What to expect for Archbishop of Canterbury's enthronement

(Photo: Reuters / Toby Melville)The Rt Rev. Justin Welby attends the ceremony to confirm his election as Archbishop of Canterbury, at St Paul's Catheral in central London February 4, 2013.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will be officially enthroned Thursday as leader of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. His website has published a guide of what to expect during his inauguration.

What his enthronement means

(Photo: Archbishop of Canterbury Website)

The installation of Welby will take place at Canterbury Cathedral and signify the beginning of the Archbishop of Canterbury's public ministry.

The event is called "enthronement" because Welby will be enthroned in two seats: one on the Diocesean throne as the Bishop of the Church of England's oldest diocese, the see of Canterbury, and the second on the chair of St. Augustine as Primate of All England and the "first bishop" in the country.

His installation as the top bishop in the country represents his spiritual leadership of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

What will occur

For the past few days, Welby has been preparing for his enthronement with prayer pilgrimages throughout the country.

Come Thursday at 3 p.m., the Archbishop of Canterbury will be standing outside the Canterbury Cathedral's west door to await approval to enter. A letter from the Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, will be read, authorizing the Dean of Canterbury and representatives from the cathedral to greet Welby.

Archbishop Welby will knock on the door three times and will be greeted by the Dean. Together they will be go to the altar, where the Archbishop of York John Sentamu will ask Welby to swear an oath of faithfulness to the statutes of the Church of England and an oath of faithfulness to the Queen of England.

After Welby swears his oath on the Canterbury Gospels, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be enthroned on the two seats.

The Archdeacon of Canterbury will first enthrone Welby as Bishop of the See of Canterbury on the Diocesean throne. Then, the Dean will install him as Primate of All England on the chair of St. Augustine, where Welby will preach his first sermon from.

Who will attend

Sentamu, who led the Anglican delegation to Pope Francis' inauguration Mass in Rome will be returning to the U.K. To attend Welby's enthronement.

Representatives of the Anglican Communion who traveled to the Vatican will also make their way back to attend. Among them are bishops of the Church of England's Diocese in Europe, the Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell and the Rt Revd David Hamid; and Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon.

Anglican leaders from around the world will also be present. They include the Primate of West Africa, the Most Revd Tilewa S. Johnson, the Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

From the Anglican Church of Australia, leaders attending Welby's installation ceremony are Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Rev. John Deane, Executive Director of Australia's Anglican Board of Mission and Rev. Sarah Macneil, a member of the Standing Committee.

All members of the Standing Committee will also be present.

Where to watch

The British Broadcasting Corporation will live stream Welby's inauguration on www.bbc.com and telecast the event on BBC Two television between 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. GMT.

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