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

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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 (1807-1892) 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

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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 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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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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

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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

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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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Posted January 30, 2013 by neatnik2009 in March 28, Saints of 500-599

Tagged with ,

Feast of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (March 29)   1 comment

Trinity College, Cambridge

Above:  Trinity College, Cambridge

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08091

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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

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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 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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of John Marriott (March 30)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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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

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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 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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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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

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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 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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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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

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For Further Reading:

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

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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 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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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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

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

British Social Reformer and Member of Parliament

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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

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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

Feast of Christopher Wordsworth (March 20)   3 comments

Trinity College, Cambridge

Above:  Trinity College, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, 1890-1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08091

Copyright Holder = Detroit Publishing Company

Print Number 10094

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CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH (OCTOBER 30, 1807-MARCH 20, 1885)

Anglican Bishop of Lincoln

I begin this post with a simple warning to my readers:  I mention three Christopher Wordsworths and two John Wordsworths.  I have tried to minimize or prevent confusion.  The Christopher Wordsworth to whom I devote the most attention is Christopher (Jr.), as I refer to him.  His father was Christopher (Sr.) and one of his sons was Christopher (III).

Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885), the subject of this post, was a son of one Christopher Wordsworth, Anglican Rector of Lambeth in 1807 and later the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.  Christopher (Jr.), the subject of this post, was both a brilliant student and a talented athlete at Manchester and at Trinity College.  His life, in fact, was that of a priest-scholar.  And he was in good company as a scholar, author, and clergyman.  William Wordsworth, his uncle, was a great poet.  John Wordsworth, a brother of Christopher (Jr.), was a scholar of antiquity.  Charles Wordsworth, another brother of Christopher (Jr.), was a bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church.  A second John Wordsworth, a son of Christopher (Jr.), became the Bishop of Salisbury.  And a third Christopher Wordsworth, also a son of Christopher (Jr.), became a liturgical scholar.

But what about Christopher (Jr.)?  He became the Bishop of Lincoln in 1868 and held that post until his death.  During his career he published much.  Among his works was The Holy Year (1862), a collection of hymns for each season of the Western Christian year.  And, in a series of volumes, he wrote a complete commentary on the Bible.  Christopher (Jr.) also published Ancient Writings Copied from the Walls of Ancient Pompeii (1837) and Church History Up to A.D. 451 (1881-1883).

John Ellerton (1826-1893), an Anglican priest and a prolific writer of hymns, considered Christopher (Jr.) to be

…a most  humble, loving, and self-denying man. And the man was reflected in his verse.  To read one of his best hymns is like looking into a plain face, without one striking feature, but with an irresistible charm of honesty, intelligence, and affection.

Since I am writing this post during the Season after Epiphany, I choose to share an Epiphany hymn from Christopher (Jr.).

Songs of thankfulness and praise,

Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,

Manifested by the star

To the sages from afar;

Branch of royal David’s stem

In Thy birth at Bethlehem;

Anthems be to Thee addrest,

God in Man made manifest.

—–

Manifest in Jordan’s stream,

Prophet, priest, and King supreme;

And at Cana wedding-guest

In Thy Godhead manifest;

Manifest in power divine,

Changing water into wine;

Anthems be to Thee addrest,

God in Man made manifest.

—–

Manifest in making whole

Palsied limbs and fainting soul;

Manifest in valiant fight,

Quelling all the devil’s might;

Manifest in gracious will,

Ever bringing good from ill;

Anthems be to Thee addrest,

God in Man made manifest.

—–

Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,

Present in Thy holy Word;

May we imitate Thee now,

And be pure, as pure art Thou;

That we like to Thee may be,

At Thy great Epiphany;

And may praise Thee, ever blest,

God in Man made manifest.

Those words from 1862 contain much theological depth, unlike the lyrics of certain contemporary (to 2013) praise songs, theological tidepools with repeated and few words.

Christopher Wordsworth (Jr.) devoted his art and intellect to noble pursuits, usually Christ.  (There was also much merit in the study of the ancient past.)  May we honor Christopher (Jr.)’s faithfulness, his intellect, and his craft with words.

