Archive for the ‘December 29’ Category

Feast of St. Thomas Becket (December 29)   2 comments

Above:  King Henry II and St. Thomas Becket

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT THOMAS BECKET (DECEMBER 21, 1118-DECEMBER 29, 1170)

Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1170

++++++++++++++++++++++

For the Name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to embrace death.

–The last words of St. Thomas Becket, December 29, 1170

++++++++++++++++++++++

St. Thomas Becket was a controversial figure during his lifetime.  He has continued to be one.

(“Controversial” is a word that prompts me to roll my eyes.  Who or what is not controversial during polarized times?)

Many of the details of Becket’s family have not survived in the historical record we have.  Becket, born in London on December 21, 1118, was a son of Gilbert Becket, apparently prosperous and well-connected.  Gilbert was, at different stages of life, a knight and a merchant.  Our saint grew up distracted from his studies; courtly pursuits including hunting, were more interesting.

Becket made his own important connections.  Circa 1142, he joined the household of Theobald, the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Our saint became Theobald’s clerk.  The two men attended the Council of Rheims (1148).  Becket also studied canon law at Bologna and Auxerre before becoming a deacon in 1154.  He served as the Archdeacon of Canterbury to the new king, Henry II (reigned 1154-1189).  Theobald had secured the position for his former clerk.

Theobald regretted his decision.  Becket, as Chancellor, befriended Henry II and sided with the monarch in church-state controversies.  Henry II disagreed with the independence of the Church, a large landowner with its own court system.  The Church answered to the Bishop of Rome, not the Plantaganet monarch.  Theobald died in 1161.  Henry II recognized the opportunity to appoint a compliant Archbishop of Canterbury.

The elevation of Becket, a priest for just one day in 1162, to the highest clergy office in England was a political move.  Henry II soon realized that Becket would not take orders from him.  When Becket became the Archbishop of Canterbury, he became a new man.  He lived austerely, ate simply, and defended ecclesiastical privileges against actions of the crown.  The relationship between Becket and Henry II deteriorated rapidly.  In 1164, the Archbishop of Canterbury, labeled a traitor and stripped of his financial assets, fled to France.

Becket was busy during his exile.  Aside from continuing his studies of canon law, he corresponded with allies and foes regarding his case.  Our saint asserted his rights and sought a negotiated settlement, in which Pope Alexander III was instrumental.

Becket returned to England in 1170.  His reconciliation with Henry II was brief.  Becket excommunicated Archbishop of York Roger de Pont LEvêque, who had crowned Henry, the heir-apparent.  (Crowning the heir-apparent was a task reserved for the Archbishop of Canterbury.)  On December 25, 1170, Henry II, livid, shouted,

Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?

Some knights took him literally.  Four days later, they murdered the Archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral.

Becket’s cultus started immediately.  The murder at the cathedral backfired on the monarch and tainted his reputation permanently.  Pope Alexander III canonized Becket as a martyr in 1173.

In a way, Henry II won, though.  The office of Archbishop of Canterbury remained vacant for years at a time.  Furthermore, Becket’s immediate successors generally did the monarch’s bidding.

The stain on Henry II’s reputation has remained as stubbornly as the “damned spot” on the hands of Lady MacBeth.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONIO MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABITES AND THE ANGELIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF GEORGES BERNANOS, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NOVELIST

THE FEAST OF HULDA NIEBUHR, CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR; HER BROTHERS, H. RICHARD NIEBUHR AND REINHOLD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIANS; AND URSULA NIEBUHR, EPISCOPAL THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH BOISSEL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND MARTYR IN LAOS, 1969

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, our strength and our salvation, you called your servant Thomas Becket

to be a shepherd of your people and a defender of your Church:

Keep your household from all evil and raise up among us

faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the Gospel;

through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 125

1 John 2:3-6, 15-17

Mark 11:24-33

Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), 145

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

Holiday Busyness   2 comments

Above:  A Domestic Scene, December 8, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On my bed when I think of you,

I muse on you in the watches of the night,

for you have always been my help;

in the shadow of your wings I rejoice;

my heart clings to you,

your right hand supports me.

