The Armchair Liturgist: Saints’ Names for Easter Vigil 2011

Your parish has just had a bunch of catechumens sent for election, only to return as members of the Elect.

The RCIA director, knocks on your door and approaches the Purple Chair with much trepidation and a list. You are asked to please include this list of names in the Vigil’s Litany of Saints:

  • Charity
  • Dee
  • Dirk
  • Dusty
  • Favre
  • Fee
  • Genghis
  • Kirk
  • Lee
  • Orthodoxia
  • Purity
  • Rusty
  • Trusty
  • Ursus 

As you can see, some sibling combinations are here. Also, some shortening of names. We see quite a bit of shortened names as given names. Who’s a saint, who’s not a saint, but acceptable (and why) and who gets a request for a lengthening of a name or a middle name (and why)? How would you handle a request like this? And do you have a problem with including patronal names (if any) of the people to be baptized?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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10 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Saints’ Names for Easter Vigil 2011

  1. John Drake says:

    I’d suggest just using the “classic” litany of saints. We’re asking those canonized, recognized saints to pray for all of us. Sometimes the simpler the better.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    I khan’t believe that Genghis is a saint’s name!

    Many of our tighty-righties would welcome “Orthodoxia” as being recognized as a saint’s name!

  3. Liam says:

    At this point, we need the seven dwarfs. This list seems the most unserious of this annual exercise on this blog. If the name has a very probable or clear association with or derivation from a patronal name, use the patronal name. If the association is merely speculative, go fish, or play bingo. The litany, as a public litany, does have formal boundaries as to its content (the recognized martyrologies of the various rites of churches in communion with Rome, and the universal & local calendars; as for saints of the Orthodox and Oriental churches not in communion with Rome, well, I leave that to experts on this point.)

  4. Todd says:

    Fair enough. This annual post has always been a little bit tongue-in-cheek with a few made-up names each year. But I’m curious about Kirk, a variation on “church.” Or a quality like Charity or Purity. Because we accept Hope or Faith (Fee or Fe) would we accept a virtue as a name. And how far does that go? Just the cardinal virtues? And if so, why? Would that mean the patronage of the Holy Spirit, if a person were named after a spiritual virtue?

    And really, none of these names are really far out. Except for Orthodoxia. And, well, Genghis.

  5. Liam says:

    Todd

    This litany is a public litany (there are only a few of those), so it has boundaries of form – the names of saints who have been raised to the altars, in traditional parlance, customarily being those in the martyrologies and the calendars.

  6. Liam says:

    For Kirk, btw, I might suggest adopting St Joseph as a patron, for example.

  7. Randolph Nichols says:

    I want you to know my border collie, Gusty, is quite put out at being excluded. Of course, his name is just a familiar form of Augustine.

  8. Saint FAHV-ruh, pway for us.
    (Channeling Ben Stiller)

  9. Jimmy Mac says:

    “Favre” used to have cachet in the Diocese of Green Bay — but not so much anymore.

  10. Nor in his own household, JM, one might surmise. But I really do pray that he might prove the exception to unrepentant athlete/celebs who can’t hold center, and keep the gravity of the family and marriage together. In that arena is the only place you’ll find this Raider fan rooting for number four.

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