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Standing Commission clarifies calendar

Standing Commission clarifies calendar

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has issued a note designed to address confusion over the relative status of commemorative calendars in the Episcopal Church.

Since the 2015 General Convention the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has received several requests for clarification concerning the calendar of commemorations. The confusion stems from the convention’s decision regarding A Great Cloud of Witnesses, which the commission had proposed as a new and expanded volume of optional commemorations of significant figures in the history of our church.

The commission intended A Great Cloud of Witnesses to replace Holy Women, Holy Men, the volume of optional commemorations that was authorized for trial use in 2009. The convention, however, declined to authorize A Great Cloud of Witnesses as an official liturgical resource, while at the same time allowing the authorization of Holy Women, Holy Men to lapse.

As a result of these actions, the volume Lesser Feasts and Fasts, last published in 2006, remains the Episcopal Church’s official calendar of optional commemorations, but without the trial-use commemorations that appear in brackets in the Calendar section in the 2006 edition.

However, in Resolution A056  the convention chose to make A Great Cloud of Witnesses “available” for “devotional or catechetical use, or use in public worship.” The volume, which will be available from Church Publishing in September, includes all of the commemorations in Holy Women, Holy Men, although some entries have been revised. A Great Cloud of Witnesses also includes commemorations added to the calendar at the 2015 General Convention.

Find more of the message and contacts for further questions here.

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Tobias Haller

Resolution 2009-A095 gave final approval to all but one of the bracketed observances from 2006 (Bedell, Holly, Romero, Tikhon, Scudder, and Gaudet) adding them to the calendar of the BCP.

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Tobias Haller

PS: the printed edition of HWHM produced after the 2009 GC session, correctly removed the brackets from the commemorations given final approval at that session (Bedell, Holly, Romero, Tikhon, Scudder, and Gaudet), and restores provisional status with an underline to Cooper with the addition of co-commemoration. So clearly the publisher understood the changes to have been made, and the additional commemorations given final approval. I do not have at hand a BCP printed post 2009, so I don't know how the Calendar appears in recent printings.

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Br. Gregory Shy, CoS

With all the bad things going on in the world, this is such a little thing of importance, but I guess I would like to hear thoughts about why such an "odd" collection of decisions from GC? Why was A Great Cloud not authorized? What is the difference between "authorizing" it, "trial use" and making it "available" for "use in public worship?" Does the SCLM have any plans for moving Great Cloud from its present "limbo" status?

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