–Psalm 63:6-8, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In my U.S. culture, the time from Thanksgiving (late November) to New Year’s Day is quite busy.  Holidays populate the calendar.  Some of these holidays are, for lack of a better word, ecumenical.  Others are religiously and/or culturally specific, though.  Christmas, originally the Christ Mass, has become an occasion, for many, to worship the Almighty Dollar at the high altar of commercialism.  This is how many Evangelicals of the Victorian Era wanted matters to be.

On the relatively innocuous side, this is the time of the year to populate one’s calendar with holiday social events, such as parties, school plays, and seasonal concerts.  Parents often like to attend their children’s events, appropriately.  Holiday concerts by choral and/or instrumental ensembles can also be quite pleasant.

Yet, amid all this busyness (sometimes distinct from business), are we neglecting the innate human need for peace and quiet?  I like classical Advent and Christmas music, especially at this time of the year (all the way through January 5, the twelfth day of Christmas), but I have to turn it off eventually.  Silence also appeals to me.  Furthermore, being busy accomplishing a worthy goal is rewarding, but so is simply being.

The real question is one of balance.  Given the absence of an actual distinction between the spiritual and the physical, everything is spiritual.  If we are too busy for God, silence, and proper inactivity, we are too busy.  If we are too busy to listen to God, we are too busy.  If we are too busy or too idle, we are not our best selves.

May we, by grace, strike and maintain the proper balance.  May we, especially at peak periods of activity, such as the end of the year, not overextend ourselves, especially in time commitments.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY ANN THRUPP, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCDONALD, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Published originally at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That Old Sweet Song of Angels   Leave a comment

nativity-and-annunciation-to-the-shepherds

Above:  Nativity and Annunciation to the Shepherds

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Long ago the angels vanished–

But their song is sounding still!

Millions now with hope are singing,

“Peace on earth, to men good will.”

Sing, my heart!  Tho’ peace may tarry,

Sing good will mid human strife!

Till that old sweet song of angels

Shall attune to heav’n our life.

–William Allen Knight (1863-1957), “Come, My Heart, Canst Thou Not Hear It” (1915), quoted in The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), Hymn #77

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Part of the mystery of the Incarnation is its counterintuitive nature:  a vulnerable baby was God incarnate.  This truth demonstrates the reality that God operates differently than we frequently define as feasible and effective.  Then again, Jesus was, by dominant human expectations, a failure.  I would never claim that Jesus was a failure, of course.

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;

and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;

for you will heap coals of fire on their heads,

and the LORD will reward you.

–Proverbs 25:22, The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

Speaking of counterintuitive ways of God, shall we ponder the advice of St. Paul the Apostle in Romans 12:14-21?

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.  If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  No, if your enemies are hungry, feed them, if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

That old sweet song of angels will not attune to heaven our life if we ignore this sage advice–if we fail to overcome evil with good.  How we treat others indicates more about what kind of people we are than about what kind of people they are.  If we react against intolerance with intolerance, we are intolerant.  We also add fuel to the proverbial fire.  Is not a fire extinguisher better?

As the Master said,

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–Matthew 5:43-48, The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

Perfection, in this case, indicates suitability for one’s purpose, which is, in the language of the Westminster Shorter Catechism,

to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

–Quoted in The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, The Book of Confessions (1967)

As the annual celebration of the birth of Christ approaches again, may we who follow him with our words also follow him with our deeds:  may we strive for shalom on a day-to-day basis.  Only God can save the world, but we can leave it better than we found it.

