Saint Cuthbert Novena with Images from the York Minster Saint Cuthbert Window
19 March – For the Departed – Saint Cuthbert’s Final Days, Death, and Veneration after Death
Image: St Cuthbert’s body brought to Lindisfarne. (© Taken by The York Glaziers Trust, reproduced by kind permission of the Chapter of York.)
(See below for more information on this and related panels.)
In preparation for the Feast of St Cuthbert, 20 March, we ask the saint’s prayers for the Church, for the world, for visible unity among the diversity of Christian churches and ecclesial communities—especially among Catholics and Anglicans—and for the flourishing of the Anglican patrimony.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
(Prayer throughout the novena, for the Anglican patrimony)
O HOLY Ghost the Lord, who on Pentecost gavest the Church the gift of tongues that Christ might be known, loved, and served by peoples of divers nations and customs: Watch over the Anglican heritage within thy Church, we pray thee, that, led by thy guidance and strengthened by thy grace, this worthy patrimony may find such favor in thy sight that the people formed therein may increase both in holiness and number, and so show forth thy glory; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Son, one God world without end. Amen.
(Prayer for the departed)
O eternal Lord God, who holdest all souls in life: Give, we beseech thee, to thy whole Church in paradise and on earth thy light and thy peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served thee here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into thine unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Prayer of St. John Henry Newman)
May the Lord support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us a safe lodging, and holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.
Saint Cuthbert, pray for us.
Our Father …
Hail Mary …
Glory Be …
Featured Panel Related to St Cuthbert’s Death
Panel 23d – St Cuthbert’s body brought to Lindisfarne (© Taken by The York Glaziers Trust, reproduced by kind permission of the Chapter of York. Descriptions of the Saint Cuthbert Window panels are taken from the York Glaziers Trust Stained-Glass Navigator.) – This panel shows members of the community of Lindisfarne carrying St Cuthbert’s body into the church on Lindisfarne, instead of burying him on Farne. Two monks and two priests carry Cuthbert’s coffin across the shore. The priest on the right pushes open the door to the church. Two laymen watch in the background. Waves are visible beneath the coffin to show that they have just come ashore.
Panels Related to Cuthbert’s Final Temptation, Death, and Burial
Panel 22d – St Cuthbert tormented by devils – This panel shows St Cuthbert being tormented by demons while on his deathbed. Bede describes how Cuthbert, gravely ill, commanded the brethren, who had come to care for him, to return to Lindisfarne. He remained alone on Farne for five days, being tormented by demons. Such trials were believed to purify a saint’s soul and demonstrate their holiness. [Bede’s Life of St. Cuthbert, XXXVII, Colgrave, 275.]
22e – Death of St Cuthbert – This panel is one of eleven designed and made by J.W. Knowles under the direction of Rev. J.T. Fowler in 1886-8. It shows the death of St Cuthbert, based upon Bede’s description. On the right, Herefrith, dressed as a priest, is administering the sacrament, as Cuthbert, supported by a monk, raises his hands and eyes to heaven. His soul is carried upwards by two angels.
23a Death of St Cuthbert. This panel shows the death of St Cuthbert. Cuthbert lies upon his deathbed, with a monk, a priest and a layman standing behind the bed, and another monk kneeling in the foreground. Above Cuthbert’s head, an angel carries his soul to heaven and God looks down from within stylised blue clouds that represent heaven.
Panels Related to Veneration of Saint Cuthbert after Death
Panel 23c – The sick healed at St Cuthbert’s tomb – This panel shows a group of people, including a disabled man, praying at St Cuthbert’s tomb. The tomb is of a type popular in the fifteenth century. It has a base with small niches, where men are kneeling in prayer. On top of the base, beneath an elaborate canopy, is a lifelike sculpture of Cuthbert. Bede describes several miracles occurring at Cuthbert’s tomb, and this panel likely shows the healing of a sick man.
Panel 23e – People praying at St Cuthbert’s shrine – This panel shows a group of monks and laymen at St Cuthbert’s shrine. The shrine is of a type popular in the fifteenth century. It has a base with small niches, where men are kneeling in prayer. On the left end is a small altar. On top of the base is a golden reliquary housing Cuthbert’s body. It has small sculptures of saints set into niches on the sides.