Egeria vs. Thomas Ken

Monday morning doldrums? Impossible! At least when you log on for another full week of Lent Madness. Today’s matchup is the final battle of the Saintly Sixteen meaning that either Egeria or Thomas Ken will round out the lineup of the eight remaining saints. Over the next 24 hours, you’ll decide whether the Spanish nun or English bishop will advance to face Frederick Douglass.

You likely know by now, if you follow Lent Madness on Facebook or Twitter or compulsively check in for Bracket updates, that Friday’s nip and tuck battle ended with a 52% to 48% victory by Bernard Mizeki over Jackson Kemper. He’ll face Molly Brant in the next round.

So, read, vote, pray, lobby others, and then steel yourself for tomorrow’s start of the Elate Eight, aka the saintly kitsch round, as Francis of Assisi takes on Thecla.

egeria 2Egeria

Egeria was a Spanish nun who traveled throughout the Holy Land and the Near East from 381-384 CE, recording what she saw and experienced. Her letters home provide the earliest record of Christian liturgy during Holy Week that we have.

It is, however, not only liturgy enthusiasts who are Egeria fans. Medieval scholars also appreciate her, because her writing is the oldest example of non-church Latin in existence, and provides us with exciting glimpses of how the language developed. Are you a fan of the word “the?” So was Egeria! She was one of the first writers to use it.

Reading through Egeria’s recounting of the daily offices in Jerusalem, and the observance of the liturgical year, it is striking how close the liturgical form has stayed to her description. For example, here’s her description of Lent:

And when the Paschal days come they are observed thus: Just as with us forty days are kept before Easter, so here eight weeks are kept before Easter. And eight weeks are kept because there is no fasting on the Lord’s Days, nor on the Sabbaths, except on the one Sabbath on which the Vigil of Easter falls, in which case the fast is obligatory. With the exception then of that one day, there is never fasting on any Sabbath here throughout the year. Thus, deducting the eight Lord’s Days and the seven Sabbaths (for on the one Sabbath, as I said above, the fast is obligatory) from the eight weeks, there remain forty-one fast days, which they call here Eortae, that is Quadragesimae.

Egeria was a cool, calm, and collected observer of liturgy. (Take note, modern clergy). While she couldn’t refrain from getting mildly excited about some of the liturgical forms she witnessed (involvement of the laity sent her over the moon!), she never condemned or judged what she witnessed. That’s no small feat, because then, as now, occasionally liturgy can take some surreal turns, as we learn when Egeria describes the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday:

Now, when it has been put upon the table, the bishop, as he sits, holds the extremities of the sacred wood firmly in his hands, while the deacons who stand around guard it. It is guarded thus because the custom is that the people, both faithful and catechumens, come one by one and, bowing down at the table, kiss the sacred wood and pass through. And because, I know not when, someone is said to have bitten off and stolen a portion of the sacred wood, it is thus guarded by the deacons who stand around, lest anyone approaching should venture to do so again.

Yet, Egeria kept her head, and provided the world with a lasting legacy of faith and witness down through the ages.

Megan Castellan

thomas ken imageThomas Ken

Thomas Ken was a celebrated preacher, writer, and teacher. His works have endured through the years, though perhaps his most noted piece of writing is the doxology sung at so many parishes as gifts are being brought forward, “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” This line, in so many ways, summarizes Ken’s focus in life and ministry.

He was focused on the source of true gifts and unswayed by blandishments, bribes, or intimidation. His abiding faith in the Triune God as the grounding of his life gave him a prophetic courage to speak truth no matter the cost to his career. Lord McCauley (an ecclesiastical opponent) said of Ken, “His character approaches, as near as human infirmity permits, to the ideal of perfection of Christian virtue.”

Canon Arthur Middleton writes of Ken, “Like John the Baptist he had that steel of independence that could boldly rebuke vice and error without fear of the consequences and it could break out sharply in what he wrote.” In the face of pressure from the king to lodge the king’s mistress, Ken famously refused saying that it was “not suitable that the Royal Chaplain should double as the Royal Pimp.”

Yet this firmness was paired with good humor and deep kindness.

Ken, as bishop, was out in his diocese offering pastoral care and preaching with great zeal and effectiveness. He was a renowned preacher – nobility were known to be left begging for seats to hear him preach. Yet, despite all that fame, when he was home he would dine with twelve poor people (a number, I think, not picked by chance) every Sunday evening. After dinner he would offer spiritual counsel and guidance to them.

He was a prolific writer with many of his works focused on the devotional life. Of particular interest at this time of year might be his work, A Pastoral Letter to his Clergy concerning their behaviour during Lent. His works were often written for a wide audience with simple devotions and intercessions penned for ordinary believers to make part of their prayer life.

Ken’s generosity and charity are brought into focus after the Battle of Sedgmoor which ended the Monmouth Rebellion. Ken was hardly sympathetic to the cause of the rebels who had desecrated and ransacked his cathedral. However, he demanded that after the battle, wounded rebel soldiers were to be treated, cared for, and that no further indignity nor abuse should befall them at the hands of the victors.

