Archive for the ‘November 29’ Category

Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving for the Missionary Work of the Church (November 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Globe

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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The Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving for the Missionary Work of the Church comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Church of England.

A cliché tells us that the church is always one generation away from extinction.  Some clichés are accurate.  This one hits home with much force when, in much of the world, “none” is the fastest-growing religious affiliation.  A complicating factor is the contrast between mainliners (such as yours truly, comfortably to the left of the theological center, overall) and the Global South, with its style of Christianity on the fundamentalist-Evangelical spectrum.  If being a Christian requires me to shut down my intellect, reject science and history, and turn into a homophobe, I do not want to be a Christian.  However, that is not true Christianity.  But how many people see that negative face of the church and turn away from the church and Christianity completely?  This concerns me.  Some of find much to admire about the Enlightenment.  Call me a radical if you wish, O reader.  Here I stand.  I can and will do no other.

Historically, organized Christianity has been its own worst enemy.  For example, many churches have identified with the kingdom, empire, or state so much as to become an arm thereof.  So, for example, when certain western kingdoms and republics became global empires, missionaries from those countries were frequently indistinguishable from imperial agents.  The predictable indigenous, nationalistic wave of resistance to the colonial masters often had an anti-Christian character.  Yet, in places where missionaries successfully indigenized the churches, Christianity did not seem alien and foreign.

I have always been a Christian.  My family has been Christian for countless generations.  Somewhere, long ago, in the mists of time, that chain of faith began with a missionary.

Missionaries perform invaluable work.  And not all of them travel to far-flung places.  I try to function as a missionary where and when I am, in person and at a keyboard.  And I am most like one of those Hobbits who remained in Hobbiton all the time.  Perhaps you, O reader, do not consider yourself a missionary or an evangelist.  Maybe you are one anyway.

Tactics matter.  The first rule is not to be obnoxious or to place the other person on the defense immediately.  I recall a story I heard from an exchange student from Nepal in the middle 1990s.

Lax (as she encouraged people to call her) was a Tibetan Buddhist.  (“Lax” was one syllable of her polysyllabic name.)  She was also a student at Valdosta State University.  Lax told me that, one day, another student told her that she would go to Hell if she did not convert to Christianity.  That was a terrible opening line.  It placed Lax (a sweet person, by the way) on the defense immediately.  Also, if I understand Tibetan Buddhism accurately, the threat of going to Hell made no sense to Lax. (According to what I have read in reference works, not having broken the cycle of reincarnation is Hell in Tibetan Buddhism.)  Christianity made about as little sense to Lax as Tibetan Buddhism did (and still does) to me.

I thank God for missionaries who have used–and use–effective, culturally-sensitive techniques.  Using such techniques creates an opening for potentially successful evangelism.  Such work is essential, whether far away, very near, or in the middle.

One obstacle organized Christianity faces is the impression that Christians are judgmental.  This impression exists because many Christians are judgmental.  I know some, O reader.  Maybe you do, too.  I know some Christians who were pleasant, kind people until they had a conversion experience.  Perhaps you do, too.  In reality, if we mere mortals are honest with ourselves, we will admit to ourselves that we need divine mercy as much (at least) as do all other people.  So, what right do we have to be judgmental jerks?  We have no such right, of course.  Another cliché is accurate and applicable here, too:  many recent converts frequently embarrass long-term adherents.

May the missionary work of the Church thrive and expand.  May the love of God define it.  And may missionaries heed the advice of St. Francis of Assisi (1181/1182-1226).  May they preach the Gospel at all times and use words when necessary.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 26, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM COWPER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELARD OF CORBIE, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ABBOT; AND HIS PROTÉGÉ, SAINT PASCHASIUS RADBERTUS, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HUNT, FIRST ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA

THE FEAST OF RUTH BYLLESBY, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KUBISTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1940; AND SAINT WLADYSLAW GORAL, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR, 1945

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Almighty God, who called your Church to witness

that you were in Christ reconciling men to yourself:

help us so to proclaim the good news of your love,

that all who hear it may be reconciled to you;

through him who died for us and rose again

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 97 or 100 or 2 or 46 or 47 or 67 or 87 or 96 or 117

Ephesians 2:13-22

Matthew 28:16-20

The Alternative Service Book 1980 (1980), 907-908

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Feast of Jennette Threlfall (November 29)   Leave a comment

Crucifix I July 15, 2014

Above:  One of My Crucifixes, July 15, 2014

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JENNETTE THRELFALL (MARCH 24, 1821-NOVEMBER 30, 1880)

English Hymn Writer

Jennette Threlfall had reasons to harbor resentment.  Her parents died when she was young.  Then accidents rendered the native of Blackburn, Lancashire, England, an invalid.  She spent her life in the care of relatives.  Despite Threlfall’s suffering, however, she had a positive attitude.  In “idle moments: she wrote poems, which she published in two volumes:  Woolsorrel, or, Leaves from a Retired Home (1856) and Sunshine and Shadow (1873).

