Holy Women, Holy Men

Mary Magdalene. By Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys. Ca. 1860

A liturgical resource and successor to Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

Newly published in cooperation with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints is now available from Church Publishing Incorporated (CPI). It is the first major revision of the calendar of saints by the Episcopal Church in more than 40 years and was authorized for trial use by the 2009 General Convention.

Launched July 1, 2010 and continuing through June 30, 2011, a formal, quantitative survey will be available for users of the new resource to record their impressions of this expanded collection of commemorations.  The survey is designed to be used on a daily or frequent basis. Survey participants can comment on every collect and chosen scripture passage for each commemoration in the entire 800-page publication. During the same period, a group of church leaders will invite and record additional qualitative feedback on a newly created blog which launched July 1 2010.

The blog is the work of the Standing Commission. The formal survey is being coordinated through the Office of Research of the Church Pension Group. The office will analyze all statistical findings and comments and deliver data that will assist members of the Standing Commission in preparing a summary report in October 2011.

The Standing Commission will take its findings and make recommendations in its Blue Book report to the 2012 General Convention for revision or approval of the publication as a permanent resource. The General Convention will then consider adoption of the texts during the 2012 General Convention.

“This is an important revision to an almost universally used resource in Episcopal congregations,” said Ruth Meyers, chair of the Standing Commission and Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. “We need the entire church to help us create the most meaningful, relevant, and accessible new worship publication for the Episcopal Church of the twenty-first century.”

All of the original commemorations in Lesser Feasts and Fasts have been retained in the new volume and 120 new ones have been added.  Three scripture readings (instead of the current two) are provided for all minor holy days.  Additional new material includes a votive mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary; many more ecumenical commemorations; plus a proper for space exploration. The popular and user-friendly layout has been retained, with biographical information on the left-hand page, and the Eucharistic proper on the right.


About Sharon Ely Pearson

Editor and Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated
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