ORDER OF SERVICE
for the interment of the Milistone
As the monolith enters the Cathedral the choir sings:
‘The stone which the builders rejected’ Bernardette Farrell.
The Archbishop of Canterbury (for it is he): Today, with due solemnity, we bring this stone – a symbol of hopes dashed and aspirations disappointed – to its last resting place in the floor of this great Cathedral Church of St Michael Foot.
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
Here endeth the lesson
intoned by the Rt Revd Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Archbishop of Canterbury’s Chaplain for Quakers, Atheists and Agnostics:
Almighty and Ever-changing God, you have given grace to the Established Church of this land to become the Labour Party at Prayer. Help us, as we go to and fro over this stone, to take seriously to heart the platitudes inscribed thereon, to fight courageously against the privatisation of our NHS and to seek dilgently to obtain for the party the votes of all hard working families. We ask this for his name’s sake. Amen.
A solemn procession of aspirants to the leadership of the Labour Party will then make its way to the Milistone, where each will lay a single red rose. The procession will be accompanied by the hushed tones of a commentary by David Dimbleby. The surviving members of the Easington Colliery Band will play ‘God Bless our NHS’ (music: Sir Ralph Vaughan Williams).
The monolith will then be lowered into the floor of the Cathedral to the lament ‘On yon bonny banks and by yon bonny braes’ played by the massed pipes of the Scots Guards.
The Dean and Chapter cordially invite you to beer and sandwiches in a smoke-filled room.