Friday, April 28, 2023

King Charles III's Coronation Bible

During the service in Westminster Abbey, the Coronation Bible will be presented by Archbishop Welby to the King, who will place his hand on it when he takes the Coronation Oath.

 A Bible is known to have been presented to each monarch in this way since the joint Coronation of William III and Mary II in 1689. The earliest specially produced Coronation Bible in the Royal Collection is from the Coronation of George III in 1761.

Archbishop Welby commissioned Oxford University Press to produce the Bible, which is hand-bound in leather and decorated in gold leaf by London bookbinders Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe, who also produced the Bible for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. 

The Coronation will be a service of Christian worship, deeply rooted in the wisdom we find in Scripture. The Bible which will be presented to His Majesty the King is a reminder that scripture is not just at the heart of the responsibilities he undertakes at the Coronation, but at the heart of Christian life.

After the Coronation, the Bible will be displayed in the Lambeth Palace Library exhibition on the Coronation, and kept afterwards in the collection.  Three identical copies of the Coronation Bible have been made: a personal copy for the King, and two others to be placed in the Archives at Westminster Abbey and Oxford University Press.

The Coronation will not only be the first gift offered to the King but truly the most important gift that he will receive!

Blessed are you, Sovereign God and King of Kings,
to you be glory and praise forever!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your glory is proclaimed in all the world.
You gave the Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the annointing of his Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As Charles our King prepares for his coronation,
enlighten his heart and strengthen his spirit,
so that we, with him, may bear witness to your truth
and proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

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