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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 12, March 23, 2008, Article 15

QUEEN ELIZABETH DISTRIBUTES MAUNDY COINS IN IRELAND

Dick Johnson writes: "For the first time in 700 years
Maundy coins were distributed in Ireland instead of England
or Wales. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth handed out 82 pence
in special 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p sterling silver coins  a penny
for each year of her life  to 164 pensioners from across
the Province.

[Thanks to Dick for pointing out this interesting fact.
Maundy coins are an interesting topic.   I have a 1910 Maundy
set that once belonged to my step-grandfather.  Below are
excerpts from the news article Dick forwarded.  It's worth
reading for its interesting detail of the pagenantry of the
event, as well as photos taken at the ceremony. -Editor]

The leaders of the four main Churches joined together in St
Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh for the
event - the first time it has been held outside England and
Wales in 700 years.

Her gifts, in red and white purses with ribbons, were
carried on a silver platter by the Queen's yeomen, who
bore ceremonial swords and wore red uniforms, hats with
ribbons and traditional oversized white collars.

Pensioners who were being recognised for community work
were selected to be handed the specially minted Maundy
money during a cross-community service in St Patrick's
Cathedral in Armagh.

The term "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum,
which means commandment, and is derived from the new
commandment Jesus gave his disciples before his crucifixion,
that they they were to love one another as he had loved
them.

There are records of the Royal tradition on Maundy
Thursday in Holy Week dating back to the 12th century.

During the service the Queen handed out coins to 82 men
and 82 women, all retired, who had been selected by the
four main denominations in Northern Ireland for service
to the community.

She also presented them with a separate bag containing a
50 pence piece and a 5 coin to commemorate Prince Charles's
birthday.

Four children, one each from Church of Ireland, controlled,
Roman Catholic and integrated schools in Armagh, were
selected to play a symbolic part in the service, wearing
linen towels in remembrance of times when the monarch washed
the feet of the congregation.

The massive dimensions of the cathedral inside combined
with elegant choreography, traditional costumes and majestic
choirs and musicians blended in a grandeur worthy of a monarch.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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