(London) Non-Christian faiths and the languages of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom will be included for the first time in a coronation ceremony for a British monarch, on the occasion of the coronation of Charles III, the services announced on Saturday. of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The new king, who has shown his desire to modernize his coronation, which will take place on Saturday May 6, will take the oath as is tradition in English, promising to “defend the Protestant faith” and protect the Church of England.
But, for the first time, representatives of the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist religions will play an active role during the ceremony.
Once the king is crowned, they will salute him saying that “as neighbors in faith we recognize the value of public service”, according to details released by the services of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who will preside. ceremony.
“We are united with people of all faiths and creeds in Thanksgiving and in service with you for the common good,” they will say again.
Members of the House of Lords (the upper house of Parliament) from religious minorities will also wear items without Christian significance, such as gold bracelets and the royal robe.
And Rishi Sunak, the UK’s first Hindu Prime Minister, will read from the Bible.
Charles is a devout believer but he also has a long-standing interest in other religions and has said in the past that he wants to defend all the faiths present among his compatriots and not only the Anglican religion, in a country where the population is much more different than 70 years ago when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.
Another first during the ceremony, Charles will pray aloud, in which he will ask God in particular that he may “be a blessing to all children, of all faiths and beliefs”.
According to the palace, the coronation must reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom and, for the first time, texts will be read in the other languages spoken in this country: Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.
Charles had already been the first Prince of Wales in centuries to learn Welsh, still spoken today by nearly 540,000 people.
“The coronation is first and foremost an act of Christian worship” but, “at the same time, the service contains new elements that reflect the diversity of our contemporary society,” Justin Welby said in a statement.