Archive for May 2013

Feast of Johann Scheffler (July 9)   1 comment

32914v

Above:  Town Hall, Breslau, Germany, 1916-1917

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number =  LC-DIG-npcc-32914

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

JOHANN SCHEFFLER (BAPTIZED DECEMBER 25, 1624-DIED JULY 9, 1677)

Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

Johann Scheffler, who wrote under the name Angelus Silesius, was the son of Stanislaus Scheffler, a Polish nobleman who had to flee his homeland because he had converted to Lutheranism.  Therefore our saint grew up an exile in Silesia and an orthodox Lutheran.  But his father’s religion did not fit him.

Scheffler studied medicine, becoming a doctor in 1648.  Next he served as personal physician to Duke Sylvius Nimord of Wurtemberg-Oels, also an orthodox Lutheran.  Yet Scheffler was more mystical than orthodox, so he stood out from the crowd there.  His attempts to publish his mystical poems failed.  Eventually he dropped out of church at Wurtemberg-Oels.  Then he left for Breslau in 1652.

At Breslau Scheffler, under the influence of Jesuits, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1653.  Eight years later he became both a Franciscan and a priest.  Our saint’s conversion caused much controversy, for many Protestants (especially Lutherans) found his new, enthusiastic Roman Catholicism galling.  Scheffler answered arguments, giving as well as he got.  The convert had an especially strong attachment to the Mass, for he derived much spiritual benefit from holding a monstrance with a consecrated host inside during Corpus Christi processions.

A Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) translation of one of Scheffler’s hymns follows:

O Love, who formedst me to wear

The image of Thy Godhead here;

Who soughtedst me with tender care

Through all my wanderings wild and drear:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, who ere life’s earliest morn

On me Thy choice hast gently laid;

O Love, who here as Man wast born,

And wholly like to us was made:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, who once in time wast slain,

Pierced through and through with bitter woe;

O Love, who wrestling thus didst gain

That we eternal joy may know:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, who lovest me for aye,

Who for my soul dost ever plead;

O Love, who didst my ransom pay,

Whose power sufficeth in my stead:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, whose voice shall bid me rise

From out this dying life of ours;

O Love, whose hand o’er yonder skies

Shall set me in the fadeless bowers:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

Scheffler, who had given his inheritance to orphanages and other charitable institutions, retired to the Monastery of Saint Matthias, Breslau, in 1671.  There he died six years later.  His last words were:

Jesus and Christ, God and Man, Bridegroom and Brother, Peace and Joy, Sweetness and Pleasure, Refuge and Redemption,  Heaven and Earth, Eternity and Time, Love and All, receive my soul.

Johann Scheffler found his rest in God.  If anything he wrote or said helps you, O reader, spiritually, pass it on.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW BOBOLA, JESUIT MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY, ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF KERMARTIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND ADVOCATE OF THE POOR

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

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Scheffler and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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

Feast of Georg Neumark (July 8)   Leave a comment

01164v

Above:  The Castle, Weimar, Thuringia, Germany, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-01164

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

GEORG NEUMARK (MARCH 16, 1621-JULY 8, 1681)

German Lutheran Poet and Hymn Writer

Georg Neumark was traveling with a group of merchants in 1641, en route to Konigsberg, where he intended to enroll in law school.  They had just left Magdeburg when bandits robbed them thoroughly.  Neumark returned to Magdeburg in search of employment.  There was no work for him there.  He looked for employment in a succession of towns and cities, to no avail.  Finally, in December of that year, Pastor Nicolaus Becker, a friend of Neumark, found him a position as tutor to the family of Judge Stephan Henning of Kiel.  Neumark wrote the following hymn after getting that job:

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,

And hope in Him through all thy ways,

He’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee,

And bear thee through the evil days.

Who trusts in God’s unchanging love

Builds on the rock that nought can move.

—–

What can these anxious cares avail thee,

These never-ceasing moans and sighs?

What can it help if thou bewail thee

O’er each dark moment as it flies?

Our cross and trials do but press

The heavier for our bitterness.

—–

Only be still, and wait His leisure

In cheerful hope, with heart content

To take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure

And all-discerning love have sent;

Nor doubt our inmost wants are known

To Him who chose us for His own.

—–

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving;

So do thine own part faithfully,

And trust His word,–though undeserving,

Thou yet shalt find it true for thee;

God never yet forsook at need

The soul that trusted Him indeed.

–Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878)

Neumark worked in that household until June 1643, when he became a law student at Konigsberg.  A fire destroyed most of his belongings three years later.  In 1648, after five years during which he studied both law and poetry while working as a family tutor, Neumark left Konigsberg.  He traveled from city to city for a few years, ending up in Weimar in the early 1650s.  Duke Wilhelm II of Sache-Weimar, President of the Fruitbearing Society, a leading German literary organization, appointed Neumark to serve as the court poet, registrar, and librarian to the government at Weimar.  In time, Neumark became secretary of the Ducal Archives.  He joined the Fruitbearing Society and became its secretary in 1653.

Later in life Neumark’s literary career continued.  In 1679 he joined the Order of the Society of Pegnitz Shepherds (the Pegnitz Order for short), devoted to maintaining the integrity of the German language, especially in poetry.  Neumark went blind in 1681, the year of his death.  His blindness did not prevent him from keeping any of his positions, though.

Bad things happen to good people, but positive results can flow from those events.  Grace is present, of course.  Another germane factor is one’s attitude in such circumstances.  Georg Neumark’s life offers a good example of dealing well with adverse events.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW BOBOLA, JESUIT MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY, ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF KERMARTIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND ADVOCATE OF THE POOR

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

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

We bless your name for inspiring Georg Neumark and all those

who with 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

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

Feast of Johann Rudolph Ahle and Johann Georg Ahle (July 9)   Leave a comment

Europe 1648

Above:  Europe in 1648

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

JOHANN RUDOLPH AHLE (DECEMBER 24, 1625-JULY 9, 1673)

German Lutheran Organist and Composer

father of

JOHANN GEORG AHLE (JUNE 1650-DECEMBER 2, 1706)

German Lutheran Organist and Composer

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

Today I add a father and his son to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Johann Rudolph Ahle (1625-1673) studied theology at the University of Erfurt from 1645 to 1649.  He spent most of his life in his native Muhlhausen, where he played the organ at St. Blasius Church for many years, served on the town council (starting in 1656) and became mayor (in 1661).  He was a prolific composer, writing mostly for the Lutheran Church.  He composed more vocal works than anything else, but he also wrote approximately sixty works for the organ.  Some of his tunes sunk so deeply into the culture of his homeland that, in the next century, when Johann Sebastian Bach quoted them in cantatas, people in the audience recognized them easily.

Little information about Johann Georg Ahle (1650-1706) survives.  We do know that he followed in his father’s footsteps, serving as the organist at St. Blasius Church and sitting on the town council of Muhlhausen.  Johann Georg also composed aria and other works, almost all of which are lost.  Johann Georg did have the honor of serving as imperial Poet Laureate during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I (reigned 1658-1705).  And Johann Georg wrote hymns, now lost.  I would not even add him to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days if not for his father, for I would have too little information to write a post just about him.  Yet I feel confident in doing this.  God knows all the details; that will have to suffice.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 18, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ERIK IX OF SWEDEN, KING AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF TAMIHANA TE RAUPARAHA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

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

Grant that we, encouraged by your servants Johann Rudolph Ahle and Johann Georg Ahle,

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

until at last we may 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

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

Feast of Robert Grant (July 9)   1 comment

3g06015v

Above:  Houses of Parliament, London, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number =  LC-USZC4-6015

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

SIR ROBERT GRANT (JANUARY 15, 1780-JULY 9, 1838)

British Member of Parliament and Hymn Writer

Robert Grant (1780-1838) was a son of Charles Grant, a Director of the East India Company and the Member of Parliament for Inverness.  Robert graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge, with his B.A. in 1801 and his M.A. three years later.  He became an attorney in 1897.  Robert became the Member of Parliament for Inverness in 1826.  In that capacity he advocated successfully for, among other things, Jewish emancipation.  He joined the Privy Council in 1831, became Judge Advocate General the next year, and received the Order of the British Empire in 1834.  Robert’s last position was Governor of Bombay, from 1835 until his death.

Our saint wrote extensively about the East India Company.  In case one does not consider those works riveting, there are hymns, such as “O Worship the King.”

O worship the King, all-glorious above,

O gratefully sing His power and His love,

Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days.

Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

—–

O tell of His might, O sing of his grace,

Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.

His chariots of wrath the deep thunder clouds form,

And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

—–

The earth with its store of wonders untold,

Almighty Thy power hat founded of old,

Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,

And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

—–

Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?

It breathes in the air; it shines in the light;

It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,

And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

—–

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail;

In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;

Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,

Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!

—–

O measureless Might! ineffable Love!

