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    Sunak, UK Prime Minister, to Recite from the Bible during King Charles III’s Crowning Ceremony

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    Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of Britain, will read from the biblical book of Colossians at King Charles III’s Coronation. This is a recent tradition where British Prime Ministers give readings at State occasions. Sunak is a practicing Hindu, and reading from a biblical book will resonate with the multi-faith theme being struck for the Christian ceremony. Lambeth Palace, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that members of other faith traditions will play an active role in the service for the first time.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has selected a new Epistle for this Coronation, which will be Colossians 1:9-17. This passage has been chosen to reflect the theme of service to others, and the loving rule of Christ over all people and all things, which runs through this Coronation Liturgy. Following recent tradition of British Prime Ministers giving readings at State occasions, as Head of the host Nation’s government, this will be read by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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    The Archbishop of Canterbury authorises a new Liturgy for every Coronation. The three oaths by the King at the heart of the service remain unchanged, including the promise to maintain “the Protestant Reformed Religion”. The overall theme of the Liturgy is “Called to Serve”, which is intended to reflect the commitment that the King will make to serve God and the people of the United Kingdom.

    The service has been designed to reflect the changes in the UK since Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953, the character of Britain as it is today, and the Church of England’s role in contemporary society. As one of the newer elements, the 74-year-old monarch will pray aloud in the Abbey using words specially written for the occasion that reflect the “duty and privilege of the Sovereign to serve all communities”.

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    The Presentation of the Regalia will be made by Members of the House of Lords, and for the first time, some of the items which have no Christian meaning or symbolism will be presented by peers who belong to different faith traditions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. The thousands congregated at the Abbey and millions expected to be watching on screens as the ceremony is telecast live will be invited to say the words: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law – so help me God”.

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    The five elements of the historic “English Coronation Rite” will take place in their traditional order: The Recognition; The Oath; The Anointing; The Investiture and Crowning; and The Enthronement and Homage. These elements will take place within the traditional structure of a service of Holy Communion, including prayers and Bible readings, and King Charles and Queen Camilla will receive Holy Communion during the service.

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