Feast of John Goss and William Mercer (May 10)   2 comments

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

SIR JOHN GOSS (DECEMBER 27, 1800-MAY 10, 1880)

Anglican Church Composer and Organist

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

WILLIAM MERCER (1811-AUGUST 21, 1873)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Translator

John Goss (1800-1880) grew up at Fareham, England, where his father was the organist.  Young John followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming an organist himself.  Goss studied at the Chapel Royal, where Thomas Attwood taught and mentored him.  In 1838 Goss succeeded Attwood, whom he respected, as organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Goss, trained also an an opera singer, focused on church music as an organist, a composer, and a theorist.  He edited the following:

  • Parochial Psalmody (1826);
  • An Introduction to Harmony and Thorough Bass (1833);
  • Chants, Ancient and Modern (1841); and
  • the music in William Mercer‘s Church Psalter and Hymn Book (1857).

And Goss composed church anthems and hymn tunes, prededing each effort with prayer.  Two of his more famous anthems were “Christ our Passover and “O Saviour of the World.”

The Church Psalter and Hymn Book (1857), the most popular English hymnal of its time, was the brain child of William Mercer (1811-1873), who sought to encourage congregational singing.  Mercer, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, was an Anglican priest at Sheffield.  He translated hymns from Latin and German.  One such effort was “How Bright Appears the Morning Star“.  Another example was a translation of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”  The Frederick Oakeley version is more famous, but is not the only rendering available.

The William Mercer translation follows:

O come, all ye faithful,

Joyfully triumphant,

To Bethlehem hasten now with glad accord;

Lo! in a manger

Lies the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

=====

Though true God of true God,

Light of light eternal,

The womb of a virgin He hath not abhorred;

Son of the Father,

Not made, but begotten;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

=====

Raise, raise, choirs of angels,

Songs of loudest triumph,

Through heaven’s high arches be your praises poured,

“Now to our God be

Glory in the highest.”

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

=====

Amen! Lord, we bless Thee,

Born for our salvation!

O Jesus, for ever be Thy Name adored:

Word of the Father,

Now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Goss and Mercer devoted their talents to the worship of God–truly a noble cause.  May we honor them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 27, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD, COMPOSER, ORGANIST, AND CONDUCTOR

THE FEAST OF CHARLES HENRY BRENT, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK

THE FEAST OF JOHN MARRIOTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT RUPERT OF SALZBURG, APOSTLE OF BAVARIA AND AUSTRIA

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

Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those, especially Sir John Goss and William Mercer,

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

Advertisements

2 responses to “Feast of John Goss and William Mercer (May 10)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: How Bright Appears the Morning Star | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: William Mercer | GATHERED PRAYERS

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: