Alcuin - Saints Episcopal Church

Commemoration of Alcuin
The Reverend Roger Hungerford
Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth
your spirit and we shall be recreated, and you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen
In the late 700s Europe was emerging from the dark ages and leaders were beginning to reclaim the
value of knowledge and education. The church was in the forefront of this Renaissance. Alcuin who
died in May 804 was a deacon of the church and minister of education under Charlemagne. He was
instrumental in both the establishment of schools in Central Europe and the creation of scriptoria,
dedicated to the copying and preservation of ancient manuscripts. As noted by the Episcopal
Church's unofficial Christian Biographer James Kiefer "That we have as much as we do of the
writings of classical Roman authors is largely due to Alcuin and his scribes…(and) much of the
credit for the revision and organization of the Latin liturgy, the preservation of many of the ancient
prayers, and the development of plainchant” 1 can be attributed to him. The Collect for Purity we
prayed at the opening of our worship can be traced to Alcuin, and Eucharistic Prayer we will use this
morning is based on ancient Latin liturgy.
May honoring Alcuin remind us that intelligence, creativity and the ability to learn are all grace given
gifts from God, and that it is the fire of the Holy Spirit the motivates us to teach thus sharing our
gifts with the world. Amen.
James Kiefer’s entry on the Calendar of the Church Year according to the Episcopal Church for May 19, Alcuin accessed 5/18/2015