30 December 2013

97th Anniversary of One of the Last Celebrations of Christendom

You will hear more about World War I beginning soon, as 2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the war that finally killed off the remnants of Christendom.  Whether one marks the Protestant revolution, the French Revolution, or some other event as the beginning of the end, the final destruction of the Holy Roman/Austrian-Hungarian Empire was the death certificate moment.

As it happens, today marks the 97th Anniversary of the last coronation of the Hungarian Kingship-- in this case, Emperor Blessed Karl of Austria and Empress Zita were crowned King and Queen of Hungary in Budapest on December 30, 1916.  According to long tradition, the Emperor himself could not issue binding law in Hungary until he was crowned there according to the Hungarian custom.  

The photo above is from that joyous day.  Below is a summary of the ceremony, thanks to Wikipedia (so don't write your research papers based on it).  Please note how beautiful the idea and practice of a Catholic Monarchy are indicated by the ceremony itself.  

Like everything else Catholic, the concept is reviled today.  How fitting that the last Holy Roman Emperor should have been a saintly man, raised to the altars.  Blessed Karl of Austria, pray for us scattered orphans of Christendom!


The Hungarian coronation ritual closely follows the Roman ritual for the consecration and coronation of kings found in the Roman Pontifical....

The Archbishop asked the king three questions—if the king agreed to protect the holy faith, if he agreed to protect the holy Church and if he agreed to protect the kingdom—to each of which the king responded, "I will." The king then took the oath, "I, N., grant and promise in the sight of God and of the angels," etc. The Archbishop then said the prayer:
Almighty and everlasting God, Creator of all things, Commander of angels, King of kings and Lord of lords, who caused your faithful servant Abraham to triumph over his enemies, gave many victories to Moses and Joshua, the leaders of your people, exalted your humble servant David to the eminence of kingship, enriched Solomon with the ineffable gifts of wisdom and peace. Hear our humble prayers and multiply your blessings upon your servant, whom in prayerful devotion we consecrate our king; that he, being strengthened with the faith of Abraham, endowed with the meekness of Moses, armed with the courage of Joshua, exalted with the humility of David and distinguished with the wisdom of Solomon, may please you in all things and always walk without offense in the way of justice. May he nourish and teach, defend and instruct your Church and people and as a powerful king administer a vigorous regimen against all visible and invisible powers and, with your aid, restore their souls to the concord of true faith and peace; that, supported by the ready obedience and glorified by the due love of these, his people, he may by your mercy ascend to the position of his forefathers and, defended by the helmet of your protection, covered with your invincible shield and completely clothed with heavenly armour, he may in total victoriously triumph and by his [power] intimidate the unfaithful and bring peace to those who fight for you, through our Lord, who by the vigor of his Cross has destroyed Hell, overcame the Devil, ascended into heaven, in whom subsists all power, kingship and victory, who is the glory of the humble and the life and salvation of his people, he who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
The king then prostrated himself before the altar as the Litany of the Saints was sung. After this the Archbishop anointed the king on his right forearm and between his shoulders as he said the prayer:
God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was anointed by his Father with the oil of gladness above his fellows, through this present sacred anointing pour over your head the blessing of the Spirit Paraclete to penetrate into your innermost heart that you may receive invisible grace and that having justly governed a temporal kingdom, you may reign with him eternally, he who alone is without sin, the King of king, living and glorified with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Then the Mass for the day was begun with the Archbishop saying after the Collect for the day, the additional prayer, "God who reigns over all," etc. After the Gradual and Alleluia the king was invested with the Hungarian regalia. The king was first invested and girded with the Sword of St. Stephen with the formula:
Accept this sword through the hands of bishops, who unworthy, yet consecrated by the authority of the holy apostles, impart it to you by divine ordinance for the defence of the faith of the holy Church and remember the words of the psalmist, who prophesied, saying, "Gird yourself with your sword upon your thigh, O most mighty one, that by it you may exercise equity, powerfully destroying the growth of iniquity and protect protect the holy Church of God and his faithful people. Pursue false Christians, no less than the unfaithful, help and defend widows and orphans, restore those things which have fallen into decay and maintain those things thus restored, avenge injustice and confirm good dispositions, that doing this, you may be glorious in the triumph of justice and may reign forever with the Savior of the world, whose image you bear, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.
The king then brandished the sword three times. The king was then crowned with the Holy Crown as the Archbishop said the formula "Accept this royal crown," etc. Next the king was given the Scepter with the formula:
Accept the Rod of virtue and equity. Learn to respect the pious and to intimidate the proud; guide the straying; lend a hand to the fallen; repress the proud and raise the humble, that our Lord Jesus Christ may open to you the door, he who said of himself, "I am the Door, whoever enters by me, bu me shall be saved," and let he who is the Key of David and the Scepter of the House of Israel, be your helper, he who opens and no one may shut, who shuts and no one may open; who brings the captive out of prison, where he sits in darkness and the shadow of death, that in all things you may imitate him, of whom the Prophet David said, "Your seat, O God, endures forever; a rod of righteousness is the rod of your kingdom. You justice and hate iniquity, therefore, God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows," Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Then the Orb was placed into his left hand without any formula and the king was enthroned with the formula:
Be steadfast and hold fast to that place of which you have become heir by succession from your forefathers, now delegated to you by the authority of Almighty God and transmitted to you by us and all the bishops and servants of God and when you see the clergy draw near to the holy altar, remember to give them appropriate honor that the Mediator between God and humanity may confirm you in this royal position as the mediator between clergy and laity and that you may be able to reign with Jesus Christ, our Lord, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
...the Te Deum was then sung...

The most impressive part was when the sovereign in full regalia rode up an artificial hill constructed out of the soil of all parts of the kingdom on horseback. On top of the hill, the sovereign would point to the all four corners with the royal sword and swear to protect the kingdom and all its subjects. After that, the nobles and the subjects would hail their new sovereigns with cries of 'hurray' three times and paying homage.


Jane Chantal said...

How beautiful. Thanks, Timman.

X said...

A more important date this month might be the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Federal Reserve followed closely by the creation of the IRS, ending whatever remnant of democracy may have still been lurking in the American experiment. The Federal Reserve would close the noose which would enable the financing of WWI and the Russian Revolution, destroying the old order of power and making straight the way for the gods of finance.
So you see, as O'Brien might have said to Winston Smith, they got us along time ago.

Badger Catholic said...

God save the king!

Jerry Oropeza said...

I am always perplexed by you and your fascination with and trumpeting the glory of, the monarchcical system of government.
I gather that you are an attorney, by profession. Someone who is highly educated in the legal process of the U.S. . I am also assuming that you support the rule of law in this country. ( Am I assuming too much?)
Do you want the United States to be ruled by the monarchical system? If you do, where would the Royal line come from?

thetimman said...

I support the rule of law in every country.

As for how a Catholic Monarchy would ever be established in any country again, I think Our Lord or His Mother will have to make things clear.

JBQ said...

History is a great dose of reality. It allows us to look at from whence we came, where we are now, and where we are obviously going. If you take a look at current events in New York City with the new mayor being sworn in by Bill Clinton, you will see the dichotomy with this look at the Austrian past.