The preparations for King Charles III’s coronation, which is scheduled to take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, are going on in full swing in the UK. Countrywide celebrations, including parades, will be organised over the coronation weekend during which the 74-year-old monarch will officially be crowned in a grand ceremony. Now, ahead of the ceremony, organisers have said that people watching the Coronation will be invited to join a “chorus of millions” to swear allegiance to the King and his heirs.
According to The Guardian, people around the UK and abroad will be invited to say the words “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God,” in a declaration that replaced the traditional homage of peers.
Saturday’s service will also include many firsts. Female clergy will play a prominent role and the King himself will pray out loud. The Christian service will also see active participation of representatives from other faiths. Rishi Sunak, a Hindu, will give a reading from the Bible in his capacity as UK Prime Minister, despite Church of England law in effect barring other faiths from taking an active role in its services.
As per The BBC, Saturday’s Coronation will also be the first to incorporate other languages spoken in Britain, with a hymn set to be sung in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic. However, the outlet reported that despite changes designed to reflect other faiths, the three oaths King Charles will take and form the heart of the service will remain unchanged, including the promise to maintain “the Protestant Reformed Religion”.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury said that the ceremony would “recognise and celebrate tradition” as well as contain “new elements that reflect the diversity of our contemporary society”.
But the coronation was “first and foremost an act of Christian worship”, he added. “It is my prayer that all who share in this service, whether they are of faith or no faith, will find ancient wisdom and new hope that brings inspiration and joy,” the Archbishop said, as per The Guardian.
Full details of the Westminster Abbey service – the theme of which is “called to serve” – have been published by Lambeth Palace.