Merry Christmas!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 21, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY OF ADVENT

THE FEAST OF SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Thomas Cotterill (December 29)   1 comment

Ruins of Sheffield Manor, 1819

Above:  Ruins of Sheffield Manor, 1819

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THOMAS COTTERILL (DECEMBER 4, 1779-DECEMBER 29, 1823)

English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist

Thomas Cotterill was a pioneer in the field of English hymnody.

The saint, born at Cannock, Staffordshire, England, on December 4, 1779, was a son of a wool-stapler.  Cotterill attended the Free School, Birmingham, and St. John’s College, Cambridge, before taking Anglican Holy Orders in 1803.  He served as Curate of Tutbury (1803-1808), Incumbent of Lane End, Staffordshire (1808-1817), and Perpetual Curate of St. Paul’s, Sheffield (1817-1823).

Cotterill wrote hymns and worked on hymnals.  In 1805 he collaborated with Jonathan Stubbs on the First Edition of A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use.  The congregational singing of metrical psalms was normative in The Church of England in the early 1800s.  Support for the congregational singing of hymns in the Established Church was increasing, but opposition to this change remained strong.  In 1819 Cotterill and his collaborator, James Montgomery (1771-1854), published the Eighth Edition of A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use in 1819.  Their volume contained 150 psalms and 367 hymns, 25 of which Cotterill had written and 50 of which Montgomery had composed.  The new hymnal proved so controversial that a faction of Cotterill’s church sued him in a diocesan court.  Archbishop of York Edward Venables-Vernon-Harcourt settled the matter.  Cotterill withdrew the Eighth Edition then worked on a replacement, which the Archbishop of York supervised and financed.  The Ninth Edition (1820), dedicated to the archbishop, contained 150 psalms and 146 hymns.  It circulated with official support, but the Eighth Edition (1819) became one of the most influential hymnals in the English-speaking world and in The Church of England.

Cotterill died at Sheffield on December 29, 1823.  His friend and collaborator, James Montgomery, wrote of our saint that he had

the piety of a saint, the tastes of a scholar, the aspect and demeanor of an unaffected Christian gentleman.

Among our saint’s texts was “In Memory of the Saviour’s Love” (1805), a communion hymn:

In memory of the Saviour’s love,

We keep the sacred feast,

Where every humble, contrite heart

Is made a welcome guest.

+++++

One fold, one faith, one hope, one Lord,

One God alone we know;

As brethren all, let every heart

With kind affection glow.

+++++

By faith we take the bread of life

With which our souls are fed,

The cup in token of his blood

That was for sinners shed.

+++++

In faith and memory thus we sing

The wonders of his love,

And thus anticipate by faith

The heavenly feast above.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 20, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL HANSON COX, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND ABOLITIONIST; AND HIS SON, ARTHUR CLEVELAND COXE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK, HYMN WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANSEGISUS OF FONTANELLE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, AMELIA BLOOMER, SOJOURNER TRUTH, AND HARRIET ROSS TUBMAN, WITNESSES TO CIVIL RIGHTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS AND WOMEN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN II OF ANTIOCH AND ELIAS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCHS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Thomas Cotterill)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Philipp Heinrich Molther (December 29)   Leave a comment

Bedford Bridge 1783

Above:  Bedford Bridge, 1783, by Francis Grose

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PHILIPP HEINRICH MOLTHER (DECEMBER 28, 1714-SEPTEMBER 9, 1780)

German Moravian Minister, Bishop, Composer, and Hymn Translator

Philipp Heinrich Molther (1714-1780) was a multi-talented man who glorified God and improved the life of his communities of faith.  Our saint, a graduate of the University of Jena, taught French to Christian Renatus von Zinzendorf (1727-1752), son of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), on whose estate the underground Unity of the Brethren became the Renewed Moravian Church.  Our saint, a member of the Moravian Church since 1738, also translated many hymns into French and composed several cantatas, including one for the laying of the Single Brothers House (1738) at Herrnhaag, a settlement the Unitas Fratrum closed in the early 1750s.

