Calendar, Ecclesiastical

Calendar, Ecclesiastical.

1. A table of the order and series of days, weeks, months, and holy days in the year (so called from the calendmc, or first day of the Roman month). The oldest extant calendar containing the Christian festivals is that of Silvius (A.D 448), published in the Acta Sanct. June (7:176). There is a fragment of a Gothic calendar, supposed to be of the 4th century, covering the latter part of October and the whole of November, which gives seven days with saints' names. It may be found in Mai, Scriptor. Veter. nova collectio, 5:1. SEE FEASTS AND FASTS.

2. The Fasti, or catalogues in which different churches preserved the names of those saints whom they especially honored, as their bishops, martyrs, etc., to which they added the names of some other saints, but generally those of the neighboring churches. The calendars differed from the martyrologies in this, that the former contained but few names of saints unconnected with the particular church; the latter contained all the saints honored by the whole Church. The most ancient known calendar is that of the Roman Church, which, according to Baillet, was formed about the middle of the fourth century, under Pope Liberius, or, according to Chatelain, in 336, under Pope Julius (Antwerp, 1634, ed. Boucher). See Landon, Eccl. Diet. 2:488. The most copious work on the subject is Assemani, Kalendaria Ecclesice Universm (Romans 1755, 6 vols. 4to). The present Saints' Calendar of the Romish Church is very copious; it may be found, more or less complete, in the Roman almanacs from year to year.

The German Lutheran Church retained the Romanist Calendar (with the saints' days of that age) at the Reformation. Professor Piper constructed in 1850 an Evangelical Calendar for the use of the Evangelical Church of Germany, which is issued annually, full of biographical and other matter of interest, along with the calendar of feasts, fasts, etc. See Piper, Die Verbesserung d. Evang. Kalenders (Berlin, 1850).

The calendar of the Church of England, as it stands in the large editions of the Prayer-book, consists of nine columns: the first contains the golden number or cycle of the moon; the second shows the days of the month in their numerical order; the third contains the Dominical or Sunday letter; the fourth the calends, nones, and ides, (this was the Roman method of computation, sand was used by the early Christians); the fifth contains the holy days of the Church, as also some festivals of the Romish Church, set down for public convenience rather than for reverence; and the remaining four contain the portions of Scripture and of the Apocrypha appointed for the daily lessons.

The list of saints' days and festivals includes a number of the Romish holidays, properly so called, viz.: Lucian, priest and martyr, Jan. 8; Hilary, bishop and confessor, Jan. 13; Prisca, virgin and martyr, Jan. 18; Fabian, bishop and martyr, Jan. 20; Agnes, virgin and martyr, Jan. 21; Vincent, deacon and martyr, Jan. 22; Blasius, bishop and martyr, Feb. 3; Agatha, virgin and martyr, Feb. 5; Valentine, bishop and martyr, Feb. 14; David, tutelar saint of Wales, March 1; Cedde or Chad, bishop, March 2; Perpetua, martyr, March 7; Gregory, bishop and confessor, March 12; Patrick, tutelar saint of Ireland, March 17; Edward, king of the West Saxons, March 18; Benedict. abbot, March 21; Richard, bishop, April 3; Ambrose, bishop, April 4; Alphege, archbishop, April 19; George, saint and martyr, April 23; Cross, invention of, May 3; John, saint, evangelist, May 6; Dunstan, archbishop, Mray 19; Augustine, archbishop, May 26; Bede, venerable, May 27; Nicomede, martyr, June 1; Boniface, bishop and martyr, June 5; Alban, saint and martyr, June 17; Edward, translation of, June 20; Mary, Virgin, visitation of, July 2; Martin, bishop and confessor, July 4; Swithin, bishop, July 15; Margaret, virgin and martyr, July 20; Magdalene, saint Mary, July 22; Anne, saint, July 23; Lammas Day, Aug. 1; Transfiguration of our Lord, Aug. 6; Jesus, name of, Aug. 7; Laurence, archdeacon and martyr, Aug. 10; Augustine, bishop of Ilippo, Aug. 28; John Baptist, beheading of, Aug. 29; Giles, abbot and confessor, Sept. 1; Enurchus, bishop, Sept. 7; Mary, Virgin, nativity of, Sept. 8; Holy Cross, recovery of, Sept. 14; Lambert, bishop and martyr, Sept. 17; Cyprian, archbishop and martyr, Sept. 26 ; Jerome, priest and confessor, Sept. 30; Remigius, bishop, Oct. 1; Faith, virgin and martyr, Oct. 5; Denys, bishop and martyr, Oct. 9; Edward, translation of, Oct. 13; Ethelreda, virgin, Oct. 17; Crispin, saint and martyr, Oct. 25; Leonard, confessor, Nov. 6; Martin, bishop and confessor, Nov. 11; Britins, bishop, Nov. 13; Machutus, bishop, Nov. 15; Hugh, bishop, Nov. 17; Edmund, king and martyr, Nov. 20; Cecilia, virgin and martyr, Nov. 22; Clement I, bishop and martyr, Nov. 23; Catharine, virgin and martyr, Nov. 25; Nicholas, bishop, Dec. 6; Lucy, virgin and martyr, Dec. 13; 0 Sapientia, Dec. 16; Silvester, bishop, Dec. 31.

These are omitted in the calendar of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which retains only the scriptural festivals. Wheatly assigns the following reasons for their retention by the English Church:

"Some of them being retained upon account of our courts of justice, which usually make their returns on these days, or else upon the days before or after them, which are called in the writs Vigil. Fest. or Crast., as in Vigil. Martin, Fest. Martin, Crast. Martin, and the like. Others are probably kept in the calendar for the sake of such tradesmen, handicraftsmen, and others, as are wont to celebrate the memory of their tutelar saints, as the Welshmen do of St. David, the shoemakers of St. Crispin, etc. And again, churches being in several places dedicated to some or other of these saints, it has been the usual custom in such places to have wakes or fairs kept upon those days, so that the people would probably be displeased if, either in this or the former case, their favorite saint's name should be left out of the calendar. Besides, the histories which were writ before the Reformation do frequently speak of transactions happening upon such a holy day, or about such a time, without mentioning the month; relating one thing to be done at Lamnmas-tide, and another about Martinmas, etc., so that, were these names quite left out of the calendar, we might be at a loss to know when several of these transactions happened. But for this and the foregoing reasons our second reformers under queen Elizabeth (though all those days had been omitted in both books of kirig Edward VI, excepting St. George's Day, Lammas Day, St. Laurence, and St. Clement, which were in his second book) thought convenient to restore the names of them to the calendar, though not with any regard of their being kept holy by the Church." — Wheatly, On Common Prayer, ch. 1; Procter, On Common Prayer, 62; Piper, in Herzog's Real-Encyklopddie, 7:232; Coleman, Ancient Christianity, ch. 26, § 5; Christian Remembrancer, 40:391.

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