Ken died in 1711 after years of disgrace, having been deprived of his episcopacy, cathedral, and post in the Church of England – all of which were taken from him because of the strength of his conviction. His last words were,

I die in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith professed by the whole church before the disunion of East and West; more particularly I die in the communion of the Church of England, as it stands distinguished from all papal and puritanical innovations, and as it adheres to the doctrine of the Cross.

Robert Hendrickson



Egeria vs. Thomas Ken

  • Egeria (54%, 3,002 Votes)
  • Thomas Ken (46%, 2,599 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,601

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158 Comments to "Egeria vs. Thomas Ken"

  1. Oliver Seven years old's Gravatar Oliver Seven years old
    March 23, 2015 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    I voted Egeria because she looks like she would let me have a messy room.

    • Janis Rosebrook's Gravatar Janis Rosebrook
      March 23, 2015 - 8:50 am | Permalink

      Good choice Oliver. I agree.

    • Megan Castellan's Gravatar Megan Castellan
      March 23, 2015 - 11:29 am | Permalink

      Oliver, I feel fairly certain that not only would Egeria let you have a messy room–she would probably visit your room and write a very interesting letter about everything you had in there.

      I think your comment is my favorite Lent Madness comment so far.

    • Betsy Pollert's Gravatar Betsy Pollert
      March 23, 2015 - 11:51 am | Permalink

      Can’t believe this discussion of messy rooms! While I really appreciate the early historical records of Egeria, I vote forThomas. I am a big fan of the Doxology, but especially admire his standing up for his beliefs, despite the personal costs. Loved his eating with the poor every Sunday. He’s my saint today.

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 23, 2015 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

        You did notice that Oliver is 7 years old, right? I’m loving his input!

        • Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
          March 23, 2015 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Wisdom from the mouths of children.

        • Wendy Leigh's Gravatar Wendy Leigh
          March 23, 2015 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

          I was truly torn on this one. The fact that Egeria’s writings are examples of the old non-church Latin intigues me; I love Latin! However Thomas got my vote because the Doxology is close to my heart.

          P.S. Oliver, you are an amazing commentator. I always look for your input! Thank you.

          • Patty's Gravatar Patty
            March 23, 2015 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

            Me, too! Can we vote for our favorite commentator? Oliver has my vote!

        • Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
          March 23, 2015 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

          I’ll accept Oliver as he is. He represents the future of the church. So does the two year old who simply will NOT be silent during the Consecration or most other parts of the Service. The important piece is that he is at church.

      • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
        March 23, 2015 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

        …then you’re really not going to like what Jesus said to St. Francis about the messy chapel at San Damiano…oh – wait – that was a messy RUIN…

      • March 23, 2015 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Amen to that! Much as I admire Egeria, Thomas Ken has my heart!

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 23, 2015 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Those of us who keep messy rooms are grateful for the hope that Oliver has given us.

        • Patty's Gravatar Patty
          March 23, 2015 - 6:16 pm | Permalink


      • Frances M.'s Gravatar Frances M.
        March 23, 2015 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Linda, he touched my heart, too. Voted tonight for him.

    • Katherine Schroeder's Gravatar Katherine Schroeder
      March 23, 2015 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Oliver. Egeria for me. She doesn’t seem like the type to judge people on their rooms — just their hearts. And you have a wonderful heart.

    • March 23, 2015 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Ken because my name is Ken.

      • Billie Mae Gordon's Gravatar Billie Mae Gordon
        March 23, 2015 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I voted for Thomas Ken because my late husband was Ken and my late brother was Thomas – both died within 4 years of each other of Pancreatic CA – did this vote in loving memory of them. What each of the two candidates did was commendable – just voted with my heart on this one.

        • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
          March 23, 2015 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Bless your heart. I have also lost loved ones to this horrible disease. Take care.

    • Tim Dewart's Gravatar Tim Dewart
      March 23, 2015 - 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Oliver, I wish that I had read your comment before voting. Had I realized that Egeria would not make me clean my messy room, I would have voted for her!

  2. PhilEsq's Gravatar PhilEsq
    March 23, 2015 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Granted that Egeria is no Barbie, but this Ken did more than observe….or look good. I’m in favor of good preaching and good works.

  3. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    March 23, 2015 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    No comments?? How can I possibly decide without some help? This is a near impossible choice!

  4. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    March 23, 2015 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Ah, there you are. I can always depend on Oliver!

  5. March 23, 2015 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    I can’t disagree with Oliver’s logic, and so it’s Egeria for me!

    • Sonia's Gravatar Sonia
      March 23, 2015 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      Yes, I like Oliver’s logic but he caused me to think more about “the messy room.” Egeria, I think, might well have written a book on the subject, what makes a room messy, how important a messy room is to its occupant, is it really “messy” to its occupier, is there any reason for it not to be messy?
      Then Thomas? I don’t think the Doxology would necessarily fit; but I can see him calling the parties together, first Oliver and asking what it is about his room that he likes and then the objectors (parents?) and ask them their problem with Oliver’s “mess.”
      And from all that I think he would try to reach a concordat about the room!
      So, although I really do appreciate all Egeria did, I am voting for Thomas

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        March 23, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

        Sonia, are you always this lucid this early on the day? I am impressed!

      • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
        March 23, 2015 - 11:50 am | Permalink

        Oliver might feel at home in our messy house! Still a mess from moving more furniture in and still not through putting stuff away in the antique shelves and drawers!

  6. March 23, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Thomas won me over because I love that Doxology, but even moreso with his compassionate example of loving our enemies.

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 23, 2015 - 8:28 am | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly with Robin Dake!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 23, 2015 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      Yes, the generosity of his dinners and really, his whole life, impressed me deeply today. Also, his prospects for the Kitsch Round are awe-inspiring.

      • Vonelle Kostelny-Vogts's Gravatar Vonelle Kostelny-Vogts
        March 23, 2015 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

        I agree!

  7. Vicky's Gravatar Vicky
    March 23, 2015 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    I voted for Egeria and Ken in the first round, so they’re both winning saints for me – but now it’s Ken, the doer and writer, rather than Egeria, the observer and recorder.
    The doxology is worth the vote, alone!

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 23, 2015 - 8:28 am | Permalink

      I agree with Vicky.

    • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
      March 23, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Vicky, you said it for me, too. Thank you. And much as I love and am grateful for Egeria’s commentaries, I must go with Ken this time. But it was not an easy decision. Thanks to all the commenters – I always learn something and get new insights from your thoughts.

  8. Jennifer B-C Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer B-C Seaver
    March 23, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to the adventurous Egeria. Long may we travel and write about it.

    • March 23, 2015 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, the travel got me right away. The things she must have seen and the education and foresight to write about them is grand……but another hard choice!

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 23, 2015 - 5:33 pm | Permalink

      I agree!

  9. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    March 23, 2015 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    Egeria is beyond my Ken.

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      March 23, 2015 - 8:52 am | Permalink

      And while I acknowledge my debt to her work, this morning Ken has the Edge. (Giving hospitality to enemies AND standing up to kings.)

  10. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 23, 2015 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    When I read Egeria’s records of the liturgical practices of the Church almost 1700 years ago, it is absolutely goose-bump-inducing! It sounds so fresh and contemporary! I am truly, truly grateful for her work that has provided the template for Christian worship all these centuries. Just think how many lives she has touched!

  11. Susie's Gravatar Susie
    March 23, 2015 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    It is Ken, who refused to be a pimp! Oh yeah, and all that other stuff, too.

  12. Patti Blaine's Gravatar Patti Blaine
    March 23, 2015 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, but for me it came down to the the. (jk)

  13. Marc's Gravatar Marc
    March 23, 2015 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Oh Egeria you had me at “the”!

    • Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
      March 23, 2015 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Yea, me too. Such an important word. Egeria gets my vote.

      • William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
        March 23, 2015 - 10:57 pm | Permalink

        An important word long before Egeria. Although not used in Classical Lain it was part of both Greek and Hebrew — she does get points for incirporating it into Latin, but nogt for inventing it. And, BTW, (B)CE dating may be OK in a secular context; but when we’re talking of Christian figures in a Christian context then AD (or for OT persons, BC) gets my vote and therefore so does Ken. I know that wasn’t Egeria’s choice, but in such a close contest even little things make a huge difference.

  14. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    March 23, 2015 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    I have to go with Ken…the doxology has probably been sung more times than any other song in a worship service.

  15. March 23, 2015 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I wish Egeria could have used today’s social media. I’d follow her!

  16. Barbara Ross's Gravatar Barbara Ross
    March 23, 2015 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I make my living as a writer, so Egeria it is for me. She may not be the official patron saint of journalists, but maybe she should be. Her close observations and clear prose resonate even today.

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      March 23, 2015 - 11:11 am | Permalink

      What a good idea! I’m sure journalists can use all the help they can get–especially those who write about troublesome subjects–in presenting both facts and the emotions surrounding those facts. Not to mention those who are in dangerous places.

      • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
        March 23, 2015 - 11:55 am | Permalink

        One of the best of our local (New York City) TV journalists returned from a difficult story a couple of days ago, collapsed in the newsroom, and died of a brain aneurysm. She was only in her late forties. Please pray for all who love and admire her.

  17. Linda T.'s Gravatar Linda T.
    March 23, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Egeria! I have to vote for someone who got excited about laity being involed. And “she never condemned or judged what she witnessed” – there are many, many people who could learn from this.

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 23, 2015 - 5:35 pm | Permalink


  18. John Sorensen's Gravatar John Sorensen
    March 23, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Ken is clearly a good man, an exemplary priest and a holy bishop. But without Egeria, we people of the Prayer Book have nothing. Our entire liturgical life from Palm Sunday to Easter wouldn’t exist without her. That’s because liturgical “experts” would never have agreed on the history of our worship traditions without her eyewitness account. And, travel from Spain to Jerusalem was dangerous . . . that’s one brave woman, ahead of her time. EGERIA!