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

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Almighty God, your Holy Spirit gives to one the word of knowledge,

and to another the insight of wisdom,

and to another the steadfastness of faith.

We praise you for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Christopher Wordsworth,

and we pray that by his teaching we may be led to a fuller knowledge of the truth

we have seen in your Son Jesus, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and

the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-7 or Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:89-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16 or 1 Corinthians 3:5-11

John 17:18-23 or Matthew 13:47-52

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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Proper 18, Year C   Leave a comment

01605v

Above:  A Prospector and His Dog in Alaska, 1900-1930

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-01605

Image Source = Library of Congress

Packing and Unpacking for Discipleship

The Sunday Closest to September 7

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

SEPTEMBER 8, 2019

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The Assigned Readings:

Jeremiah 18:1-11 and Psalm 139:105, 12-17

or 

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Psalm 1

then 

Philemon 1-21

Luke 14:25-33

The Collect:

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for everAmen.

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Some Related Posts:

Prayer of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/prayer-of-praise-and-adoration-for-the-sixteenth-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Confession:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/prayer-of-confession-for-the-sixteenth-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/prayer-of-dedication-for-the-sixteenth-sunday-after-pentecost/

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I used to think that Onesimus was a runaway slave.  Authority figures in church told me that he was.  Commentaries and notes in study Bibles told me that he was.  Then, one day, I read another perspective, which prompted me to reread the short epistle again.  And it turns out that nowhere does Paul indicate why Onesimus and Philemon were in separate cities.  And the Greek text of verse 16 translates as

as if a slave,

not

as though a slave.

So the text itself does not indicate that Onesimus was a slave, much less a fugitive.  These close readings of the actual text–not the imagined one–prove to be useful reminders of the importance of reading what the Bible says, not what one thinks it says.

The definition of Christian discipleship is following Jesus.  One must pack lightly for that journey, leaving much behind.  (A partial list follows.)  One must leave behind misunderstandings and false preconceptions.  One must leave behind hatred, violence, grudges, and unfounded fears, which bring out the worst in human behavior.  One must leave behind the desire to scapegoat.  Jesus became a scapegoat and a victim of violence, but the Romans still destroyed Jerusalem in time.  And God reversed death, the major consequence of the violence which killed our Lord.  We must leave behind willful disobedience to God.  I refer you, O reader, to the rest of Jeremiah 18; that text speaks of willful disobedience, not ignorant sinning.  We must also leave behind ignorant sinning, which is also destructive.

Instead, may we pack, among other things, love and respect for God and each other.  Recently I reread Ephesians, a fine epistle which makes clear that how we treat others matters very much to God.  That letter encourages putting up with each other’s weaknesses and  not grieving the Holy Spirit, not committing violence against each other.  (See Chapters 4 and 5.)  May we pack the Golden Rule.  May we pack kindness.  May we pack the willingness to sacrifice self for another.  May we pack the awareness that what we do and do not do affects others.  May we pack compassion.  Our task demands no less of us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 4, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF MIEP GIES, RIGHTEOUS GENTILE

THE FEAST OF SAINT DAVID I, KING OF SCOTLAND

THE FEAST OF GEORGE FOX, QUAKER FOUNDER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAULINUS OF AQUILEIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH

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Feast of Eliza Sibbald Alderson and John Bacchus Dykes (March 18)   Leave a comment

Durham Cathedral

Above:  Durham Cathedral

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-D4-73178

Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

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ELIZA SIBBALD DYKES ALDERSON (AUGUST 16, 1818-MARCH 18, 1889)

Poet and Hymn Writer

sister of

JOHN BACCHUS DYKES (MARCH 10, 1823-JANUARY 22, 1876)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

With this post I add two saints–a sister and a brother–to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  The father of Eliza Sibbald Dykes Alderson and John Bacchus Dykes was a banker by profession an d a musician by hobby.  Eliza and John were also artistic.  Eliza had gifts in language and painting.  John became his parish’s organist (at Hull, England) at age ten.  Both of them contributed to English hymnody.

