While the political world is all abuzz with news of candidates in the upcoming midterm elections, the church world this coming November will instead blessedly celebrate the liturgical calendar of Saints. Commemorated on the first of November, All Saints Day is a “principal feast,” a high, holy, and red-letter day. It is also one of the four Sundays customarily set aside for baptisms – as we welcome new members into the communion of saints.
The Episcopal Church populates the calendar of saints in a particularly democratic (lowercase “d”) way. By definition, a saint whose earthly life shines as an icon of Christ, also remains a sinner. Perfection is not required. Saints are selected for the calendar, not by decree, but by election. Yes, election!
A slate of candidates is put forward by the Standing Liturgical Commission at General Convention, the triennial gathering where bishops, clergy, and laity meet to do the church’s business. And there is a vote! If a candidate “wins,” they are provisionally added to the calendar. Three years later, at the next General Convention, an additional vote is held to confirm the election.
Beyond the standard menu of patriarchs, matriarchs, and martyrs, saints come from all walks of life. Medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, composer Johannes Sebastian Bach are all on the list!
So, who are some of your favorites? Who has been in your life an exemplar of Christ? Who would you like to nominate? Candidates do not need to be famous or well known. They could be a teacher, a healer, a youth group leader, a grandmother, a friend, an inspiring stranger. And bonus, for this local election, they can still be walking along side us on our earthly pilgrimage.
Click here to complete simple nomination form or email the editor-in-chief at email@example.com with answers to survey questions below. Candidates will be featured here on Emmanuel Voices, our parish blog and discussed at the November 13th “Second Sunday” in the Memorial Room between the 8:00 am and 10:00 am services. Deadline for nominations is COB Friday, November 10th.
A SAINTLY ELECTION NOMINATION FORM
- Your Name:
- Candidate’s Name: (the candidate can be a favorite already on the calendar)
- Candidate’s Date of Birth (if known):
- Candidate’s Date of Death (if known):
- How did you come to know/learn about your candidate?
- How does the candidate‘s life reflect the life of Christ?
- Do you have a story that illustrates why this candidate is a saint for you? If yes, please share.
- Do you have a pic or photo of candidate you can share?
You can also return a hardcopy by placing it in the Offertory Box at the back of the church or drop it off at the church office.
The more saintly candidates nominated, all the better. Let’s get out the vote this November!
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog