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Author Topic: Haile Selassie I Coronation  (Read 5938 times)

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Haile Selassie I Coronation
« on: December 29, 2005, 02:50:13 AM »

The invited foreign envoys begin to arrive around October 18

H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, envoy of H.M. the King of England;
H.R.H. the Prince of Udine, envoy of H.M. the King of Italy; H.E. M. Gerard, envoy of H.M. the King of the Belgians;
H.E. Baron H. K. C. Bildt, envoy of H.M. the King of Sweden;
H.E. Jonkheer Hendrik Maurits van Haersma de With, envoy of H.M, the Queen of the Netherlands;
H.E. M. Isaburo Yoshida, envoy of H.M. the Emperor of Japan;
H.E. Muhammad Tawfiq Nasim Pasha, envoy of H.M. the King of Egypt;
H.E. Marshal Franchet d'Esperey, envoy of the French Republic;
H.E. Mr. H. M. Jacoby, envoy of the U.S.A.;
H.E. Baron von Waldthausen, envoy of the German Republic;
H.E. Count P. Metaxa, envoy of the Greek Republic;
H.E. Muhittin Pasha, envoy of the Turkish Republic;
H.E. Count Dzieduszycki,9 envoy of the Polish Republic.

Forty nine bishops and priests of this ancient Christian country, in groups of seven, have held place for seven days and nights in the seven corners of the National Cathedral to chant without ceasing nine Psalms of David.

On November 1, the eve of the coronation, the Emperor inaugurates a statue of the great Menelik II. The honor of unveiling goes to the Duke of Gloucester, the envoy of the King of England. On this day, towards evening, the Bajerond (treasurer) places the Imperial state vestments and the crown, the orb, the Imperial sceptre, the sword, and the diamond ring as well as the Empress's state robes and crown and diamond ring on a chariot and takes it in a great parade to the royal church of St. George where he consignes it to the Abuna and where it remains all night to be prayed over. The cathedral of St. George is a magnificent structure built during the reign of Menelik II and was the scene of the crowning of Empress Zawditu in 1916. His imperial Majesty and His family enter the church at midnight for a night of prayer.

On Sunday, November 2, 1930 at dawn, all in Addis Ababa began to prepare for the impressive event of the morning. The forty nine bishops and priests Itinue to chant the Psalms of David and are now joined by hundreds of people. In front of the Coronation Platform of the Emperor and Empress, five full-grown lions with great golden manes snarled and roared, drawing fearful looks from some, like Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester, third son of George V.

More than 700 guests and officials are in attendance to witness this ancient Hebraic-Christian coronation ceremony. Chieftains walked with headgear made of lions' manes interlaced with gold and embroidered with velvet.  They are interspersed among the foreign guests and dignitaries, each according to rank and station. Hundreds of priests join the original group, resplendent in their colorful ceremonial robes, bearing crosses and censers.

The Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and his Empress have just completed a night of prayer and devotion at the Most High altar within. Through the early morning the chanting of praises Itinues, accompanied by the dancing of the priests with their great pulsating drums, the whole suggestive of the Ancient Jewish rites which were in use at the time of King David when they danced before the Ark of the Covenant.

Proceeded by waving incense burners, TafarI Makonnen, Negus Negast (King of Kings), Conquering Lion of Judah and the Elect of God, attired in white silk communion robes, entered the ceremonial hall with an escort of aides and clergy, and took his place upon the Throne. The thrilling but solemn silence gently breaks to the throaty voice of his holiness the Abuna Qerillos:

Ye princes and ministers, ye nobles and chiefs of the army, ye soldiers and people of Ethiopia, and ye doctors and chiefs of the clergy, ye professors and priests, look ye upon our Emperor Haile Selassie the First, descended from the dynasty of Menelik the First, who was born of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, a dynasty perpetuated without interruption from the time of King Sehale to our times.

Before the Ser'ata Negs (the Royal Ritual) the Archbishop, Abuna Qerillos, approached with a gospel bound in gold and asked the Emporer to complete the following words of the oath:

(1) That We should strengthen the orthodox faith which had remained steadfast in Ethiopia from the days of the holy kings Abreha and Asbeha and that We should keep, without disturbance, the laws and ordinances which the orthodox Church has laid down.

(2) That in all We are doing, by Our authority and Our power, to the people in the Imperial realm of Ethiopia We should act with consideration for the interests of the people according to law as well as with kindness and with patience.

(3) That We would permanently maintain the laws We had established after submitting them, of Our own free will, to the Council for advice and that We would safeguard the entire Ethiopian realm and people in accordance with established law and the ordinances of the Council.