Among her texts from Sunshine and Shadow was this Palm Sunday hymn:

Hosanna, loud hosanna,

The little children sang;

Thro’ pillared court and Temple

The lovely anthem rang.

To Jesus, who had blessed them,

Close folded to His breast,

The children sang their praises,

The simplest and the best.

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From Olivet they followed

Mid an exultant crowd;

The victor palm branch waving

And chanting clear and loud.

The Lord of men and angels

Rode on in lowly state

Nor scorned that little children

Should on His bidding wait.

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“Hosanna in the highest!”

That ancient song we sing,

For Christ is our Redeemer,

The Lord of heav’n our King.

Oh, may we even praise Him

With heart and life and voice

And in His blissful presence

Eternally rejoice.

Threlfall died at Westminster, Middlesex, England, on November 30, 1880.  Her life stood for, among other things, the principle that, although fait accomplis stand, our attitudes matter.  Some of the most sincere praises have arisen from contexts of suffering.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHN BOWRING, ENGLISH UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF JULIA WARD HOWE, ABOLITIONIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Jennette Threlfall and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Frederick Cook Atkinson (November 29)   Leave a comment

Norwich Cathedral

Above:  The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Norwich, England, Between 1900 and 1920

Image Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a24712

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FREDERICK COOK ATKINSON (AUGUST 21, 1841-NOVEMBER 30, 1897)

Anglican Church Organist and Composer

Frederick Cook Atkinson, a native of Norwich, Norfolk, England, became a prominent organist in the Church of England.  He began as a chorister and assistant organist at the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Norwich, from 1849 to 1860, studying under Dr. Zechariah Buck (1798-1879), the organist and choirmaster from 1819 to 1877.  Atkinson studied music at Cambridge.  After his graduation (1867) he went to work as the organist and choirmaster at St. Luke’s Church, Manningham, Bradford.  Atkinson returned to Norwich Cathedral as organist and choirmaster in 1881.  Then, in 1885, he left to assume the same duties at St. Mary’s Church, Lewsham.  He died at East Dereham, Norfolk, on November 30, 1897.

Atkinson composed services, songs, piano works, anthems, and hymn tunes.  I have found two of his hymn tunes in hymnals.  Morecambe (1870) seems to be popular in current hymn books, many of which set more than one hymn to it.  Among these texts is “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.”  Less frequent in current hymnals is Caritas Perfecta (1885), to which The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) sets “A Perfect Love.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHN BOWRING, ENGLISH UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF JULIA WARD HOWE, ABOLITIONIST

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

thank you for those (especially Frederick Cook Atkinson)

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

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for November   1 comment

Topaz

Image Source = Didier Descouens

1 (ALL SAINTS)

2 (ALL SOULS/COMMEMORATION OF ALL FAITHFUL DEPARTED)

3 (Richard Hooker, Anglican Priest and Theologian)

  • Daniel Payne, African Methodist Episcopal Bishop
  • John Worthington, British Moravian Minister and Composer; John Antes, U.S. Moravian Instrument Maker, Composer, and Missionary; Benjamin Henry LaTrobe, Sr., British Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer; Christian Ignatius LaTrobe, British Moravian Composer; Peter LaTrobe, British Moravian Bishop and Composer; Johann Christopher Pyrlaeus, Moravian Missionary and Musician; and Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg, Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer
  • Pierre-François Néron, French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Vietnam, 1860

4 (Ludolph Ernst Schlicht, Moravian Minister, Musician, and Hymn Writer; John Gambold, Sr., British Moravian Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns; and John Gambold, Jr., Moravian Composer)

  • Augustus Montague Toplady, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Léon Bloy, French Roman Catholic Novelist and Social Critic; his godson, Jacques Maritain, French Roman Catholic Philosopher; and his wife, Raïssa Maritain, French Roman Catholic Contemplative
  • Theodore Weld, U.S. Congregationalist then Quaker Abolitionist and Educator; his wife, Angelina Grimké, U.S. Presbyterian then Quaker Abolitionist, Educator, and Feminist; her sister, Sarah Grimké, U.S. Episcopalian then Quaker Abolitionist and Feminist; her nephew, Francis Grimké, African-American Presbyterian Minister and Civil Rights Activist; and his wife, Charlotte Grimké, African-American Abolitionist and Educator

5 (Bernard Lichtenberg, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1943)

