Our Uncrowned King


It felt strange at Chapel this Lord’s Day gone. We sang the new (or rather the old) national anthem God save the King as we thanked God for the late Queen’s life and commended to God our new King's reign. A number of people, myself included, had elected to wear black and I noted that some comments I made in my sermon that would normally have elicited wry smiles had no discernible effect upon that solemn congregation. It feels like the end of an era; our second Elizabethan Age has drawn to its close. She that had been a constant, a seemingly changeless object of continuity, a link to the past, is gone. Our new Caroline age is begun, and I trust it ends better than the last two to bear that name.

As Her Majesty’s cadaver wends its way from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh’s High Kirk and thence to Westminster Hall where it will lie in state, we await the glorious consummation of the new reign- the coronation. Likely to take a year’s preparation, the Earl Marshall’s and Garter King of Arms’ proclamation for now renders the former Prince of Wales’ elevation to monarch, Duke of Lancaster and liege Lord entirely official. Prior to that splendid ceremony in which St Edward’s heavy crown is placed upon his head, he is just as much King, but without the public spectacle.

As we watch these ancient ceremonies and well-worn traditions acted out on our screens and news bulletins, I thought of Him who is our greater King. He too awaits His splendid and extravagant regal consummation at the world’s end, yet King He is and always was. Though we proclaim His lordship and royal dignity to an often disbelieving and republican-minded world, we know that our omnipotent liege-Lord is coming to claim His throne, His crown and His people. Those who despise His rights and dues will find His sceptre to be of hardest iron; those who yield now to His imperial and stately will shall find places of honour and glory at His eternal and everlasting court.

Sing we the King who is coming to reign,

Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain;

Righteousness, peace then His empire shall bring,

Joy to the nations when Jesus is King.

C.S Horne

Image by Steve from Pixabay