Photo and book by Anne Hart.
Copyright 1987 by Anne Hart
SCRIPT FOR ANCIENT EGYPTIAN STYLE ROYAL CORONATION WEDDING SIMULATION:
HERE'S THE EGYPTIAN ROYAL CORONATION CEREMONY. YOU MAY HAVE A PRINCESS CHARACTER PRESENT THERE FOR THE PRECEDING SCENE OR USE IT AS A WEDDING OR OTHER LIFE-PASSAGE CEREMONY AS A CORONATION EVENT.
FOR A WEDDING, WRITE YOUR ACTUAL WEDDING VOW CEREMONY SEPARATE AND CUSTOMIZED BEFORE YOU INTERMINGLE IT WITH THE CORONATION RITUAL CEREMONY.
THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CORONATION RITUAL:
SFX: CLASHING CYMBALS AND BELLS, TINKLING FINGER ZILLS (CYMBALS)
As the scene opens, the music of lutes, lyres, and harps sound. A nye (Middle Eastern flute that has two pipes and a rather nasal sound), wails. A trumpet blares. Then a chorus of men begins to chant as they slowly march down the aisle. Flower petals are strewn by girls in costume standing on each side of the aisle.
The bride and groom are seated on gold tasseled cushions. They rise and are led up several steps to the dais where two gold-winged thrones await them. The thrones are painted in Egyptian blue, turquoise, gold, and Egyptian red and white and covered with hieroglyphics.
Most of the throne is painted a metallic gold or in gold leaf simulation with gems imbedded on portions of the throne in areas that do not actually touch or poke at the bodies of those seated there. Mount the gems on the throne on the sides and back or on the sides of the arm rests or throne legs. The royal escutcheon, emblem, or "logo" is draped above the throne.
Draped over the thrones are the cloth of the state, of upper and lower Egypt. Above the throne is a great golden-colored disk shaped like the sun. The couple is led to the throne and seated. They smile and look out at the guests. A designated official playing the part of the "priest's" assistant removes the glowing white and gold cloaks of the couple, hereafter called Pharaoh and Queen. The royal couple now is flanked by fan bearers in ancient Egyptian costume.
Guests include those playing the characters of attendants, soldiers, courtiers, and chamberlains. The soldiers are in ancient Egyptian costume of the 18th dynasty. Soldiers wear sandals strapped high with mantles and striped Egyptian headdress. The priests wear "bald" wigs so it looks as if their heads are shaven.
Each guest wears a special head dress to represent the country he or she is visiting from, such as the vulture-crowned Hittite royalty, Trojan, Babylonian, Aegean. The Sea Peoples, early Grecian, Philistine, Caucasus, Mountains Scythian, Carthaginian, European, early Latins, India-Hindu style, Persian, Hebrews, Caucasus Mountaineers, Central Asian, Nubian, Minoan,, or any other visitor from the near and far reaches of the known world.
Joseph, the Hebrew governor of Egypt, shows up with a family of Hebrews visiting Egypt. Ambassadors from China and Central Asia show up with silk gifts. Early Greeks in bronze-age costume appear along with the ambassadors from Cyprus and the towered city of Ummar in Arabia. The Phoenicians (modern Lebanon) appear in costume bearing wooden gifts. Each guest wears a distinctive head dress or coronet to represent his/her land of origin or rank and title.
THE RITUAL: ACTION:
The ritual begins as the royal cup bearer brings in the orange-blossom-scented "holy" oil. The cup bearer dips his fingers into the stone cup or jar and anoints each of the royal couple in the center of their foreheads.
SFX (sound effects):
MUSIC. We hear the thump of a goat-skinned drum or early "dumbegh"--a Middle Eastern drum in a one, two, one two three rhythm. A flute wails its nuance in a minor key, keeping rhythm in a hypnotic dance, to the hand-drum beat. An attendant waves sheaves of wheat to the rhythm. Fanbearers slowly stir the heavily-incensed air. Astrologers from Babylon arrive.
