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Lay for the Day
24th April

St Egbert's day. An Anglo-Saxon aristocrat from Northumbria, Egbert became a monk on the island of Lindisfarne, studied in Ireland, and spent the last thirteen years of his life in the remote but influential community of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. He eventually persuaded the community to harmonise its Easter feast with the rest of the Western Church (the church in Britain at that time having a different calendar from that of Rome). The first time that Iona celebrated Easter on the same day as the rest of Europe was 24th April 729 – the day that Egbert died.


The Plan


The plan is where our letters
Perfectly fit their slots
And the replies come back
Wholly devoid of nots.

The four helpers meet us
In the prince’s courtyard,
Showing us how simple
Is all we thought was hard,

According to the plan.
Whose largest surprise is
Our clear goal dissolving
As the Lord devises.



John Gibbens
from Collected Poems
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar