Today we celebrate the feast of St Swithun.
Swithun was the Bishop of Winchester on the ninth century. He asked to be buried ‘humbly’ and not in a great shrine and when he died his request was fulfilled. However, when a new cathedral was being built, the new bishop decided to move Swithun’s remains into a shrine in the cathedral, despite warnings that to move the bones would bring about terrible storms. Apparently, it rained for 40 days. Folklore now says that if it rains on St Swithun’s Day we will have rain for 40 days. (It sure is windy and wet today!)
What a shame the day is remembered for that. Swithun sounds like a good, holy and humble man. Today should be an occasion for celebrating Christian simplicity and holiness. The collect is lovely. I shall carry it with me today as I visit those committed to my care.
Here it is.
The Collect for St Swithun’s Day
by whose grace we celebrate again
the feast of your servant Swithun:
grant that, as he governed with gentleness
the people committed to his care
so we rejoicing in our Christian inheritance,
may always seek to build up your Church in unity and love;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen