Loving God, we bless your Name for the witness of Ini Kopuria, police ofﬁcer and founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, whose members saved many American pilots in a time of war, and who continue to minister courageously to the islanders of Melanesia. Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others, for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Collect for the Commemoration in Holy Women, Holy Men.
From the time Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me” (and even before) faithful men and women have remembered, not just the meal and words of Jesus, but, the stories of those who went before them and those contemporaries who inspired hope in them. We have followed Jesus’ command and we have added the stories of Holy Women and Holy Men to our (Eucharistic) meals.
The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church is revising our “Memory Book.” You may remember the book Lesser Feasts and Fasts. This book collected short stories of “saintly” forebearers, men and women, commemorated throughout the year (see the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 15-33). In 2009 the Commission was asked to expand the number and kinds of commemorations. The Commission will report to General Convention this summer. However, the “Trial Use” of the old and new commemorations, now called Holy Women, Holy Men, will continue.
All of that is said so that I can introduce Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945. You may read his story here: June 6: [Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945]. You can see from the Collect to be used in the commemoration that the work of the Melanesian Brotherhood continues to this day.
Do you have a saintly woman or man (women or men) whose memory inspires your best actions and gives you hope? Please share.