Devotion Remembering Bede, English Monk and Historian

Today we remember Bede, an English monk who lived in the seventh and eighth centuries. Bede is remembered for his teaching about history and Christian theology. Our devotion comes from Lutheran Worship: Hymnal Companion.

Devotional Reading

Bede the Venerable (673–735) was born near the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. Orphaned as a child, at the age of seven his relatives gave him to Abbot Benedict (Biscop) and afterward to Ceolfrid, to be educated. In his nineteenth year he was admitted to the diaconate; in his thirtieth, to the priesthood, both by the hands of Bishop John of Beverley and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid. Bede, the scholar, grammarian, philosopher, poet, biographer, and historian spent the greater part of his life at Jarrow, hardly leaving the monastery. There he died May 26, 735.

Bede was above all a student of history and theology, and a teacher whose aim it was to teach his pupils the knowledge necessary both to salvation and to the understanding of Christian theology and history. To this end he wrote a series of textbooks and treatises that were used in western Europe’s schools for many centuries. The work that contributed most to his fame is the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a well-arranged and straightforward account of the establishment and growth of the Christian Church in England. In this work he mentions that he is the author of a Liber hymnorum diverso metro sive rhythmo, a book containing both metrical and rhythmical hymns. Unfortunately this book has not survived, but Blume and Dreves in their Analecta hymnica, vol. 50, include no less than sixteen hymns considered to be genuine Bede hymns.

Devotional reading is adapted from Lutheran Worship: Hymnal Companion, pages 542–43 © 1992 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.


Heavenly Father, when he was still a child You called Your servant Bede to devote his life to serve You in the venerable disciplines of religion and scholarship. As he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of Your truth to his generation, grant that we may also strive to make You known in all the world in our various vocations; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer is from The Pastor at Prayer, pages 251–52 © 2014 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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