Today is the Octave Day of St. Willibrord, a British-born, Irish-trained, Roman-commissioned Benedictine who evangelized the Netherlands (or in the words of the Roman Martyrology, “Friesland and Denmark”). As such he is hailed as the patron and apostolic father of the Old Roman Catholic Church of the Netherlands, the original See of Utrecht.
Today is also commemorated the octave in celebration of St Martin of Tours, Apostle to Gaul (Latin: Sanctus Martinus Turonensis; 316 – November 8, 397) who was a Bishop of Tours whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostella. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints. He is considered a spiritual bridge across Europe, given his association with both France and Hungary.
Today is also the feast day of St Erkenwald (also Ercenwald, Earconwald or Erconwald) who was Bishop of London in the Anglo-Saxon Christian church between 675 and 693.
In 675, Erkenwald became the Bishop of London, after Bishop Wine. He was the choice of Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury. While bishop, he contributed to King Ine of Wessex‘s law code, and is mentioned specifically in the code as a contributor. He is also reputed to have converted Sebba, King of the East Saxons to Christianity in 677. Current historical scholarship credits Erkenwald with a large role in the evolution of Anglo-Saxon charters, and it is possible that he drafted the charter of Caedwalla to Farnham. King Ine of Wessex named Erkenwald as an advisor on his laws.
Erkenwald died in 693 and his remains were buried at Old St Paul’s Cathedral. His grave was a popular place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, and was destroyed together with a number of other tombs in the cathedral during the Reformation. The festival of his deposition was kept on the 30th April, and that of the solemn translation of his relics, which took place in the year 1148, on the 14th November. When the shrine was plundered, at the time of the change of religion, the body of the Saint is said to have been re-interred near the east end of the choir.
INTROIT Sir 45:30
The Lord made a covenant of friendship with him, and made him a prince; that he should possess the dignity of priesthood forever. Ps. 131:1 Remember, O Lord, David and all his meekness. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, Who didst vouchsafe to send thy blessed Saint Willibrord to preach Thy glory to the Gentiles : we humbly pray Thee that, by his intercession, we may both see and know the things which we ought to do, and by Thy mercy be enabled to perform the same. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who livest and reignest with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
of the Octave of St Martin of Tours
O God, Who see that we cannot survive by any power of our own, mercifully grant that, by the intercession of blessed Martin, Your Confessor and Bishop, we may be made safe from all harm.
of St Erkenwald
Almighty and everlasting God, who givest us joy by today’s feast of Thy blessed Confessor Bishop Erkenwald, we humbly entreat Thy gracious kindness that we who with devout service keep his festival may through his loving intercession gain the healing that brings everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Sir 44:16-27 45:3-20.
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus: Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, by an oath, the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Sir 44:16; 44:20
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God. V. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps 109:4
You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedec. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his particular ability, and then he went on his journey. And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more. In like manner, he who had received the two gained two more. But he who had received the one went away and dug in the earth and hid his master’s money. Then after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; behold, I have gained five others in addition.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had received the two talents came, and said, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; behold, I have gained two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88:21-22
I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, that My hand may be always with him, and that My arm may make him strong.
May Your Saints, we beseech You, O Lord, everywhere make us joyful: so that, while we reflect upon their merits, we may enjoy their help. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
of the Octave of St Martin
Sanctify, we beseech You, O Lord God, the gifts we offer on the feast of Your holy Bishop, Martin, that through them our life, whether in fortune or misfortune, may always be directed aright.
for St Erkenwald
Be moved by our entreaties, Lord, we pray Thee, and with Thy blessed Confessor Bishop Erkenwald pleading for us, grant that we ministers of Thy heavenly sacraments may be free from every fault. Let Thy purifying grace cleanse us through the very mysteries we serve. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12:42
The faithful and prudent servant whom the master will set over his household to give them their ration of grain in due time.
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that as we thank You for the favors we have received, we may, by the intercession of blessed Willibrord, Your Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
of the Octave of St Martin
Grant, we beseech You, O Lord our God, that this sacrifice may be beneficial for our salvation, by the intercession of those on whose feast-day it is offered.
for St Erkenwald
Grant, we pray Thee, Lord, our God, that we who have been purified by the divine eucharist may, at the intercession of Thy blessed Confessor Bishop Erkenwald, move on to the fulfilment in heaven of this sacrament in which we have taken part. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.