Commission asks input on Holy Women, Holy Men

From the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs:

[July 1, 2010]  As mandated in General Convention 2009 Resolution A096, The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) is soliciting views, opinions and feedback on Holy Women, Holy Men, a major revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

The Rev. Ruth Meyers, Ph.D., Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and SCLM Chair, explained that Holy Women, Holy Men is currently in trial use, and comments are welcome through the SCLM blog.  “We want to hear about people’s experiences with Holy Women, Holy Men,” she said. “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 is available July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011:  More information about the survey is available here.

After compiling the data derived from the survey, SCLM will prepare a comprehensive report on the usage and people’s experiences with Holy Women, Holy Men for the 77th General Convention in 2012 in Indianapolis, IN.

As noted on the SCLM blog site: Holy Women, Holy Men…is the official worship book which includes biographies of saints who are commemorated in the calendar of the Episcopal Church, along with the collects (prayers) and scripture readings appointed for worship on these feasts. Over 100 new commemorations were approved at the 2009 General Convention…The 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.”

For more information on Holy Women, Holy Men

Also available at Episcopal Books & Resources:

Communicating with SCLM

SCLM is committed to communicating with the wider church. To do so, a special email address has been established for all correspondence, to offer ideas, or to contact a SCLM member:

The SCLM blog is here: .

A Spanish-language Holy Women, Holy Men is in production.

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations.  The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Church Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music:

The Episcopal Church:





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5 thoughts on “Commission asks input on Holy Women, Holy Men

  1. As a priest of the church (now retired) over the years I bought copy after copy of “Lesser Feasts and Fasts.” I like the work done on the individuals and I wanted to keep up to date.

    My frustration was and remains with the waste of paper, etc.

    If you were to publish in a ring binder form with replacement pages for when changes are made, this would be a far more ecologically friendly and good stewardship item.

    I have suggested this to many people many times over the years and have never had a substantive response from anyone. Somehow I doubt that anyone will pay attention to my idea, but it still makes so much sense to me, and to colleagues with whom I speak about it, that I wonder why no one in a position to be heard has ever come up with it.

  2. Two questions: the readings for July 4 I accessed from the Daily Office Lectionary website I use were as follows: AM Psalm 33; Ecclesiasticus 10:1-8,12-18; James 5:7-10 PM Psalm 107:1-32; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 21:1-7 . They differed from the ones on this “Holy Women, Holy Men” site. Is there a reason for that? –Also, the Jan Hus bio I read on the “Holy Women, Holy Men” site was less informative than the one written by James Kieffer on the site I use–Kieffer’s bio was more detailed about the issues on which Hus took a stance, why his positions seemed more true to what the church had represented up until that time, and what the contemporary church politics were that made it quite challenging for him to take those stances. The “Holy Women, Holy Men” bio was more formulaic. Second question: Is there to be one “official” biography detailing why a person is chosen, or are people to be encouraged to read several?

    • Hi Celinda,

      I’ll try to answer your questions as best as I can, but I’ll leave it to folks on the Standing Commission to answer where I fall short.

      In relation to your question about July 4, we did not post anything for July 4 because there is not a commemoration particular to “Holy Women, Holy Men” for that day. Perhaps you’re thinking of another site that might have referenced readings from the Daily Office Lectionary for use on Independence Day.

      My understanding is that the biographies on James Kieffer’s site are ones that he has put together using various extant sources. The one’s you’ll find posted on this blog site are the ones included in “Holy Women, Holy Men” that would be the “official” ones that would be approved following the trial use period of “Holy Women, Holy Men.”

  3. Thanks, Beau. About July 4: right, I must have been referring to another site (which I remember referred to the “founding fathers”), but now can’t find it. On the Lectionary site I use (Satucket), the Independence
    Day readings were “referred” to Monday from July 4 because July 4 was a Sunday. Might have been part of my confusion. –About the “official” biographies in “Holy Women, Holy Men”–I’m wondering if part of the purpose of the blog is to get input from participants which might be used in revising the official biographies. I imagine one problem for the Standing Commission is to keep the biographies within a certain length.

    • Officially, trial use covers the individuals who are commemorated (should they actually be on our calendar?) and the propers approved by General Convention (collect, lessons and psalm, proper preface). However, we will certainly pay attention to comments about the biographies and review these with Church Publishing for future editions.

      You are correct that one challenge is maintaining a certain biography length, which is about 300 words. It’s not always easy to decide what should be included.

      Ruth Meyers
      Chair, Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music

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