Last week I joined with two billion people around the world to watch the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. I can remember as a child watching the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana. There is just something about a royal wedding that is difficult to ignore (at least for women—my husband didn’t seem too interested!)
As it was very early in the U.S. when the wedding began, I only watched the latter part of the ceremony live. As the bishops gave their closing prayers, I was shocked at how unashamedly Christian the prayers were. Below are the closing prayers given by Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, and Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Chartres: Oh God of our fathers, bless these thy servants and sow the seed of eternal life in their hearts, that whatsoever in thy holy word, they shall profitably learn. They may, indeed, fulfill the same, that so obeying thy will, and always being in safety under thy protection. They may abide in thy love unto their lives' end, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.Although the words of the prayers are biblical, truthful, and beautiful, I wondered what they meant to those who offered the prayers, as well as to William, Kate, and others in England. It is well known that Christianity has severely declined in England. Christian churches are being converted into tattoo parlors, nightclubs, and visitor centers. Ironically, the prayers were offered in Westminster Abbey, the burial place of Charles Darwin. A search on our website for archbishop Rowan Williams reveals multiple articles concerning this very liberal leader of the Church of England.
Williams: Oh merciful Lord and heavenly father, by whose gracious gift mankind is increased, bestow we beseech thee upon these two persons the heritage and gift of children, and grants that they may see their children Christianly and virtuously brought up to thy praise and honor, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Chartres: Oh God, who has taught us that it should never be lawful to put asunder, those whom thou by matrimony had made one, and has consecrated the state of matrimony to such an excellent mystery, that in it is signified and represented the spiritual marriage and unity betwixt Christ and his church.
Look mercifully on these thy servants, that both this man may love his wife, according to thy word, as Christ did love his spouse the church, who gave himself for it, loving and cherishing it, even as his own flesh. And also, that this woman may be loving and amiable and faithful to her husband, and in all quietness, sobriety and peace, be a follower of holy and godly matrons.
Oh Lord, bless them both, and grant them to inherit thy everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Williams: Almighty God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, pour upon you the riches of his grace, sanctify and bless you, that ye may please him both in body and soul, and live together in holy love unto your lives' end.
Chartres: Let us pray. Almighty Lord and everlasting God, vouchsafe we beseech thee to direct, sanctify, and govern both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws and in the works of thy commandments, that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever. We may be preserved in body and soul, through our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
My prayer for the leaders of the Church of England, William, Kate, and all those in England is that they take the words of these prayers seriously and return to Christ and the truth and authority of His Word.