  • Guido Maria Conforti, Founder of the Xavierian Missionaries
  • Hryhorii Lakota, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1950

6 (Christian Gregor, Father of Moravian Church Music)

  • Arthur Tappan and Lewis Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Businessmen and Abolitionists; colleagues and financial backers of Samuel Eli Cornish and Theodore S. Wright, African-American Ministers and Abolitionists
  • Giovanni Gabrieli and Hans Leo Hassler, Composers and Organists; and Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schutz, Composers and Musicians
  • Halford E. Luccock, U.S. Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Magdeleine of Jesus, Founder of the Little Sisters of Jesus

7 (Willibrord, Apostle to the Frisians; and Boniface of Mainz, Apostle to the Germans)

  • Benedict Joseph Flaget, Roman Catholic Bishop of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, and Civil Rights Activist
  • Eugene Carson Blake, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Ecumenist, and Moral Critic
  • John Cawood, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Christian Frederick Heyer, Lutheran Missionary in the United States and India; Bartholomeaus Ziegenbalg, Jr., Lutheran Minister to the Tamils; and Ludwig Nommensen, Lutheran Missionary to Sumatra and Apostle to the Batak

8 (John Duns Scotus, Scottish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian)

  • Elizabeth of the Trinity, French Roman Catholic Nun, Mystic, and Religious Writer
  • Johann von Staupitz, Martin Luther’s Spiritual Mentor
  • John Caspar Mattes, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Liturgist
  • Pambo of Nitria, Ammonius of Skete, Palladius of Galatia, Macarius of Egypt, Macarius of Alexandria, and Pishoy, Desert Fathers; Evagrius of Pontus, Monk and Scholar; Melania the Elder, Desert Mother; Rufinus of Aquileia, Monk and Theologian; Didymus the Blind, Biblical Scholar; John II, Bishop of Jerusalem; Melania the Younger, Desert Mother; and her husband, Pinian, Monk

9 (Martin Chemnitz, German Lutheran Theologian, and the “Second Martin”)

  • Andreas Peter Berggreen, Danish Lutheran Musicologist, Organist, Music Educator, and Composer
  • Elijah P. Lovejoy, U.S. Journalist, Abolitionist, Presbyterian Minister, and Martyr, 1837; his brother, Owen Lovejoy, U.S. Abolitionist, Lawmaker, and Congregationalist Minister; and William Wells Brown, African-American Abolitionist, Novelist, Historian, and Physician
  • Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart, German Lutheran Educator and Devotional Writer
  • Margery Kempe, English Roman Catholic Mystic and Pilgrim
  • William Croswell, Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer

10 (Leo I “the Great,” Bishop of Rome)

  • Lott Cary, African-American Baptist Minister and Missionary to Liberia; and Melville B. Cox, U.S. Methodist Minister and Missionary to Liberia
  • Odette Prévost, French Roman Catholic Nun, and Martyr in Algeria, 1995

11 (Anne Steele, First Important English Female Hymn Writer)

  • Alijca Maria Jadwiga Kotowska, Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1939
  • Edwin Hatch, Anglican Priest, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • Martha Coffin Pelham Wright; her sister, Lucretia Coffin Mott; her husband, James Mott; his sister, Abigail Lydia Mott Moore; and her husband, Lindley Murray Moore; U.S. Quaker Abolitionists and Feminists
  • Peter Taylor Forsyth, Scottish Congregationalist Minister and Theologian

12 (Josaphat Kuntsevych, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Polotsk, and Martyr, 1623)

  • John Tavener, English Presbyterian then Orthodox Composer
  • Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexican Roman Catholic Nun, Composer, Writer, Philosopher, Feminist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Ray Palmer, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • William Arthur Dunkerley, British Novelist, Poet, and Hymn Writer

13 (Henry Martyn Dexter, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Historian)

  • Abbo of Fleury, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Brice of Tours, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Frances Xavier Cabrini, Founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart
  • William Romanis, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

14 (Samuel Seabury, Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, and Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • Maria Luiza Merkert, Co-Founder of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth
  • Nicholas Tavelic and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1391
  • Peter Wolle, U.S. Moravian Bishop, Organist, and Composer; Theodore Francis Wolle, U.S. Moravian Organist and Composer; and John Frederick “J. Fred” Wolle, U.S. Moravian Organist, Composer, and Choir Director

15 (John Amos Comenius, Father of Modern Education)

