London's Annual Ceremonies

 
  LONDON CEREMONIES
 
 
January, April, October
 
The Central Criminal Court Visit of the Lord Mayor
As Chief Justice of the City the Lord Mayor arrives in state to No1 Court after the City Marshall, Sheriffs, Swordbearer and Common Cryer and are met by a High Court Judge, the duty Alderman and Common Serjeant
 
 
January
 
Twelfth Night – traditional celebration in the the garden of the Geffrey Museum. 5th January.
 
Blessing the River Ceremony - Undertaken on London Bridge by the congregations of Southwark Cathedral and St Magnus the Martyr Church at 12:30pm on the first Sunday after Epiphany.
 
Charles I Commemoration - Procession by the English Civil War Society from Marlborough Gate (11am) along the Mall to Whitehall.On closest Sunday to 30th January. 
 
 
  February
 
Grimaldi Memorial Service - Clowns in costume hold a service at Holy Trinity Church, Dalston
 
Royal Gun Salute - In Hyde Park (NE) at noon to mark Accession Day (fired following day if 6th is a Sunday). Also at the Tower of London at 1pm.
 
  Sir John Cass Service
To commemorate Cass b 1661, Foundation of school 1709. On deathbed Cass was writing his will when he burst an artery and blood stained his quill pen. Everyone holds a red quill pen.
 
 
 
  March to May
 
  Trial of the Pyx
Trial of the quality of the coins of the realm by checking the weight and metallic composition. At Westminster Abbey till 1870, now done at Goldsmith's Hall by Queen's Remembrancer. Coins placed in Pyx or Mint Box. Usually begins in March and ends in May.
 
 
  March
 
Orange & Lemons Service - At St Clement Danes in the Strand
  United Guild's Service
LM in state at the cathedral for service for the Masters, Prime Wardens and Bailiffs of the Livery Companies.
 
  Bridewell Service
School founded by Edward VI, moved to Whitley, near Guildford 1860. Commemoration each year at St. B's
 
 
Easter 
 
  Cakes and Ale
On Ash Wednesday Stationers Company attend service in crypt at St. Paul's Cathedral and then process back for hot, spiced buns. In 1612 John Norton endowed gift of cakes and ale.
 
  Butterworth Charity
After a Good Friday service 21 widows pick up a sixpence and a hot cross bun for children from a tomb in the churchyard of St. Bartholomew-the-Great. There are buns for all the visitors. Now supported by Butterworth publishers. 
 
Spital Sermon
Medieval event of sermon revived by CII in 1660 when LM, Sheriffs, Aldermen process from Guildhall to St. Lawrence Jewry for a sermon on Christ's Resurrection. Itinerant till WW2. Second Wed after Easter
 
 
April
 
Inspection of the Household Cavalry - Mounted regiments and bands parade in Hyde Park
 
Inspection of the Royal Horse Artillery- Held on the east side of Regent's Park. The Royal Artillery band play.
 
Royal Gun Salute - In Hyde Park (NE) at noon to mark the Queen's birthday (fired following day if 21st is a Sunday). Also at the Tower of London at 1pm.
 
  John Stow's Quill Pen Ceremony
To commemorates author of The Survey of London in St. Andrew Undershaft. A quill pen replaced by LM every 3 years. Old quill given to the pupil in a City school who writes the best essay on London. Master of Merchant Taylors and Alderman of the Ward take part. Every three years.
 
  Presentation of Fish by the LM to Mayor of Tower Hamlets
Since 1982 a salmon and a fish presented as a peppercorn (nominal) rent for the use of the site on which Billingsgate stands. Fish given to Old People's Home in Tower Hamlets.
 
 
  Ascension Day
 
  Beating the Bounds at All hallows-by-the-Tower
A procession from All Hallow to the Thames and out in a boat to the middle, up river and back to Tower Pier. Singing by Custom House and children from St. Dunstan's, Catford beat the bounds. Tower Liberty bounds beaten every 3 years – next due 2011. Accompanied by Yeoman Wardens in state dress.
 
 
May
 
  Pepys Commemoration Service
Commemorating his death in 1703. Laurel wreath laid on his grave in St. Olave, Hart Street by LM and music of Pepys time played. Refreshments in the Clothworkers Livery Hall
 
Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade & Service
Parade on Broad Walk, Hyde Park followed by service at the Cavalry Memorial (11am)
 
May Fayre and Puppet Festival
Procession around Covent Garden at 10:30am followed by a service at St Pauls Church
 
State Opening Of Parliament
Queen travels from Buckingham Palace to make a speech in Parliament
 
 
June
 
Trooping the Colour
 
Royal Gun Salute – June 10th for Duke of Edinburgh's birthday. Gun salute at midday in Hyde Park, and 1pm at the Tower of London. Gun salutes on Monday if his birthday falls on a Sunday.
 
