News of Cuthbert’s death is relayed from Farne to Lindisfarne by torches, as the monks on both islands are singing Psalm 59 at Lauds. But Cuthbert’s death results in the fragmentation of the community, dissension and division. It seems the peace and concord between the Iona and Roman groups embodied in Cuthbert, and for which he longed and prayed, was too fragile to last without his wise hand at the tiller, until another godly leader was found in Eadberht, a year later. Cuthbert was buried in the church on Lindisfarne. Day 40 of Morning Prayer with St Cuthbert.
We have an innate sense of fairness. Society is built on the principle of justice. And yet justice has no power to give life – only to take it. And where do we stand before a just God? The Lord’s Prayer has the key. The Bewcastle Benefice sermon for the 6th Sunday after Trinity, Year C can be found here.
We have reached Cuthbert’s last hours among us. He spends his final, disease-ridden moments lying in the corner of his tiny oratory, opposite the altar. Herefrith is with him, and through the course of the day, coaxes some halting words as a final legacy. He receives the sacraments in the evening, and then releases his spirit. This is a holy death, in peace, pain, and virtual solitude, but with the unseen company of heaven present – Cuthbert is going home. Day 39 of Morning Prayer with St Cuthbert.
After a long hiatus, the next instalment of morning prayer with St Cuthbert is available.
Cuthbert is weak. His strength is gone and his body failing. He allows another, sick, monk to accompany him into his cell for the first time in many years. But the power of God’s Spirit to bless and to heal is not limited by a man’s frailty. Perhaps it’s even enhanced by it…
What does Jesus mean, ‘let the dead bury the dead’? What is freedom? What is this ‘Spirit’ that is so often portrayed as a wild bird over the waters, or in the mountains? What does it mean to see the world aright and be alive to God? Some of the questions posed by the readings for Trinity 2.
The sermon for Trinity 2 Sunday (Year C) can be found here
The latest benefice newsletter can now be found here.
Saturday, 28th May, 5pm, Taizé/Celtic Evening Prayer in the Barn, Greenholme, Bewcastle. This is a special service with a difference, held over the weekend of the Forgotten Lands Festival. Seating is on bales of straw or hay, an old church pew, and a few wooden chairs. A 10ft wooden cross hangs from the roof beams at one end. It is informal, part way between outdoors and in. The service is contemplative, the music simple, the words earthy. If you’re not normally a church-goer, come and try it out. Everyone is welcome, especially young people. If you need directions, the postcode is CA6 6PW