The royal regalia bearers march slowly down the aisle. They carry an insignia on top of gold and white silk cushions with tassels. On one cushion is the great red and white double crowns for the groom and on the other cushion is the great red and white double crowns for the bride. The crowns also can be blue and white or gold and white, or a combination of colors. However, it's historically more accurate to provide the standard colors of ancient Egyptian double crowns-- red and white.
There are two crowns that fit together to make the double crown. The first is the red cobra crown of Lower Egypt. It's called "The Lady of Spells." The second crown that fits into the first like a puzzle, is the white, conical crown that has a bulbous tip and is shaped like a Hittite vulture. (The symbol for the Hittites also is the vulture, and many of Egyptian royalty, such as King Tutankhamon, were of royal Hittite origin.) However, the vulture is the official crown of Upper Egypt. It's called the Lady of Dread.
Custom is that the crowns and the emblems are extra heavy to emphasize responsibility and trust that the wearer must carry. The trust and responsibility were to the Egyptian gods.
Another regalia bearer marches down the aisle bearing symbolic whips, these small whips are meant to be carried by the bride and groom or each of the royal couple. A regalia bearer behind him or her, carries a cushion of gold with tassels on which the "crook" is borne. This is a small, striped crooked stick. A regalia bearer follows with a cushion bearing the scepter.
The last regalia bearer carries a cushion which holds two "sacred uraeus." This is a replica of a "golden-carved asp," one for each of the couple, shaped as a head dress.
The regalia bearer hands each golden asp replicas to the high "Priest" who then places the sacred uraeus on the groom's head first and then on the bride's head. The uraeus head dress is shaped like a cobra head that juts out when placed on a wearer's forehead.
The regalia bearers then hands the crook and the whip to the high priest who, in turn, hands the crook and the whip to the groom and then to the bride. ( Regalia bears may hand the crook and the whip to each of the couple at the same time if this is not a wedding, but another type of ceremony.) The two each take the crook and the whip and cross their arms over their chest in a crisscross fashion of Egyptian custom of the time.
SFX: The flutes and drums stop. All is silent.
Everyone in the room bows down, prostrating themselves on the floor with face touching the floor, knees bent. No one looks up as the Pharaoh and Queen are both crowned at the same time by the high priest.
The custom dictates that anyone looking up is cursed.
The high priest places the crowns on each of the couple. The male is crowned first if there is one priest, and with two high priests, both the male and female are crowned at the same time with one high priest on each side of them.
The Pharaonic crowns are placed after each individual has been anointed and after the sacred uraeus cobra headdress is placed. The double crown now goes on each person's head playing the role of the Queen and Pharaoh.
HIGH PRIEST CHANTS HIS INCANTATION. GUESTS RISE.
The high priest begins to chant his ritual incantation. As his incantation starts, the guests arise.
The music begins first by cymbals clashing. Trumpets and flutes wail nuances of palm latitude's delight. A chorus of singers begins to sing wildly to the harps and other stringed instruments joined by the flutes, trumpets, and lyres, the hand-held drums, tiny bells, and finger cymbals (zills), tambourines, and other tinkling sounds, the nye flutes with their double pipes, and ancient stringed instruments.
A chorus of singers continues chanting to the melody.
THE OATH BEGINS.
A coronation oath which can be customized to fit the rites-of-passage, life-passage, or other ritual ceremony, whether it be a wedding, birthday, anniversary, or any other celebration occasion now is spoken.
A wedding can also follow with its individualized-written script for each of the couple's ritual or in the case of one individual, an individualized rites-of-passage oath or pledge. If this is a birthday party, or celebration for a new career, graduation, or promotion, the individual takes an oath similar to a resolution for the future. For a new baby, a welcoming-into-the family oath takes place, and the baby is the royal subject of this royal coronation simulation.
It is now that the actual wedding vows can be taken, customized in a script for the individual, or the script for individualized rituals or life-passages be spoken.
The oath is preceded by an incantation from the high priest. It is exalted. The royal couple or individual is announced first by the high priest before the person takes the OATH.
