Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian heritage and a practicing Hindu, is set to read from the biblical book of Colossians at the upcoming Coronation of King Charles III. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s office revealed that this is part of the official Liturgy for the religious ceremony at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
The tradition of British Prime Ministers giving readings at State occasions will be continued with Sunak’s reading, which is expected to resonate with the multi-faith theme being struck for the Christian ceremony. For the first time, members of other faith traditions will also play an active role in the service.
Lambeth Palace, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury – Reverend Justin Welby, announced that the Archbishop has selected a new Epistle for this Coronation, which will be Colossians 1:9-17. This passage has been chosen to reflect the theme of service to others and the loving rule of Christ over all people and all things, which runs through this Coronation Liturgy.
The decision to include members of other faith traditions in the service is seen as a reflection of the diversity of the United Kingdom and an effort to promote greater interfaith understanding and unity. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been a strong advocate for interfaith dialogue and has emphasized the importance of respect and cooperation between different religious communities.
The Coronation of King Charles III is expected to be a historic event, marking the beginning of a new era in the United Kingdom. The ceremony will be attended by a range of dignitaries and representatives from different sectors of society, including members of the royal family, political leaders, and religious leaders.
Sunak’s selection as the reader of the biblical passage is notable, given his background and religious affiliation. As a Hindu, he will be representing a different faith tradition in a predominantly Christian ceremony. However, his participation is seen as a positive step towards greater inclusivity and recognition of the diversity of the United Kingdom.
The reading from Colossians is also significant, as it emphasizes the importance of service and humility, values that are central to many religious traditions. The passage speaks of the supremacy of Christ over all things and the need to put others first, which are themes that resonate with many people, regardless of their religious beliefs.