  Bubble Sermon
Stationer's Company process to St. Bride's, Fleet Street for a sermon reminding that "life is but a bubble" as per the will of Richard Johnson 18thC benefactor to the company
 
  Ceremony of Knolly's Rose
Rose presented at Mansion House to LM by the Verger of All Hallows-by-the-Tower. In 1346 bridge connected opposite sides of properties of the Knollys family and a license was necessary and was granted by the Corporation on the payment of 1 red rose. Procession led by Verger with Vicar, parishioners, Watermen and Lightermen. Verger carries red rose on a blue altar cushion.
 
  Fishmongers Procession
Usually in June from the Livery Hall to St. Magnus-the-Martyr with Doggett Badge holders
 
  Skinner's and Corpus Christi
Election of new Master and procession to St. James Garlickhithe led by the Beadle. Also some pupils from Christ's Hospital attend in medieval dress.
 
  July
 
  Vintners
Installation of new Master. Process to St. James Garlickhithe with Wine Porter, Swan herd, 2 Beadles, New Master, Wardens, Court of Assistants. Porter sweeps path with "full besom so that procession slip not on any foulness of our streets" and posies carried "that nostrils be not offended by any noxious flavours or ill odours"
 
  Cart Marking
In Guildhall Yard. Carts plying for hire limited to 420 in 1681, 600 in 1835. In 1838 licenses issued by a Keeper in Guildhall every year. Carmen bring trucks etc to be branded with red hot iron on a wooden plate with year letter and cart number and be inspected by the Master.
 
  Swan Upping
Queen's Swan Keeper and Swan Master of Dyers and of Vintners proceed up river from Sunbury to Abingdon over 3 days and mark swans.
 
 
  July/August
 
  Doggett's Coat and Badge Race
On or near 1st Aug. Row from opposite Fishmonger's Hall to Cadogan Pier, Chelsea (4.5 miles). Race founded by Thomas Doggett 1715 and sponsored/administered by fishmongers
 
 
  September
 
  Pearly Kings and Queens
Costermongers parade and service usually at St. Mary-le-Bow with harvest offerings given to the Whitechapel Mission
 
Horseman's Sunday – St John's Church, Hyde Park Crescent
 
  National Firefighters Service
A Sunday in September. Service in St. Giles and procession to "Blitz" statue to lay wreaths.
 
  Christs Hospital
After St. Matthews Service march to Guildhall. LM attended by Sword Bearer, Common Cryer (MaceBearer) and City Marshall. Approx. 300 boys and girls and school band in traditional uniform. End with lunch in Guildhall.
 
 
  October
 
  Harvest of the Sea
At St. Mary-at-Hill, usually in Oct. 39 varieties of all sorts of fish laid out in porch. Ward Aldermen attend and Fishmongers in Billingsgate hats. Fish donated to Salvation Army.
 
  Lion Sermon
Endowed 1643 by Sir John Gayer who once was in Arabia became separated from companions and came face-to-face with a lion. He prayed and lion walked away. Left money in his will for a sermon which usually includes a text from Book of Daniel.
 
  Quit Rents Ceremony
Day after Michaelmas Day at RCJ. Comptroller and City Solicitor pay Queen's Remembrancer token rents for 2 holdings – The Moors in Shropshire and the forge at St. Clement Danes. At same time there is the presentation of the two new Sheriffs of the City.
 
Trafalgar Day Parade – Trafalgar Square
 
Basketmakers Procession to St Margaret Pattens
 
 
November
 
Submariners Parade and Service -  From HMS President to the memorial on Victoria Embankment for a service at 11am
 
Royal British Legion Garden of Remembrance Service
 
Lord Mayor's Show
 
Remembrance Sunday 惻Cenotaph, Whitehall, 11am.
 
Royal Gun Salute – Prince Charles birthday
 
Festival of St Cecilia
 
Boar's Head
Worshipful Company of Butchers present this on silver platter carried by Army Catering Corps in celebration of medieval tradition from 1343 when butchers granted piece of land near river Fleet on which to wash their meat and to leave the entrails there. Boars Head a gift in gratitude for this.
 
 
Dec and March
 
Advent/Lent Sermons at the Mercer’s Hall
Held in the chapel of the Mercer’s Livery Hall in Ironmonger Lane
 
 
 
OTHER CEREMONIES
 
Election of the Sheriffs Midsummer Day
Admission of the Sheriffs September 28th
Election of the Lord Mayor September 29th
Presentation of the Lord Mayor at the Palace of Westminster to receive the 
Monarch’s approval October
The Planting of the Crosses in St. Paul’s Churchyard November
Wreath laying at Remembrance Day Services November
Gun Salutes at the Tower of London Approx. 10 per year
Royal 21, Tower 20, City tribute to Sovereign 21 or 62, if Duke of Edinburgh birthday is same as Queen’s official birthday could be 124 gun salute – last was 1967
Privileged Regiments Parade from Armoury House to Mansion House
Ten Regiments can march with the LM’s consent Intermittently