Holy Women, Holy Men

Celebrating the Saints

List Price: $45.00

Jun/2010, 800 Pages, KIVAR, 6 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780898696370

List Price: $45.00

This work is the first major revision of the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in more than forty years! It is the official revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts and authorized by the 2009 General Convention. All commemorations in Lesser Feasts and Fasts have been retained, and many new ones added. Three scripture readings (instead of current two) are provided for all minor holy days. Additional new material includes a votive mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, many more ecumenical commemorations, plus a proper for space exploration.

Please NoteAs Holy Women, Holy Men remains a trial use document and to offer a consistent book across platforms (both print and electronic), all versions of HWHM will follow the material originally approved by General Convention in 2006 until the amended document is authorized by a future Convention's action. A separate PDF of additions, emendations, and other changes approved by the 2009 and 2012 General Conventions is now available through Church Publishing as the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has completed its review.

Please click the link below to open the PDF. 


HOLY WOMEN, HOLY MEN: Celebrating the Saints.  By the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music .  New York: Church Publishing, 2010.  785 pages.

For years the oft revised volume, Lesser Feasts and Fasts (LFF), has served parishes and individuals mark part of the holiness of each day by providing Scripture readings, a collect, a Eucharistic preface, and a narrative about those remembered on the church’s calendar that day whose lives have witnessed to the grace of God.  Holy Women, Holy Men (HWHM) is a major effort to revise, but also to expand and enrich LFF.  Where LFF provided two readings (gospel and other New Testament) plus a psalm, HWHM adds an Old Testament citation.  Where LFF was limited to few non-Anglicans in the post-reformation period (and few non-Episcopalians after 1789), HWHM dramatically broadens appreciation for other Christians and their traditions.  Over-emphasis on clergy is redressed by additional laity, males by females, and “in-church” activities by contributions well beyond the workings of institutional agendas. 

These almost daily commemorations occupy over 600 of the book’s 785 pages, by far the lion’s share of its content.  Remaining sections address: principles of revision and guides for future revision; liturgical propers for seasons (Advent/Christmas, Lent, and Easter); and new propers for a miscellany of propers usable with individuals (or events) not officially listed in the formal calendar.  Two cycles of propers for daily Eucharist are also included, one covering a six week period, the other a two year cycle. 

Two online methods for evaluating the commemorations began in July 2010, one, a survey, for quantitative evaluation, the other, a blog, for qualitative.  The survey asks a few simple multiple choice questions each day, mostly about the aptness and suitability of the recommendations, and provides space for a “comment.”  The blog allows for criticisms, appreciations, or suggestions of any length.  Comments on the blog and replies to comments are identified by their authors’ names.  Online evaluations will continue through June, 2011.  Anyone using the commemorations in public or private prayer is encouraged to participate.  The URLs are lengthy, so easiest access is by searching simultaneously for “Holy Women, Holy Men” and “Blog.”  Choose (then bookmark) the item that begins, “Welcome to the….”  Access to the survey from the blog, or vice versa, is easily had from either page. 

General Convention (Episcopal Church) is expected to act officially -- albeit, as always, provisionally -- on the results at its next gathering, in 2012.  I encourage anyone interested to incorporate this practice into their prayers and, if possible, to share their thoughts and experience.  Both the “giving” and “receiving” can be occasions of grace.

John F. LaVoe, APC
The Episcopal Church
Oriskany, NY

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List Price: $45.00

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