S. Gilbert of Sempringham, Confessor; Comm. the Octave of S. Cuthman, Hermit & Confessor: Missa “Justus ut palma”
Son of the wealthy Norman knight Jocelin. When Gilbert showed no signs of becoming a soldier, his father exiled him to Paris, France to study. Gilbert returned to England as a master of arts, and opened a school for the children of the poor in Sempringham, paying special attention to training in religion. His father provided him a living from the rents on part of his lands in Sempringham and Tirington, but Gilbert redistributed most of this to the poor. Clerk in the household of bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln, England. Ordained at age 40. When his parents died in 1130, Gilbert returned to the manor and began to spend his inheritance by founding Benedictine and Augustinian monasteries, and by providing for the poor. He drew up rules for an order of nuns later known as the Gilbertines, the only order founded on a rule designed by an Englishman, and which eventually grew to 26 houses before being suppressed in the persecutions of King Henry VIII. Gilbert was the target of slander, once accused of helping the exiled Saint Thomas Becket, which accusation landed him in prison. When he was 90 years old, some of Gilbert’s lay brothers revolted against his authority, but Pope Alexander III supported Gilbert. He became blind in his old age, put aside all rule of the lands and the orders, devoted himself to prayer and the communal life, and lived to be over 100 years old.
St. Cuthman was venerated as a saint before the Norman Conquest. After the conquest his relics were transferred to Fécamp, since the Steyning church had been given to the Abbey there. In charters of William the Conqueror Steyning is sometimes called “St. Cuthman’s Port” or “St. Cuthman’s Parish”. In “lives” which were preserved at Fécamp it is said that he was born about 681 A.D., probably at Chidham, near Bosham, which is about 25 miles from Steyning. If this is so, his parents would have heard the preaching of St Wilfrid, the Apostle of Sussex (680-685), and no doubt became Christian. Did Wilfrid himself baptise the child Cuthman? Some authorities give him a date later than this, but at least it can be said that Cuthman’s church was in existence in 857, for we know that King Ethelwulf was buried there in that year.
The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God. 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. Repeat In the midst of the Church..
Give heed, Lord, to our entreaties on this festival of thy blessed confessor, Gilbert, so that we, who put no trust in our own right-doing, may be helped by the prayers of him who has won thy favour: Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God; throughout all ages, world without end. R. Amen
Of St Cuthman
O Lord, saviour and keeper of those who seek Thee, who didst grant Blessed Cuthman, undefiled, to renounce this world and to flee to the protection of thy wings; grant by his intercession that thy people may have grace to flee from the contagion of the evil one, and to follow thee alone with a pure heart and mind.
Of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Grant us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, to be delivered from present sorrows and to enjoy everlasting gladness. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ: Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 4: 4,19
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, we are made a spectacle to the world and to angels and men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ: we are weak, but you are strong: you are honorable, but we without honor. Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode, and we labor working with our own hands. We are reviled, and we bless: we are persecuted, and we suffer it: we are blasphemed, and we entreat: we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all, even until now. I write not these things to confound you, but I admonish you as my dearest children in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUAL Psalm 44: 5
With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. V. Because of truth, and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully.
TRACT Psalm 111.1-3
A blessed man is he who fears the Lord, bearing all love to his commandments. V. Children of his shall win renown in their country: ever the sons of the just shall find a blessing. V. Esteem dwells with such a man, and great prosperity: fame shall record his gracious deeds eternally.
GOSPEL Luke 12: 32-34
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. Sell what you possess, and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in Heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth – for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 20: 2,3
In thy strength, O Lord, the just shall joy, and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly: Thou hast given him his heart’s desire.
Grant, we pray thee, almighty God, that our lowly offering may be welcome to thee as honouring thy saints, and may cleanse us body and soul. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God; throughout all ages, world without end. R. Amen
Of St Cuthman
Take from us, O Lord, all worldly desires, that we might worthily serve at thy altar; and grant us to follow the example of him, in whose honour we offer this immaculate sacrifice to thy divine majesty.
Of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Through Thy mercy, O Lord, and by the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may this oblation give us prosperity and peace both now and forever. 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 Common
It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them, we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 19: 28-29
Amen I say to you, that you, who have left all things and followed Me, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
Almighty God, we pray that we who have received the bread of heaven, may at the intercession of thy confessor, blessed Gilbert, be strengthened by it against all adversity. 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 St Cuthman
We beseech thee O Lord by the virtue of this Sacrament, to grant us the grace to follow the example of Blessed Cuthman in thy service: and may that good work which thou hast begun in us, be brought to perfection in the day of Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Having received, O Lord, these helps to our salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be ever protected by the patronage of blessed Mary ever Virgin, in whose honor we have made these offerings to Thy majesty. 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.