Archive for January 2013

Feast of Dora Greenwell (March 29)   Leave a comment

I Both Hold and am Held

Above:  I Both Hold And Am Held

Image in the Public Domain

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

DORA GREENWELL (DECEMBER 6, 1821-MARCH 29, 1882)

Poet and Devotional Writer

These days, in most of the Western World, women have professional opportunities due to the successes of feminism.  But Dora Greenwell did not live during a time in which she could enjoy these advantages.  Her legacy, however, was–and is–quite impressive.

Dora Greenwell was a sister of two priests of The Church of England.  William, eventually Dean of Durham Cathedral, and Alan, Rector of Golborne then Clifton.  From 1848 to 1854 Dora lived with one brother then the other, helping in the work of each sibling’s parish.  Then, in 1854-1872, she lived with her widowed mother at Durham.  From 1872 to 1881 Dora resided at Tarquay then Clifton the  London, advocating for proper mental health care.  In 1881 an accident led to her death, which occurred at Alan’s home at Clifton, near Bristol.

Dora published volumes of poetry:

  • Carmina Crucis (1869);
  • Songs of Salvation (1873);
  • The Soul’s Legend (1873); and
  • Camera Obsucra (1876).

She also published volumes of devotional prose:

  • A Present Heaven;
  • The Covenant of Life and Peace;
  • Two Friends;
  • Essays;
  • Liber Humanitatis;
  • The Life of John Woolman;
  • The Life of Lacordaire;
  • Colloquia Crucis; and
  • The Patience of Hope, which John Greenleaf Whittier classed with devotional classics.

She wrote extensively on the Atonement.  Dora’s chosen symbol was Luther’s heart set against a black cross amid white roses–thereby signifying the joy, peace, and consolation found in Christ’s cross.  The poet, referring to her position relative to the cross, said,

I both hold and am held.

One of the texts in Songs of Salvation (1873) was “I Am Not Skilled to Understand,” the text of which follows:

I am not skilled to understand

What God hath willed, what God hath planned;

I only know at His right hand

Stands One who is my Saviour.

—–

I take God at His word and deed:

“Christ died to save me”–this I read;

And in my heart I find a need

Of Him to be my Saviour.

—–

And was there no other way

For God to take?–I cannot say;

I only  bless Him, day by day,

Who saved me through my Saviour.

—–

That He should leave His place on high

And come for sinful man to die,

You count it strange?–so do not I,

Since I have known my Saviour.

—–

And O that He fulfilled may see

The travail of His soul in me,

And with His work contented be,

As I with my dear Saviour!

—–

Yea, living, dying, let me bring,

My strength, my solace, from this spring,

That He who lives to be my King

Once died to be my Saviour.

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 31, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES FREDERICK MACKENZIE, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CENTRAL AFRICA

THE FEAST OF MENNO SIMONS, MENNONITE LEADER

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

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Dora Greenwell.

Teach us to drive from this 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.  Amen.

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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 61

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Advertisements

Feast of St. Guntram of Burgundy (March 28)   Leave a comment

Gaul in 587 C.E.

Above:  Map of Gaul in 587 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT GUNTRAM OF BURGUNDY (525/532-MARCH 28, 592)

King

St. Guntram, a Merovingian King of Burgundy, was a violent scoundrel before he became a penitent.  The Merovingians were frequently violent toward each other.  Lothair I (r. 511-561), King of All Franks, died, and his four sons became monarchs.

Gaul in 561 C.E.Above:  Map of Gaul in 561 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

Charibert I (r. 561-567) ruled from Paris, Sigibert I (r. 561-575) governed in Austrasia, Chilperic I (r. 561-584) reigned in Soissons, and Guntram (r. 561-592) governed in Burgundy.  Charibert I died in 567, prompting Sigibert I and Chilperic I to fight each other over how to struggle to maintain the balance of power.  Along the way he survived revolts by usurpers (who enjoyed the support of nobles) and an assassination attempt by Frenegunde, his sister-in-law and wife of Chilperic I.

