|It was a Sunday, November 2, 1930. The four-month long rainy season had ended. The sky above
the city was clear and serene: The air, invigorating and free from dust, carried the aroma of the tall,
elegant eucalyptus trees imported into the country by MENELEK II. Vegetation was luxurious through
out the whole countryside and ADDIS ABABA was, the truth, a garden city, bedecked as never before
in its brief 40 year history.
The month which preceded November 1930 was devoted to feverish activities, Engineers, architects
and labourers worked day and night to embellish the capital, which has assumed a new aspect, with
its imposing triumphant arches to the glory of the new Emperor. Villas and the palace, under the
supervision of the Emperor elect, were made ready for the accommodation of the numerous foreign
It was the dawn of a new era: the awakening of the old soul which, as history records, animated
Ethiopia in olden times. It was the renaissance of an ancient Empire.
Indeed, the day was in the making 14 years before, for the Emperor-elect had worked and merited
and acclaimed the right to the Supreme Power and privilege, as well as to the splendid
manifestations which characterised the historic Coronation event. The population of the city had been
swollen by the heavy influx of people from all parts of the country. They had travelled day and night,
many of them for seven weeks, to be there in time to take part in these unique festivities.
Not even the lock of modern communications prevented people in every nook and corner of the
Empire, those who were physically able to come, after hearing about the coronation to be present to
lend their voice and acclaim to the occasion. It should not surprise no one who knew the
country-wide popularity of the Emperor Elect, dating back to the days of his Regency. From man to
man, village to village, by the ancient method of whisper and drums, news of the event had been
relayed. As it were, every man, woman and child moved by enthusiasm, was a courier on this
particular mission. Preparations were afoot for weeks in advance. Just as Menelek II had done, the
Emperor elect and his government invited representatives from friendly powers, to take part in this
international event. Among the many distinguished guests were His Royal Highness, the Duke of
Gloucester, representing Britain; His Excellency Marshall Francet d'Espery, one of the heroes of World
War I, representing France. His Excellency Baron von Waldhausen of Germany 1; His royal Highness
Principe di Udine for Italy; Mr. Maxim Gerard of Belgium; Baron Bildt of Sweden, Jonleer Hendrick
Mauritis of the Netherlands; Special Ambassador Mr. Murray Jacob of the U.S.A.; Mr. Isaburo Yoshida
of Japan; Mr. Mohammed Tawfig Nasib Pasha of Egypt; Count P. Metaxas of Greece and many others
from all parts of the world.
His Majesty, Haile Selassie I, himself received the official personalities of Britain, France and Italy at
the Railway Station. Other foreign guests were met by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince, Asfa
Everyone was busy in his own sphere. So was the church of Ethiopia which had to play th important
religious role of the coronation. In fact the pomp and splendour of the event were enhanced by the
rich religious right that rendered the ceremony solemn and sublime. The five-hour long ceremony
with sources of clergy taking part with its numerous and meticulous details, highlighted the whole
function fittingly so in a country which embraced Christianity as early as 330 AD and whose dynasty
reaches even further back to the Old Testament days. The paraphernalia of the Ethiopia Coronation
are many and splendid. There were the Emperor's sword of gold, studded with precious stones; the
Imperial Sceptre of ivory and gold; the golden globe of the earth; the diamond crusted ring; the two
traditional Lances, filigreed in gold; the Imperial Robes and Crown of the Empress - all had been
gathered and stored in the church in the Palace grounds two weeks before.
In the prolonged ceremony which began two weeks before 49 devout priests and monks, specially
selected from the different parts of the Empire, gathered at the church in the palace compound and
prayed over the Royal ceremonial garments. In groups of seven they chanted continuously by turn for
seven days the Psalms of David and sang praises to the Almighty God.
On the Coronation day at 7 am, the Emperor and Empress-elect followed by members of the Imperial
Family, dignitaries and others, arrived at the Church of St. George. This followed a night of prayer and
His Imperial Majesty took his seat upon the twin-thrown. Her Imperial Majesty to his right. As part of
the solemn and majestic ceremony the Emperor read Psalms 101 aloud: "I will sing of mercy and
judgement. Unto Thee O Lord will I sing. I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no
wicked thing before mine eyes; I hate the work of them that turn aside; It shall not cleave to me. A
Forward heart shall depart from me. I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his
neighbour, him will I cut off, him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes
shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he that walketh in a perfect way, he
shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house, he that telleth lies shall not
tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land that I may cut off all the wicked doers
from the city of the Lord."
The bishops commenced a slow repetition of the words of the 122nd Psalm. :"I was glad when they
said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within...to be continued.
|November 2nd, 2007, 77th Anniversary of the of the Crowning
of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of
Judah, Elect of God and Light of the World, His Imperial
Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I.
|King of Kings, Lord of Lords,