Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln

17 November -- Lesser Festival -- Bishop -- White

Hugh was born at Avalon in Burgundy in 1140 and at first made his profession with the Augustinian canons but, when he was twenty-five, he became a monk at Grande Chartreuse. In about 1175, he was invited by the English king, Henry II, to become prior of his Charterhouse foundation at Witham in Somerset, badly in need of reform even though it had been only recently founded. In 1186, Hugh was persuaded to accept the See of Lincoln, then the largest diocese in the land. He brought huge energy to the diocese and, together with discerning appointments to key posts, he revived the Lincoln schools, repaired and enlarged the cathedral, visited the See extensively, drew together the clergy to meet in synod and generally brought an efficiency and stability to the Church which was to be much emulated. Hugh also showed great compassion for the poor and the oppressed, ensuring that sufferers of leprosy were cared for and that Jews were not persecuted. He both supported his monarch and also held out against any royal measures he felt to be extreme, yet managing not to make an enemy of the king. He died in London on this day in the year 1200.


O God,
who endowed your servant Hugh
with a wise and cheerful boldness
and taught him to commend to earthly rulers
   the discipline of a holy life:
give us grace like him to be bold in the service of the gospel,
putting our confidence in Christ alone,
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 Micah.

With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

This is the word of the Lord.         Micah 6. 6-8

Responsorial Psalm

RYour righteousness have I not hidden in my heart, O God,
[I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance].
Great things are they that you have done, O Lord my God!
how great your wonders and your plans for us!
there is none who can be compared with you. R

O that I could make them known and tell them!
but they are more than I can count.
In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure;
you have given me ears to hear you. R

Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required,
and so I said, "Behold, I come.
In the roll of the book it is written concerning me:
'I love to do your will, O my God
your law is deep in my heart.'" R

I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation;
behold, I did not restrain my lips,
and that, O Lord, you know.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me. R         From Psalm 40

A reading from the First Letter of Timothy.

As for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time -- he who is the blessèd and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Timothy 6. 11-16

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

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.

This is the gospel of Christ.         Luke 9. 51-56

Post Communion

God, shepherd of your people,
whose servant Hugh 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.