2016 Maundy Service
This year’s Maundy ceremony was held at St Georges Chapel, Windsor on the 24th March 2016. The last time that the Maundy Service was held at St Georges Chapel was in 1959.
Marlene and her husband WBro Alan Armitage from Stanley Lodge No 2917 attended the ceremony with Marlene being one of only 90 men and 90 women selected to receive Maundy Money – each coin representing one of the Monarch’s years. The Queen handed two purses – one white and one red – to each person during a procession of the Chapel, whilst the choir sang.
The Eastern Area APGM, WBro Peter Hewitt and APGP, EComp Len Hayes visited Marlene and Alan at their home to congratulate them and reflect on a moving ceremony held on Maundy Thursday.
Marlene said: “I was delighted and honoured to receive a letter from Buckingham Palace telling me that our Diocesan Bishop, David, had put my name forward to receive Maundy Money this year. It was a bigger delight to be told that this would be held in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle followed by a reception in the State Apartments. I could also take a companion with me and, of course, that was Alan. I wrote to them to give them the information they needed regarding my qualification for the nomination by our Bishop.
This was that I had been a member of the Church of England all my life and worshipped at the same church of St. Mary’s with St Peter in Oldham, commonly known as Oldham Parish Church. In the church I have been a Sunday School Teacher, a member of the choir, on the Parochial Church Council for a number of years and now one of the 4 Churchwardens which position I have held for the past 6 years.
I have been on the Bishop’s Council, and currently on the Diocesan Synod and the Board of Education, and made a Lay Canon of the Cathedral. The Mothers’ Union in the church has been well supported and I have been its Branch Leader on 3 occasions. Following this I became a Trustee on the main M.U. Board in London, and was the first member to be responsible for overseeing the secretarial and financial business for the M.U. Worldwide. I also said that the M.U. was delighted to have Her Majesty as our Patron.
For Community work I have been a School Governor in the same school for 42 years this coming June, and its chairman for 14 years. I was appointed a Magistrate for the Oldham Bench and served in that position for 31 years. During that time I was appointed to the Greater Manchester Courts Committee for a period of 6 years, which is the longest time anyone could serve.”
And if that wasn’t enough, Marlene has just taken over the position of Secretary for the Oldham District Fellowship. Marlene and Alan can be seen with the Maundy Money and being presented with flowers by WBro Peter Hewitt, APGM and EComp Len Hayes, APGP at their home in Chadderton.
The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which has its origin in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples on the day before Good Friday.
The commandment (also known as a ‘mandatum’ from which the word Maundy is derived) ‘that ye love one another’ (John XIII 34) is still recalled regularly by Christian churches throughout the world. The ceremony of washing the feet of the poor which was accompanied by gifts of food and clothing can be traced back to the fourth century.
It seems to have been the custom as early as the thirteenth century for members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies, to distribute money and gifts, and to recall Christ’s simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor.
Henry IV began the practice of relating the number of recipients of gifts to the sovereign’s age, and as it became the custom of the sovereign to perform the ceremony, the event became known as the Royal Maundy.
© 2016, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.