(4) That We would assist, by Our good will and authority, the establishment of schools at which secular and spiritual education would be developed in Ethiopia and in which the gospels would be preached.

Haile Selassie I completes the swearing-in ceremony, affirming His willingness to maintain all that is laid down above and He appends His signature to it.



  • Guest
Re: Haile Selassie I Coronation
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2005, 02:51:35 AM »


Next, the Abuna recites the prayer of the covenant, after which the choir with the drum and harp accompaniment chants the 48th Psalm. Chanting and prayers to the God of Gods rise from a multitude of priestly throats and reverberate from the lofty ceiling of the Cathedral.

Psalm 48
[1] Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
[2] Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

[3] God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
[4] For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.
[5] They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.
[6] Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
[7] Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
[8] As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.
[9] We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
[10] According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
[11] Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
[12] Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
[13] Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
[14] For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

The abbots from various monasteries bring the royal articles one by one and hand them to the six bishops who were assigned by the Archbishop to the coronation service.  Of these bishops five were Ethiopians. The sixth was Abuna Yosab who had come from Egypt as the envoy of the Patriarch of Alexandria, Abuna Yohannes, to partake in the joy of Haile Selassie I's coronation and to convey his blessing.  The bishops pass the articles to the Abuna to be blessed. The objects are returned to the respective bishops who then present them to His Imperial Majesty with the Solemn Rites and Blessings of the High Ethiopian clergy. His Imperial Majesty is presented with Seven Ornaments. He receives the Gold-Embroidered Scarlet Robes and is then vested with a jeweled gold sword along with this exhortation:

May you be enabled with this sword to punish the wicked and protect the righteous.

This is followed with the bestowal of the Imperial Scepter of Ivory and Gold, and the Golden Orb (globe), a Diamond Encrusted Ring, two Gold Filigree Lances and finally,  anointing His head with oil, the Abuna places upon H.I.M. the Triple Crown. The Archbishop concludes the regal anointing with the words:

Following ancient customs, as when Samuel anointed David, and Zadok and Nathan anointed Solomon, the Abuna anointed His Majesty's head with oil. Seven differently scented ointments of ancient prescription are received on the Imperial head, brow, and shoulders. The Abuna lifts up high the Golden Crown adorned with sapphires, rubies and diamonds and declares:

God has anointed thee to rule with Justice.

He then places the Triple Crown on the head of Haile Selassie I and says:

Gird thy sword upon thy loins, yet rule in Peace! May the Lord God, supreme ruler of men, bless and glorify thy reign, and may He ever keep thee and thy consort in His bosom."

He concludes with the words:

That God may make this Crown a Crown of sanctity and glory. That, by the grace and the blessings which we have given, you may have an Unshaken Faith and a Pure Heart, in order that you may inherit the Crown Eternal. So be it.

Thus was crowned Ras Tafari Makonnen, Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of Judah, the Elect of God, the Light of the World, Power of Trinity I, Emperor of Ethiopia.



  • Guest
Re: Haile Selassie I Coronation
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2005, 02:52:12 AM »


At this moment the heir to the throne, H.H. Asfa Wassan, removes the coronet from his head and kneels before Haile Selassie I, the Archbishop approaches with a Gospel and asks him to take the following oath:

(1) that he would honour his father with his whole heart and be obedient to him;

(2) that he would not seek, in association with evil men, what We had not given him of Our own will;

(3) that he would keep the laws which We had established after referring them, of Our own free will, to the Council for advice.

After he had sworn to fulfil this, he appends his signature to it.

The Empress and her ladies of honor then enter the sanctuary from the right side and she takes her throne to the right of His Majesty for her coronation. The procedure for the enthronement of the Empress is today very different from what it used to be previously. According to historical study of the earlier practice, the Empress was not anointed with the oil of kingship on the grounds that she did not share in rulership with the Emperor. The crown, being merely symbolic, was very small. It was in the palace that the Emperor placed the crown on her head and not in church. This would occur on the third day, for it was not permitted for her to be crowned on the same day as the Emperor. But now it was determined after consultation and was accordingly carried out, that, except for the regal anointing, the Archbishop should place the crown on her and put the diamond ring on her finger and that this should be on the same day jointly with the coronation of the Emperor.

The final part of the ceremony is a tour of the cathedral by their Imperial Majesties, escorted by the bishops and priests, the princes and dignitaries, assistants and others, carrying palm branches and chanting, "Blessed be the King of Israel" The procession continues onto the Addis Ababa streets, where throngs of well wishers wildly cheer the Royal Family. The event draws to a close with Their Majesties visiting the other churches in the city to give thanks and praise.


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