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      March 23, 2015 - 11:57 am | Permalink

      Thank you for saying so well what I was thinking

  19. Lithophyte's Gravatar Lithophyte
    March 23, 2015 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Another Toss it up, how to do a decision, revert to Excel, random number generator for a flip the numbers, Egeria is the pick.

  20. Will Robinson's Gravatar Will Robinson
    March 23, 2015 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Really close matchup already! Looking forward to seeing the winner tomorrow!

  21. Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
    March 23, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    As a liturgy nerd I’m going for Egeria, but it was a tough choice.

  22. KLF's Gravatar KLF
    March 23, 2015 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    I voted for Egeria in the first round and fully expected to vote for her again. But the presentation of Bishop Ken won me over today. I had to pick somebody who did so much over somebody whose ministry was recording. Not that I don’t appreciate her, too! As has been said — these decisions are getting harder and harder.

  23. Larry's Gravatar Larry
    March 23, 2015 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    While Egeria’s documentary history adds to our knowledge of an era not well documented, there are serious questions surrounding her status as a member of a group of women religious. Thomas Ken’s enduring doxology, and his lifelong commitment to Christian principles and practices, make him the best choice in this matchup.

  24. Thomas van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas van Brunt
    March 23, 2015 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    The Rev. Dr. Chasuble addresses Miss Prism in “The Importance of Being Earnest” as Egeria. She was a Roman goddess as well as the first published woman in human history. Go Chauble, Prism an Wilde! Let’s hear it for unpublished three volume novels and liturgical manuscripts.

  25. Cassandra's Gravatar Cassandra
    March 23, 2015 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Mercy and compassion for those who had desecrated his cathedral? How can we not vote for someone so Christ-like?

  26. Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
    March 23, 2015 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Vote Ken! The Doxology is but one stanza of Thomas Ken’s “Morning Hymn” which he wrote for scholars at Winchester College. Students were to begin the day with:
    Awake, my Soul, and with the Sun,
    Thy daily Stage of duty run,
    Shake off dull Sloath, and joyful rise,
    To pay thy Morning Sacrifice.

    They finished their day with stanza 9:
    All Praise to Thee, who safe hast kept,
    And hast refresh’d me whilst I slept,
    Grant, Lord, when I from Death shall wake,
    I may of endless Light partake.

    The last stanza of “Morning Hymn” is the Doxology.

    Put the Golden halo on Thomas Ken and Thomas Ken on the mug. Attention Lentorium Managers: add some life to your offerings. How about a Purple Harmonica with attached Doxology sheet music? It could provide blues, rock, folk, rap, New Age, and ska variations. The sales pitch of the campaign could begin “Make a joyful noise!”

    • Maryw47's Gravatar Maryw47
      March 23, 2015 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      Check out “All Praise to Thee my God this Night” in the hymnal. The last stanza is the Dooley word for word as we use it.

      • Maryw47's Gravatar Maryw47
        March 23, 2015 - 9:49 am | Permalink

        That’s Doxology! €$&!* spellcheck!

  27. Carol Kangas's Gravatar Carol Kangas
    March 23, 2015 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve always loved the Doxology, but I was called to vote for Egeria. As a teacher of writing, I am in awe of her ability to write clear, non-judgmental descriptions of what she observed during her travels.

  28. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 23, 2015 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that a Christian man of action deserves a vote. A man of conviction who , apparently never
    Wavered despite those wo opposed him and ultimately deprived him of his ecclesiastical
    Position. Deo gratias

  29. March 23, 2015 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    For saintly distractions from rainy day doldrums, thanks SEC! Oh, and Egeria.

  30. Marla's Gravatar Marla
    March 23, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    So I am left wondering if the involvement of the laity send Egeria “over the moon” in a good or bad way?

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      March 23, 2015 - 11:59 am | Permalink

      Me too! But I’m voting for her anyways, despite the considerable appeal of Ken, because she and Megan just taught me about cross-biters (is there a patron saint of orthodontists?), and also because I trust Oliver’s assessment. I have lots of messy rooms. (Which is still not a free pass — Egeria might not order me to clean them up but her careful documentation would encourage me to take another look at them and decide for myself where I really ought to make some changes. Patron saint of change management/life coaches?)

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 23, 2015 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

      I think “over the moon” is usually a good thing!

  31. Jayne's Gravatar Jayne
    March 23, 2015 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    This was a difficult choice. Egeria; a sense of humor. How she must have laughed while writing about the bite taken out of the holy cross. But Ken, there is a good man. His refusal to house the king’s mistress. Wasn’t that cause for a beheading? How brave and true he was.

  32. Danielle Clark's Gravatar Danielle Clark
    March 23, 2015 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’m intrigued by a woman traveling so far and for so long in the 4th century, an early anthropologist, perhaps, certainly an adventuress for her faith. She reminds me of my mother, who traveled with another woman throughtout Europe, the West Indies and Central America, in the 1930’s.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 23, 2015 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Anthropologist! You’re so right!

