The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV.
HOW THE CONTROVERSY AROSE ABOUT THE DUE TIME OF KEEPING
EASTER, WITH THOSE THAT CAME OUT OF SCOTLAND.

In the meantime, Bishop Aidan being dead, Finan, who was ordained and sent by the Scots, succeeded him in the bishopric, and built a church in the Isle of Lindisfarn, the episcopal see; nevertheless, after the manner of the Scots, he made it, not of stone, but of hewn oak, and covered it with reeds; and the same was afterwards dedicated in honour of St. Peter the apostle, by the reverend Archbishop Theodorus. Eadberht, also bishop of that place, taking off the thatch, covered it, both the roof and the walls, with plates of lead. At this time, a great and frequent controversy happened about the observance of Easter; those that came from Kent or France affirming, that the Scots kept Easter-Sunday contrary to the custom of the universal Church. Among them was a most zealous defender of the true Easter, whose name was Roman, a Scot by nation, but instructed in ecclesiastical truth, either in France or Italy, who, disputing with Finan, convinced many, or at least induced them to make a more strict inquiry after the truth; yet he could not prevail upon Finan, but on the contrary made him the more inveterate by reproof, and a professed opposer of the truth, being of a hot and violent temper. James, formerly the deacon of the venerable Archbishop Paulinus, as has been said above, kept the true and Catholic Easter, with all those that he could persuade to adopt the right way. Queen Eanfleda and her followers also observed the same as she had seen practised in Kent, having with her a Kentish priest that followed the Catholic mode, whose name was Romanus. Thus it is said to have happened in those times that Easter was twice kept in one year; and that when the king, having ended the time of fasting kept his Easter, the

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