On 20 September 2022, the Revd Dr Matthew Salisbury, the Church of England National Liturgy & Worship Adviser, issued Prayers for the Sovereign and for the Royal Family and Prayers and Forms of Service for Accession Day. This missive from Lambeth Palace concerned the two Royal Warrants directed by King Charles III, which are summarized below.
Royal Warrant, 17 September 2022
This Warrant directed that prayers referring to the Sovereign and other members of the Royal Family should be amended and the amended form used thereafter:
- In any text pertaining to the Sovereign in any form of service authorized for use in the Church of England, ‘King’ should replace ‘Queen’, ‘Charles’ should replace ‘Elizabeth’, and instead to ‘Sovereign Lady’ the words ‘Sovereign Lord’ should be inserted, with the appropriate changes of pronouns.
- Every prayer for the Royal Family contained in any form of service authorized for use in the Church of England, instead of the words ‘Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Charles Prince of Wales’ the words ‘Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales’ should be inserted. The Prayer for the Royal Family now reads:
Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales and all the Royal Family : Endue them with thy Holy Spirit ; enrich them with thy heavenly grace ; prosper them with all happiness ; and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In a further Warrant, the King directed:
- the forms of prayer and service used on Accession Day as previously set out in the Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship for 6 February should now be used on the anniversary of his Accession, the eighth of September. Accession Day is a Commemoration in the Common Worship Calander, which now falls on this date (shared with the Lesser Festival, the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
Details of Festivals, Lesser Festivals, Special Occasions, and Holy week and Easter are in The Church’s Year.
On 16 September 2022, the Church Times noted that these and other changes were being addressed by the Cabinet Office in collaboration with the Church of England and were “well in hand”. It also observed that “the clergy are permitted under Canon B5 to use their discretion to make variations to the liturgy “according to particular circumstances”, although strictly this relates to “variations which are not of substantial importance”.
A spokesperson confirmed to the Church Times that there is no requirement to dissolve the General Synod; references to the Queen in Acts of Parliament, Measures of the General Synod, and the Canons are now automatically to be read as references to the King.