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Prayers, Holy Oil Prepare World for King Charles III

The Church of England has released special prayers and other resources that anticipate the coronation of King Charles III on May 6, and has prepared a ceremonial oil that reflects greater concern for animals’ well-being.

The coronation prayers are among four categories offered through the Church of England’s website: Resources for churches, Community celebration and volunteering, Coronation reflections (daily email, from Easter to the coronation), and Resources for young people and families.

A commemorative service for congregations is already available, but its language will require some tweaks in postcolonial nations:

We also gather this day to pray for our King,
that, both now and always,
God may grant him wisdom and grace
for his ministry among us.

By the power of the Holy Spirit,
may we, with Charles our King,
give ourselves to the service of God and others,
that our communities may flourish
and be places of trust and friendship.

… Blessed are you, Lord Jesus,
for as you were sent by the Father, so you send us.
Equip Charles our King and all your people
with the gifts to fulfil our calling,
that we may love as you loved,
serve as you served,
and willingly follow wherever you lead.

Those who have followed the perennial drama of the Sussexes versus the rest of the Royal Family will notice that only the Queen Consort and the Prince of Wales are mentioned by name (though the singling out of the heir is a common feature of such prayers):

For Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales,
the Princess of Wales, and all the Royal Family;
that they may love and support the King
as he bears the burden of his office.

The prayers acknowledge the vast changes in the Commonwealth of Nations since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II:

For this United Kingdom,
for His Majesty’s other Realms and Territories,
for the whole Commonwealth of Nations,
for their governments and ministers,
and for all who are called to public service,
that they will seek justice, mercy, and peace:
Lord, in your mercy
All       hear our prayer.

For the peace of the world,
for the welfare of all people,
for those who care for others and for the environment,
and for all in need:
Lord, in your mercy
All       hear our prayer.

A New Blend for Holy Oil

CNN and other outlets reported that holy oil has been consecrated in Jerusalem, and that the oil no longer relies on ambergris, which is derived from the intestine of a sperm whale.

The holy oil is made from crushed olives on the Mount of Olives and perfumed with essential oils of sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber, and orange blossom. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, led the service for the consecration of the oil in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, assisted by the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem.

“Since beginning the planning for the Coronation, my desire has been for a new Coronation Oil to be produced using olive oil from the Mount of Olives,” the Archbishop of Canterbury said in a statement. “This demonstrates the deep historic link between the Coronation, the Bible, and the Holy Land. From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint the King and the Queen Consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”

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