Eliza  married the Reverend W. T. Alderson.  She left a fine legacy, one which includes twelve hymns.  Among them is “And Now, Beloved Lord, Thy Soul Resigning” (1868), which her brother asked her to compose.  Various versions of this Good Friday hymn exist.  Lest one think that hymnals published since the late 1960s have a monopoly on revising hymn texts, even the Scottish Presbyterian Church Hymnary from the 1920s includes an altered text.

John had a successful career as a musician and composer and a controversial career as a priest.  He studied music at Cambridge (1843-1847) before becoming an Anglican priest.  He served at two congregations before arriving at Durham Cathedral, where he wrote many of his almost 300 hymn tunes.  He received a Doctor of Music degree from the University of Durham.  Then he became the Vicar of St. Oswald’s Church, Durham, the following year.  He served that church for the rest of his life.  There, at St. Oswald’s, Dykes needed a second priest–a curate–for his growing congregation.  Thus the problems started in 1873, for Dykes was a High Churchman and his bishop was not.

These matters are unimportant to most contemporary Episcopalians and Anglicans.  So a priest wears a colored stole, people bow to high altars, and someone places candles on a high altar without controversy.  We have become accustomed to these practices.  But the Oxford Movement, of which we are beneficiaries, was very controversial at the time.  Many Low Church Anglicans thought that the Roman Catholic revival in The Church of England and the larger Anglican Communion was undesirable at best and Satanic at worst.  Thus Victorian Episcopalians and Anglicans argued among themselves harshly over candles, kneeling, and colored stoles the way many of his denounce each other over homosexuality these days and some of us still argue regarding the ordination of women.  The topics which prompt vitriolic arguments in one age will seem quite minor in a later century.

Dykes was a High Churchman; his bishop was not.  The Bishop agreed to add a curate so long as that person:

  1. never wore a colored stole (Black was the traditional color for Anglican stoles),
  2. never had “anything to do with incense,” and
  3. never stood “with his back to the congregation except when ordering the Bread.”

Dykes appealed to the Court of the Queen’s Bench, in London, in 1874.  He lost; the Court affirmed the Bishop’s authority.  The priest’s biographers agreed that the shock of this verdict, combined with the stress of the conflict, killed him two years later.

Dykes was one of the greatest composers of English hymns.  His list of hits is quite impressive.  Consider, O reader, this incomplete list:

  • Nicaea, the tune for “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God Almighty;”
  • Dominus Regit Me, the tune for “The King of Love My Shepherd Is;”
  • St. Agnes, a tune for “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee;”
  • Vox Dilecti, one tune for “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say;” and
  • Melita, the tune for “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”

Eliza also had an unpleasant end.  All that I could find out about her demise is that, as James Moffatt wrote in his 1927 companion volume to the Scottish Presbyterian Church Hymnary,

The last years of her life were passed under much suffering.  (page 249)

She died at Heath, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, on March 18, 1889, just over thirteen years after her famous brother’s death.

Let us now sing the praises of famous men,

our ancestors in their generations….

There were…those who composed musical tunes,

or put verses in writing….

All of them were the pride of their times.

Some of them have left behind a name,

so that others declare their praise.

But of others there is no memory;

they have perished as though they had never existed,

they have become as though they had never been born,

they and their children after them.

But these were also godly men,

whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten ….

–Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1, 3a, 5, 7-10 (New Revised Standard Version)

Eliza seems relatively forgotten; I have not found her work in contemporary (to me) hymnals.  (I have not, of course, searched every extant contemporary hymnal.)  But John’s work–at least some of it–remains popular with hymnal committees.  Perhaps Eliza has become as though she had never existed and successive generations of hymnals include fewer John Bacchus Dykes tunes, but this brother and this sister were righteous.  May we who live in a time later than theirs remember them with honor.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 16, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE, 2010

THE FEAST OF GEORGE AND LILLIAN WILLOUGHBY, QUAKER PEACE ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PACHOMIUS, FATHER OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNAL MONASTIC LIFE

THE FEAST OF RICHARD MEUX BENSON, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST

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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 servants

Eliza Sibbald Dykes Alderson and John Bacchus Dykes.

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 Christ Jesus 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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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