Formerly haligweorc; Liturgical Spirituality for the Episcopal Church
Bullets of Kalendrical Crap
The ’79 BCP has commons for these classes of saints: martyrs, missionaries, pastors, theologians and teachers, monastics, and generic saints. The general idea of a “common” is that you designate in the kalendar what class of saint a given person falls in so you know which elements to use. If you look in the kalendar in your BCP you’ll find martyrs, missionaries, pastors (bishops, priests, deacons), monastics, and general saints. But why are none of them designated as theologians or teachers?
I wonder why Kings and Queens are noted in kalendars. There may be a hierarchical “divine right of kings” thing going on there but from my reading of histories and such I suspect it’d be like noting lawyers—the Church is so shocked a member of the royalty achieved sainthood that we mark it especially carefully.
I’ll note that lawyers don’t appear as a category. Draw your own conclusions…
The Romans counted days backward. That is, they counted down towards a fixed date (the Kalends, Nones, Ides). So a typical Roman date format would be “the 5th day before the Kalends of March”. Which is why by ancient tradition the Feast of St. Matthias moves a day forward in leap years. The official date is, in fact, the 5th day before the Kalends of March, not February 24th. Thus, when an extra day is added at the end of February, the feast remains on the 5th day before the Kalends.
This “Roman Datestamp” appears as late as the kalendar of the 1662 BCP.
Nevertheless, this BCP doesn’t mention the feast moving…
There are a number of minor date variations between the Universal Kalendar and the BCP. The date for St. Bede is one of them (25th vs. 27th). As I recall, there was a perpetual impedance issue that required some shuffling of dates in this particular case.
It (perpetual impedance issues) makes you wonder why saints don’t have the good sense to die on a day that no one else has died on… ;-)
Noting the number of entries in the Universal Kalendar followed by P.M. (Pope & Martyr) reminds us that there was a time when being pope meant more than occupying a chair in Rome and telling people what to do.
Ditto for St. Alphege, B.M. ([Arch]Bishop [of Canterbury] & Martyr).