Molther spent much time (1739-1740, 1741, and 1766-1780) in England.  He a minister, helped to start Moravian Church work in the British Isles.  Prior to his final stint in England our saint served as a pastor at Montmirial, Switzerland, then at Dublin, Ireland.  At Bedford, England, where Molther served from 1766 to 1780, he had the distinction of being one of the most gifted Moravian Church musicians in the country at the time.  Our saint, a bishop since 1775, died at Bedford on September 9, 1780.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 4, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEISLER AND JOHANN CHRISTIAN GEISLER, SILESIAN MORAVIAN ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS; AND JOHANNES HERBST, GERMAN-AMERICAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS CARACCIOLO, COFOUNDER OF THE MINOR CLERKS REGULAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN XXIII, BISHOP OF ROME

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant Philipp Heinrich Molther,

who made the good news known in the British Isles.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of John Burnett Morris, Sr. (December 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  Shield of The Episcopal Church

JOHN BURNETT MORRIS, SR. (FEBRUARY 10, 1930-DECEMBER 28, 2010)

Episcopal Priest and Witness for Civil Rights

John Burnett Morris, Sr., born in Brunswick, Georgia, devoted his life to social justice, work he considered a natural extension of his Christian faith.  He graduated from Columbia University in 1951, married Harriet Barnes Pratt the following year, graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1954.  Ordained deacon in that year and priest in 1955, Burnett began his parish ministry in South Carolina.

Burnett’s main work lay beyond the parish level, however.  He founded the Episcopal Society of Cultural and Racial Unity in 1959 and served as its first Executive Director from 1960 to 1966.  In this role he worked for civil rights in church and society.  He supported the 1961 Freedom Riders with a Prayer Pilgrimage of a racially integrated group of clergymen.  He called the Prayer Pilgrimage

a sermon in action…to set the household of faith in order so that prejudice may be eliminated.

Authorities in Jackson, Mississippi, arrested and jailed he and fourteen other clergymen for trying to eat together at a Whites-only lunch counter.

Morris also led other civil rights protests, such as those at the Lovett School, an Episcopal Church-related institution in the Diocese of Atlanta.  The Lovett School desegregated in 1966.  Morris organized other clergymen to participate in the March on Washington in 1963 and the Selma, Alabama, protests in 1965. And he criticized the Right Reverend Charles Carpenter, Bishop of Alabama form 1938 to 1968, for condemning civil disobedience.  (Carpenter was one of the clergymen to whom Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed the Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963.)

On which side of Letter from Birmingham Jail’s moral arguments would you, O reader, do you prefer to be?

Morris had Parkinson’s Disease in his final years.  He died on December 28, 2010, at a retirement home in Evans, Georgia.  His first wife and a daughter predeceased him, but his second wife, a daughter, two sons, a sister, and six grandchildren survived him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For More Information:

http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/80263_126363_ENG_HTM.htm

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/the-rev-john-burnett-792540.html

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God,

we praise you for your servant John Burnett Morris, Sr.,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks

and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church

and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for December   Leave a comment

Poinsettia

Image Source = Andre Karwath

1 (Charles de Foucauld, Roman Catholic Hermit and Martyr)

  • Albert Barnes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Abolitionist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Brioc, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Tudwal, Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop
  • Douglas LeTell Rights, U.S. Moravian Minister, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr., U.S. Moravian Bishop and Liturgist

2 (Maura Clarke and Her Companions, U.S. Roman Catholic Martyrs in El Salvador, December 2, 1980)

  • Channing Moore Williams, Episcopal Missionary Bishop in China and Japan
  • Gerald Thomas Noel, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer; brother of Baptist Wriothesley Noel, Anglican Priest, English Baptist Evangelist, and Hymn Writer; and his niece, Caroline Maria Noel, Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Hormisdas, Bishop of Rome; and his son, Silverius, Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 537
  • Rafal Chylinski, Polish Franciscan Roman Catholic Priest