  33. Susan Comer's Gravatar Susan Comer
    March 23, 2015 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    I love Egeria, her incredible thirst for holy knowledge, her sense of adventure, and the wealth of knowledge of early Christianity that we would not have if not for her. I actually voted against Thomas Ken (and for Barbie) in the last round because Ken refused to endorse King James’ Declaration of Indulgence. While I respect the man deeply for following his convictions, he was dead wrong on the Declaration, which actually did not promote Roman Catholicism, but allowed the free practice of all religions according to the conscience, thus averting more heretic burnings and national discord. Our world today should take notice. This time however I learn of his weekly dinners with the poor and loving treatment of wounded soldiers from the “wrong” side. Even the most saintly of people can be wrong on doctrine, and he has proven his saintliness. I cast my vote this time for Thomas Ken.

    • pat Morris's Gravatar pat Morris
      March 23, 2015 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      I had to vote for Egeria. I had never heard of her, AND I SHOULD HAVE. A non-judgmental observer is saintly activity and beyond that she shared what she learned with us. Thank all of you involved in Lent Madness.

  34. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    March 23, 2015 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Had to vote the composer of the Doxology, or as its known in my neck of the woods, the “Battle Hymn of the Mennonite Republic”.

    • Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
      March 23, 2015 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Not the composer, the hymnwriter. The music, Old Hundredth, was composed more than a 100 years earlier by Louis Bourgeois!

      • Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
        March 23, 2015 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the correction.

  35. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 23, 2015 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Oh dear…. Deeply moved by the life of Thomas Ken, his principle and his compassion. Refusing to pimp for the king won me over in the last round. But I had to vote for Egeria – to read a woman, whether religious or not, writing so clearly about liturgical practice in the fourth century as we enter Passiontide and prepare for Holy Week is wondrous, knowing that she would recognise much of our practice today (even if teeth aren’t what they clearly once were…)

  36. Bonnie Thacker Lloyd's Gravatar Bonnie Thacker Lloyd
    March 23, 2015 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    As a Verger and a Deacon–my vote goes for Egeria. SOMEBODY had to document the liturgies and so happy that she did.

  37. Tom Gerald's Gravatar Tom Gerald
    March 23, 2015 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    After more deliberation than I could have imagined, having grown up in a form of Methodism that did not emphasize liturgy, and though I am a bookseller and feminist, I decided to cast this vote for Ken, as his life clearly exemplified living the Word over following form.

  38. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 23, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Thomas Ken, for the Doxology – or, as my then-four-year-old son called it, the “Praise God From Hoomul” – but I must cast my vote for Egeria with a grateful heart for having preserved our Holy Week liturgy.

  39. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    March 23, 2015 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know there were other stanzas to the Doxology. Thank you Jane C. I also voted for both Ken and Egeria in the first round so thus was a very difficult choice. Finally went with Ken. I suspect not many would be willing risk a king’s wrath in those days.

  40. Celeste's Gravatar Celeste
    March 23, 2015 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    For 2016’s list of saintly contestants, I nominate a wise amd enaging thinker: Oliver! Oliver, I wish you had been around while I was growing up!

  41. Harry Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Moncelle
    March 23, 2015 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    I vote for Bishop Ken, I’ll take a good preacher over a scribe any day!

  42. Toni Cheshire's Gravatar Toni Cheshire
    March 23, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Love these match-ups! I’ve learned so much and sound like a walking advertisement for this website. . .people are starting to run when they see me approach. Surely they aren’t tired of hearing me talk about Lent Madness! Anyway, Ken is my choice (it was a hard one).

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 23, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

      Haha, me too, Toni! I’m obsessed!

  43. Katharine Wiley's Gravatar Katharine Wiley
    March 23, 2015 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    aaaagggghhh!!! aaaagggghhh!! How to choose?! Two such wonderful people. Between the write-ups and the comments, decision is not made any easier! aaaaaggghhh!! It may come down to a coin toss.

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      March 23, 2015 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      Amen, Katharine!

  44. MusicResonator's Gravatar MusicResonator
    March 23, 2015 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    ” (involvement of the laity sent her over the moon!)”:

    Is this in a good way or w bad way?

    I voted for her, anyway.

  45. March 23, 2015 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    The doxology, the Trinity, and not becoming the “royal pimp”….. three good measures for fellow clergy and laity alike. Thomas Ken, hands down.

  46. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 23, 2015 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    I really really wanted to go with Egeria and to learn more about her, but I think I have to go with Ken. Not just because of the Doxology (and trust me, I LOVE that), but his acts and his ability to stand up for his beliefs.


  47. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 23, 2015 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Egeria… and I like what Oliver said

  48. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 23, 2015 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    The Doxology sealed the deal. My very favorite! Ken gets my vote.

  49. Phil Kober's Gravatar Phil Kober
    March 23, 2015 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Ken used the doxology in three different hymns: My favorite is “All Praise to Thee My God This Night”, the Tallis Canon! It is wonderful sung in parts and as a canon! I voted for Ken for his contribution to the hymnody!

    • March 23, 2015 - 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh, thanks so much for that! My favorite part of Compline, my favorite service!
      Let’s all remember that without the non-juring bishops like Thomas Ken, we might not have an Episcopal Church at all, since they consecrated our first bishop when Canterbury wouldn’t!

      • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
        March 23, 2015 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Actually Canterbury couldn’t due to certain pesky little laws set by the UK Parliament. Though those laws were soon thereafter changed and the CofE Bishops were allowed to consecrate Bishops to serve parts of the Anglican Communion outside of the Church of England.

    • Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
      March 23, 2015 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! Tallis Canon is my favorite version of the Doxology. We sing it with guitar/uke accompaniment. 🙂

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      March 24, 2015 - 2:54 am | Permalink

      Thank you for posting the canon!

  50. Noreen Ramsden's Gravatar Noreen Ramsden
    March 23, 2015 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you Phil Kober for the video of the hymn and doxology! My vote went to Ken, too, for his sacrificial life, his work for reconciliation and his hymns!

  51. Sr. Brigidssm's Gravatar Sr. Brigidssm
    March 23, 2015 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    The dinner and the hymns, had to be Ken..

  52. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 23, 2015 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    Ken, because he “walked the walk” of his convictions. Wish we all could be as true to our calling to follow Christ.

  53. Debby Thomas's Gravatar Debby Thomas
    March 23, 2015 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the Tallis Cannon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. The Sunday evening dinner for twelve was icing on the cake.

  54. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 23, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    It was a tough choice, but I went with Egeria for connecting us with early Christianity, especially the liturgy and the involvement of laity. By the way, any time I’ve heard the phrase “over the moon”, it’s always been a positive thing.
    And if Thomas Ken wins, that’s OK, too.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 23, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree! “Over the moon,” good. “Over the edge,” not so much!

  55. DJCinSB's Gravatar DJCinSB
    March 23, 2015 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    Just a small quibble: “…her writing is the oldest example of non-church Latin in existence…” doesn’t seem right to me (or to Wikipedia), since Caesar’s “Commentaries on the Gallic War” were certainly earlier, as were other texts we read in high school Latin.

  56. Gay Jolley's Gravatar Gay Jolley
    March 23, 2015 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    coin flip time. Are you sure I can’t vote twice?

    • Bob's Gravatar Bob
      March 23, 2015 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      only if the SEC wants to Black Ball you????????????

    • Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
      March 23, 2015 - 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Voting twice – once for each person – is the same as voting not at all, while voting twice for the same person will get one cast into the outer darkness of LM by the SEC.

  57. Jan Robitscher's Gravatar Jan Robitscher
    March 23, 2015 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Graduates of the Notre Dame Liturgy degree program of a certain era will recognize this:
    Onward, Christian Pilgrim
    Rushing to and fro–
    All she never said
    Is all we want to know!
    Yes, I voted for Egeria.

  58. Barbara S.'s Gravatar Barbara S.
    March 23, 2015 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    That is a fantastic write-up on Thomas Ken.

    I’m a big Egeria fan, so she gets my vote – but I appreciate Ken a great deal more now, so thanks for that, Robert Hendrickson.

  59. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 23, 2015 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Egeria’s writings are informative, but inspirational to a few antiquarians. Ken influenced far more, and is a model for modern people being confronted with powerful secular forces. Being a good journalist is laudable, but not saintly.

  60. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 23, 2015 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

    From one Tom to another, so my vote today goes.

    When Tom/Joe/Huck came out from hiding .. chapter 17, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer:

    “Suddenly the minister shouted at the top of his voice: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow—SING!—and put your hearts in it!”

    And they did. Old Hundred swelled up with a triumphant burst, and while it shook the rafters Tom Sawyer the Pirate looked around upon the envying juveniles about him and confessed in his heart that this was the proudest moment of his life.”

  61. Kathryn Albrecht's Gravatar Kathryn Albrecht
    March 23, 2015 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Just 2 days past Ken’s saint’s day — humm …

  62. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 23, 2015 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Bishop Ken

    stalwart soul
    stood up to Henry

    cared for the wounded
    friend or foe

    remained faithful
    even when rejected
    by the church he loved

    lover of his neighbors

    in the steps of Jesus

    he gets my vote

    • Carol Justice's Gravatar Carol Justice
      March 23, 2015 - 12:36 pm | Permalink


  63. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 23, 2015 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    As I recall–looking at the bracket for past contests to supplement my failing memory–I voted for Hildegard over Egeria and Ken over Barbara (there were some Ken & Barbie jokes back then, weren’t there?), so I’ll just reconfirm the earlier choice and go with Ken. (Among the Seven Deadlies, Sloth is probably my worst.)

  64. Judith's Gravatar Judith
    March 23, 2015 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I love liturgy, particularly the Easter Vigil. I admire a woman who traveled and observed so much. But I also had to read chunks of her Latin. Thomas Ken, for a good life and a great hymn known, sung, loved in many times, many places, many people.

  65. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 23, 2015 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    It was the being over the moon about lay involvement in liturgy that won over my vote…that and my room is messy. Ken is no doubt a kind and ethical gentleman, but he was presented here as a bit of a goody two shoes and no doubt he would admonish me on the state of my room!