I, ( fill in your real name, NOW KNOWN AS (an Egyptian nick name), Creator-and family-loving divine light within, the Everliving, solemnly pledge my sacred promise that as SOOT KEMIT (QUEEN) OR NESUBET ( KING) of Upper and Lower Egypt, called Tahwee*, and Liege of the Two Lands, I, PURAH*, of the House of Greatness, will uphold, maintain, and govern with all my creative powers, the customs of my realm, pledging my promise to my creators, my people, my responsibility, and my trustworthiness with the help of Isis and Osiris, and all the Egyptian gods, goddesses, and those of all the lands in this world and others, until the day that I start a new life. All this I do vow as my pledge.
(*THE WORD "PURAH" is the origin of the word Pharaoh, meaning "house of greatness." The Queen, or bride (female) would not say Purah, but say "Soot-Kemit--lady of the Nile Valley." The ancient Egyptian word for Upper and Lower Egypt was "tahwee.*")
THE HIGH PRIEST REPLIES:
The Oath of Fealty I give you from the Three Estates: Our priesthood, nobility, and people in the name of the horizon of the Aten, most select of places.
THE ROYAL AMBASSADORS FROM OTHER LANDS AND EGYPTIAN NOBLES NOW APPROACH THE THRONES. Each of the nobles gives the prostration, then bends on one knee with the other leg stretched out sideways with the right arm in a clenched fist pointing to the left chest as a salute and head bowed.
A line dance begins. There is a line of males dressed as soldiers who walk on bended knee with the right arm, fist clenched, to the chest, and then soluting outward and back as they move, crouched down, in a straight line down the aisle. The left leg is bent at the knee in a deep knee bend, while the right leg juts out forward as they inch down the aisle toward the thrones, moving slowly to the musical rhythms of flute, nye, harp, and hand drum. The line dance halts.
THE NOBLES CHANT:
I take the oath and vows to my lord (and lady) as a sacred compact between you, the rulers invested with the crowns of Egypt, and we, the ruled according to the ancient laws of our kingdom.
THE HIGH PRIEST REPLIES AS HE READS THEIR TITLES:
I now invest you with the divine light of the great who came before you, living image of Amon, children of the sun, the chosen of Ptah, the heavenly. Nightengale of Egypt, the Ka and the Ba, the soul and the word, Creator-loving, Family-loving goddess and god, divine light, young Osiris and Isis, life-giving creator of the new and bridge-bearer of the ancient, tradition of traditions, wisdom of the serpent of knowledge and choice, may you reign in serenity, reach for the stars, and may you live forever. All-encompassing net, joiner of souls, fisher of time, all-knowing catcher of dreams, remover of space, and connector of generations, may you live forever more.
ALL PEOPLE PRESENT REPEAT THIS INCANTATION AFTER THE PRIEST IS DONE.
The whole assemblage with one voice repeats the incantation of the priest once, and then, all together.
FOR A WEDDING INCLUDE: Hail, "Murrr Ka," the soul's beloved. May you return forever.
May you live forever. Hail King (insert Egyptian name). Hail Queen (insert Egyptian name). Hail "Ka," the Soul.
May your divine light live forever. "Ankh." Sunub (health), wida, (prosperity), ankh, wida, sunub, (life, prosperity, health.)/
THE PRIEST SPEAKS TO THE BRIDE:
Ankh -ta! (May she live.) Dot! (everlasting). Neheheh! (forever).
THE ROYAL COUPLE (OR INDIVIDUAL) NOW RISES FROM THE THRONES.
All the mantles or royal robes are now removed so that only the costume and head dress remains on the individuals. The costume now consists of a garment with a thin robe over it. The heavier robes are removed by the attendants who assist the priest or the regalia bearers. The royal couple or individual now slowly walks down the aisle as the music wells up. Flower petals are strewn in their path.
ALL SUBJECTS KNEEL AND PROSTRATE THEMSELVES as the royal couple or individual walks by. Then they assume a bowed-head position, clenched right fist to chest with one leg thrust outward to the right side. They salute and remain bowed as the royals pass by moving down the aisle.
The subjects remain kneeling. Each of the royal couple or person is now handed a bouquet of flowers by the high priest who rises from his kneeling position half way down the aisle as he meets the royal couple or person. The royal couple takes the bouquet of flowers (native to Egpyt), and places them on an altar to the side. Then the ROYAL COUPLE OR INDIVIDUAL PROSTRATES THEMSELVES IN FRONT OF THE ALTAR. Incense is burned by the royals and the high priest. There is a sacred altar flame and more incense is thrown on it. The side of the room, halfway down the aisle is decorated as a miniature temple.
