“My lady abbess, I have a message from the king.”
I send the messenger to the kitchen for a meal and break the seal on the heavy parchment. My eye runs to the bottom and King Oswy’s mark before I read the document.
King Oswy can no longer tolerate two churches in Northumbria. We must, his scribe writes, all follow the same calendar so that he and Queen Enfleda can observe the penance of Lent and the joy of Easter at the same time.
When I was a child, King Edwin said he followed God because God brought him victory. I smile. Woden didn’t depart without a struggle. All King Oswy worries about is a calendar, but he emulates Edwin’s example. He will convene a synod at Streoneshalh this fall. There will be chiefs, princes, and prelates from throughout Northumbria, and I am to play hostess.
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