What’s in a Name?

I brought up the subject of names in my last writing – and that got me started on some research. If there was once a Canon Ball and a Father Bishop, who else might there be? The recently delivered Episcopal Church Directory is the ideal resource. Here’s what I have learned.

There are today in the ministry of the Episcopal Church 7 Fr. Bishops, 2 Fr. Priests, and two Fr. Deacons. But guess what? The seven Bishops are outnumbered by 8 Popes (yes, Popes in the Anglican Communion. Didn’t we get separated from Rome so as NOT to have Popes?) , and one of these Popes is also a bishop. And yet there are no Cardinals at all, so who elects these Popes? Not only that, there is also a Fr. Canon, a Fr. Minister, and 5 Fr. Deans. Moreover there is one clergy person named Church and one named Sermon. I once knew Fr. Godley quite well myself. Add to those 3 Blessings, 3 Patiences, 3 Loves, one Creed, one Churchman, and 5 Christians (I would have hoped there were more!). It is embarrassing to report that among the clergy there is neither Faith, Hope, nor Charity. Paradise is twice represented, however, but neither Heaven nor Hell.

Other appropriate names are Easter (5), Easterday (2), and Lent (1); no Advents or Epiphanies.

You might think this is a case of the name determining the vocation. 12 Shepherds would fit that theory, but then how do you explain 6 clergy named Farmer, one named Lawyer, and one named Justice? Or what about 28 Kings, 3 Queens, and 2 Princes?

And what are the clergy like? If you are interested in churchmanship, I can report that five are Low and only one is High. As to character, one is Rude and one is Proud but none are Humble, two are Small but none is Large, three are Short but none is Tall. And for all the Anglican claim to represent the middle way, none of the clergy is Medium. On the other hand, two are Good, one is Best, and none are Bad. And, finally, 34 are Wright (one is even Righter)and none are Wrong. Is that why we have so much controversy?

Let me conclude on a somewhat different note. 42 individuals have served as President of the United States. Five of them had the same name as a predecessor. That leaves 37 names used by Presidents from Adams to Wilson, and 30 of those names can be found in the Episcopal Clergy Directory. The first respondent to list (by clicking on the “respond” button) the seven names NOT included will receive a free half pint of genuine Connecticut maple syrup (and I will find out whether anyone really read these blogs!) The contest closes on July 31 and the decision of the judge (me) is final.


LibbyJuly 18th, 2006 at 7:41 am

Hmm, I guess I should have taken you up on your offer of the Directory…I can’t even begin to guess!

MERWJuly 20th, 2006 at 6:07 am

And yesterday, Garth Snow was appointed General Manager of the New York Islanders Hockey Team….

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