May 18, 2014

A Monk Worth His Metal

Dunstan of Canterbury is one of those tough-minded monastics who, while maintaining a foot in the world of contemplation, also managed to get his hands dirty not only with the stuff of the metal shop but of politics. Like it or not, is to the reforms that he and his colleagues initiated that we owe much of the concept of Established Church, with King and Archbishop working hand in hand. This is perhaps best exemplified in the creation of a full-fledged coronation liturgy.

The irony is that inbuilt tensions in this royal/monastic alliance ultimately contributed to its own eventual downfall in the days of Henry VIII. Perhaps a case of metal fatigue?

The Collect (from Lesser Feasts and Fasts)
O God of truth and beauty, you richly endowed your bishop Dunstan with skill in music and the working of metals, and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal: Teach us, we pray, to see in you the source of all our talents, and move us to offer them for the adornment of worship and the advancement of true religion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
The icon is part of my "real people" series.

1 comment:

Deacon Charlie Perrin said...

File "Established Church" under be careful what you wish for.

I'm sure it's had its good moments but in the multicultural England of today it's more of a curse than a blessing.