Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints, the new book of commemorations on the Episcopal Church calendar (succeeding Lesser Feasts and Fasts) was recently published for trial use by Church Publishing Inc.
The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has launched a one-year review period, during which Episcopalians are encouraged to comment on the new book, which revises many of the entries from Lesser Feasts and Fasts and adds more than 100 new commemorations.
ENS Weekly bulletin inserts for Aug. 8 provide information about the new volume and the survey, and begin a list of the new names provisionally added to the calendar, to be continued in occasional future inserts.
The Saints of God
Holy Women, Holy Men published for trial use
I sing a song of the saints of God, patient and brave and true â¦ and one was a doctor and one was a queen, and one was a shepherdess on the green â¦
âHymn 293, Hymnal 1982
Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints, the new book of commemorations on the Episcopal Church calendar (succeeding Lesser Feasts and Fasts), does include doctors and queens, as well as deacons, nuns, priests, bishops, writers, kings, apostles, missionaries, hymn-makers, soldiers, monks, artists, composers, mystics, jurists, liberators, prophets and even an Olympic champion (and missionary to China). The shepherdess on the green may be harder to find, but certainly pastors abound in this representation of the communion of saints.
Some 10 years ago, Frank T. Griswold, then-presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, asked the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music "to undertake a review and revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts, and to consider anew each entry in the existing Calendar of Saints, alongside any proposed new commemorations," he wrote in the foreword to Holy Women, Holy Men. It is the first complete revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts in more than 40 years. The book was published in 2010 by Church Publishing Inc.
'More than 100 new commemorations were approved at the 2009 General Convention," SCLM notes on its website, http://liturgyandmusic.wordpress.com. "Nine years in the making, the new volume offers a fuller representation of the diversity of the Episcopal Church as well as a broader ecumenical and international mix of commemorations. While a significant number are from the most recent centuries, the additions include saints from every period of church history.
"The 2009 General Convention called for trial use of these commemorations, giving opportunity to pray with this new material before a final decision about whether to add each commemoration to the calendar of The Book of Common Prayer.
"We invite you to join us in this prayer each day, whether by worshiping with a congregation or by including the commemoration in your personal devotion," SCLM continues. "Then tell us about your experience. How did this person's life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today? How well does the collect gather the prayers of the assembly and pray about the significance of the person? How well do these lessons speak to the life of this saint?"
'We want to hear about people's experiences with Holy Women, Holy Men," says the Rev. Ruth Meyers, professor of liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and chair of SCLM. "It's important that everyone have an opportunity to review and provide input on this major work. That includes individuals as well as congregations and dioceses."
An online survey to assist in gathering feedback became available on July 1 and will close on June 30, 2011. After compiling the data from the survey, SCLM will prepare a comprehensive report for the 77th General Convention, meeting in 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Copies of Holy Women, Holy Men are available from Church Publishing (visit https://https://www.churchpublishing.org//) or from Episcopal Books and Resources (located at the Episcopal Church Center, or online at https://https://www.churchpublishing.org//) and other Episcopal bookstores.
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New commemorations for the months of July and August
(Additions for other months will be listed in occasional future inserts.)
1 Harriet Beecher Stowe, writer and prophetic witness, 1896
2 Walter Rauschenbusch, 1918, Washington Gladden, 1918, and Jacob Riis, 1914, prophetic witnesses
6 John Hus, prophetic witness and martyr
12 Nathan SÃ¶derblom, archbishop of Uppsala and ecumenist, 1931
13 Conrad Weiser, witness to peace and reconciliation, 1760
14 Samson Occum, witness to the faith in New England, 1792
16 The Righteous Gentiles (those who sheltered Jews during World War II)
18 BartolomÃ© de las Casas, friar, missionary to the Indies, 1566
19 Adelaide Teague Case, teacher, 1948
21 Albert John Luthuli, prophetic witness in South Africa, 1967
28 Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750, George Frederick Handel, 1759, and Henry Purcell, 1695, composers
2 Samuel Ferguson, missionary bishop for West Africa, 1916
3 George Freeman Bragg, Jr., priest, 1940
3 William Edward Burghardt DuBois, sociologist, 1963
5 Albrecht DÃ¼rer, 1528, Matthias GrÃ¼newal, 1529, and Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1553, artists
7 Catherine Windworth, poet, 1878
9 Herman of Alaska, missionary to the Aleut, 1837
17 Samuel Johnson, 1772, Timothy Cutler, 1765, and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, 1790, priests
23 Martin de Porres, 1639, Rosa de Lima, 1617, and Toribio de Mogrovejo, 1606, witnesses to the faith in South America
28 Moses the Black, desert father and martyr, c. 400
29 John Bunyan, writer, 1688 (author of The Pilgrim's Progress)
30 Charles Chapman Grafton, bishop of Fond du Lac and ecumenist, 1912