Coronations Past,, Present and Future

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Joint Liturgical Studies 38

The present symposium has come together through three different interests arising simultaneously and being brought together between one set of covers, Henry Everett, the minister of Downshire Square, Reading, in 1994 won the Gregory Dix Liturgy Prize, and won it for an essay on that very distinct and paradoxical liturgical occasion, the coronation of James II in 1685. In the process he became well versed in the detail of Tudor and Stuart coronations generally. I myself had recently written on some of the more recent liturgical issues in coronation rites. Colin Buchanan, alone among the Church of England’s bishops, has been prepared to stick his neck out against the present establishment of the Church of England, and thus query the somewhat opaque role of the monarch as ‘supreme governor’ and ‘Defender of the Faith’; but, as a liturgist, is also aware of the shape such issues take when written, or not written, into a coronation rite. None of the three of us is committed to views expressed by either of other two, but the interests of each have proved complementary to those of the others, and we hope that the upshot is a story which moves accurately and coherently from historical roots to intense practical realism.

Henry Everett; Paul Bradshaw (editor); Colin Buchanan