Feast of Frederick Pratt Green (October 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  Logo of the Methodist Church of Great Britain

FREDERICK PRATT GREEN (SEPTEMBER 2, 1903-OCTOBER 22, 2000)

British Methodist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

Writing about saints which church authorities have recognized as such has a great deal of value, but so does recognizing others upon whom ecclesiastical hierarchies have not bestowed that label.  There are many more deserving people in the latter category than inhabitants of the former.  One way to find the names of non-canonized saints is to consult a hymnal.  That is how I began the process of learning about this saint.

Fred(erick) Pratt Green (“Pratt Green” was his surname) was born near Liverpool in 1903.  His father, for a time a Wesleyan Methodist Local Preacher, owned a leather business.  Pratt Green, who once entertained the possibility of becoming an architect, worked in his father’s business before entering the Wesleyan Methodist ministry in 1924.  The saint started writing hymns in his sixties, giving the world over 300 new hymns before he died.  Earlier in his career Pratt Green had demonstrated his literary skill by means of a play and English translations of poems.

Between The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) and Chalice Hymnal (1995) alone I located the following hymns which Pratt Green wrote:

  1. When In Our Music God is Glorified
  2. For the Fruits of This Creation
  3. Seek the Lord
  4. All My Hope is Firmly Grounded
  5. Christ is the World’s Light
  6. Break Forth, O Beauteous Light (second and third stanzas)
  7. When Jesus Came to Jordan
  8. O Christ, the Healer
  9. To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord
  10. Of All the Spirit’s Gifts to Me
  11. When Our Confidence is Shaken
  12. By Gracious Powers
  13. Whom Shall I Send
  14. The Church of Christ, in Every Age
  15. When the Church of Jesus
  16. How Blest are They Who Trust in Christ
  17. God Is Here
  18. Rejoice in God’s Saints
  19. An Upper Room Did our Lord Prepare
  20. Loving Lord, as Now We Gather
  21. Now It Is Evening
  22. Come, Sing a Song of Harvest

Pratt Green was a learned and liberal man.  He rejected fundamentalism and embraced ecumenism and social concerns.  He studied other religions extensively and read the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius frequently.  Pratt Green’s hymns reflected his theology.

Pratt Green and his wife, Marjorie (died in 1993), moved into Cromwell House Methodist Home for the Aged, Norwich, in 1990.  There he died peacefully on October 22, 2000.  He and his wife had raised Elizabeth Shepherd, daughter of a missionary who had died in India.  Pratt Green had received numerous honors, including an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters (1982) from Emory University and the rank of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 5, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE SAINTS AND MARTYRS OF ASIA

THE FEAST OF HARRY EMERSON FOSDICK, NORTHERN BAPTIST PASTOR

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, 1972 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

We bless your name for inspiring Fred Pratt Green

and all those who with images and 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

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

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