The Treaty of Andelot established peace on November 28, 587.

John J. Delaney, in Dictionary of Saints (1980), wrote of St. Guntram,

His personal life was not the most edifying….

St. Guntram, before he reformed his life, did have people killed and act in other cruel ways.  Yet, in his final years, he did rule justly and strive to live morally and to make amends for his sins.   Childebert II (King of Austrasia from 575) succeeded to the throne of Burgundy.

The Church affirms repentance–turning around, changing one’s mind.  As we think, so we are.  And the same grace which delivered St. Guntram is available to all of us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK OAKELEY,  ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BATHILDAS, QUEEN OF FRANCE

THE FEAST OF CHARLES I OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND, KING AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF LESSLIE NEWBIGIN, UNITED REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

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

O Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Saint Guntram of Burgundy,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Feast of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (March 29)   Leave a comment

Trinity College, Cambridge

Above:  Trinity College, Cambridge

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08091

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

SIR CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (SEPTEMBER 30, 1852-MARCH 29, 1924)

Composer, Organist, and Conductor

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, knighted in 1901, was a musical prodigy.  In fact, at the tender age of ten years, he heard a prestigious ensemble perform one of his compositions.  Stanford graduated with honors from Queen’s and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, then commenced a brilliant musical career as an adult.  He, among the most distinguished musical figures of his time, conducted orchestras in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, and in various U.S. cities.  he also played the organ at Trinity College, conducted the London Bach Society (1885) and the Royal College of Music (1887), and taught music at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music.  (That was a partial list.)  Stanford was a brilliant composer.  He set Irish airs, helping to revive Irish folk music.  And he wrote symphonies, operas, motets, cantatas, Irish Rhapsodies, and other works, including Songs of the Sea, Songs of the Fleet, a Stabat Mater, a Magnificat, and various hymn tunes.

One of his greatest works was the tune “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” the tune for “I Bind Unto Myself Today.”

Stanford’s legacy has enriched my life.  It might have improved yours, O reader, also.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK OAKELEY,  ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BATHILDAS, QUEEN OF FRANCE

THE FEAST OF CHARLES I OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND, KING AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF LESSLIE NEWBIGIN, UNITED REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

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

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.

Teach us to drive from this 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.  Amen.

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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 61

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Feast of John Marriott (March 31)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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

JOHN MARRIOTT (SEPTEMBER 11, 1780-MARCH 31, 1825)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

John Marriott, educated at Oxford, joined the ranks of Anglican priests in 1804.  For four years he tutored Lord George Scott, brother of the Duke of Buccleuch. Then Marriott served churches at Exeter and Broadhurst from 1808 until the end of his life.  Unfortunately for the saint, at the end of his life, he suffered from what James Moffatt, author of the 1927 companion volume to the Scottish Presbyterian Church Hymnary, called

ossification of the brain.

–page 422

Marriott wrote hymns yet was too humble to publish them or to allow publication of them during his lifetime.  Among these hymns was  “Thou, Whose Almighty Word” (1813), which debuted in print in the June 1825 issue of The Evangelical Magazine, the first public singing having occurred at the May 12, 1825, meeting of the London Missionary Society, just six weeks after his death.

Thou, whose almighty word

Chaos and darkness heard,

And took their flight;

Hear us, we humbly pray,

And, where the Gospel day

Sheds not its glorious ray,

Let there be light!

—–

Thou, who didst come to bring

On thy redeeming wing

Healing and sight,

Health to the sick in mind,

Sight to the inly blind,

O now, to all mankind,

Let there be light!

—–

Spirit of truth and love,

Life-giving, holy Dove,

Speed forth thy flight!

Move on the water’s face,

Bearing the gifts of grace,

And, in earth’s darkest place,

Let there be light!

