Cardinal Nichols to have role in Richard III’s burial ceremony

The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster will join the Archbishop of Canterbury and representatives of other faiths to bury King Richard III next year.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said it is fitting that King Richard’s “remains should be reinterred with dignity and accompanied by the prayers of the Church in Leicester Cathedral, the mediaeval parish church of Leicester”.

“We commend all who have died to the love and mercy of Almighty God, and continue to pray for them, as we shall for Richard III and all who have lost their lives in battle,” he said.

King Richard’s remains were found under a car park in Leicester in 2012.

He is the only English monarch not to have a marked grave.

The Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Anglican Bishop of Leicester, said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop  Justin Welby, would attend the King’s funeral in March next year.

Officials at Leicester Cathedral said the ceremony will not be classed as an official state funeral, but would be very similar, and the reinterment ceremony will be broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK.

As the most senior figure in the Church of England, Archbishop Welby is likely to lead the ceremony, although this has not been confirmed.

Bishop Stevens said: “I am delighted that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster will be in Leicester for our celebrations surrounding the reinterment of Richard III.”

“The presence of the Cardinal marks the historical continuity between the Catholic faith in this country and the Church of England.

“The presence of both archbishops is a sign of the close partnership between our two churches in burying King Richard with dignity and honour.

“Our cathedral has been consistently committed to providing a fitting, dignified and memorable ceremony for the reinterment of King Richard.

Leicester Cathedral will receive the King’s remains on March 22, 2015, and he will then lie in repose for three days.

The last Plantagenet King of England will then be reburied during a ceremony on March 26.

And from March 28, the area of Richard III’s tomb will be open to the public.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,