3 (Maruthas, Roman Catholic Bishop of Maypherkat and Missionary to Persia)

  • Amilie Juliane, Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Francis Xavier, Roman Catholic Missionary to the Far East
  • Sophie Koulomzin, Russian-American Christian Educator

4 (John of Damascus and Cosmas of Maiuma, Theologians and Hymnodists)

  • Alexander Hotovitzky, Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1937
  • Bernard of Parma, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Joseph Mohr, Austrian Roman Catholic Priest; and Franz Gruber, Austrian Roman Catholic Teacher, Musician, and Composer
  • Osmund of Salisbury, Roman Catholic Bishop

5 (Clement of Alexandria, Father of Christian Scholarship)

  • Cyran, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, and Renewer of Society
  • Nicetius of Trier, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Bishop; and Aredius of Limoges, Roman Catholic Monk
  • Peter Mortimer, Anglo-German Moravian Educator, Musician, and Scholar; and Gottfried Theodor Erxleben, German Moravian Minister and Musicologist

6 (Nicholas of Myra, Bishop)

  • Abraham of Kratia, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop, and Hermit
  • Alice Freeman Palmer, U.S. Educator and Hymn Writer
  • Henry Ustick Onderdonk, Episcopal Bishop, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Philip and Daniel Berrigan, Roman Catholic Priests and Social Activists

7 (Maria Josepha Rossello, Cofounder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Pity)

  • Anne Ross Cousin, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer
  • Emma Francis, Lutheran Deaconess in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Harlem
  • Georg Friedrich Hellstrom, Dutch-German Moravian Musician, Composer, and Educator
  • William Gustave Polack, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer and Translator

8 (Walter Ciszek, Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Political Prisoner)

  • Amatus of Luxeuil and Romaric of Luxeuil, Roman Catholic Monks and Abbots
  • Erik Christian Hoff, Norwegian Lutheran Composer and Organist
  • John Greenleaf Whittier, U.S. Quaker Abolitionist, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Marin Shkurti, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1969

9 (Liborius Wagner, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1631)

  • Olivier Messiaen, Claire Delbos, and Yvonne Loriod, French Roman Catholic Musicians and Composers
  • Peter Fourier, “The Good Priest of Mattaincourt;” and Alix Le Clerc, Foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Canonesses Regular of Saint Augustine

10 (Karl Barth, Swiss Reformed Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar; father of Markus Barth, Swiss Lutheran Minister and Biblical Scholar)

  • Howell Elvet Lewis, Welsh Congregationalist Clergyman and Poet
  • John Roberts, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Paul Eber, German Lutheran Theologian and Hymn Writer
  • Robert Murray, Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

11 (Luke of Prague and John Augusta, Moravian Bishops and Hymn Writers)

  • Kazimierz Tomas Sykulski, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, Hans Peter Boerresen, and Paul Olaf Bodding, Lutheran Missionaries in India
  • Martyrs of El Mozote, El Salvador, December 11-12, 1981
  • Severin Ott, Roman Catholic Monk

12 (William Lloyd Garrison, Abolitionist and Feminist; and Maria Stewart, Abolitionist, Feminist, and Educator)

  • Bartholomew Buonpedoni and Vivaldus, Ministers among Lepers
  • William Louis Poteat, President of Wake Forest College, and Biologist; his brother, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Sr., Southern and Northern Baptist Minister, Scholar, and President of Furman University; his son, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Jr., Southern Baptist Minister, Missionary, Musician, Hymn Writer, and Social Reformer;  his brother, Gordon McNeill Poteat, Southern and Northern Baptist and Congregationalist Minister and Missionary; and his cousin, Hubert McNeill Poteat, Southern Baptist Academic and Musician
  • Ludwik Bartosik, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941

13 (Samuel Johnson, “The Great Moralist”)

