On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

A prayer for William and Kate

William and Kate

When Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Friday, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, will be waiting for them at the altar.

A few days ago, Williams, who will perform the ceremony, released a prayer that he suggested be offered up for the future King and Queen of England. England’s Catholic Church released a completely separate prayer.


And so the 400-year separation between England’s state church and Roman Catholicism comes to the forefront again. Royal family watchers are eying a 1701 Act of Parliament that could make William and Kate the next King and Queen of England – leapfrogging William’s father, Charles, Prince of Wales.

The 1701 Law of Settlement prohibits any Catholic or anyone married to a Catholic from becoming king. On April 9, 2005, in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, a Catholic.

The law was based on the idea that royal offspring raised as Catholics would be torn between loyalty to Rome and loyalty to Canterbury, the official seat of the Church of England.

Opinion polls suggest most Britons – still chaffing from Charles’ divorce from the late Princess Diana – would actually prefer to see William succeed Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.


Unlike America, Britain has no separation of church and state. The Church of England is the official state church. Parliament’s House of Lords includes 26 Lords Spiritual, all bishops in the Church of England.

The archbishop of canterbury

The Archbishop, appointed by Elizabeth in 2003, published the following suggested prayer for William and Kate:


“God of all grace, friend and companion, look in favour on William and Catherine and all who are made one in marriage. In your love deepen their love and strengthen their wills to keep the promises they will make, that they may continue in life-long faithfulness to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

 School children in the United Kingdom pray during classes. The Archbishop offered the following “Prayer for School Children Praying for the Royal Wedding.”

Dear Jesus, we pray for Prince William and Catherine Middleton as they get ready for their wedding day. Keep them safe, make them happy and help them to look after each other always. Amen.”


Charles and Diana's wedding

And for England’s 5.2 million Catholics, the Catholic Bishops Conference released the following “Prayer for the Royal Wedding.”

“Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon his Royal Highness, Prince William and Catherine as they pledge their love for each other in marriage. May your love unite them through their lives. Grant them the strength to serve you, our country and the Commonwealth with integrity and faithfulness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment dvanilla

    If I was praying for them I wouldn’t ask God His blessings upon his royal highness, prince William and Catherine. God is highness and Jesus is prince you can’t have them both ways. God is a jealous God, “thou should have no other Gods than Me saith the Lord.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    may they live a long life together with health and love.

  • http://RWCTC Jonathan N Gardiner

    Congratulation,to the Honourable couple on their wedding anouncement and wedding.
    Marriage is honourable in all,and the bed undefiled:but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.(Hebrews.13:4).
    A wife who are not willing to obey her husband in everything or not willing to include ,obey,in her marriage vows will be in for much trouble that only God himself will be able to deliver them from.

    Wives,submit yourselves unto your own husbands,as unto the Lord.
    For the husband is the head of the wife,even as Christ is the head of the church;and he is the savior of the body.
    Therefore,as the church is subject unto Christ,so let the wives be to their own husband in everything.(Ephesians.5:22-24).

    Wishing Prince Williams and his Bride a Blessed and fruitful marriage together in the Lord;and the only way they can accomplished this is to be obedient to God’s Holy and unfailing words.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    Gawd Kerby, do you SPECIALIZE in sanctimonious claptrap?

    • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

      Nah. I think I went through my sanctimonious claptrap stage while editing a couple of Christian magazines in the late 1980s. I’d already been through my mean-spirited cynicism stage while a newspaperman. Now I just go with wide-eyed wonderment.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bill

    Hey dvanilla. I don’t agrue about who’s highest? Whether US president and King/Queen of England? Apostle Paul said we ought to pray for “whatever government is”. So we pray for them anyway.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Jane guy

    The catholic prayer has a solemnity to it and a consecration of good government for the good of the entire order which the protestant prayers lack. It reflects a universal perspective on the role of good government and the state in human affairs divinely ordained to protect the natural laws and rights of all Englishmen. King Henry the Eighth violated centuries of understandings when he proclaimed himself to be Defender of the Faith, inaugurating a new humanistic faith which has failed England. What makes the crimes of Henry VIII peculiarly atrocious is the fact that the Catholic Church in England, discarded, plundered and persecuted, was once the Church of all the English since St Augustine dispatched by Pope Gregory the Great in A.D. 590 converted the inhabitants of the British Isles from heathenism. The English people may have forgotten that the Church in Rome did not sanction Henry’s divorce, that its devotees, fellow citizens, suffered from the apostasy of England from Catholicism through the secular Acts of Parliament, persecutions of Henry’s successors, Edward VI and Elizabeth, accusations of high treason, executions, savage persecution, bigotry and a reign of terror. The Church of England has since evolved into a secularized “state” where regardless of Anglican form: low, high, or broad, is still administered by human hands. It has became a distinct department of the civil service which, ironically, the Pope in this prayer still chooses to bless. The prayers of the Archbishop therefore seem shallow in comparison. The Church of England still does not speak with moral authority for unity of the faith. Pope Benedict’s prayer, however, transcends personality, nationality or geography. The universality of the Catholic Church with its ancient precepts and traditions is like a costly lamp hung in a side chapel of a vast cathedral increasing its illumination day by day despite rampant atheism throughout the country and the world. The Pope’s prayer, therefore, goes beyond a personal blessing upon the royal couple. It is a benediction for the entire country far more spiritually encompassing and illuminating than the other prayers sheding light on the relationship between church and state. It is a blessing upon all of the English people to to render to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s. This prayer reminds me that not that long ago the English people: heads of state and the English Parliamentarians alike, listened intently to the Pope’s appeal for a united Christendom in the face of the forces of evil on our planet.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jaw

    I don’t see what the big deal is about the wedding, they are just like any other man and woman getting married. In God eyes they are just peoeple. when will we wake up and stop idolizing people. God and his son Jesus are the only Royality that there is.
    It’s amazing how people flock to things like this and will watch this on television for hours,but will complain in sunday and wednesday night bible study if the preacher don’t get out on time.
    May God bless him and his marriage but again why are people making sucha big deal out of a wedding.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment gustave verdult

    Study the history of the church of England, it’s separation from the pope and the catholic faith, and learn to understand how Satan’s genius has succeeded in destroying the truth, and twisted the minds of the so called intellectuals who have lost their simplicity and their faith.

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