An Anglican Martyrology for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Word format:Martyrology 12 09 19

PDF: Martyrology 12 09 19

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


This is an update of a form of martyrology I posted some time ago. It is traditional to read the martyrology liturgically each day. This text is ecumenical but designed particularly for use in the four Anglican Churches of the British Isles.

The base text used was the martyrology compiled by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338 and available online at the website of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

The calendars of each of the four Anglican churches of the British isles contain varied group commemorations, I suggest these entries are read only in the province where they are observed and have indicated that by the use of italics and brackets. However, people, particularly in the Church of England, are woefully ignorant of the history of the other Anglican Churches of our islands and it would be good if all entries for the islands are used in each province. The Roman Catholic dates for saints are also indicated where these vary from Anglican ones, but not all those on the Roman Calendar have an entry.

The introductions to the saints and celebrations in the Anglican calendars in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in Exciting Holiness, ed. Brother Tristam SSF, The Canterbury Press, 1997, have been added where a saint did not already appear in the martyrology. These have been adapted to indicate the place and date of death at the beginning, as is traditional at the reading of the martyrology. For the place of death I have generally relied on Wikipedia. For Irish, Welsh and Scottish celebrations not appearing in Exciting Holiness, (they do appear in subsequent editions, I only have the first) I have used the latest edition of Celebrating the Saints, Canterbury Press, 2004. These entries are generally longer than appear in martyrologies and probably need editing down even more than I have done if they are to be read liturgically. Additional entries from the online martyrology of the Bose community have been used.

I would have liked to include (as does the Bose Martyrology) the celebrations of other faith communities, however as these are movable (based often on lunar calendars) that is not easy to do. An online inter-faith calendar could be consulted to add to this martyrology.

I would like to add more Celtic and Saxon saints and am working on that. Often it is hard to distinguish between saints with the same name or the same saint with alternative dates for commemoration.

Other Sources:

For All The Saints – A Calendar of Commemorations for United Methodists, ed. Clifton F. Guthrie, Order of St Luke Publications, Akron, Ohio, 1995.

A Calendar of British Saints – Orthodox Synaxarion, Fr Benedict Haigh, Bluestone Books, 2004

Ordo of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God

Saints of the Roman Missal, J Michael Thompson, Ligouri, 2012

People’s Companion to the Breviary, The Carmelites of Indianapolis, 1997, Volumes 1 and 2

Troparia and Kondakia, New Skete, 1984

Holy Women, Holy Men, Church Publishing, 2010, in the online edition available in May 2018.

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, ed Shane Claiburne et al, Zondervan, 2010

Blessed Among Us, ed. Robert Ellsberg, Liturgical Press, 2016

New Book of Festivals and Commemorations [Lutheran], Philip F. Pfatteicher, Fortress Press, 2008

Carmelite Propers for the Liturgy of the Hours,

Dominican Propers for the Liturgy of the Hours,

Propers for Congregations Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ


Finally, some dates of significance have been added to the entries. Because non- Christians (eg Gandhi) have been included the phrase “people of good will” has been added to the usual conclusion of the reading of the martyrology. Events which are entered and are not people should be read at the beginning of the reading of the martryology when announcing the liturgical day.

In adding to the base text used consideration has been given to the length of the reading for the whole day, so some of the many saints mentioned in that have been removed; and to ensuring the presence of more Anglican, women, married, and non-European entries. The original text included many nineteenth century saints and founders of religious communities these have largely been removed. This martyrology naturally reflects my own interests and prejudices.

To reduce the length of the reading of the martyrology readings may be alternated in a two year cycle, first and third etc entry in Year 1 and so on. Obviously any entry that is going to be observed liturgically ought to be used.

The reading of the martyrology traditionally occurred at the end of Prime, with the reading for the following day being read. In reading the martyrology in Latin the day in the lunar cycle was also announced. I don’t know any communities who do this in English. The martyrology may be read at the end of a daytime hour, before Compline or separately. For those praying only Morning and Evening Prayer it might helpfully occur after Evening Prayer for the following day.



Reading The Martyrology in the Daily Office

The Martyrology for the nth day of X the year of Our Lord 20XX.

[The liturgical day is then given, eg. Monday in the eighth week after Trinity, or the first entry in the martyrology if that supersedes it.]

Other events at the top of the day’s entry are also read. Any entry that is to be observed liturgically is mentioned first.

After the Reading from the martyrology:

And elsewhere, many other holy women and holy men, saints of the Most High God and people of good will.

V. Precious in the eyes of the Lord. (Alleluia.)

R. Is the death of the faithful. (Alleluia.)

Let us pray.

May holy Mary and all the saints pray for us to the Lord,

that we may obtain from Him, help and salvation,

who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen.


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