I’ve been pondering a passage from W. H. Frere. As I’ve mentioned before, the revision and creation of Anglican Kalendars was in large measure spearheaded by the thoughts laid down by Frere in his 1911 book Some Principles of Liturgical Reform: A Contribution towards the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer. Here’s the passageI’ve been mulling over:
Now there are three principles that have operated in the formation of Kalendars. First they are designed to commemorate the chief events of redemption as recorded in the New Testament; secondly to maintain a memorial of local [p. 20] saints, especially martyrs; thirdly to recall the heroes of Christendom, who claim remembrance on other grounds than those of local interest, because of their prominence in the general history of the Church or in the Bible. These principles were recognized as regulative in the various processes by which the present Kalendar of the Prayer Book was reached; but different relative value and force has been assigned to them at different times. (Frere, Some Principles, 19-20)
Looking at Holy Women, Holy Men, one of the chief issues is its massive multiplication of feast days. Our ferial days are disappearing fast. Again, this is represented graphically in this image:
Resolved, That the 74th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to undertake a revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2000, to reflect our increasing awareness of the importance of the ministry of all the people of God and of the cultural diversity of The Episcopal Church, of the wider Anglican Communion, of our ecumenical partners, and of our lively experience of sainthood in local communities; and be it further
Resolved, That the SCLM produce a study of the significance of that experience of local sainthood in encouraging the living out of baptism; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $20,000 for implementation of this resolution.
I’m thinking out loud right now about the call for local stuff in connection with the Frere quote and a broader question about the nature and purpose of the church-wide kalendar in the BCP…
Does HWHM reflect or forward “our lively experience of sainthood in local communities”? Or does it reflect people that various committees wanted to get included for various reasons?
Wouldn’t the goal of local celebration be better served if we did more work raising up the importance of local parish and diocesan kalendars? If we did that, then the church-wide kalendar would be better seen as a collection of Frere’s 1 and 3; the role of 2 would fall to the local communties who know their own people best…
Could a more minimalist kalendar function to better support local, lay, diverse visions of sanctity than a maximalist list imposed from the centralized authority?