‘When the third day of the week was come, at cock crowing the monastery is filled with angelic choirs, and is melodious with heavenly songs, and is full of sweetest fragrance. At the hour of matins, when the clerks were replying to the songs with psalms and hymns, the Lord Jesus deigned to bestow his presence for the consolation of the father, as he had promised by the angel. “Take me”, said he, “after thee”. With these words he gave back his life to God, Christ being his companion, and accompanied by the angelic host he went to the abodes of heaven.
O, who then could bear the weeping of the saints, the sad sighs of the anchorites, the groaning of the priests, the wailing of the disciples, who exclaimed, “By whom shall we be taught?”, the grief of the pilgrims, saying, “By whom shall we aided?”, the despair of kings, who said, “By whom shall we be appointed, corrected and established? Who so very mild a father as David? Who shall intercede for us to the Lord?”, the lamentations of peoples, the grief of paupers, the cryings of sick folk, the clamour of monks, the tears of virgins, married people, penitents, young men, young women, boys, girls, infants sucking breasts? Why do I delay? The voice of all was one of mourners, for kings grieved at him as an arbiter, old men wailed for him as a brother, adults honoured him as a father, nay, he was was whom all venerated as God.
And so his body, carried in the arms of holy brethren, and accompanied by a great throng, is honourably committed to the earth and buried in his own monastery. But his soul without any limit of passing time is crowned for ever and ever.
May he, whose festival we devoutly celebrate on earth, unite us by his intercessions to the angelic citizens, God being over all and our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen’.
from The Life of Saint David by Rhygyrarch the Wise, 1057-1099
Fr Lee Kenyon