  66. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    March 23, 2015 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been fond of Thomas Ken ever since I learned that he challenged the king on the lodging of “Nellie,” & his care for the poor as well as royalty is laudable, but I have to celebrate Egeria once more because the gift she gave to generations of those who develop liturgy–“just the facts, ma’am, just the facts”–is a wonderful gift of journalism. Also, how remarkable that this woman was literate & so observant & curious & celebratory of the laity! I have to vote for Egeria once again.

  67. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 23, 2015 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I too Egeria because what faith needs is more accurate historians – and her journeys blessed Christianity with elements of unification and not the edges that slice us apart.

  68. Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
    March 23, 2015 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m going with Thomas, in part because of his “highways and byways” Sunday dinners, and those fantastic sleeves!

  69. Ann Broomell's Gravatar Ann Broomell
    March 23, 2015 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I must agree with John Sorenson. As we approach Holy Week it’s essential to honor Egeria and the impact she has had on our worship–on the actions that involve us and are so deeply moving. She also traveled from what is now Portugal to Jerusalem. That is no minor effort!

  70. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    March 23, 2015 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I just finished my favorite morning devotion with a reading of “The Song of Creation” by Paul Gobel. It is a children’s book that seems to me to be an invitation to sing the Doxology as Gobel goes to plants, birds, fish, animals, the celestial bodies, and people telling them, “Oh you dandelions, bless you the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever. Oh you sun, bless you the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever. Oh all my family, bless you the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever.” In my morning devotions that is followed by the Doxolgy. My vote goes to Ken this morning.

  71. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    March 23, 2015 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Today I am back on the losing side, where I belong it seems. I had fun imagining how the nun did all that traveling. How big her entourage, how pleasant. I feel sorry for the bishop. He certainly does look fine in the portrait before he got the boot. Heading tonight from LAX for a week in lowcountry South Carolina where I grew up. So wish I didn’t have to miss the fun of the next round. As a first-time Lent Madness (player?) participant, it is hard to guess who might win your hearts.

  72. Marty Garwood's Gravatar Marty Garwood
    March 23, 2015 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    There will be no biting off pieces of the cross during the Veneration of the Cross while I am on guard duty.

  73. March 23, 2015 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Egeria, and hope that Ken comes back in a future Lent Madness. He deserves another shot at the Golden Halo.

  74. Marjorie Jodoin's Gravatar Marjorie Jodoin
    March 23, 2015 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    This was tough. I am keenly interested in Egregia for her contribution to church history–and our only example of the language of the day! But if we are talking about Saints, I think I have to go with Ken. I love the quote about being in the “communion” of the Church “free of papal and puritanical innovation” which was the root of so much misery. His life truly does sound like that of a real saint.

    • Marjorie Jodoin's Gravatar Marjorie Jodoin
      March 23, 2015 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Egeria! I seem to have trouble getting the sound and spelling of that name in my head.

      • Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
        March 23, 2015 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Which definition were you considering when you misspelled her name?

        [ih-gree-juh s, -jee-uh s]
        Word Origin Latin
        1. extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant:
        an egregious mistake; an egregious liar.
        Synonyms: gross, outrageous, notorious, shocking.
        Antonyms: tolerable, moderate, minor, unnoticeable.

        2. Archaic. distinguished or eminent.

  75. Deacon Georgia's Gravatar Deacon Georgia
    March 23, 2015 - 2:31 pm | Permalink

    If I were voting for Ken, it would not be because of the Doxology. However, Egeria wrote about deacons, and I too would not stand by and allow any cross biting. My vote for Egeria.

  76. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 23, 2015 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I can’t imagine what questions, serious or not so, about the status of Egeria in an order of woman would have to do with her vast contribution to our history and tradition of observances of the church. This time of the year it seems even mote relevant than at another time in the cycle.

  77. Brian Perkins's Gravatar Brian Perkins
    March 23, 2015 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

    If I had read Oliver’s post before I voted, I might have voted differently. I love to provide balance in a worthy fray…so Ken it is. He is behind as I pen this. However, Oliver, my choice is not as well reasoned as yours! Well said!

  78. John G.'s Gravatar John G.
    March 23, 2015 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Kudos to all you Lent Madness voters and posters, as well as the SEC for having over 4,000 Lent Madness fans vote per bracket. I spent several days reacently watching a different Madness bracket on CBS, TBS and something called TruTV with participation by a team from a different SEC. Despite being a true sports enthusiast, I am won over by your Lenten spirit and now eagerly await every Monday and weekday of Lent Madness. Today, I take Ken over Kentucky and Egeria.

  79. Carla's Gravatar Carla
    March 23, 2015 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I think if we could vote for Oliver he’d win hands down.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 23, 2015 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      No doubt about thar in my mind. Oliver, YOU GO!

  80. Bob's Gravatar Bob
    March 23, 2015 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Egeria, but when I looked her up on Google I could not find where it said that she was a Spanish Nun. but it did list her as the consort to a king in Rome (if I remember correctly Sabine) What swayed my thinking, I believe was her description and writings of the Holy Week.

