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Harry & Meghan 8: Time's Most Insufferable


nelliebelle1197
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I completely agree that religion has very little to do with Harry’s alleged wish to have Lili christened.  If they were motivated by religion, they would have had her baptized already at whatever church they were attending in California. (My understanding is they are not attending any.)  Christening is an important ritual for believers and they would not delay it unnecessarily. 

(My husband, a cradle Episcopalian, is very sad that his daughters have not chosen to baptize their kids.  He feels they are depriving the kids of a blessing. He doesn’t tell them, but it bothers him.)

I agree that Harry’s interest in christening Lili at Windsor would be grounded in social custom.  He wants Lili to have the same christening as Archie and he himself did.  He may be aware of the centuries of tradition and want Lili to have some share in that.  I don’t fault him at all for this. (I am big on rituals and traditions as outward expression of inner feelings.) 

The reason that one might fault the Sussexes for wanting to christen Lili at Windsor is not that their motivation is not religious but more “cultural” and “familial” but that they may actually be mostly motivated by wanting to remind the world of their royal standing.

We will have to wait and see, but I hope that if they do not get the Windsor christening they want they won’t start a narrative of how poor Lilibet was rejected by the royal family because she wasn’t white or something like that.

 

 

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IF Harry and Meghan do wind up getting Lilibet christened at Windsor, I think there will definitely be photos with Prince Charles and the Cambridge clan. The royal family has perfected the heart of smiling and playing nice when they'd rather be anywhere else. 

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3 hours ago, viii said:

IF Harry and Meghan do wind up getting Lilibet christened at Windsor, I think there will definitely be photos with Prince Charles and the Cambridge clan. The royal family has perfected the heart of smiling and playing nice when they'd rather be anywhere else. 

I agree. And I think PC and PW should try hard to make an appearance happen if it will take place in the US. I think they will rekindle at one point, even if H&M will never step in official royal roles again. It would be a shame to miss an occasion like that due to a rift right now. And it will only deepen any grudge they hold. I do hope the Windsors (like many families) realise this and play nice and civilised at big family events. H&M children might get their desired titles later (or maybe never) but they absolutely can and should have warm family relationships with their grandfather, uncle, aunt and cousins. IF H&M decide they want to cut off his family completely it’s a different story. That’s their prerogative. But I would like to believe that in 5 years time the relationships are more amicable again.

Edited by just_ordinary
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10 hours ago, just_ordinary said:

I agree. And I think PC and PW should try hard to make an appearance happen if it will take place in the US. I think they will rekindle at one point, even if H&M will never step in official royal roles again. It would be a shame to miss an occasion like that due to a rift right now. And it will only deepen any grudge they hold. I do hope the Windsors (like many families) realise this and play nice and civilised at big family events. H&M children might get their desired titles later (or maybe never) but they absolutely can and should have warm family relationships with their grandfather, uncle, aunt and cousins. IF H&M decide they want to cut off his family completely it’s a different story. That’s their prerogative. But I would like to believe that in 5 years time the relationships are more amicable again.

It is very unlikely that Prince Charles and Prince William could just fly to the US for a christening.  They have plenty of other work, and there would be the question of who should bear the cost of their security, transportation, etc.  if they were traveling purely on family business.

FWIW, I have read speculation that Michael Curry (the Episcopal Presiding Bishop) could christen Lilibet in the US, and I have to say that if he does I will be very disappointed in him.  

It is one thing for him to have gone to England to speak at Meghan and Harry’s wedding.  That was something of an international event, and as the chief American bishop in the Anglican Communion, it was appropriate for him to be part of the wedding of a  American into the British royal family.

But Harry and Meghan are private citizens in the US.  They have no claim on the presiding bishop.  They aren’t involved in any major Episcopal charities or initiatives.  They aren’t even, as far as we know, regular church-goers.

So if Meghan and Harry have anything other than a quiet christening with a parish priest, I think that would be an undue privilege. (Incidentally, a typical Episcopalian christening takes place during a regular service and may include more than one child being christened at the same time.  I could grant that for security reasons the Sussexes might get a private christening of their daughter, but not that they would get a bishop to perform the ceremony.)

Back to the family question, if they can manage a quiet christening at Windsor when the Sussexes next visit the UK, then definitely Prince Charles and Prince William should be present.  Right now, however, it doesn’t seem likely.

