Rowan Williams: A busy man

The Archbishop of Canterbury has certainly been a busy man lately, officiating a much-anticipated royal wedding not quite a full week after Easter Sunday and the end of Lent and Holy Week.

Many of you likely watched the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, leading the royal couple in their wedding vows last Friday. The majestic service of Holy Matrimony was adapted from the English Book of Common Prayer of 1662 (very similar to Service of Christian Marriage II in The United Methodist Book of Worship), and offered us all a fine example of classic high-church Anglicanism. With all the much-publicized troubles that the Anglican Communion has had in recent years, it is nice to see a high profile display of Anglicanism doing what it does best: rich and stately liturgy, thoughtful teaching, and glorious choral music. Wesleyan Christians no doubt were gratified to hear Charles Wesley's great hymn "Love Divine all loves Excelling" resounding through the lofty Westminster Abbey just after the blessing.

In a British culture where both faith and marriage have been in decline in recent decades (and no doubt, the decline in marriage is related to the decline in Christian belief), one can only hope and pray that this inescapably visible Christian wedding ceremony may cause many British people to think through the meaning of their lives and relationships before the claims of the Christian faith in a serious way, while also being stirred in heart by the beautiful gifts Christian faith and spirituality have given the world. As I've said before, atheists do not build such buildings or compose such music simply to express their lack of belief in the God of Love. Certainly, Archbishop Williams, in a recent interview said that he hopes this very public marriage will strengthen the ideal and the desire for marriage among the British.

Video 1: The actual marriage rite alone

Video 2: The Full Ceremony

Perhaps somewhat less widely televised were the Holy Week lectures which the Archbishop has made a habit of giving during Holy Week, focusing on such themes as the Creed and the Life of Christ in St. Mark's Gospel in recent years. This year his lectures focused on Christian truth in C.S. Lewis' Narnia stories. Dr Williams explained his goal: “The Narnia books of C.S. Lewis continue to intrigue and inspire many, and the recent very successful films have shown that they still have wide appeal. Lewis certainly intended them to be vehicles of Christian teaching. But in an age less familiar with Christian images and ideas than his, how can we best draw out these themes?”

The Lecture titles are "Not a time Lion," "I only tell you your own story" and "Bigger inside than outside." Click here for links to transcripts and audio.

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Blogger Daniel McLain Hixon said...

On top of all that, he makes the time to write a letter to a six-year-old about "where God came from"


10:12 AM, May 02, 2011  

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