Edmund, King of the East Angles

20 November -- Lesser Festival -- Martyr -- Red

Born in about the year 840, Edmund was nominated as king while still a boy. He was crowned King of Norfolk in 855 and of Suffolk the following year. As king, he won the hearts of his subjects by his care of the poor and his steady suppression of wrong-doing. When attacked by the Danes, he refused to give over his kingdom or to renounce his faith in Christ. He was tied to a tree, shot with arrows and finally beheaded on this day in the year 870.


Eternal God,
whose servant Edmund kept faith to the end,
both with you and with his people,
and glorified you by his death:
grant us such steadfastness of faith
that, with the noble army of martyrs,
we may come to enjoy the fullness of the resurrection life;
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 Book of Proverbs.

Loyalty and faithfulness preserve the king, and his throne is upheld by righteousness. The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart -- the lamp of the wicked -- are sin. The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.

This is the word of the Lord.         Proverbs 20. 28; 21. 1-4, 7

Responsorial Psalm

RRestore us again, O God of hosts;
[show the light of your countenance and we shall be saved].
You have brought a vine out of Egypt;
you cast out the nations and planted it.
You prepared the ground for it;
it took root and filled the land. R

The mountains were covered by its shadow
and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.
You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea
and its branches to the River. R

Turn now, O God of hosts,
look down from heaven and see:
behold and tend this vine,
preserve what your right hand has planted. R

Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand,
the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
And so will we never turn away from you;
give us life, that we may call upon your name. R         From Psalm 80

A reading from the Revelation to John.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah, for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death. Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them!"

This is the word of the Lord.         Revelation 12. 10-12a

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

Jesus said to the disciples, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 10. 34-39

Post Communion

who gave us this holy meal
in which we have celebrated the glory of the cross
and the victory of your martyr Edmund:
by our communion with Christ
in his saving death and resurrection,
give us with all your saints the courage to conquer evil
and so to share the fruit of the tree of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.