Reflections on the Reburial of Richard III

Richard III's reburial has now been completed, and in many ways this controversial project went well - perhaps better than some had expected. At all events, I personally was happy overall with the sum total.

Why then did television cameras pick up a raising of my eyebrows? Since I myself have not seen this I can't give one simple answer. But I know I raised my eyebrows several times during Thursday's reburial service.

The first time was when I read, on page 5 of the order of service, that Richard was born on 3 May 1452!

The second time was when I saw on page 7 a statement that DESCENDANTS of Richard were attending his reburial. Richard has no living descendants.

Page 7 also stated that the University of Leicester had discovered the royal remains. Since the project had started in 2005, with a dig proposal from myself and Philippa Langley to Time Team, while the university was not in any way involved in the work until 2011, that also raised my eyebrows - as did a repetition of that claim by the university in the eulogy.

I and the Looking for Richard Project Team have no problem with acknowledging the excellent work carried out by the University of Leicester - most particularly Dr Turi King -  after the royal bones were found. But the claim that the university was responsible for the discovery itself is untrue, and it raises - and will always raise - my eyebrows.

Office for the Dead, with explanatory notes

Click here to download the text

Click here to download the text

For those who would like to pray for Richard III in full:

I've prepared usable English versions of the Office (matins, lauds, and vespers) for the dead, which Philippa and I intend to use - the first two during the hour we have to sit waiting for the reburial service in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March, and the third one during the hour we have to sit waiting on Sunday 22 March. Of course, we shall say the offices in silence, then, because the cathedral will be full of people.

For those who aren't used to them, these have instructions / explanations in red ('rubrics'). When you see a cross, you make the sign of the cross. 

Where alternative readings, prayers &c are possible I've simply chosen the one that seemed most fitting to me. I've also added at the end of each office, in dark blue, the collect (prayer) that Richard III requested.

Please sign the petition on

In response to international demand from people of diverse faiths, the Looking For Richard Project has launched an online petition calling for the remains of King Richard III to be coffined in a Holy Place of his own faith. The petition closes on Tuesday 27 February 2015 at midnight (GMT) when the results will be handed to the re-interment board in Leicester.

Please sign the petition here:

Thank you.