—–

Holy and blessed Three,

Glorious Trinity,

Wisdom, love, might;

Boundless as ocean’s tide,

Rolling in fullest pride,

Through the world, far and wide,

Let there be light!

Marriott may have been humble regarding his gifts, but they were impressive.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 30, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK OAKELEY,  ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BATHILDAS, QUEEN OF FRANCE

THE FEAST OF CHARLES I OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND, KING AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF LESSLIE NEWBIGIN, UNITED REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

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

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant John Marriott.

Teach us to drive from this 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.  Amen.

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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 61

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Feast of Thomas Attwood (March 24)   1 comment

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Above:  St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England, United Kingdom

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-D4-73191

Copyright Holder = Detroit Publishing Company

THOMAS ATTWOOD (NOVEMBER 23, 1765-MARCH 24, 1838)

“Father of Modern Church Music”

James Moffatt, in his 1927 companion volume to the Scottish Presbyterian Church Hymnary, wrote of Thomas Attwood:

He was a man of singularly lovable character, of sincere religious spirit, and of rare musical gifts.

–page 256

Attwood, son of a coal merchant, pursued a life in music.  He played the trumpet and the viola.  Attwood also sang as a chorister at the Chapel Royal.  From there, thanks to the patronage of the Prince of Wales, the future King George IV, he studied abroad in Italy then in Vienna, where he became a favorite pupil of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Attwood was fortunate to have the opportunities he did.  And he made the most of them.  In 1796 he became the organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and composer to the Chapel Royal.  Twenty-five years later, he became organist at the private chapel (at Brighton) of his patron, the newly-crowned George IV.

And, in 1823, Attwood became one of the first professors at the Royal Academy of Music.  Thirteen years later he became organist at the Chapel Royal, under King William IV.  Attwood also championed the music of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, his good friend, in England and dedicated the Prelude and Fugue for the organ to him.

Attwood’s church compositions made him the “Father of Modern Church Music.”  He composed nine chants, eight anthems, four services, and at least two hymn tunes–Veni Creator and Sanctus.

Music can function as a portal to God and as a means of expressing the talents which God has bestowed upon one.  Thomas Attwood used music to praise God and to create beauty.  That is a legacy worth honoring.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I OF CLERMONT AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT GILDAS THE WISE, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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

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

We bless your name for inspiring Thomas Attwood and all those who 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

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

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Feast of George Rundle Prynne (March 26)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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

GEORGE RUNDLE PRYNNE (AUGUST 23, 1818-MARCH 25, 1903)

Anglican Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

George Rundle Prynne, educated at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, became an Anglican priest in 1841.  He served at Cornwall then Clifton.  Then, in 1848, he went to St. Peter’s Church, Plymouth, where he remained for fifty-five years.  Prynne, a High Churchman, was a friend of Edward Bouverie Pusey.  Prynne presided over ritualism at St. Peter’s, Plymouth.  In fact, this was controversial for years, even becoming the excuse for some violence.  But he did earn much respect because of his character, as expressed in caring for the poor and the ill, especially during outbreaks of disease.

Prynne’s love of reverent worship found expression in books and hymns.  He wrote A Eucharistic Manual (1858), a book of sermons, and The Soldier’s Dying Vision, and Other Poems (1881).  He edited A Hymnal Suited for the Services of the Church, Together with a Selection of Introits (1858 and 1866) and served on the Revision Committee of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875).  And Prynne composed at least three hymns, including “Jesus, Meek and Gentle” (1858):

Jesus, meek and gentle,

Son of God, Most High,

Pitying, loving Saviour,

Hear Thy Children’s cry.

—–

Pardon our offences,

Loose our captive chains,

Break down ev’ry idol

Which our soul detains.

—–

Give us holy freedom,

Fill our hearts with love,

Draw us, Holy Jesus,

To the realms above.

—–

Lead us on our journey,

Be Thyself the Way

Through terrestrial darkness

To celestial day.

