Customs and traditions: The mace

The mace is a staff of office symbolising the authority of the sovereign in Parliament. A mace is carried to the Lords and the Commons chambers in a procession at the beginning and end of each sitting day. In the Lords, it rests on the woolsack behind the lord speaker during proceedings. As is the case in the Commons, the Lords may not conduct business in the chamber whilst it is not present. But where did this custom and tradition come from and are maces found in other parliaments?

Customs and traditions: The mace

From the Hansard archives: Fixing a date for Easter?

In 1928, Parliament passed legislation that set the date of Easter on “the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April”. This was subject to an order in council that specified that, before any commencement order, “regard” be given to “any opinion officially expressed by any church or other Christian body”. The act has never been commenced. It remains on the statute book. This briefing delves into the Hansard archives to find that 25 years ago the House debated the merits of bringing that act into force.

From the Hansard archives: Fixing a date for Easter?

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