  • Christian Furchtegott Gellert, German Lutheran Minister, Educator, and Hymn Writer
  • Ella J. Baker, Witness for Civil Rights
  • Paul Speratus, German Lutheran Bishop, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Pierson Parker, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Episcopal Priest, and Biblical Scholar

14 (Radegunda, Thuringian Roman Catholic Princess, Deaconess, and Nun; and Venantius Honorius Clementius Fortunatus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers)

  • Dorothy Ann Thrupp, English Hymn Writer
  • Fred D. Gealy, U.S. Methodist Minister, Missionary, Musician, and Biblical Scholar
  • John of the Cross, Roman Catholic Mystic and Carmelite Friar

15 (Thomas Benson Pollock, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Henry Fothergill Chorley, English Novelist, Playwright, and Literary and Music Critic
  • John Horden, Anglican Bishop of Moosenee
  • Ralph Wardlaw, Scottish Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist
  • Robert McDonald, Anglican Priest and Missionary

16 (Ralph Adams Cram and Richard Upjohn, Architects; and John LaFarge, Sr., Painter and Stained Glass Window Maker)

  • Filip Siphong Onphithakt, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Thailand, 1940
  • Maude Dominica Petre, Roman Catholic Modernist Theologian

17 (Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton, Founders of Save the Children)

  • Dorothy Sayers, Anglican Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Translator, Apologist, and Theologian
  • Frank Mason North, U.S. Methodist Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Cornelia Bishop Gates, U.S. Dutch Reformed Hymn Writer
  • Olympias of Constantinople, Widow and Deaconess

18 (Marc Boegner, French Reformed Minister and Ecumenist)

  • Alicia Domon and Her Companions, Martyrs in Argentina, 1977
  • Giulia Valle, Roman Catholic Nun

19 (Raoul Wallenberg, Righteous Gentile)

  • Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Composer
  • Kazimiera Wolowska, Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1942
  • Robert Campbell, Scottish Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Social Advocate and Hymn Writer
  • William Howard Bishop, Founder of the Glenmary Home Missioners

20 (Dominic of Silos, Roman Catholic Abbot)

  • D. Elton Trueblood, U.S. Quaker Theologian
  • Michal Piasczynski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1940

21 (THOMAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

22 (Frederick and William Temple, Archbishops of Canterbury)

  • Chaeremon and Ischyrion, Roman Catholic Martyrs, Circa 250
  • Chico Mendes, “Gandhi of the Amazon”
  • Henry Budd, First Anglican Native Priest in North America; Missionary to the Cree Nation
  • Isaac Hecker, Founder of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle

23 (John of Kanty, Roman Catholic Theologian)

  • Antonio Caldara, Roman Catholic Composer and Musician
  • Charbel, Roman Catholic Priest and Monk
  • James Prince Lee, Bishop of Manchester
  • William John Blew, English Priest and Hymn Writer

24 (CHRISTMAS EVE)

25 (CHRISTMAS DAY)

26 (SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • STEPHEN, DEACON AND MARTYR

27 (THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • JOHN THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE

28 (FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • HOLY INNOCENTS, MARTYRS

29 (FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • John Burnett Morris, Sr., Episcopal Priest and Witness for Civil Rights
  • Philipp Heinrich Molther, German Moravian Minister, Bishop, Composer, and Hymn Translator
  • Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1170
  • Thomas Cotterill, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist

30 (SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Allen Eastman Cross, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • John Main, Anglo-Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Monk
  • Frances Joseph-Gaudet, African-American Educator, Prison Reformer, and Social Worker
  • William Adams Brown, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

31 (SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Giuseppina Nicoli, Italian Roman Catholic Nun and Minister to the Poor
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Rossiter Worthington Raymond, U.S. Novelist, Poet, Hymn Writer, and Mining Engineer
  • Zoticus of Constantinople, Priest and Martyr, Circa 351

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.