Over the weekend, the Standing Committee for Liturgy and Music posted an essay on their blog proposing a new approach to the calendar of saints in The Episcopal Church.
Their proposal would separate the still-under-trial-use Holy Women, Holy Men into its constituent parts, creating one book of weekday and seasonal Eucharistic readings, and a separate book of commemorations, tentatively entitled “A Great Cloud of Witnesses”.
It is this second volume which would involve the most change from the current format, which, despite being studied since 2006, remains controversial throughout the church. According to the SCLM, Episcopalians do not share a common view of what makes a saint, so the new volume would be intended to lift up those “Christians who have inspired other Christians in different times and places,” rather than making a statement definitively on sainthood.
Going along with this shift, the criteria for inclusion the proposed new volume has changed as well. The requirement to wait for fifty years prior to being submitted for inclusion has been dropped. The committee notes, as well, the tension inherent between expanding the inclusivity of those we remember, along with asking for widespread recognition of a particular person.
The SCLM has requested feedback on their proposed plan prior to February 22, via blog comments.
The entire essay, which should be read in its entirety, is here. Comment below their blog and tell them what you think!