Collect: O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saints & Blesseds
Monday, May 20: St. Alcuin
Born around the year 730 to a noble family in York, at an early age, St. Alcuin entered the cathedral school at York (the western European center for Christian and classical education). After finishing his education, Alcuin entered the monastery at York Minster. In 780, he was sent on an ecclesiastical errand to Rome and while traveling through Italy, he encountered Charlemagne, the king of the Franks. Impressed by Alcuin, Charlemagne wanted to him to stay at his court and eventually prevailed so that Alcuin spent the majority of his life with Charlemagne in Aachen. He was made effectively “Prime Minister” for Charlemagne, founding the Palace School and teaching the king himself as well as the most cultured men of the age. This school became the model for all later monastic schools. Alcuin was almost single-handedly responsible for the Carolinian Renaissance, preserving writings both Christian and classical. After fourteen years, in 796, Alcuin persuaded Charlemagne to finally let him return to the cloister, where he became abbot of St. Martin at Tours. Alcuin remained a deacon for his whole life. And, though his work itself wasn’t highly original, he preserved and spread the works of others, (espeically Boethius, Isodore, Cassiodorus, Bede, and Jerome). He died peacefully on May 19, 804.
Tuesday, May 21: St. Dunstan
St. Dunstan was born around the year 909 near Glastonbury to a noble family connected to the royal house, with many members high in the Church. Though he delayed becoming a monk, after recovering from an illness, he decided to enter the monastery at Glastonbury and was ordained deacon and priest. Here, as an ordinary monk, Dunstan devoted himself to creative work: composing music, illuminating manuscripts, and metalwork. He eventually became abbot in 943, where he introduced the Rule of St. Benedict and instituted monastic reforms that would spread across England. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 959. Though his life in the leadership of of the Church was fraught with difficulties, his reforms enlivened the whole Church, so that his biographer could write,
“Thus it was that the English land was filled with Dunstan’s holy teaching, shining before God and mortals alike as the sun and moon. When he resolved to render to Christ the Lord the due hours of his service and celebrations of masses, he so performed and recited them with his whole soul that he seemed to speak face to face with the Lord Himself.”
St. Dunstan died in the year 988
Saturday, May 24: Jackson Kemper
Jackson Kemper was the first missionary bishop in the United States, appointed in 1835 to a jurisdiction (eventually) of Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin Nebraska, and Kansas. “The Bishop of All Outdoors” (as some called him) traveled over 300,000 miles through all weather and conditions mostly by horseback, but also by steamboat, by stagecoach, and on foot. At one point, he traveled four days just to confirm one young person. He was the founder of Nashotah House in Wisconsin, as well as two colleges. He died at the age of 80 in May 24, 1870.
Homely (and Other) Links
- I’m always thankful to learn more about Anglicanism through the blog Laudable Practice and I really appreciated this post: A Prayer Book Eastertide:
“The Sundays after Easter provide opportunity to grow into the mystery of the Resurrection. Rather than attempting to artificially sustain the high joy of Easter Day and its Octave, these Sundays are given over to the living out of the Resurrection. That this is a theme also very evident in the collect for Easter Day itself is testament to the Prayer Book tradition giving pronounced emphasis to the New Testament theme of the meaning of the Resurrection for the moral life: ‘So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’ “
A Meaningful Home Series
Did you see our latest post: A Window into Meghan’s Home? If you’re interested in submitting a post, it’s not too late (and I’m not sure that it will ever be too late, as this seems to be an appropriate ongoing series for this site). If you missed it, here is a description:
A little while ago, we shared a favorite quote from G.K. Chesterton: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.” With that quote in mind, we are looking for guest posts where you show us how you follow Chesterton’s advice and make your home “symbolic and significant” to the imagination. What art do you have on your walls? Do you have a home altar/little oratory? A special garden? We are not looking for perfect homes or professional photography — just ordinary inspiration, a window into Anglican homes decorated with symbol and meaning.
So, if you’d be ever so kind, send in your posts with photos and captions to firstname.lastname@example.org (We would love posts that come from varieties of situations — homes or apartments, etc. and it also doesn’t have to be a full “house tour.” If you just have one photo to share, we’d also like that.).
Rogation Sunday is this next Sunday. What do you do at your church? We generally have a blessing of the seeds on Sunday and then, on the Wednesday following, we process around our church’s neighborhood to “beat the bounds” (but not the boys, contrary to tradition). You can read more about the Rogation Days here. Also, one way to celebrate the days with your family is by printing out this Rogation Prayer Bunting that Bley designed.
Ascension Day is on May 30th. Here is an Ascensiontide Novena to pray with your family as you prepare for Pentecost.