Pentecost Friday – May 20, 2016 (Alcuin)
Alquin of York
Friday, May 20, 2016
- Psalm 102-103
- Joshua 6:1-20
- Luke 10:1-16
Click on the arrow below to pray with the audio of the Morning Office of Daily Prayer from Common Worship:
Alcuin was an Englishman from York, born into a noble family about 730, and educated by a pupil of Bede. Having become a deacon, he was made head of the cathedral school at York around 770. In 781 he was asked by the Emperor Charlemagne to become his minister of education. He accepted, and established schools at many cathedrals and monasteries, and promoted learning in every way he could. In the preceding years of constant wars and invasions, many ancient writings had been lost. Alcuin established scriptoria, dedicated to the copying and preservation of ancient manuscripts, both pagan and Christian. That we have as much as we do of the writings of classical Roman authors is largely due to Alcuin and his scribes. (He is credited with the invention of cursive script, in which the letters are connected for greater speed of writing.) To Alcuin, backed by Charlemagne, belongs much of the credit for the revision and organisation of the Latin liturgy, the preservation of many of the ancient prayers, and the development of plainchant. He and his fellow theologians at Charlemagne’s capital of Aachen (or Aix-le-Chappelle) were important advocates of the doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son jointly. Unfortunately, the East, which regarded the Emperor at Byzantium as the sole Emperor, resented Charlemagne’s assumption of the title of Holy Roman Emperor, and this hardened their opposition to the aforesaid doctrine, thus contributing to the rift between East and West.
written by James Kiefer
Almighty God, who raised up your servant Alcuin as a beacon of learning: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that in our generation we may show forth your praise, for you have called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.