The time it should have happened was around now. The Sussexes could have flown in for the dinner honoring Diana and spent a week or so at Frogmore cottage from which they could visit the queen and have a quiet, very private, christening with godparents, some immediate family members and a priest.

That it didn’t happen now suggests it may not happen at all.

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@EmCatlyn I disagree on both accounts. PC and PW have been able to travel to weddings and christening all over the world, in royal and private capacity. Security and travel were no problem for the private occasions. Neither was their work schedule. Even when their attendance was public knowledge before the date. I think if H&M don’t drum up their being there and give enough time frame to schedule it in, they are perfectly able to make it happen if they want to. And I think they should. L deserve it, and they won’t break a leg to take the high road (is that the right phrase??).

I also think if Bishop Curry wants to christen Lili that’s absolutely fine. It’s his decision really. They cannot make him, but I am pretty sure he is the only pastor they personally know in the US. I don’t find it weird to ask a priest/pastor you have at least some relationship with to perform the christening instead of a stranger. And many are very willing and happy to accompany the religious future of couples/families and feel honoured to be asked. It sounds pretty normal to me, but maybe because here it happens very frequently that people ask the person that officiated their own christening/confirmation to do the wedding or christening if they are not unreasonable far away. It’s not as if the christening gets more special because he is a bishop. Most people in Europe have no involvement with their church at all. They show up for Christmas and maybe Easter and very few in between. Most don’t even know their pastors name (or if their church is Unitarian/Lutheran/Reformed)- easier in the UK where CoE would probably be the default, but I wonder if anyone would truly notice the difference. H and I assume M as well are cultural Christians. So there is no surprise they are not involved in any churches. That doesn’t mean that cannot christen their child into one though. If the church doesn’t mean, why should we? That’s pretty much standard. If you just want to do it for the cultural aspect it’s also not that important if it’s Lutheran, CoE or Episcopalian or whatever. So, I think it’s fine. Christen wherever you want, choose the godparents you want and ask whoever you want to officiate. If they make a massive spectacle out of it I would raise eyebrows but I doubt it. They try to keep to children pretty hidden. And I am sure if they don’t get the HMTQ with L picture it will stay that way for a bit longer. 

Edited by just_ordinary
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10 hours ago, EmCatlyn said:

It is very unlikely that Prince Charles and Prince William could just fly to the US for a christening.  They have plenty of other work, and there would be the question of who should bear the cost of their security, transportation, etc.  if they were traveling purely on family business.

What? The royal family travels all the time for personal reasons. They managed to go to France for James Middleton's wedding just fine, why wouldn't they be able to go to the US for Lili's christening? They literally travel all over the world for holidays all the damn time. 

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1 hour ago, viii said:

What? The royal family travels all the time for personal reasons. They managed to go to France for James Middleton's wedding just fine, why wouldn't they be able to go to the US for Lili's christening? They literally travel all over the world for holidays all the damn time. 

Christenings are not the same as weddings and funerals.  People don’t make such a big deal of them.  And traveling to California is a lot more complicated and time-consuming than traveling somewhere in Europe.   So I think it is very unlikely any of the senior royals would make the trip — but I could be wrong. 😉

9 hours ago, just_ordinary said:

….

I also think if Bishop Curry wants to christen Lili that’s absolutely fine. It’s his decision really. They cannot make him, but I am pretty sure he is the only pastor they personally know in the US. I don’t find it weird to ask a priest/pastor you have at least some relationship with to perform the christening instead of a stranger. And many are very willing and happy to accompany the religious future of couples/families and feel honoured to be asked. It sounds pretty normal to me, but maybe because here it happens very frequently that people ask the person that officiated their own christening/confirmation to do the wedding or christening if they are not unreasonable far away.   ….

Bishop Curry is not, as far as I know, a personal friend.  And he is a busy man.   Many American Episcopalians would be shocked if the Bishop made a special trip to baptize their kid when he doesn’t have time to come to this or that event in their parish.

The logical person to christen Lili is a priest that they know in California.   But we will see.  The bishop can do what he wants.

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1 hour ago, EmCatlyn said:

Christenings are not the same as weddings and funerals.  People don’t make such a big deal of them.  And traveling to California is a lot more complicated and time-consuming than traveling somewhere in Europe.   So I think it is very unlikely any of the senior royals would make the trip — but I could be wrong. 

They literally travel all over the world for holidays. They can easily go to the US for Lili's christening without it being a huge deal. 

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I don't see an issue with the same guy who married them christening their child (it actually seems like a pretty nice touch). 

