25 May: Office Hymns for Saint Bede the Venerable
Office Hymns for Lauds/Matins and Vespers/Evensong
By Brother Aelred Seton-Shanley Obl.OSB Cam.
Did Bede aspire to serve.
No other love could claim the heart
He gave without reserve.
From boyhood onward his delight
Was in the scriptures found,
Or singing praise to him who hung
Upon the Rood, thorn-crowned.
Like Easter night, Bede’s quiet cell
Saw Christ arising there;
And when Ascension dawned at last
The Son shone bright and fair.
To Christ the King of glory sing,
And God the Father praise,
Whose Spirit dwells in peaceful hearts
And guides them in his ways.
Rejoiced in singing in God’s sight;
In writing, teaching, learning, all,
He found his pleasure and delight.
To aid his brothers in their prayer
He noted what the Scriptures say.
Delighting, he drank deeply there,
In hopes he’d gain the Source one day.
Though faithful to his cloistered life
He found whole worlds within his cell:
His hist’ry of the English Church
Endures and still is not excelled.
The Gospel of Saint John he loved,
And rendered in his mother tongue;
At last, its final word complete,
He died as Christ had: “It is done.”