While angels delight to hymn Thee above,

The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,

With true adoration shall lisp to Thy praise.

Robert wrote religious poems over many years.  His brother published them as Sacred Poems in 1839.  Many of them had appeared in print already, for Robert had submitted texts to the Christian Observer and Psalms and Hymns.

Robert Grant made a great contribution to English hymnody.  Hymns are sung theology.  Based on “O Worship the King” alone, I surmise that he possessed wonderful talents which he employed to the glory of God, as he should have done.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 18, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ERIK IX OF SWEDEN, KING AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF TAMIHANA TE RAUPARAHA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

For Further Reading:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Grant%2C%20Robert%2C%201779-1838

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

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Robert Grant and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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

Five Minutes of Heaven (2009)   1 comment

Five-Minutes-of-Heaven-(2009)-5

Above:  James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson from Five Minutes of Heaven

A screen capture which I found in several places on the Internet, including:

http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/movies/21five.html?_r=0

FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN (2009)

Starring

Liam Neeson as Alistair Little (2008)

James Nesbitt as Joe Griffin (2008)

Mark Ryder as Alistair Little (1975)

Kevin O’Neill as Joe Griffin (1975)

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel

Rated R

Five Minutes of Heaven is a character movie and a thought provoking story of guilt, forgiveness, and reconciliation set in Northern Ireland.  It is really a two-man drama with supporting characters.  The actors play their roles so well that words are frequently unnecessary to convey the characters’ thoughts; a look into the eyes suffices.

The first part of the movie occurs in 1975.  Alistair Little, a radicalized seventeen-year-old Protestant, wants to kill a Roman Catholic.  It is the thing which his friends and peers tell him is right to do.  Are not Catholics killing Protestants, after all?  So he shoots one James Griffin while the victim watches television at home.  Little does this in front of Griffin’s eleven-year-old brother, Joe, whom the grief-stricken mother blames for not preventing the shooting.

Then the movie skips to 2008, a quieter time in Northern Ireland.  Little, who served a twelve-year prison sentence, has reformed.  He lives alone in a Belfast flat and travels the world to promote nonviolence.  Someone must tell people, he says, that it is not right to kill people because they are different.  Someone should have told him that when he was a young man, he says.  Little, a broken and guilt-racked man, carries the face of the eleven-year-old Joe Griffin with him mentally.  It has been with him every day for thirty-three years.  The burden of it has become almost too heavy to continue to bear.

Griffin, who works in an egg carton factory, is married with two daughters.  As much as Little wants to let go of the events of 1975 and their consequences, Griffin clings to them.  His attitude poisons his family life.  So he is apprehensive and vengeful when the crew of a reality television series asks him to meet Little, who is concerned that this will be too difficult and painful for Griffin.  It is.

I choose not to reveal the entire plot of the movie or its ending, for a good film review should leave much for the viewer to discover firsthand.   But I do choose to focus on the spiritual side of the movie’s content:  the necessity to forgive–at least for one’s own sake–and, if possible, to reconcile.  Friendship might remain impossible after the offense, but the dropping of grudges is crucial.  Also, violence harms not only its intended victim(s) but its perpetrator(s).  What we do to others we do also to ourselves.  Therefore, if we do not act compassionately, we might wind up like Little and Griffin, two emotionally and spiritually scarred men facing the common past which entraps them as they struggle together in the ruins of the scene of a thirty-three-year-old crime.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 18, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ERIK IX OF SWEDEN, KING AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF TAMIHANA TE RAUPARAHA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

Published originally at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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

Feast of Henry Thomas Smart (July 6)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

HENRY THOMAS SMART (OCTOBER 24, 1813-JULY 6, 1879)

English Organist and Composer

Henry Thomas Smart came from a great and illustrious family.  His uncle, Sir George Thomas Smart, was a famous organist and orchestral conductor.  And his father, Henry Smart, was a respected and well-known violinist, music publisher, and orchestral conductor.  So it was natural for our saint to pursue a career in music, although he did so after a brief turn as a practicing attorney.

Smart composed many works.  His cantatas were The Bride of Dunkerron (1864) and King Rene’s Daughter (1871).  He also wrote an oratorio, Jacob (1873).  Bertha (1865) was his opera.  He also composed trios, songs, services, organ music, and hymn tunes.  Among his most famous hymn tunes was Regent Square, to which many people have sung and continue to sing “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation.”  Smart continued to compose after he went blind in 1865.  Ellen, his daughter, took dictation.

