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Not even liturgists are immune to Royal wedding fever

As the Royal wedding approaches the Church of England and the Church have prepared special prayers, but what should Will and Catherine be called?

By on Monday, 11 April 2011

Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton  PA

Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton PA

As Royal wedding fever grips the country, it seems that liturgists are not immune. The last time there was a wedding in the House of Windsor, I do not remember there being any special prayers composed for the occasion, but for the forthcoming celebration, the Church of England has published the following prayer:

God of all grace,
friend and companion,
look in favour on William and Catherine
and all who are made one in marriage.
In your love deepen their love
and strengthen their wills
to keep the promises they will make,
that they may continue
in life-long faithfulness to each other;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is adapted from Common Worship, and perhaps will not please all those who treasure the cadences of Cranmer. In fact it has the ring of the current translation of the Roman Missal about it: worthy, but hardly elevating. But it is nice to see that the prayer emphasises the indissolubility of marriage, and that it includes “all who are made one in marriage”, underlining that what the couple share with the rest of the population.

Despite the fact that you might consider a prayer for the Royal Wedding to be something that could be shared by all Christians, the Catholic Church has come up with its own version,
which, funnily enough, is more fervently royalist in tone than that of the Established Church.

Heavenly Father,
we ask your blessing
upon his Royal Highness, Prince William and Catherine
as they pledge their love for each other in marriage.
May your love unite them through their lives.
Grant them the strength to serve you, our country and the Commonwealth
with integrity and faithfulness.
Through Christ our Lord.

The prayer is more or less for the same thing as the Anglican prayer; but the Catholic prayer goes somewhat over the top in using the words “Royal Highness” which can be applied to William but not to Catherine until she is married. This creates a rather lopsided feel to the couple’s names. And if they are going to use his title, why not use hers, in other words call her “Miss Middleton”, which is her correct designation as her parents’ elder daughter? Or perhaps they thought this a little too old-fashioned? But in that case why use the words “His Royal Highness” and “Prince”?

The Anglicans settle, sensibly, in my view, for a simple “William and Catherine”. Incidentally, it is nice to see the bride being designated by her proper name, a name she shares with two great English Queens, Catherine of Aragon and Catherine of Braganza.

One other niggle: why does the text say “through their lives”? Shouldn’t that be “throughout their lives”?

It is still not clear at this stage what Miss Middleton will be called after her marriage. HRH Princess Catherine would have my vote, but I would not be surprised if it is something like HRH Princess William (which sounds frightful) or HRH The Duchess of some British county or city. Sussex, of all the vacant royal dukedoms, would be my first choice; I think Clarence, wherever that is, would be my last.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t give a monkey’s….

  • frater sejunctus

    When speaking to the congregation, use all the formal styles you like; when addressing God, human majesty and royal highness fall away, leaving Christian names the appropriate designation. After all, we pray for “Your servant, Elizabeth our Queen.”

  • Bwaj

    Perhaps you should read 1 St. Tim:2.1-2.

  • Bwaj

    Please can I ask your readers to offer a TRIDUUM or NOVENA of PRAYERS for HRH THE PRINCE WILLIAM and Ms. KATE MIDDLETON (HRH THE PRINCESS KATHERINE) and if possible include them in their Mass Intentions.

  • Anonymous

    …His Royal Highness is second in line to the throne: He wields no authority.

  • AgingPapist

    I very definitely prefer the Church of England’s version. Now, will the Anglophone bishops please have the CoE prepare new English translations for “Pell’s Folly”, the Roman Missal (3rd edition) as well?

  • Philip

    There is nothing to stop a new one being created (Anglesey?). Sussex has only been used once for a royal who was married illegally. Clarence is in Suffolk and was used for the last William who became king (though he did not expect to be).

  • Lamentabili Morris

    Does anyone care,apart from the gutter Press?

  • David

    He is second in line to the throne so I think the status of the wedding is a bit over the top although saying that a wedding is a happy occassion and should be celebrated so I’m really looking forward to the Royal Wedding. One funny thing though, I recently bought an official Royal Wedding Coin issues by the Royal Mint. Now is it me or does Harry look like he is scowling? The Daily Mail also picked up on this.

  • Bwaj

    If we have to pray for those in government (politicians) then we definitely have to pray for the Royal Family. Rmns:13.1-5 refers to kings (or queens) and princes. I believe in the Divine Right of Kings. I do not believe in any right of politicians.

  • Anonymous

    “HRH Princess Catherine would have my vote”

    She can’t be – she isn’t a princess in her own right, unless she were to be so created, and that is rather unlikely. Even Prince Philip, a Greek and Danish prince by birth, had to wait several years for personal princehood in this country to be conferred.

    Clarence is rather a fine title, I think. The honour of Clare, by the way, is the origin of the title.

  • Anonymous

    Anglesey already has a marquess of the Paget family.

  • Anonymous

    She is highly unlikely to be HRH the Princess Catherine, and certainly won’t be Katherine…

  • Anonymous

    The rightful king, maybe, which that Saxon woman who sits on the throne now certainly isn’t.

  • Ratbag

    There have been no Saxons as such on the throne since Harold, who preceded William the Conqueror.

