Looking through the calendar of commemorations for the month of November, it seems as though there are rather more commemorations this month than in a lot of others. And not just popular saints days, but particularly quite a few early British ones. We’ve got:
- St. Willibrord, 739, Northumbrian missionary bishop, Apostle to the Frisians
- St. Margaret, 1093, queen of Scotland
- St. Aelfric, ca. 1010, archbishop of Canterbury and abbot of Eynsham
- St. Hugh, 1200, bishop of Lincoln
- St. Hilda, 680, abbess
- St. Edmund, 869, martyr-king of East Anglia
And beyond them a few memorials of recent great Anglicans include Richard Hooker, William Temple, Charles Simeon, the Consecration of America’s first Bishop, and C.S. Lewis. Not to mention a few classic saints from early times like St. Leo the Great, St. Martin of Tours, St. Cecilia, St. Clement, and St. Catherine of Alexandria.
The four names in bold, above, are people about whom I’ve written articles myself. The rest of the links are to Wikipedia.
Now, whether you want to make a point of remembering these men and women in a Communion or Antecommunion service is up to you and/or your priest. And you may wish to consult this Customary’s guide to handling the sanctoral calendar for advice. Whatever so, this is a month with commemorations that particularly remind us of the deep roots we have in English spirituality and tradition.
The Lord is glorious in his saints. O come, let us adore him!