News from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

The coronation of King Charles III will take place in Westminster Abbey. This will be the first coronation for 70 years in our countries; indeed, the first since our late Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, entered the ancient church as a young woman to take on the awesome responsibilities of monarchy. In his first address to our countries after the death of the Queen, His Majesty stated, in the context of the late Queen’s unwavering service, “that promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”

None of us can imagine the incredible burden that His Majesty will assume as he is crowned King alongside his wife and Queen, Camilla. The world has immeasurably changed since 1953 with many more opportunities and challenges in the lives of all.

As faithful citizens of our countries, we now pray for our King as he assumes the fullness of the high office of monarch. From Wednesday 3 May until Friday 5 May, the Bishops of England and Wales ask each Catholic in our lands to pray for His Majesty and the Queen. We can do this in our daily prayer asking Almighty God to guide the King in his appointed tasks. We can also pray for him when we gather for prayer at Mass. This triduum of prayer will culminate on Friday evening when we have asked each Catholic community to offer a special Mass for the King before the Coronation on Saturday. It will be the culminating moment of our three days of prayer when we ask God’s continuing blessing on our new King and Queen.

The Bishops' Conference has provided prayers for the King (below), and further related articles including: Supporting the 'Big Help Out' and Pope Francis gifts relics from the True Cross to King Charles III for the Coronation.

Bishops' Conference website

Across the Archdiocese of Birmingham

Many of our parishes and schools will be hosting their own Coronation celebrations over the coming days and Bank Holiday weekend, let us hope for glorious weather!

Archbishop Bernard Longley said: "This weekend’s Coronation ceremony is both a moment of deeply personal religious commitment to service and a significant milestone in the life of our nation. As King Charles and Queen Camilla pray for Almighty God’s blessing and help in discharging the offices bestowed upon them, we ask the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire them. As they are anointed for life-long service we pray for the King and Queen and for the gifts of peace and unity among the peoples they serve."

Monsignor Tim Menezes, Dean of St Chad's Cathedral, the Diocesan Mother Church, has written the following reflection:

This weekend, our country will celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III.

We know that this event brings a range of reactions from people of faith, as in the general population.

For some, it will be a joyful reason to celebrate, for others it can evoke some quite negative reactions. Probably for the greater number, it will not be such a life-changing event.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Coronation ceremony is the Anointing with the Oil of Chrism of the new Monarch. This is a moment of great symbolism which, at the every least, can remind each baptised person that this anointing at Christian baptism is a sharing in the life of Christ. The word Christ means ‘anointed one’.

We pray for King Charles as he assumes this role.
Let us take the opportunity to pray for our country and to recognise that in this Coronation ceremony, the Christian heritage of our country will be evident, as well as rightly acknowledging the many cultures and faiths that now form part of our country and whose dignity and place we recognise.

Prayers for the King

O God, to whom every human power is subject,
grant to your servant our sovereign Charles
success in the exercise of his high office,
so that, always revering you and striving to please you,
he may constantly secure and preserve
for the people entrusted to his care
the freedom that comes from civil peace.
Th rough our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

V: O Lord, save Charles, our King.
R: And hear us on the day we call upon you.
V: O Lord, hear my prayer.
R: And let my cry come before you.
V: The Lord be with you.
R: And with your spirit.

Almighty God, we pray,
that your servant Charles, our King,
who, by your providence has received the governance of this realm, may continue to grow in every virtue,
that, imbued with your heavenly grace,
he may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil and,
being blessed with your favour may,
with his consort and the royal family,
come at last into your presence,
through Christ who is the way, the truth and the life
and who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

DOWNLOAD prayer card

Photograph credit: Chris Jackson