From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3322 Enthronement update

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:14:28 -0000

ACNS 3322     |     ACNS SPECIAL REPORT     |	  25 FEBRUARY 2003

Enthronement update

On 27 February 2003, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan
Williams, will be enthroned in the historic Mother Church of the Anglican
Communion, Canterbury Cathedral. The Primates of the Anglican Communion will
be led in procession by the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative
Council, the Revd Canon John L. Peterson. During the service the Rt Revd
John L Patterson, Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, will lead
the prayers from the Compass Rose Symbol in the Nave. The blessing of the
new Archbishop at the Enthronement Ceremony will be given by the Most Revd
Robin Eames, Archbishop of Armagh, longest standing Primate of the

Attending the service will be the Diocesan Bishops from the Church of
England and Wales as well as Church of England Officials, Civil Leaders, the
UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness
Prince Charles. The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy
O'Connor, will read a lesson from the Revelation of John the Divine and the
Gospel text to be read by the Archbishop comes from Matthew 11. Musicians
include the choir of St Woolo's Cathedral, Newport, Wales. The renowned men
and boys choir of Canterbury Cathedral will sing various motets and anthems
during the two hour service including: Exultate Deo by Francis Poulenc;
Beati Quorum Via by Sir Charles Stanford; Plebs Angelica by Michael Tippett;
and Tu es Petrus by Palestrina. An African and an Urdu hymn will also be

February 27 is the Feast day of George Herbert, priest and poet, who died in
1633. As part of the service, the Collect for the Feast will be prayed and
three texts of George Herbert will be sung including Come my Way by John
Sanders. There will also be a special setting by James MacMillan,
commissioned for this service, with the words, "If thou chance to find a new
house to thy mind, and build without thy cost, be good to the poor, as God
gives thee store, and then, my labour is not lost. Alleluia." One of
Archbishop William's own poems, I saw him standing, will be part of the
pennillion for welsh harp and soprano soloist.

During the ceremony there are actually two enthronements, one by the
Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Venerable Patrick Evans, who will seat the
Archbishop in the Diocesan throne and then the Very Revd Robert Willis, Dean
of Canterbury, will enthrone Archbishop Williams in the Chair of St
Augustine. The Church's great hymn of praise, Te Deum Laudamus, will be sung
to a setting in E major by English composer, Benjamin Britten, and there
will be a communal act of commitment following a text from the Methodist
Covenant Service to be led by Archbishop Rowan. The Archbishop will take his
oath whilst holding the Canterbury Gospels. These Gospels are thought to
have been written in Italy in the fifth or sixth century. They are
traditionally believed to have been presented by Pope Gregory the Great to
St Augustine for his mission to England. On the dissolution of St
Augustine's Monastery, the book was rescued by Dean Wootton who gave it to
Archbishop Parker. It was later bequeathed to Corpus Christi College,
Cambridge, where it has remained ever since.

The Dean of the Province, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, will also bless the
new Archbishop as will the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Steven Venner, who
oversees the vast amount of the Episcopal Ministry in the Diocese of
Canterbury. The congregation at the Enthronement Service includes personal
guests of Archbishop Rowan and Mrs Jane Williams and some members of the
Cathedral Congregation as well as Ecumenical and Inter-Faith guests. The
diocesan clergy will also be present. Hundreds of enquiries were made by
people from around the communion about attending the service; the
Cathedral's capacity at its maximum is 2500 persons.

On Sunday 2 March, Archbishop Rowan will preach in Canterbury at the 11am
Cathedral Eucharist and again at 3pm at a special Diocesan Eucharist and
Celebration of his new ministry. No tickets needed.

The Order of Service for the Enthronement is available online on the
Anglican Communion web site at, suitable
for downloading in programme form. Congregations are encouraged to use hymns
and prayers from the service in their own worship services. Some
congregations are gathering during the evening of the Enthronement to join
in prayer for the ministry of the new Archbishop and will use parts of the
service. The text of the Archbishop's sermon will also be available on the
Anglican Communion web site shortly following the conclusion of the service.
The service is expected to last two hours. It will be broadcast live on BBC
Radio 4 from 2:50pm and from 2:30pm on BCC2 Television.

A video of the Service will be available for purchase soon after March 1.
People interested in obtaining a copy should click on this link,, and fill in the pre order


For details about the 27th February broadcast, webcast and video
of the Enthronement of the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Most Revd Rowan D Williams, visit these web sites:

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