Wednesday, May 27, 2009

27 May -- St Augustine of Canterbury, Apostle of England

The old proper hymn for Lauds of the feast of St Augustine as translated by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.:

O, Isle fruitful in saints
Sing a hymn to thine Apostle!
Praise in holy song the Son of Gregory!

Made fertile by his toil,
thou gavest a rich harvest,
and for ages wast famed for thy flowers of sanctity.

He enters England,
having with him his forty brethren.
He bears the standard of Christ.
He is the leader, and brings the pledges of peace.

The trophy of the Cross shines forth;
the word of salvation is spread through the land.
Yea, the king himself, though a barbarian,
receives the faith with a ready heart.

The nation casts aside its savage ways;
it is baptized in the river's stream,
and is born to its new life,
on the very day that the Sun of Justice rose upon our earth.

O kind Shepherd!
from thy heavenly throne feed thy children.
Thy flock has gone astray;
lead it back to the arms of its anxious Mother.

O blessed Trinity,
that art ever pouring the dew of grace upon thy vine!
grant that the ancient faith may rise again and flourish in our land!
from Dom Gueranger's The Liturgical Year, volume VIII

A collect for St Augustine's Day:

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy Name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide in thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ or Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Life of St Augustine.