On Wednesday 3rd May the Stn met up with four very lucky local people who had been invited to receive Maundy Money from Her Majesty The Queen at her recent visit to Leicester Cathedral on Thursday 13th April – Maundy Thursday.
Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the command or ‘mandatum’ by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another. This is a modern day version of an ancient ceremony known in England since around AD 600.
During this year’s Royal Maundy Service, The Queen will have distributed Maundy Money to 91 men and 91 women – one for each of The Queen’s 91 years.
The four people were Jessie Hawes, (East Goscote), Anne Stanton (Syston but lives in Thurmaston), Reg Morgan (Thrussington) and John Wadd (Queniborough).
They all said what an amazing honour and incredible experience the whole day had been! They were greatly impressed by the organisation of the day, which began very early as they had to be at the King Power stadium at 8.15am along with all of the other recipients which totalled 182! 91 men and 91 women were present, all of whom had been chosen in recognition of the service they have provided to their church and community, all recipients are pensioners and 70 years or over.
Anne Stanton explained: “We were all allowed to take along with us one friend or husband/wife and met in the Keith Weller lounge at the King Power Stadium, bringing with them their ticket and a photographic identification. They were then transported from the King Power stadium by coaches to the cathedral, where they were taken to their named seat. Unfortunately, mine was behind a pillar! She said the cathedral was splendidly decorated and the smell of the fresh flowers was beautiful.”
All four said the Yeomen of the Guard looked very resplendent in their red and gold uniforms, Reg Morgan recalled their marching with the staff bearer, tapping the floor to keep them in time, which readers may have seen on the TV coverage, the pageant was spectacular.
The music, which included Handel’s Zadok The Priest, familiar in Leicester as it is used as the Champions League anthem, all added to the service and all had enjoyed being a part of such a special day.
Jessie Hawes said that there had been seven groups process into the cathedral before the Royal party arrived and seated in the main part of the cathedral.
Reg explained that due to the numbering, he was number 118, he had been lucky enough to be seated right in front of the Royal party and had an amazing view of the proceedings. He explained how the distribution of the Maundy money was split into two parts. The first after the first lesson when Her Majesty processed around the recipients in the cathedral, closest to her, handing them their two pouches containing the coins, with a smile and saying ‘for you’ and on occasions stopping to chat a little longer with some individuals, an exciting moment for all taking part. He described the efficient process of people passing the pouches from a gold tray to the Queen so smoothly that she never had to wait. The second part was after the second lesson when she distributed to those on the far side of the Cathedral. They all said how beautiful she looked and that she smiled at everyone she met and gave the money too.
Anne, Jessie, Reg and John all agreed that having the pleasure of meeting the Queen in person would stay with them always.
Each one had the letter they received from Buckingham Palace inviting them to the day, a beautiful order of service and a commemorative full colour booklet full of photographs of the day. See our pictures below.
John said that there was a monitor in the cathedral so they could see the processions, royal party and service on it. Jessie unfortunately didn’t have that where she was sat, but they all said how much of an honour it was. They all feel like celebrities and have had an unbelievable response from people who now know they were one of these very special recipients.
We thank them all for giving up their time to speak with us about their experience and add our Congratulations!
The Maundy Money is made up of two purses, one red, one white.
While in the white purse, which contains the uniquely minted Maundy coins, there are nine packets each with coins adding up to 10 and one packet with just one coin adding up to 91, the age of the Queen, as shown in our picture below.
All our pictures were taken in St Peter and St Paul’s Church.