15th June 2022

Over the years, to find a theme for a young people’s address, church service or school assembly, I’ve often turned to what that day holds in terms of anniversaries or saints’ feast days. Today, fifteenth of June, is the feast day of St Edburga, grand-daughter of King Alfred the Great, whose widow founded a nunnery of which Edburga was abbess. Edburga died in AD 960; was initially buried at Winchester, and later some of her remains were moved to Pershore in Worcestershire. Little more is known about her; not much of a peg on which to hang substantial thought! Edburga’s feast day is the day of her death, today, the fifteenth of June, and is included in the Lectionary, published for the ordering of common worship across the country.

None of our birthdays or death dates are likely to make it into the lectionary. But in another sense, each of us who has committed our lives to Christ are ‘saints’, believers referred to in the New Testament by St Paul. And we don’t have to be dead before we can have a feast day, not on one particular day of the year, but every day of the year for that matter. Once we have chosen to follow Christ, for us every day is Christmas Day, celebrating God sharing in our humanity; every day is Good Friday, reassuring us that God is sharing in our suffering; every day is Easter Day, the day of Resurrection and new life; and every day is Pentecost, empowering us with the Spirit. A four-course feast every single day of our lives!

David Bell