Commons of the BCP Era

Turning now to the ’79BCP, we note that the following commons are listed on pp. 195-199 and 246-250 under the heading “The Common of Saints” (although, as Ann noted below, the kalendar designates no post-biblical individuals as saints…):

  • Of a Martyr
    • the first mentions explicitly witness in the official of politically-sponsored oppression (“before the rulers of this world”)
    • the third is generic but the use of “her” as the default pronoun and the similarity to the payers for monastics suggests this collect for Virgin Martyrs
  • Of a Missionary
  • Of a Pastor
    • The second contains a bracketed clause specifically for “bishops”
  • Of a Theologian and Teacher
  • Of a Monastic
  • Of a Saint

Equally interesting and worthy of attention are the categories used in A Monastic Breviary used by the Order of the Holy Cross. The current version of this breviary is from 1976. Thus, the new book had not yet come out, but trial materials had been circulating for a while. While the BCP only gives a collect, A Monastic Breviary gives far more materials including invitiatories, psalm antiphons, hymns, responds, and antiphons for the Gospel Canticles. The designated Commons of Saints used here are:

  • The Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Apostles, Evangelists
    • The use and adaptation of Caelestis urbs Jerusalem as the hymn for Matins here and at Vespers for Martyrs is inspired!
  • Patristic Martyrs
    • using the 1st collect for martyrs noted above
  • Martyrs
  • Doctors (of the Church)
  • Missionaries
  • Monastics
  • Teachers
  • Pastors
  • Confessors

To me, these patterns seem intermediate between the Old System and the current system. The BCP seems to be moving towards “professionalizing” the liturgically remembered people, but stops just short of it. A Monastic Breviary may even go a step closer while still explicitly retaining the Old System.

More info to ponder…

4 Replies to “Commons of the BCP Era”

  1. What’s the RCC’s way of categorizing saints in the calendar? Or do they/ I know there are different ranks of feasts, but are their different categories of saints (outside the Litany of the Saints).

  2. Derek:

    OJN uses BCP Common Collects, but in our Seasonal Blessings, we use the following classifications as Commons:
    BVM
    Apostle
    Evangelist
    Martyr
    Missionary
    Monastic
    Mystic
    Pastor (& Bishop)
    Theologian
    Scholar
    Artist
    Reformer
    Worthy Servant
    Godly Disciple
    Other (or All) Saints

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