Event: Assembly, Exhumation, Healing, Liturgical celebration, Relics-incorrupt preservation/placing in reliquary/requesting/translating, Religious practice, Tomb-making/openingSwithhun 5.translation

Scholarly Info
Description After the blind woman (Anonymous 593) had been cured at the tomb of Swithhun 5, ∆thelwold 1 gave orders for the shrine to be lifted. The shrine was removed and then tents were put up so that people would not rush upon the saint and so that the enclosure was only accessible to a few attendants. After the completion of Vespers, the first procession of monks began, in chants, to praise Swithhun 5. In the night, many of the faithful prepared twinkling lamps and went to see the saint. On Saturday 15 July ∆thelwold 1 was present along with ∆lfstan 38 (Abbot of the Old Minster) and with ∆thelgar 8 (Abbot of the New Minster) and they were all dressed in holy vestments and accompanied by the communities from both the Old and New Minsters. Both communities advanced bearing candles and burning Sabaean incense. ∆thelwold 1 chanted and everyone echoed his words. After the crowd had been removed from around the body of Swithhun 5, a few people entered the tents which enclosed the holy tomb. While all present were chanting the psalms in order, the first to excavate the earth was ∆thelwold 1. When the mass of the lid had been removed with three poles, the tomb was laid open and they at once found the treasure whose discovery had been predicted to the smith (Anonymous 526). When the body was brought forth into the light, a wonderful odour filled the entire town. With apprehension they touched the precious body, washed it and wrapped it in a clean shroud and enclosed it in a new shrine and placed it on a feretory. When the body had been translated, ∆thelwold 1 began a hymn. After this the doors were opened and the entire host entered and ∆thelwold 1 celebrated mass at the saint's head. All the bells were ringing and the noise of the bells and the voices of men resounded together.
Year 971
Primary Source Info
Date from Source Saturday 15 July


*Lapidge notes (pp. 457-59) that Wulfstan's description of the translation of Swithhun 5 contains many details not present in Lantfred, particularly the touching of the relics, washing them, wrapping them in a clean shroud, placing them in a temporary shrine which was in turn placed on a feretory. Lapidge (p. 285, n. 160) suggests that the reason for this is that Lantfred was most probably not present on the occasion whereas Wulfstan was.

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