Not sure I can see Harry's family flying in. A trip to the US is a lot more arduous than one to France, and that's assuming the US keeps to its promise to relax the travel rules in November. Less tiresome when you can go in by private jet, but I'm not sure William wants the optics of that for visiting Harry, considering how much criticism the latter has copped for them. 

The fact that Harry and Meghan are clearly filming  *something* also means the royals might be wary of any events where they control the venue (I wouldn't expect the Sussexes to commercialise their daughter's christening, but I think interactions with them are being carefully thought through).

I think Charles wouldn't shun his granddaughter's christening. But the Cambridges don't have much reason to smile for the camera unless things thaw significantly. 

Everyone knows they've fallen out, so there's no need to pretend. The two times William has appeared with Harry since the interview were both about honouring a separate older relative. William by all accounts was furious with Meghan even before the interview, and then she publicly brought Kate into things which he was apparently enraged over. 

Not sure he'd be going out of his way to play happy families with her now, especially as the Sussexes have a book they're holding back until after the Queen's death. 

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True, weddings and funerals are a bit more high profile. But I would argue that the wedding of your (ex girl-)friend in South Africa is not as important as your niece’s christening. A niece you never had the chance to meet in person. Is it harder than travelling Europe? Sure, but let’s be honest: They can hop on a chartered private jet and basically be back and forth in 48h if they wanted to and their schedule is that tight. They managed just fine for their holidays for years. They have a lot of privileges going for them. Same is true for H&M, but in that particular case it’s their decision where to do it and guests are the ones that follow (and I think all their guests have the power and money to make a trip for it happen). Might they hold it in the US out of a petulant whim? Or to test his family (in a: are we important enough for you to come see us way)? Maybe? Probably? But in this case I think PW and PC would do good to grin and bear it. For future of their relationship and PR wise. 
 

Bishop Curry might not be a personal friend (even though my definition of friend would exclude 90% of their so called friends) but as far as I am aware the only clergy person in the US both have some connection to. And iIrc he loved the stage that their wedding provided for him, so I can totally see him doing them a favour and then talking about it. It will be a private service, so I am not even sure it will be performed in a church or chapel. For all we know it might be in their backyard. Three days before PC and PW arrive.

Edited by just_ordinary
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57 minutes ago, viii said:

They literally travel all over the world for holidays. They can easily go to the US for Lili's christening without it being a huge deal. 

They are, of course, able to do so if they wish.  At this point I see "scheduling conflicts"occurring.  I don't think very many in the BRF are going to go out of their way to accommodate Harry and Meghan at this point.  

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I don't think they are currently inclined to go, with everything that's going on between them. 

Removing the rift though, there is literally zero reason why they wouldn't be able to go to the US for an event like the christening. That's more what I was meaning. 

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For what it’s worth, Bishop Curry did not marry Meghan and Harry.  The Archbishop of Canterbury did.  Michael Curry  spoke at the wedding, but the ceremony was performed by the Archbishop. (The same guy who had to clarify that he did not marry H & M privately three days before the public ceremony,)

Since money and celebrity “talk,” maybe Bishop Curry would be happy to go to California to christen Lili.  However, as an Episcopalian, I wouldn’t like it, and most Episcopalians I know would not either.  The feeling is that the presiding bishop’s time is too valuable to perform christenings for ordinary churchgoers.  (My husband and I would not dream of asking the regional bishop to christen our granddaughter even though we know him casually— better than H & M know Curry—and we are regular church goers.)

Anyway, I tend to agree that whether it is easy or hard for some of the royals to come to the US for Lili’s christening, it is very unlikely that they will.  Doing so would give more importance to the event than I think anyone other than Meghan and Harry would want to give it.

I think a quiet, private christening at Windsor would have been logical, especially if they observed the same degree of privacy/secrecy that they observed for Archie.  If the royal family has been unwilling to “work with” Harry and Meghan on a christening in the UK, then it’s most unlikely Charles (much less William) will fly half-way across the world to attend Lili’s christening. 

