who has struggled mightily to define my role as a woman in my church and in Christ’s kingdom, particularly in terms of leadership.

I could do worse than look to the Queen who is not just a titular ruler, but a hard-working and knowledgeable monarch. See http://cathysmith001.wordpress... for some further thoughts if you’re interested.

April 29, 2011

Oops... didn't attach the link properly. Sorry. Here it is:

April 29, 2011

I hate the presumption of why "we" love royal weddings. I really could care less, though I'm not so arrogant as to assume "we" could care less.

April 30, 2011

Sorry to offend. Seemed appropriate to use the royal "we" to write about the royal wedding.

April 30, 2011

A most interesting article Maureen. As a Brit I was so very proud yesterday to see my sovereigns grandson enjoy, with the greater proportion of the nation, a very beautiful and moving marriage ceremony. However, as you point out, what happens when those we look up to fail? "Then we re-examine our allegiances and question whether we really ought to look up to celebrities or royalty. If we are honest, we may have to admit that we derive a certain satisfaction when the rich and famous lose status. Some of us may even use a king’s failure to excuse our own."
In the case of celebrities we have come to expect them to have feet of clay - in many cases their failings endear them to their fans even more, or, they simply have their 'fifteen minutes of fame' and we as consumers of celebrity move on to the next big thing. Should we, as Christians, feel bad about such fickleness? What about politicians? We in the western liberal democracies enjoy the luxury of the ballot box; if our politicians fail, they have four years and then they go. As a Christian should we feel disquiet if our personal political inclinations change?
But what about Royalty? In the 21st century does our alleigence matter? And here comes the rub, as a Christian, does my alleigence matter?I repeat, 'as a Christian'. I have entered into so many discussions, particularly with the younger generation (I am 51) about the purpose of monarchy. Forget all the arguments about them being Head of State, what they bring to the nation etc, as a Christian, I try and argue from the point of view (particularly as an Anglican) that there is an element of Gods grace to there being what they are. In every coronation of Christian monarchy from Constantine onwards, each has involved the annointing by holy oil and each has therefore striven to presume their mandate to power derives from God, not man. It all sounds terribly outdated, but is this Christian presumption to be ignored? Under a sovereign such as Elizabeth II, a monarch whose devotion to this sacred union is unquestioned, there is no ripple of conscience to this application of 'divine right'. But I often ask myself, what would my reaction be if I lived during the reigns of such historical 'bad boys' as John, Richard III, or Henry VIII? Would I be so patient with Charles I as he pushed this particular view of Kingship to the max, until Christians such as Cromwell cried,'enough'.
Whist, as a Brit, I rejoice to be a 'subject' not a 'citizen', I suppose it always best to remember the words cast upon Cromwells tomb - and with real irony located at Westminster Abbey - at the back of my mind, "Christ not Man is King".

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