Today the church remembers a Deacon of the faithful, Alcuin, Abbot of Tours.
Alcuin was a companion of Charlemagne, and founded organized learning in France. He was known as a monk, teacher, author, but primarily as one who practiced Word and Service in the world.
After being called as a deacon he became the head of the York school. In that service, he visited Rome and the Frankish court, and was convinced by Charlemagne to stay in the court and help to revive education in the Frankish territories.
He eventually left the court and became the Abbot of St. Martin’s at Tours, and is buried there still today.
In a day where the church was expanding, he was instrumental in incorporating Gelasian and Roman sacramentary practices together, allowing the church budding in Gaul to see parts of themselves in the practices of the church.
The Alcuin Club, a group dedicated to the study of Christian liturgy, continues his work.
He is a reminder that education has always been a focus of the faith, and that anti-intellectualism is incompatible with those who seek after the Truth that we claim God is.
Honoring, training, and listening to teachers is a part of our call, especially in times of crisis.
He is also a reminder for the faithful that some are called to practice the faith in ways other than just sacramental ministry. Although Alcuin never consecrated an element, he certainly influenced sacramental practice and the liturgy. The voices of pastors and priests are not the only voices to be heard.