  81. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    March 23, 2015 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Two worthy of Sainthood and deserving of the halo because of selfless and principled character, and the determination to sustain those principles despite the self-interest of others. I love the Doxology. I note the humor in the three c’s attributed to Egeria as I recall the “Five C’s” singing group of Rock ‘n Roll halcyon days. Those 5 C’s stood for calm, cool, collected, copacetic and crazy (enthusiastic, light-hearted)! I love those qualities all, and would add caring, committed, conscientious, curious and Christian to the Core. Egeria for me as we head for the Golden halo. Now I’ll go clean my messy closet. It just might do somebody some good!
    And special thanks to Megan, Robert, Oliver, Phil and Martha and the SEC for their Love.

  82. Arthur LaRue's Gravatar Arthur LaRue
    March 23, 2015 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    an appeal to the linguists: just where does “the”’ appear in non-Church Latin?

  83. Gay Greenleaf's Gravatar Gay Greenleaf
    March 23, 2015 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I ended up voting for Ken since he is the last one standing of CB Fr Robert’s saints and I was looking forward to seeing what he would come up with for saintly kitsch! And I love the doxology. However, I loved learning about EgeriaEgeria and her travels. Who else out there remembers the 1928 BCP with the Latin names for the Sunday’s in Lent- quiquagesima, etc? Our EFM class had several sessions in the Cathedral chancel where we celebrated the Eucharist in one of the early liturgies.
    This match was really a toss up.

  84. Charles D's Gravatar Charles D
    March 23, 2015 - 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Tough choice. Had to go with Ken, but I like Oliver’s thinking!

  85. Miss J.'s Gravatar Miss J.
    March 23, 2015 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Ok, there was a question brought up twice in the comments on Friday’s post that never got answered!

    Why had the now former Bishop Kunonga barred pilgrims from Mizeki’s shrine for several years?

    I’m sure if Egeria (who had me at cross biting) wasn’t otherwise occupied in Heaven, she’d go to Africa and investigate! [And I love Oliver’s seven year old reasoning on why he was voting for Egeria!]

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 23, 2015 - 9:42 pm | Permalink

      From an old report on Zimbabwe from the U.S. Department of State:

      “The 2002 Public Order and Security Act (POSA) restricts freedoms of assembly, expression, and association. Although not specifically aimed at religious activities, the government invoked the act to interfere with religious and civil society groups organizing public prayer rallies. While POSA exempted religious activities and events, influential persons in the government viewed any public gathering that is critical of ZANU-PF as political.”

      Also from the old report:

      “Police also restricted religious assembly. In late June a police force barred several hundred CPCA-affiliated pilgrims from entering the Bernard Mizeki Shrine in Marondera. Buses and other vehicles carrying the pilgrims were turned away at roadblocks, and people were forced to hold the commemoration at a nearby show ground.”

  86. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 23, 2015 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Anyone seen the Archbishops this year?

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 23, 2015 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Last spotted on a Carnival Cruise in the West Indies…

      • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
        March 23, 2015 - 6:50 pm | Permalink

        I do hope they took Maple Anglican with them on the cruise–sounds like his time and energy were sapped.

        • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
          March 23, 2015 - 6:53 pm | Permalink
  87. Deb's Gravatar Deb
    March 23, 2015 - 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Egeria, because it was so important to record early church practices so that we can continue to follow them. And because of her use of the. I love the word the.

  88. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 23, 2015 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I also voted for Egeria for connecting us to early Christianity, “the” and messy rooms!

  89. Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
    March 23, 2015 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Once again…let it be known… I (shepherdess of long-shots: Queen Emma 2012/Francis Perkins 2013 /Harriet Bedell 2014 to the Golden Halo rounds) have Egeria FTW.

  90. Anne Lemay's Gravatar Anne Lemay
    March 23, 2015 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Egeria gets my vote – not only would she allow Oliver to enjoy his messy room, she would write about it impartially for future generations and set the deacons to guard it.

    (Next year, can we add a “Like” button for the comments? So many of them are wonderful)

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 23, 2015 - 10:53 pm | Permalink

      But, you know, if we had a “like” button there would be a lot comment or discussion. We’d just click “like” and move on…

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 23, 2015 - 11:08 pm | Permalink

        And where’s the fun in that? The comments are at least half the fun of LM. And they are educational as well. Sometimes.

        • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
          March 23, 2015 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

          Rats–I meant to say a lot LESS discussion!

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 24, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

            I knew that.

  91. March 23, 2015 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much to those who put musical u-tubes on the comments! A real treat. But as an ink stained member of the 4th estate since I was 16 (right after the dinosaur round up) I voted for Egeria.

  92. Lynell's Gravatar Lynell
    March 24, 2015 - 12:13 am | Permalink

    This one was difficult, but the Doxology won me over. I want to thank Megan Castellan for suggesting the series, “Jane the Virgin”. We just started it and it is really funny and well written!

  93. March 24, 2015 - 12:34 am | Permalink

    (involvement of the laity sent her over the moon!)

    A woman after my own heart!

  94. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 24, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Kim on the Bayou: thanks for finding the answer about the prevented pilgrimages.

Comments are closed.