Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oswald of Worcester

(died 29 February 992) was Archbishop of York from 972 to his death in 992. He was of Danish ancestry, but brought up by his uncle, Oda who sent him to France to the abbey of Fleury to become a monk. After a number of years at Fleury, Oswald returned to England at the request of his uncle, who died before Oswald returned. With his uncle's death, Oswald needed a patron and turned to another kinsman, Oskytel, who had recently become Archbishop of York. His activity for Oskytel attracted the notice of Saint Dunstan who had Oswald consecrated as Bishop of Worcester in 961. In 972 Oswald was promoted to the see of York, although he continued to hold Worcester also.

As bishop and archbishop, Oswald was a supporter of Dunstan's reforms of the church, including monastic reforms. He was one of the leading promoters of the reforms, along with Dunstan and Aethelwold. Oswald founded a number of monasteries, including Ramsey Abbey. Oswald also switched the cathedral chapter of Worcester from secular clergy to monks. While archbishop, he brought the scholar Abbo of Fleury to York to teach for several years. Oswald died in 992, while washing the feet of the poor. A hagiographical life was written shortly after his death, and he was quickly hailed as a saint.

Propers for Oswald of Worcester - Monk, Archbishop and Reformer

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Oswald of Worcester, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our
faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15.

HOWBEIT what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffer the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I
may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us
therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, even this shall God reveal unto you.

The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.

AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

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