A PRAYER for the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation has
been published, as churches and cathedrals around the country
prepare celebratory services to mark the event.
The prayer, written by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd
John Hall - where the Coronation took place on 2 June, 1953 - says
that with "united voice" we "give thanks for the long and glorious
reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth". The prayer has been
written in both a traditional and a modern version.
The Queen will attend an anniversary service at the Abbey on 4
June, which will be televised.
In Truro Cathedral, children will join in a re-enactment of the
Coronation, complete with royal carriage, jewels, and miniature
For one member of staff at Exeter Cathedral, Dennis Whitehead,
the anniversary brings back special memories. He was one of 20
choristers chosen from parish choirs around the country to sing at
Now aged 73, he remembers his lunch for the day: "Ovaltine
tablets, glucose tablets, barley sugar, bread and butter, an apple,
¼lb slab of chocolate, all of which was consumed before the service
His diary entry for the day says: "I must confess I could not
sing the first few notes because of a lump in my throat. I shall
never forget as long as I live the thrill of that moment. . . The
picture will remain for ever in my memory."
He plans to attend a special choral evensong at Exeter Cathedral
on the anniversary.
Westminster Abbey is also hosting a coronation exhibition, with
archive pictures of the day. And in Southwell Minster, a "Labour of
Love" exhibition of embroidery and dresses linked to the Coronation
will feature a gold- brocade evening dress worn by the Queen on her
visit to New Zealand in 1953.
Many churches are also involved in helping with a community
lunch to mark the occasion. The ecumenical project the Big Lunch -
which ran last year for the Diamond Jubilee - is being organised
again on 2 June. Millions of people are expected to take part.
The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, has
commissioned an easy-to-make Coronation- chicken recipe for the
day, which includes ingredients that embrace many of the ethnic
communities that make up St Albans.
He said: "I hope this dish is a small tribute to the original
idea for celebrating the Coronation with foods from many
traditions. I am offering this to our communities in the diocese of
St Albans as a way for them to feel more included in the
celebration of 60 years since Her Majesty's Coronation."
Resources for churches to mark the anniversary have been
published on a dedicated website: www.coronation.churchofengland.org.