Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester

19 January -- Lesser Festival -- Bishop -- White

Born in about the year 1009, Wulfstan's first twenty-five years after his ordination was spent in the monastery at Worcester. Against his will, he was elected Bishop of Worcester in 1062 but went on to prove an able administrator and pastor. He carefully and gently nurtured both church and state through the transition from Saxon to Norman rule. He died at Worcester on this day in the year 1095.


Lord God,
who raised up Wulfstan to be a bishop among your people
   and a leader of your Church:
help us, after his example,
   to live simply,
   to work diligently
   and to make your kingdom known;
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.

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.

The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the Lord." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one." Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one." Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen any of these."

Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here." He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one." Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Samuel 16. 1, 6-13

Responsorial Psalm

RThe Lord will rule over the nations for ever,
[for he is at your right hand for ever].
The Lord said to my lord, "Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool."
The Lord will send the sceptre of your power out of Zion,
saying, "Rule over your enemies round about you. R

"Princely state has been yours from the day of your birth,
in the beauty of holiness have I begotten you,
like dew from the womb of the morning." R

The Lord has sworn and he will not recant:
"You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.."
The Lord who is at your right hand
will smite kings in the day of his wrath;
he will rule over the nations. R         From Psalm 110

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgement before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Corinthians 4. 1-5

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus said to his disciples, "Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other servants their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessèd is that servant whom his master will find at work when he arrives."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 24. 42-46

Post Communion

God, shepherd of your people,
whose servant Wulfstan revealed the loving service of Christ
   in his ministry as a pastor of your people:
by this eucharist in which we share
awaken within us the love of Christ
and keep us faithful to our Christian calling;
through him who laid down his life for us,
but is alive and reigns with you, now and for ever.