Today the ELCA commemorates the life of Francis Xavier, missionary to Asia.
I’m just curious, why does the ELCA commemorate post-Trent Catholic saints, but only a select few of them, chosen by some inscrutable criteria?
I have always wondered this… Who makes the call on these and why?
I tried a general google search then a “search in domain” on elca.org and found no clues. I never was enough of an insider to know the names of all the committees and high muckety mucks but there must be a Grand Poobah of Liturgy and a Committee on Calendar Affairs, I am guessing.
I would hate to think that, for instance, St. Edith Stein is left off because she was a Jewish-to-Christian convert (“and that’s not NICE! or INCLUSIVE!”) whereas St. Maximillian Kolbe was a gentile. Or that St. Theresa is included because she’s perceived as a “strong, empowered woman!” and St. Therese is excluded because she’s perceived as passive and excessively emotional and feminine. Or that Bl. John XXIII was included because “~SPIRIT OF VATICAN II~! INCLUSIVE!” and Bl. John Paul II was left out because “ummm like pro-life and traditional marriage…eek! Much conservative. Very scare!”
But I’m guessing that’s exactly what it was, tbh. That, or, not really any better, basically people from the committee have appropriated—and I mean that word, I considered it and I mean it—their favorite “SUPER NEET AWSUM SAINTS!” without giving it much thought at all.
This is all possible, though I think the J2—P2 isn’t on there because too soon… and maybe other reasons. Maybe there is a smoke filled (just for effect, not real smoke, cause that isn’t cool) room in Chicago or maybe Beth Lewis has one at Augusburg Fortress…. idk… hmmm… gives me an idea…. I know Beth a little maybe she can fill in the blanks…. brb… going to the twitters for a bit…. maybe an answer… I could call up one of the former PB’s as I seem to have some connection to all of them, though not the new one… (its a small world… yaddi yaddi yadda) but I doubt they would know either.
For what it is worth…
"The list of commemorations in LBW was assembled by the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship in the early 1970s based mostly on ecumenical sources. A few tweaks to that list, based on input and requests from across the ELCA, were made by the committees that assembled Evangelical Lutheran Worship, approved by the ELCA Church Council, and commended by the 2005 Churchwide Assembly. However, ELW also recommends that local communities can add to the list or choose which ones to remember."
That is pretty much what I had thought… But this comes from Martin Seltz, who leads our Worship & Music editorial team at Augsburg Fortress, so it carries a bit more weight than my passing notions.
So.. who knows when it will be updated again and why… considering this work was mostly done in the very very early ‘1970’s.