Archive for August 2012

Feast of St. Romanos the Melodist (October 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Bass Clef

Image in the Public Domain

SAINT ROMANOS THE MELODIST (CIRCA 490-CIRCA 556)

Priest and Hymn Writer

I, unlike many people around whom I grew up in rural South Georgia, USA, have a finely-honed sense of history.  In certain United Methodist congregations during the 1980s I heard many people speak of “old” songs.  “Old,” for them, indicated authorship in the late 1800s through the middle 1900s.  They had as much of a sense of history as a character from a 1980s low-budget film about an expert on early music.  In one scene the music historian identified himself as such  when a young woman asked him what he did for a living.  When she heard “early music,” she asked,

Do you mean Elvis?

I, with my sense of history in full gear, introduce you, O reader, to St. Romanos the Melodist (circa 490-circa 556).  He was born at Emesa (now Homs), Syria.  The saint became deacon at Beirut before moving to Constantinople and serving as a priest there, beginning during the reign of Emperor Anastasius I (491-518).  (For an account of church-state politics during the reign of Anastasius I, follow this link:  https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/feast-of-sts-flavian-ii-of-antioch-and-elias-of-jerusalem-july-20/.)  The saint composed over a thousand hymns, about eighty of which survive.  Among these is the Kontakion, a dialogue between St. Mary of Nazareth (the Theotokos) and the Magi.  The Orthodox Church, which has a strong sense of history, continues to use his works in its liturgies.

St. Romanos used a talent–hymn writing–for the glory of God in the beauty of worship, an orthodox specialty.  What beauty will you, O reader, contribute for the edification of others and the glory of God?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 17, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY CUTLER AND THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER, ANGLICAN PRIESTS

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St. Romanos the Melodist Society:

http://saintromanos.org/

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Saint Romanos the Melodist and all those who with words

have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior,

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–modified slightly from the Proper for Artists and Writers,

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Posted August 17, 2012 by neatnik2009 in October, Saints of the 500s

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Feast of St. Emily de Rodat (September 18)   1 comment

Above:  Villefranche

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/prk2000000327/)

SAINT EMILY DE RODAT (1787-1852)

Founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Villefranche

Her feast transferred from September 19

Marie Guillemette Emilie de Rodat (1787-1852) was born at Rodez, France.  Yet her grandmother, who lived near Villefrance-de-Rouerge, raised the saint, who began to teach at age eighteen.  Teaching was the saint’s vocation.  More specifically, her vocation was to teach poor children, although the saint did not discern that fact immediately.  She had passed through several orders–the Ladies of Nevers, the Picpus Sisters, and the Sisters of Mercy–before discerning her vocation and how to fulfill it.

So it came to pass that, in 1815, St. Emily founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Villefranche, an order devoted originally to teaching poor children.  She spent most of the rest of her life fending off bad health while leading the nascent order.  In so doing she added the following to the order’s mission:

  • providing health care to poor children,
  • providing health care to the poor in general,
  • caring for the elderly,
  • visiting prisoners,
  • helping orphans, and
  • reforming prostitutes.

She also founded cloistered convents and grew the number of foundations from one to thirty-eight.

St. Emily, venerated, 1901, beatified in 1940, and canonized in 1950, is the patron of poor children.

Although each of us bears the image of God, some of us need more help than do others in living as much as possible into the vocation to which that image leads us.  The saint’s grandmother helped her; the saint aided others.  Blessings, gifts, and talents come packaged with responsibilities toward other people.  To whom much is given, much is required.  Fulfilling these requirements and responsibilities is something each of us can do only via the combination of our efforts, God’s direct help, and God’s indirect aid via other humans.  The saint did much that was positive, but she needed help to do it.  So may you, O reader, be a helper to those to whom God will send you.  And may you receive such help from those God sends to you.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 5, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST–PROPER 13, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF COLBERT S. CARTWRIGHT, DISCIPLES OF CHRIST MINISTER AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT OSWALD OF NORTHUMBRIA, KING

THE FEAST OF PAUL VI, BISHOP OF ROME

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled, and

rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60