Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Praying for The Queen

I was pleased to see the following announcement from the Bishops of England and Wales:

The Bishops’ Conference requests that on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday 3 June 2012, each parish will celebrate a Mass with prayers to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. During this Mass, the first reading is replaced by 1 Kings 3:11–14 and the Prayer for the Queen, which has been approved by the Bishops, is used after the Post Communion Prayer and before the Final Blessing.

Prayer for the Queen

V. O Lord, save Elizabeth, our Queen.
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 Elizabeth, our Queen,
who, by your providence has received the governance of this realm,
may continue to grow in every virtue,
that, imbued with your heavenly grace,
she may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil
and, being blessed with your favour
may, with her 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.

Image: LMS Chairman blog

As the LMS Chairman has pointed out the Domine salvum /salvam fac* has been prayed for the monarch since at least 1815. It was dropped in 1964, the Bishops requesting that prayers for ther Sovereign be included in the Bidding prayers instead - though one suspects that, as in the Church of England, this is more observed in the breach than in the observance.

Under the Use of Sarum the King's name was entered in the Canon after that of the Pope and Bishop ( given there was a silent recitation of the Canon that could have avoided problems in the Wars of the Roses) and the King's name was prominent in the Canon as translated in the 1549 Prayer Book, but it disappeared in 1552 and subsequent reissues. On the continent the use of the monarch's name in the canon also survived in use. This is surely a point where the Ordinarite can set a good example or maintain the Book of Common Prayer state prayers.

Reviving the Domine salvam fac for the Jubilee is fine, but why should not parishes say it as a devotion every Sunday? Why indeed should not the laity recite it as a private devotion? I do - and have done for a while.

* Salvum for a King, salvam for a Queen


Rupert o.praem. said...

Dear John,

In the Premonstratensian missal the king's name was always preserved. There is a Roman missal in the sacristy here in the Belgian abbey which I am studying in which has the names of the kings of the Belgians written in in hand. Evidently a tradition we were keen to preserve!

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...