Prayer, a concert and a Mass of Thanksgiving, made for a very special Coronation Weekend at Nottingham Cathedral.
On the eve of the Coronation, Friday 5th May, hundreds of people gathered at Nottingham Cathedral for a special concert in honour of His Majesty King Charles III and the Queen Consort. The evening brought together civic, ecumenical and interfaith guests from across the city, county and diocese- including His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County Sir John Peace. This joyful musical celebration, marking our new Carolean reign, drew many people together to experience beautiful music and to enjoy vibrant community, all within the beautiful Cathedral Church of St Barnabas and with a dollop of ‘Last Night of the Proms’ vibes for good measure!
The evening opened with Handel’s stunning ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’ followed by members of Nottingham Cathedral Choir performing Handel’s Coronation Anthems, including the memorable ‘Zadok the Priest’- beautifully enhanced by The Helix Ensemble orchestra. Massed choirs, including our own children’s choirs, St Andrew’s with Castle Gate and children from St Teresa’s Aspley then finished the first half with the rousing, light-hearted and patriotic ‘Zadok Rules! Hallelujah!’ by Alexander Forbes L’Estrange.
A typical drizzly start to a Bank Holiday weekend, the rain miraculously stopped in time for the interval, enabling guests to enjoy a glass of fizz in the beautiful cathedral gardens. It also gave an opportunity for those present to learn more about the important work of Emmanuel House and the Friends of Nottingham Cathedral.
The second half began with Stanford’s Coronation Gloria in Bb, before the audience was invited to join in with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Old Hundredth Psalm. The combined children’s choirs then wowed the audience with two songs in French before a sweet rendition of ‘Charlie is My Darling’ in honour of the new King. The Cathedral’s new International Choir made its debut, dressed in Ghanaian fabrics, singing a hymn of praise entitled ‘Odomankoma’. Parry’s ‘Jerusalem’, complete with lively audience participation and ‘The Mountains Shall Bring Peace’ by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange then brought the formal part of the concert towards its close.
Mindful that the Coronation is an act of prayerful dedication before God, the evening concluded with prayers for His Majesty the King, the Queen Consort, the Royal Family and the Nation, led by Bishop Patrick McKinney. Those gathered then sang the National Anthem, followed by Auld Lang Syne, which spoke both to new beginnings and the importance of friendship, as this new chapter in our nation’s history begins. The evening was enjoyed by all, with many commenting it was a wonderful way to kickstart the Coronation Weekend! You can read the programme here.
Then on Sunday 7th May, Bishop Patrick celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for His Majesty the King and the Queen Consort. It was a busy weekend for the Cathedral Choir but they were out in full force to support this Mass, which concluded with the National Anthem. You can watch the Mass back here, just click on recordings. And you can see the order of service here.