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

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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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