Concerning Holy Women, Holy Men

I have a new piece out on Holy Women Holy Men. It’s not at the Cafe this time—it’s the lead story in the latest issue of the Living Church.

As those who have been regular readers for a while know, HWHM is a document I’ve struggled with for a while and this piece gives only a partial glimpse into the issues with the book. Some of my other thoughts were expressed in blog posts written while I was hashing out this article—others have yet to be written down. So—for further reading along this topic here are some of the previous posts:

The Liturgical Naming of Spiritual Communities

Another Issue with HWHM (Specifically on the collect issue)

Perspective on the Saints (a more poetic than analytical piece)

Naming Spiritual Communities in the Sarum Rite

On Liturgical Naming: Categories This piece plays with the ways that I think the conceptualization and identification of saints has changed between the ’79 BCP and the current practice including HWHM. I argue that we’re moving from the old “bucket” based paradigm to a “tag” and “cloud” based paradigm. This didn’t fit into the article but is definitely deserving of a follow-up.

On the Sanctity of Saints

10 thoughts on “Concerning Holy Women, Holy Men

  1. A K M Adam

    If this turned up in one of your previous posts (with which I’ve sympathised in each case), here you have identified the simplest problem with the book: despite its title, it shows little attention to whether the figures commemorated therein are, in fact, particularly holy. Much of the book simply promulgates this initial category mismatch.

  2. Billydinpvd

    I had missed your earlier post about professional vs saint (what the “X” is in your collect pattern) and wish I hadn’t – it cleared up some uncertainty I had about just why HWHM is such a flop IMNSHO. I couldn’t articulate why I object to some of the commemorations.

    A priest I know points out that those parishes most likely to need a full-bore sanctoral – Catholic parishes with daily celebrations of the Eucharist – are the least likely to find HWHM adequate.

  3. C. Wingate

    It seems to me that the lack of an eschatological dimension is all of a piece with the inclusion of non-Christians, but also with the current fascination with CWoB. You are oh so right to be focusing on baptism here; sacramental inclusion (or rather, the utter neglect thereof) seems to be at the center of every issue now, at least when we aren’t obsessing over sexuality.

  4. John-Julian, OJN

    The frightening thing for me is that HWHM actually compromses the nature of the Church—but I will bet almost anything that it is going to pass the second reading (or whatever). Billydinpvd is absolutely right above: the only parishes who would be interested in such a galaxy of commemorations are daily Mass Catholic parishes (and monasteries!) and those are precisely the ones which will NOT be decently served by this calamitous volume. I am amazed that actual practicing Episcopalians (of whatever bent) could miss the target so utterly completely in virtually every single instance in this nearly-eight-hundred-page book. One would have thought that at least here-and-there or once-in-a-while they might have gotten it right just by chance, but they didn’t! This book is one of the most dangerous things to appear on the Episcopal landscape—it should be junked entirely. (Note; I sent the Commission collects and bible propers for commemorations that had been “use tested” in our monastery for over ten years, and they paid no attention to any of them at all.)

  5. bls

    Nice article!

    (Have been trying to post a comment for over a day now, but your site doesn’t like me anymore. Maybe I’ve just been talking too much….)

  6. John Robison

    That we may have to live with this turky for ANOTHER 3 years of “study” just screams just how much of a gawd awful mess this thing is. It also just says just how far the SCLM is willing to go in order to force this on us all. The much vaunted “feedback” is now dependant upon us searching around over and over in the blog to give yet more, no doubt redundant, negetive feedback. They just don’t seem to get that this thing stinks.

  7. BillyDinPVD

    Derek, have you seen and do you have an opinion on the proposed “Daily Prayer for All Seasons”?

  8. Pingback: Put Down the Commemoration, and Step Away from the Calendar « desiringthekingdom

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