THE ROYALS TURN AND WALK DOWN THE AISLE TO A BALCONY. It faces the outside and the people. There, they make their appearance to the masses of people in the street below. As they make their appearance, the crowd sinks to its knees and bow deeply.
THE CROWD CHEERS. HAIL (NAME) HAIL (NAME). Use the word for "hail" in ancient Egyptian, not in English. It's available from a dictionary of heiroglyphics or from the local museum or Egyptology professor.
The high priest and a female relative of the royal couple such as mother, aunt, sister enters the balcony to join the royal couple standing there facing the public. The high priest and female relative is followed by a regalia bearer with a gold cushion. She removes a gold wreath from the pillow and crowns the high priest with the gold wreath. The priest's head is shaven or he wears a "bald" wig. The female relative then takes a sack of precious gems and pours them onto a table on the balcony to show the priest, and then puts them into a gold silk bag. She hands the gems to the high priest as a gift.
The crowd cheers wildly. They approve. The priest nods and bows.
The royal couple retreat from the balcony, enter a bier, and are borne by eight bearers down the aisle for the rest of the way until they disappear from sight out of the room.
Procession down the royal road:
The royal couple enters a golden litter and sits on two gold-colored chairs. They are carried in a procession followed by marching soldiers in front and in back. The soldiers are followed by marching priests who carry thuribles and religious regalia such as emblems.
In the order of procession, the first litter contains the relatives of the royal couple, the second litter, the royal couple, and the third the nobles. Guards follow in the rear of the three litters.
The scenery for a set include a huge golden sun. The sunshine glints off the golden robes. The idea is that, in multimedia simulation, the sun is supposed to glint off of the gold robes to make the royals look as if they were glowing like fire as children of the sun. In computer simulation, the winding procession moves along wide streets followed by many musicians who clash cymbals, bells, and finger zills (finger cymbals.)
These musicians are followed by the drummers, then the lute and harp players, the chorus of singers, the flute players, and the nye players (two-pipes on the flute).
The royals are seated on cushions on the golden chairs in the litter. The get out of the litter and walk up the steps to the dais. The are again seated on the thrones as sacred songs are chanted by an ever-growing chorus of voices welling up as the sun glows.
One chorus is composed of eunuchs and another chorus of young females. The royal fan bears move on each side of the royal couple as the scene fades out....At last we hear the chorus of voices.
SFX: THE MUSIC FADES OUT UNTIL WE HEAR ONLY THE HAND-DRUM, THE FLUTE, AND SOFTENING VOICES, FINGER-CYMBALS, AND HARPS.
* The HEB SED festival MAY BE GIVEN TO COMMEMORATE TWELVE YEARS ANNIVERSARY OF THE KING'S REIGN OR TO CELEBRATE ANY TWELVE-YEAR-RECURRANCE.
* The priest addresses the royal women as NEBET (lady) and the royal men as NEB (lord). Other ladies of the court are addressed as HENWIT, which simply means "mistress." The word "mistress" is the feminine equivalent of "master."
THE JOURNEY BEGINS......
FOR VARIETY, YOU MIGHT TRY A "KING SOLOMON MARRIES HIS EGYPTIAN PRICESS" IN A DOUBLE CEREMONY--ONE ANCIENT HEBRAIC/BIBLICAL, AND ONE EGYPTIAN THAT PRECEDES IT SET IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES--ONE FIRST IN EGYPT FOR THE PRINCESS, AND ANOTHER IN ANCIENT JERUSALEM IN THE TEMPLE SOLOMON BUILT FOR HIS EGYPTIAN PRINCESS/NEW WIFE. (SOLOMON LIKED FOREIGN WOMEN, IT HAS BEEN SAID.)
· In ancient Egyptian a soulmate is "murrh-ka," or "beloved of my soul."
· Life, Prosperity, Health, Joy, Love, ! "Ankh- wudah- seneb-hat-her-murrh!