  • Gustaf Aulén and his protégé and colleague, Anders Nygren, Swedish Lutheran Bishops and Theologians
  • Jane Montgomery Campbell, Anglican Hymn Translator and Music Educator
  • Johann Gottlob Klemm, Instrument Maker; David Tannenberg, Sr., German-American Moravian Organ Builder; Johann Philip Bachmann, German-American Moravian Instrument Maker; Joseph Ferdinand Bulitschek, Bohemian-American Organ Builder; and Tobias Friedrich, German Moravian Composer and Musician
  • Johannes Kepler, German Lutheran Astronomer and Mathematician
  • Joseph Pignatelli, Restorer of the Jesuits

16 (Margaret of Scotland, Queen, Humanitarian, and Ecclesiastical Reformer)

  • Giuseppe Moscati, Italian Roman Catholic Physician
  • Ignacio Ellacuria and His Companions, Martyrs in El Salvador, November 15, 1989
  • Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay, 1628

17 (Henriette DeLille, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family)

  • Hugh of Lincoln, Roman Catholic Bishop and Abbot

18 (Hilda of Whitby, Roman Catholic Abbess)

  • Arthur Tozer Russell, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Isabel Alice Hartley Crawford, Baptist Missionary to the Kiowa Nation
  • Jane Eliza(beth) Leeson, English Hymn Writer

19 (Elizabeth of Hungary, Princess of Hungary, and Humanitarian)

  • Alice Nevin, U.S. German Reformed Liturgist and Composer of Hymn Texts
  • Arthur Henry Mann, Anglican Organist, Choir Director, Hymnodist, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Johann Christian Till, U.S. Moravian Organist, Composer, and Piano Builder; and his son, Jacob Christian Till, U.S. Moravian Piano Builder
  • Johann Hermann Schein, German Lutheran Composer
  • Samuel John Stone, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

20 (F. Bland Tucker, Episcopal Priest and Hymnodist; “The Dean of American Hymn Writers”)

  • Henry Francis Lyte, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of Religious Life in The Church of England
  • Richard Watson Gilder, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Social Reformer
  • Theodore Claudius Pease, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

21 (Thomas Tallis and his student and colleague, William Byrd, English Composers and Organists; and John Merbecke, English Composer, Organist, and Theologian)

  • Guy Ignatius Chabrat, Roman Catholic Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky; and his cousin, Peter Joseph Lavialle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Henry Purcell and his brother, Daniel Purcell, English Composers
  • Maria Franciszka Siedliska, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

22 (Robert Seagrave, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Anna Kolesárová, Slovak Roman Catholic Martyr, 1944
  • Ditlef Georgson Ristad, Norwegian-American Lutheran Minister, Hymn Translator, Liturgist, and Educator

23 (Clement I, Bishop of Rome)

  • Caspar Friedrich Nachtenhofer, German Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Columban, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Missionary
  • Enrichetta Alfieri, Italian Roman Catholic Nun and “Angel of San Vittore”
  • John Kenneth Pfohl, Sr., U.S. Moravian Bishop; his wife, Harriet Elizabeth “Bessie” Whittington Pfohl, U.S. Moravian Musician; and their son, James Christian Pfohl, Sr., U.S. Moravian Musician

24 (Andrew Dung-Lac and Peter Thi, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs in Vietnam, 1839)

  • Lucy Menzies, Scottish Presbyterian then Anglican Scholar and Mystic
  • Theophane Venard, Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in Vietnam, 1861
  • Vincent Liem, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Vietnam, 1773

25 (William Hiley Bathurst, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Isaac Watts, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • James Otis Sargent Huntington, Founder of the Order of the Holy Cross
  • John LaFarge, Jr., U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Renewer of Society
  • Petrus Nigidius, German Lutheran Educator and Composer; and Georg Nigidius, German Lutheran Composer and Hymn Writer

26 (Siricius, Bishop of Rome)

  • H. Baxter Liebler, Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Navajo Nation
  • John Berchmans, Roman Catholic Seminarian
  • Sojourner Truth, U.S. Abolitionist, Mystic, and Feminist
  • Theodore P. Ferris, Episcopal Priest and Author

27 (James Intercisus, Roman Catholic Martyr)

  • William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, Anglican Priests and Translators of Hymns

28 (Stephen the Younger, Defender of Icons)

  • Albert George Butzer, Sr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Educator
  • Kamehameha IV and Emma Rooke, King and Queen of Hawai’i
  • James Mills Thoburn, Isabella Thoburn, and Clara Swain, U.S. Methodist Missionaries to India
  • Joseph Hofer and Michael Hofer, U.S. Hutterite Conscientious Objectors and Martyrs, 1918

29 (Day of Intercession and Thanksgiving for the Missionary Work of the Church)

  • Frederick Cook Atkinson, Anglican Church Organist and Composer
  • Jennette Threlfall, English Hymn Writer

30 (ANDREW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

Floating

  • Thanksgiving Day

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