    Queen Elizabeth II is technically from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. King George V changed it to the House of Windsor because of anti-German feelings amongst his subjects (particularly as Britain and the Allies were at war with Germany from 1914-1918).

    I have a feeling that, once William and Catherine are wed, that they will become their Royal Highnesses Duke and Duchess of something-or-other. When Charles becomes king, then William and Kate will become the Prince and Princess of Wales with all the trimmings…

  • Ratbag

    If the Queen does not give William and Catherine ducal titles (i.e. Duke and Duchess), then Catherine Middleton will be known as HRH Princess William – strange as that may seem…

    e.g. HRH Princess Michael of Kent is called Christina but her husband is HRH Prince Michael of Kent. They weren’t given a dukedom, earldom etc.

    I sincerely hope this is clear…

  • Anonymous

    I of course meant “Saxon” as in “Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha” rather than as “Anglo-Saxon” – if she were of the house of Egbert, she’d have a very good claim indeed. As it is, she hasn’t.

    The rightful King is the duke of Bavaria, and after him his niece the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Well, I do not see why she should not be created a Princess. Besides which, people did call the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, which was quite incorrect, but it does sound more natural, does it not?Clarence sounds nice enough but there have been some unfortunate precendents, not least the Clarence who was drowned in but of malmsley wine. And wasn’t prince Edward Victor a duke of Clarence?

  • Weary Convert

    This is nonsense. There is no foreigner who can claim to be “rightful KIng” of the UK. We have a constitutional monarchy and the ancestors of the Bavarian Royal family have long since been removed from the succession. Besides which, in the immediate ancestry of the Bavarians is an uncle-niece marriage which, in Great Britain, counts as illegal incest (although in the Catholic world, a dispensation was always available from the Papacy, for a suitable fee). Finally, the Royal Bavarians did of course fight against us especially in World War I when the then Crown Prince of Bavaria was a German Field Marshal and his army would have been responsible for thousands of British deaths.

  • Ratbag

    Albert Victor.

  • Ratbag

    Thanks for putting us straight on that, nytor.

    I’ll read your wikipedia link re the duke of Bavaria…

    I think the Tudors mucked things up a bit with the line of succession…Tony Robinson did a programme about it a couple of years ago.

    Weary Convert, almost ALL the rightful heirs to the Royal houses of Europe have a claim on each other’s thrones, including the British throne… and surviving members of the Russian House of Romanov.

  • Weary Convert

    By “claim” I obviously meant the possession of a realistic claim to the throne which respects the constitutional provisions of our country, Since we have a clear line of succession, there is nobody else, especially not a Bavarian (or after him, a Liechtensteiner) who can have any claim to the throne. Of course there will always be fantasists with a few supporters who will state tthat they are the rightful king, prince, emperor etc of wherever, but they are just an embarrassment to the actual monarchs and need to be ignored – like the numerous pseudo groups that claim to be the Order of Malta.

    PS Why do these replies not appear in the right order? There are presently responses coming befoe the the items to which they are responding. Can anyone explain?

  • DBMcGinnity

    You endeavour to espouse such piety in your writing, and in the same breath “you couldn’t give a monkeys”. Did you know that the actual slang phrase is “I couldn’t give a monkey’s f–k”. How can you be so vulgar and ungracious towards our Royal Family whilst pretending to be the fountain of knowledge and the pillar of virtue. May I remind you to read: Luke 18:11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.

  • Bwaj

    That is what you say. If Our Lord instructed early believers to obey monarchs who were Pagan then He definitely expects Catholics to obey the monarchy even if they are non-Catholic Christians. I don’t recognize the claims of those ‘Pretenders’ who claim we do not have a valid monarchy nor do I recognize those who wish to have a republic. French Republicanism, which spread to the American Colonies, came from anti-clerical, anti-Catholic and anti-monarchy Masons and illuminati. Washington himself was a Mason. The statue of liberty was given by the French Masons to the US masons after they spiritual treason against us (the War of Independence). Many of the symbols in US Congress are Masonic – America’s early bird symbol was a phoenix (a Masonic symbol) not the bald eagle. Read all about this in ‘Hope for the Wicked: the Master Plan to Rule the World’. The RC Church is not the only Church which holds the three Creeds so are the Orthodox and Old Catholic Churches, so do Lutherans, Anglicans and Methodists. The Council of Trent says anyone who says the baptism of a heretic, if that Baptism has been done as the Catholic Church intends when she baptizes, i.e. with water ‘”in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – if any Catholic says such a Baptism is invalid’ he / she who says it is anathema from the Catholic Church. – ‘Canons of the Council of Trent’, ‘Canons on Holy Baptism’, Canon 3 / Canon 4.

  • Bwaj

    Tony Robinson is a traitor. It is God Who decides who will be on the throne not him nor nytor.

  • Bwaj

    I agree with you that there is no valid claim from Bavaria – however, it is calumny invented by Protestant liars to say you can get a dispensation for a suitable fee.

  • Bwaj

    It matters little I have already an icon of Our Lady of Walsingham with the above sent to them to place them under her protection.

  • Bwaj

    You don’t spell Catherine Kate which is what she used to be called.