... waiting in the queue for confession this week at Westminster Cathedral, each of us kneeling or sitting as the mood and need for prayer or reflection took us. Meanwhile, in the main body of the Cathedral, the magnificent Annual Requiem Mass for the Catholic Police Guild was taking place. Impressive sight: rows and rows of policemen in their dark uniforms, and a Guard of Honour carried a (proper, bobby's) helmet up to the High Altar. As Mass ended, the Last Post heralded two minutes of silence. No problem - we penitents were already silent. Then Reveille. Then...the familiar sounds that herald the first notes of the National Anthem. My knees automatically unbent and I rose, as with a reflex action, the music simply making it happen. "Sorry" I murmured to the chap next to me. "I fear I am constitutionally unable to remain kneeling or seated for this one. " And so we stood.
What's the etiquette? Does one rise for the National Anthem while waiting for confession, or does the need for a suitable posture of prayer before sacramental absolution take precedence? So far, all those with whom I have discussed this say "Stand".
Auntie has never yet remained seated while The Queen is played and cannot imagine ever doing so.