Of the above hymn Prynne wrote:

This hymn is commonly thought to have been written for children, but it is not, however, specifically written for them….

Hymns, I heard an Episcopal priest say, are sung theology.  I conclude, based on the hymn I have quoted, that Prynne had, so far as those words indicate, sound theology.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I OF CLERMONT AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT GILDAS THE WISE, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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

For Further Reading:

http://anglicanhistory.org/bios/grprynne.html

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

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

We bless your name for inspiring George Rundle Prynne and all those who 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

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

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

Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Feast of Thomas Hughes (March 22)   2 comments

Christ Church Episcopal, Rugby, TN

Above:  Christ Church Episcopal, Rugby, Tennessee

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-14791

Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith

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

THOMAS HUGHES (OCTOBER 20, 1822-MARCH 22, 1896)

British Social Reformer and Member of Parliament

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

Thomas Hughes was an Oxford-educated jurist, writer, and social reformer.  He joined the bar in 1848, the same year he became a Christian Socialist under the influence of Charles Kingsley and Frederick Denison Maurice.  Hughes became a Queen’s Counsel in 1869 and a Court Judge in 1882.  And he served as a Member of Parliament (from the Liberal Party) from 1865 to 1874.  His politics included pro-labor union, antislavery, and anti-opium trade stances.  His abolitionism led him to support the federal side in the U.S. Civil War, given the proslavery position of the Confederacy.

Hughes also wrote books.  Tom Brown’s School Days (1857), the volume by which he beame famous, was an autobiographical work of fiction about his time as a pupil at the Rugby School when Dr. Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) was the headmaster.  A sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford, was less successful.  Other works included:

  • The Scouring of the White Horse (1859), a vacation narrative;
  • Alfred the Great (1869), a biography;
  • Memoir of a Brother (1873);
  • The Manliness of Christ (1879);
  • Life of Daniel Macmillan (1882);
  • James Fraser, Second Bishop of Manchester (1887); and
  • David Livingstone (1890).

Hughes traveled to the United States several times.  One effect of these trips was the 1879-1880 founding of Rugby, Tennessee, a utopian colony (http://www.historicrugby.org/).  It was supposed to be a classless society with certain English customs, but it was over by 1887.

Hughes wrote one hymn, “O God of Truth, Whose Living Word” (1859), the text of which follows:

O God of Truth, whose living Word

Upholds whate’er hath breath,

Look down on Thy creation, Lord,

Enslaved by sin and death.

—–

Set up Thy standard, Lord, that we

Who claim a heavenly birth

May march with Thee to smite the lies

That vex Thy groaning earth.

—–

Ah! would we join that blest array

And follow in the might

Of Him the Faithful and the True,

In raiment clean and white.

—–

We fight for Truth, we fight for God,

Poor slaves of lies and sin.

He who would fight for Thee on earth

Must first be true within.

—–

Then, God of Truth, for whom we long,

Thou who wilt hear our prayer,

Do Thine own battle in our hearts,

And slay the falsehood there.

—–

Still smite! still burn! till naught is left

But God’s own truth and love;

Then, Lord, as morning dew come down,

Rest on us from above.

—–

Yea, come! Then, tried as in the fire,

From every lie set free,

Thy perfect truth shall dwell in us,

And we shall live in Thee.

This hymn seems to have fallen out of favor in recent hymnals.  I have surveyed my collection not found it in any volume published after 1940.  And rarely have I found all seven verses together, much less unaltered.

Hymns fall out of favor and utopian experiments fail, but that which compelled Thomas Hughes to work for a better, more just society persists.  The love of Christ persists.  May it compel us to leave our corners of the world better than we found them.  And, with God’s help, may we succeed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SARGENT SHRIVER, U.S. STATESMAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT CAESARIUS OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; AND SAINT CAESARIA OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT HENRY OF UPPSALA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT WOLFSTAN OF WORCESTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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

Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Thomas Hughes, to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, 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