Thursday, September 08, 2005

sadly appropriate lectionary

I'm working at home today, and among the various odds and ends tasks, I'm preparing homilies and reflections for various activities for the weekend.

Tomorrow I'm giving an opening prayer and meditation for the diocesan ECW board. And I sat down with the lectionary,and realized that tomorrow is the day on which we remember Constance and her companions, Episcopalian sisters who ministered in the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 in Memphis, and who, along with several clergy, lost their lives.

Think that'll preach?


At 2:15 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

Let me know a little of what you will do with Constance and her companions. I am doing DOK devotion on Saturday.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Hi, Cathy:

I found a 29 page document at Project Canterbury (link from Daily Office online) that compiles many of the sisters' correspondence. Of course, much of it is in 19th century language, but one of the points they make is that when some suffer, all suffer.

Also check out Saturday's LFF person as well, Alexander Crummell.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Lydia Agnew Speller said...

One of Constance's companions was the rector of Holy Innocents' Church in St Louis, Charles Schuyler, son of Montgomery Schuyler who was the dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St Louis. He moved from that little church in St Louis to New Jersey some where, shortly before the call went out for people to go help in Memphis. The font here at St Mark's (into which Holy Innocents was incorporated) is a memorial to him. I love having a "piece" of someone in the LFF right here in our midst, reminding us all of our baptismal call.

I also once preached on Alexander Crummell who is a pretty interesting dude. I got tired of preaching on Absalom Jones, as we are invited to do every year here in February, so I decided I'd honor Alexander Crummell who was in the proposed but not yet available LFF. I went to Eden/Webster (as it was then) Library and looked for him in the Dictionary of American biography and he was not there. I looked in histories of the Episcopal Church and he was not there. I found him in a reference book of African American biography but it really brought home to me how limited my privileged white education had been, that this man who influenced a whole generation of African American clergy and lay leaders(he was kind of a black Philips Brooks, in that way) and was very connected with lots of African American writers and intellectuals of his day was almost invisible to the reference books I trusted to tell me what mattered. It showed me as much as anything the way in which racisim impovrishes us all.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Preach it, sister :) Last year at this time our rector, Fr. D, gave a homily on Constance et cetera at our first Daughters of the King meeting of the year (with Eucharist). It can be preached upon. Would be still more powerful this week. Yowza.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Actually, I didn't have to do much with it. I read a little bit of their story, but you don't have to say much about a southern city decimated by epidemic and evacuation, and the poor left behind to fend for themselves.

So many martyrdom stories seem so distant, but these were people we can understand (and, thanks to Lydia's story about the font) reach out and touch in some way.

At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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