Commemoration of the Saints

edited June 2016 in Faith Issues
One thing I have been wondering for a long time:

Why is it that the only female saint listed in the Commemoration of the Saints St. Mary the Theotokos, and the rest is 100% male saints? Why do we exclude all the female saints who have also been important to the church? Saints like St. Demiana, St. Hilary, St. Monica, St. Mary Magdeline, St. Veronica, St. Marina, St. Barbara, Sts. Mary and Martha (Sisters of Lazarus)... Shouldn't they be listed as well?


  • In the Commemoration of saints, mostly the leads or "princes" of a specific rank is said. Also, each liturgy's commemoration is unique to the father that wrote it (St. Basil, St. Gregory's or St. Cyril's). The Synod though allowed that at the end, each church may add it's patron saints.

    We have nothing against females saints. The Commemoration of Midnight Praise includes many female saints. 
  • But then how did they choose the saints who would be listed in the commemoration of the saints?
  • We didn't pick and choose. Those saint that wrote the liturgy did. You can see the difference in the commemoration of the 3 liturgies. 
    As for the commemoration in tasbeha, it was probably at set at some point of time by monasteries in which tasbeha originated. and even with that consideration, at the end of each rank (e.g. martyrs, saints (abba's), cross-bearers...), there is always a verse that covers all other saints that were not mentioned by name. And even after the commemoration, you can always say the doxology of the saint of the day. 
  • But I mean, wouldn't the liturgical. O
    Commemoration have to have been modified? Like, it lists all the authors of the liturgies as saints, and I'm sure none of them included themselves in the comemmorations?
  • edited June 2016
    That's probably true. But please consider that these liturgies are very old. What we have now is a combination of many old manuscripts.

     I would like to ask: what are you trying to accomplish exactly?
  • edited June 2016
    Im mainly trying to understand. I looked back on the Commemoration, and even going beyond female saints noticed that it only mentions 1 of the 4 evengelists and none of the 12 disciples chosen by Jesus Christ. It seems to not mention a lot of those who had prominent roles in the Gospel and in the following of Christ. It's interesting to me that these people are not included in this Commemoration, and it would interest me to know why that is.

    **It does mention St. John the Baptist, but he wasn't one of the 12.

    **also, I am referring to the Commemoration in the liturgy of St. Basil since this is the one most commonly prayed.
  • We probably might not know the answer to this question unless we have access to ancient manuscripts and the evolution of this part of the liturgy. Studies are underway now to understand this, but in the meantime, this is probably one of those areas where no real answer is yet known. We have female saints. We say their names in the doxologies and we have churches dedicated to them. So why is it only one female Saint is named? Good question. But you will get a lot of "I don't knows".

    The only thing that seems to make sense is that the list of names seem to be either major theologians or desert spiritual fathers that lead the Coptic Church to what we have today. That seems to be the major characteristic in this part of the liturgy, which is why they're all men.
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