Among Smart’s post-blindness compositions were his settings of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, both of which the choir (to which I belong) at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, performed at an Evensong service on November 4, 2012.  I have been listening (courtesy of Spotify) to those and other compositions by our saint while typing this post.  Now I am listening to the Magnificat again.  It is a piece of some complexity of voice parts.  So I wonder how many details Smart must have kept in his head while giving dictation.  And the work is beautiful and majestic.

Smart’s regular work was a church organist from 1831 to his death in 1879.  He played the organ for Blackburn Parish Church, Lancashire from 1831 to 1836 before moving to London.  There he served as the organist for a sequence of churches:  St. Giles, St. Philip’s, St. Luke’s, and St. Pancras.

Henry Thomas Smart devoted his life to God and to music in that context–a worthwhile endeavor.  I honor him for his good works and great accomplishments in those fields.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 15, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. PRESBYTERIAN BOOK OF COMMON WORSHIP, 1906

THE FEAST OF CAROLINE CHISHOLM, HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF PIRIPI TAUMATA-A-KURA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

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

We bless your name for inspiring Henry Thomas Smart

and all those who with music 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

Feast of John Cennick (July 3)   2 comments

AgnusDeiWindow

Above:  Logo of the Moravian Church in Stained-Glass

Image Source = JJackman

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

JOHN CENNICK (DECEMBER 12, 1718-JULY 4, 1755)

British Moravian Evangelist and Hymn Writer

John Cennick died at London, England, on July 4, 1755, aged thirty-seven years and survived by a widow and two children.  He had traveled in Germany, England, and Northern Ireland, founding at least forty churches in six years before fever caught up with him.

Cennick came from a historically Quaker family yet grew up Anglican.  He became a land surveyor, a profession he abandoned to become a Methodist lay preacher after meeting John and Charles Wesley in 1739.  The following year John Wesley appointed Cennick to teach children at a school at Kingswood, England.  Yet Cennick fell out with the founder of Methodism almost immediately.  Three theological issues separated them:

  1. Cennick, unlike Wesley, distrusted the rampant emotionalism at early Methodist gatherings.  Wesley thought such outbursts were manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Wesley rejected all forms of Predestination.  Cennick was a Calvinistic Methodist.
  3. Wesley advocated the doctrine of Christian Perfection, something Cennick rejected.

So, from 1740 to 1745, Cennick worked with George Whitefield.  Then our saint joined the Moravian Church in 1745 and became an ordained minister and evangelist in that communion four years later.  From time to time Wesley and Cennick crossed paths and Wesley continued to oppose Cennick’s work.

Cennick wrote hymns and published collections:

  • Sacred Hymns for the Children of God in the Days of Their Pilgrimage (1741);
  • Sacred Hymns for the Use of Religious Societies (1743);
  • A Collection of Sacred Hymns (1749); and
  • Hymns to the Honour of Jesus Christ, Composed for Such Little Little Children as Desire to Be Saved (1754).

Among Cennick’s hymns was the following:

Children of the heavenly King,

As ye journey, sweetly sing;

Sing your Saviour’s worthy praise,

Glorious in His works and ways.

—–

We are travelling home to God,

In the way the fathers trod;

They are happy now, and we

Soon their happiness shall see.

—–

Lift your eyes, you sons of light;

Zion’s city is in sight.

There our endless home shall be,

There our God we soon shall see.

—–

Fear not, brethren; joyful stand

On the borders of your land;

Jesus Christ, your Father’s Son,

Bids you undismayed go on.

—–

Lord, obediently we go,

Gladly leaving all below;

Only Thou our Leader be,

And we still will follow Thee.

John Cennick did much for God in a brief span of time.  What is God calling you to do, O reader?  May you do that.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 15, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. PRESBYTERIAN BOOK OF COMMON WORSHIP, 1906

THE FEAST OF CAROLINE CHISHOLM, HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF PIRIPI TAUMATA-A-KURA, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

Almighty God, we praise you for your servant John Cennick,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Feast of John Chandler (July 1)   1 comment

08081v

Above:  Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08081

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

JOHN CHANDLER (JUNE 16, 1806-JULY 1, 1876)

Anglican Priest, Scholar, and Translator of Hymns

The first saint I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days during this newest round of saints blogging is John Chandler, born on June 16, 1806, at Witley, Surrey, England, where his father was the Anglican vicar.  Chandler graduated from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, with his B.A. in 1827 and with his M.A. three years later.  He, like his father, took Holy Orders, joining the ranks of the clergy in 1831.  Chandler also succeeded his father as the Vicar of Witley, assuming that post in 1837.

