Feast of F. Bland Tucker (November 19)   2 comments

Seal of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia

Francis Bland Tucker (1895-1984) was an Episcopal priest, a hymn writer, and the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Savannah, Georgia.  He wrote 18 hymns and extra verses for four hymns in The Hymnal 1982 of The Episcopal Church.

KRT

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His biography by Bishop Henry I. Louttit, Jr., of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia:

Dr. Tucker came from a distinguished family of servants to the Episcopal Church in Virginia.  His oldest brother was a great Presiding Bishop of our Church, having served as a missionary in Japan.  Dr. Tucker was the eleventh child.  He was a great servant of Christ here in Georgia as rector of Christ Church, our mother congregation, in the very difficult time of integration.  It was he who led our 1947 convention to once again admit African-American congregations as full participants.

Dr. Tucker was a gentleman whose demeanor glowed with Christ’s compassion. Not only was he a great pastor to anyone in need but a hymn writer who has blessed the whole English-speaking world. In The Hymnal 1982, only two eighteenth century hymn writers – Charles Wesley (who served us also as a priest in Georgia), and Isaac Watts, (a Congregationalist) – have more hymns.

Even in his eighties, he was a keen wordsmith, reworking many of our favorite hymns to avoid phrases that seem to some folk to exclude them – but doing it in such a way that enriched the hymn for everyone, rather than substituting mundane words, or “government-ese.”

His knowledge of English and other languages allowed him to enrich our prayer life by translating great hymns written in Greek, Latin, and German, into rich, singing English.  It would be appropriate to pray in his words, using Hymn 121 (Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized), 302 (Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted), or 477 (All Praise to Thee).

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Hymns by F. Bland Tucker:

O Gracious Light, Lord Jesus Christ

Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized

When Jesus Went to Jordan’s Stream

Alone, Thou Goest Forth, O Lord

O Lord, Most High, Eternal King

Father, We Thank Thee

When Jesus Died to Save Us

May Choirs of Angels Lead You to Paradise on High

All Glory Be to God on High

All Ye Works of God

From God Christ’s Deity Came Forth

All Praise to Thee

Jesus, Our Mighty Lord

The Great Creator of the Worlds

Spread, O Spread, Thou Mighty Word

Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death

Our Father, By Whose Name

The Lord My God the Shepherd Is

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1 Christ, when for us You were baptized,
God’s Spirit on You came,
As peaceful as a dove and yet
As urgent as a flame.

2 God call You “My beloved Son,”
The suffering servant true,
Sent You the kingdom to proclaim,
God’s holy will to do.

3 Straightway and steadfast until death
You then obeyed God’s call
Freely as Son of Man to serve
And give Your life for all.

4 Baptize us with Your Spirit, Lord,
Your cross on us be signed,
That, likewise in God’s service, we
May perfect freedom find.

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Hymns to Which Tucker Added Verses:

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

Ye Who Claim the Faith of Jesus

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

I to the Hills Will Lift Mine Eyes

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness: You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant F. Bland Tucker.  Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

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2 responses to “Feast of F. Bland Tucker (November 19)

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  1. For an article about Clement of Alexandria’s hymn “Master of eager youth,” I am trying to determine the date of Tucker’s translation. Can you supply this information or give me a lead on where to find it?
    Thank you for any ideas you might have.
    (Dr.) Jane S. Hettrick

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