Calendar of saints (Church of England)

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The Church of England commemorates many of the same saints as those in the General Roman Calendar, mostly on the same days, but also commemorates various notable (often post-Reformation) Christians who have not been canonised by Rome, with a particular though not exclusive emphasis on those of English origin. There are differences in the calendars of other churches of the Anglican Communion (see Saints in Anglicanism).

The only person canonised in a near-conventional sense by the Church of England since the English Reformation is St Charles the Martyr (King Charles I), although he is not widely recognised by Anglicans as a saint outside the Society of King Charles the Martyr. The Church of England has no mechanism for canonising saints, and unlike the Roman Catholic Church it makes no claims regarding the heavenly status of those whom it commemorates in its calendar. For this reason, the Church of England avoids the use of the prenominal title "Saint" with reference to uncanonised individuals and is restrained in what it says about them in its liturgical texts. In order not to seem to imply grades of sanctity, or to discriminate between holy persons of the pre- and post-Reformation periods, the title "Saint" is not used at all in the calendar, even with reference to those who have always been known by that title, for example the Apostles.

The ninth Lambeth Conference held in 1958 clarified the commemoration of Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion. Resolution 79 stated:

  • In the case of scriptural saints, care should be taken to commemorate men or women in terms which are in strict accord with the facts made known in Holy Scripture.
  • In the case of other names, the Kalendar should be limited to those whose historical character and devotion are beyond doubt.
  • In the choice of new names economy should be observed and controversial names should not be inserted until they can be seen in the perspective of history.
  • The addition of a new name should normally result from a widespread desire expressed in the region concerned over a reasonable period of time.[1]

There is no single calendar for the various churches making up the Anglican Communion; each makes its own calendar suitable for its local situation. As a result, the calendar here contains a number of figures important in the history of the English church. Calendars in different provinces of course will focus on figures more important to those different countries. At the same time, different provinces often borrow important figures from each other's calendars as the international importance of different figures becomes clear. In this way the calendar of the Church of England has importance beyond the immediate purpose of supporting the liturgy of the English Church. It is, for example, one of the key sources of the calendar for the international daily office Oremus.[2]

As there is no mention of the Patriarchs of Old on the Current Church of England Calendar, one is left to presume, theologically and liturgically, that the Patriarchs of Old are not included on All Saints' Day, November 1 (as they would be in the General Vatican II Roman Calendar), since according to the Lambeth Comference, 1958, the purpose was to devise a guide for the commemoration of Saints and Heroes applicable to the Christian Church in England.

Holy Days are variously categorised as Principal Feasts, Festivals, Lesser Festivals, or Commemorations. In order to minimise problems caused by the ambivalence regarding the manner of commemoration of uncanonised persons, all such days are Lesser Festivals or Commemorations only, whose observance is optional.

The following table lists the Holy Days in the calendar of Common Worship, the calendar most generally followed in the Church of England (though the calendar of the Book of Common Prayer is still authorised for use). This calendar was finalized in 2000, with some further names added in 2010. The table includes the feast date, the name of the person or persons being commemorated, their title, the nature and location of their ministry or other relevant facts, and year of death, all in the form in which they are set out in the authorised Common Worship calendar. The typography shows the level of the observance: BOLD CAPITALS denote Principal Feasts and Principal Holy Days, bold denotes Festivals, roman denotes Lesser Festivals, and italics denote Commemorations. SMALL CAPITALS denote observances that are unclassified.

Moveable Dates[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • Matthias may be celebrated on 24 February instead of 14 May.

March[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • Chad may be celebrated with Cedd on 26 October instead of 2 March. Cuthbert may be celebrated on 4 September instead of 20 March.

April[edit]

May[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • Matthias may be celebrated on 24 February instead of 14 May.
  • The Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth may be celebrated on 2 July instead of 31 May.

June[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • Peter the Apostle may be celebrated alone, without Paul, on 29 June.

July[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • The Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth may be celebrated on 2 July instead of 31 May.
  • Thomas the Apostle may be celebrated on 21 December instead of 3 July.
  • Thomas Becket may be celebrated on 7 July instead of 29 December.

August[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • The Blessed Virgin Mary may be celebrated on 8 September instead of 15 August.

September[edit]

ᾶᾶ*16 Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, Tractarian, 1882

Alternative dates:

  • Cuthbert may be celebrated on 4 September instead of 20 March.

October[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • Chad may be celebrated with Cedd on 26 October instead of 2 March.

November[edit]

December[edit]

Alternative dates:

  • Thomas the Apostle may be celebrated on 21 December instead of 3 July.
  • Thomas Becket may be celebrated on 7 July instead of 29 December.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • "Holy Days". Liturgical Calendar. Church of England. Retrieved 2006-10-22. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Resolutions from 1958: Resolution 79: The Book of Common Prayer - The Commemoration of Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion". Lambeth Conference Resolutions Archive. Anglican Communion Office. 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  2. ^ [1], Oremus calendar