 

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@EmCatlyn That’s an interesting point you make about the feeling of Episcopalians thinking that the presiding bishops time is too valuable too christen an ordinary (so basically any) child that’s not part of his own congregation (or at all?). I find it hard to wrap my head around that, but my religious background is very different. I come from a mindset that every act like that, preaching to your congregation, christening, weddings, funerals…. so acts on the people, are THE most important part of his role. I don’t know what his weekly schedule is, but to me, skipping some administrative work or some low profile speech in order to perform a religious ceremony- especially if it means welcoming or bidding farewell to someone and trying to help/support the grieves. So a bishops time being too valuable for ordinary church goers sounds pretty diametral to the bible? I mean, I agree that H&M are, as far as we know, are most definitely not churchgoers at all. They might follow via online if he offers something like that though, who knows. But I highly doubt they do. So I would get outrage about making a special effort for cherry pickers while feeling the ordinary church goer is not valuable enough. That’s a criticism I absolutely get behind. 
I also agree the BRF won’t show up for a christening in the US. I just wanted to clarify this. I think they should but the chances are slim to non existent.

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2 hours ago, just_ordinary said:

preaching to your congregation, christening, weddings, funerals…. so acts on the people, are THE most important part of his role.

Bishop Curry is the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopalian Church, which is essentially the current head of it. While I would agree that his congregation (which is currently essentially all Episcopalians) would like him to be available for sermons, weddings, christenings, funerals etc. (and he probably would like to do more of it himself) he is undoubtedly fairly busy with the internal workings and administration of the church (and politics, always politics) in the same way that the Archbishop of Canterbury is, the same way that Pope Francis is. It's a hierarchical church, the ceremonial and spiritual needs of the congregations are supposed to be predominantly attended to by their parish priests. His connection with H&M may well mean that he'd be thrilled to christen Lilibet, but of all their schedules I suspect his is one of the busiest.

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Before my particular Church broke away from mainstream Episcopate to become Anglican I was confirmed by my local Bishop and He often comes  to do Regular Baptisms as well. Granted this could be my home church was the acting Cathedral of the diocese. 

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2 hours ago, just_ordinary said:

@EmCatlyn That’s an interesting point you make about the feeling of Episcopalians thinking that the presiding bishops time is too valuable too christen an ordinary (so basically any) child that’s not part of his own congregation (or at all?). I find it hard to wrap my head around that, but my religious background is very different. I come from a mindset that every act like that, preaching to your congregation, christening, weddings, funerals…. so acts on the people, are THE most important part of his role. I don’t know what his weekly schedule is, but to me, skipping some administrative work or some low profile speech in order to perform a religious ceremony- especially if it means welcoming or bidding farewell to someone and trying to help/support the grieves. So a bishops time being too valuable for ordinary church goers sounds pretty diametral to the bible?  [snipped]

If you asked a bishop, he would agree that pastoral acts are the center of his role.  Realistically, however, a bishop does not have time to marry, bury and christen everyone who asks. Private ceremonies take up time that could be spent leading a religious service for a whole congregation, or advocating for a cause, or writing a sermon that will be heard by many.  (That’s aside from the many other duties of a bishop.)

In the Episcopal church that I know, baptism/christening is not usually a private ceremony.  Infants are baptized during a regular church service.  Sometimes two or more families will have their children baptized at the same time.  The congregation is wanted to be part of the ceremony because the christening marks the welcoming of the child into the Christian community, and the congregation represents that community.

In our diocese, the bishop visits a different congregation every Sunday, and the people ready for confirmation are presented and confirmed during one of those visits. He may baptize during one of these visits, but it’s always part of a service before the congregation (no private christening).

 Usually if a bishop is going to perform a wedding or funeral it is because he has a special pastoral connection with them or they are important in some way.  Otherwise people get married and buried by priests and canons (priests who work with the bishop and/or the cathedral).

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US is like the Archbishop of Canterbury.  He leads all the bishops in the country.  He has, as others have pointed out, a very busy schedule, and if he were to rearrange that schedule to fly to California for no other purpose than a private christening, then some Episcopalians (who indirectly pay his salary) might question what Meghan and Harry had done to deserve this special attention.  I certainly would.

(I would feel differently if I knew them to have a close friendship with Bishop Curry or if they were active in the Episcopal church or its causes.)

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2 hours ago, tabitha2 said:

Before my particular Church broke away from mainstream Episcopate to become Anglican I was confirmed by my local Bishop and He often comes  to do Regular Baptisms as well. Granted this could be my home church was the acting Cathedral of the diocese. 

Confirmations are general done by bishops. That’s complicated, thouigh as most dioceses are large and bishops can’t get to every parish. Ours has usually been done by a retired bishop. But, yes, your bishop baptizing babies was because the Cathedral was his own parish. 

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