Here's the collect for the feast of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman whose feast is July 20:
O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, and Harriet. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
So what's the problem? Let's compare it with the collect for William Reed Huntington whose feast day is one week later.
O Lord our God, we thank you for instilling in the heart of your servant William Reed Huntington a fervent love for your Church and its mission in the world; and we pray that, with unflagging faith in your promises, we may make known to all people your blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
So maybe it's because there are several of them on one day, you say. Let's take a look, shall we? Ah, here we go:
Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after the examples of thy servants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; that we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
OK, so first of all, the Episcopal Church is breaking the style for the collects by leaving off the last names of these women. And secondly, they are doing it to four women who fought to see that women would be treated and respected as the equals of men.
Man, it ticks me off. I wrote to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to point this out a couple of years ago, hoping it would be duly noted and corrected at General Convention last year. No dice.
So this year, I'm pulling out the big guns: I've started a group on Facebook. Please feel free to join, and pass the word along to any liturgically-minded friends. And if you are marking this feast day, please amend the collect to include their full names. This July 20th, I would like to know that at least a few churches are showing these women the respect they deserve.