Chandler cared deeply for good liturgy.  Thus he translated over one hundred hymns, many from ancient sources, because he thought that such hymns should accompany worship according to The Book of Common Prayer.  He published the following works related to the cause of the proper public worship of God:

  • Hymns of the Primitive Church, Now First Collected (1837); expanded as The Hymns of the Church, Mostly Primitive, Collected, Translated, and Arranged for Public Use (1841); and
  • Horae Sacrae:  Prayer and Meditations from the Writings of the Divines of the Anglican Church, with and Introduction (1844).

Among the hymns which Chandler translated were “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry,” an Advent hymn, and “What Star is This, With Beams So Bright,” an Epiphany hymn.

Chandler published other material.  There was a volume called Sermons and Tracts.  And he wrote a biography of William of Wykeham (1324-1404), an English Roman Catholic bishop, founder of New College (England’s first public school), and Chancellor of the realm under King Richard II from 1389 to 1391.

Where would the Church be without hymn translators such as John Chandler?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 14, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS MAKEMIE, FATHER OF U.S. PRESBYTERIANISM

THE FEAST OF EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF EXETER

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROBERTS/IEUAN GWYLLT, FOUNDER OF WELSH SINGING FESTIVALS

THE FEAST OF NGAKUKU, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John Chandler and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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

Proper 26, Year C   Leave a comment

4a32636v

Above:  Sycamore Grove, Glen El Capitan, California, June 1899

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-D43-T01-1370

Photograph by William Henry Jackson (1843-1942)

Grace, Hope, Free Will, and Doom

The Sunday Closest to November 2

Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

NOVEMBER 3, 2019

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

The Assigned Readings:

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:14 and Psalm 119:137-144

or 

Isaiah 1:10-18 and Psalm 32:1-8

then 

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

Luke 19:1-10

The Collect:

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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

Some Related Posts:

Prayer of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/prayer-of-praise-and-adoration-for-the-twenty-fourth-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Confession:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/prayer-of-confession-for-the-twenty-fourth-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/prayer-of-dedication-for-the-twenty-fourth-sunday-after-pentecost/

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

Oppressors afflict the godly and the merely innocent.  Courts are corrupt, kings and emperors are insensitive, and/or the homeland is occupied.  This is an unjust reality.  And what will God do about it?

The omitted portion of 1 Thessalonians 1 gives one answer:  God will repay the oppressors with affliction.  Sometimes this is the merciful answer to the pleas of the afflicted, for many oppressors will not cease from oppressing otherwise.  I with that this were not true.  I wish that more people would recognize the error of their ways and amend them—repent.  But I am realist.

Many pains are in store for the wicked:

but whoever trusts in the Lord is surrounded by steadfast love.

–Psalm 32:11, New Zealand Prayer Book (1989)

But others will repent.  Zacchaeus, once a tax thief for the Roman Empire, did just that.  Leviticus 6:1-5 required Zacchaeus to repay the principal amount of the fraud plus twenty percent.  Instead he repaid four times the principal amount of the fraud.  That action was consistent with Exodus 22:1, which required replacing one stolen then slaughtered sheep with four sheep.  Zacchaeus did more than the Law of Moses required of him.  Yes, he had less money afterward, but he regained something much more valuable—his reputation in the community.  He was restored to society.  And it happened because he was willing and Jesus sought him out.  We humans need to be willing to do the right thing.  Grace can finish what free will begins.

Sometimes I think that God wants to see evidence of good will and initiative from us and that these are enough to satisfy God.  We are weak, distracted easily, and fooled with little effort, but God can make much out of a little good will and even the slightest bit of initiative.  They are at least positive indications—sparks from which fires can grow.  But they depend upon a proper sense of right and wrong—morality.  An immoral act is one which a person commits even though he or she knows it is wrong.  An amoral act is one which a person with no sense of morality commits.  Zaccheaeus was immoral (mostly) until he decided to become moral (mostly).  And grace met him where he was.

There is hope for many of the people we might consider beyond the scope of redemption and restoration.  God is present to extend such hope, and you, O reader, might be an agent of such hope to someone.  If you are or are to be so, please be that—for the sake of that one and those whom he or she will affect.  Unfortunately, some will, by free will, refuse that hope.  That is one element of the dark side of free will.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 9, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE FEAST OF THOMAS TOKE LYNCH, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA LAETITIA WARING, HUMANITARIAN AND HYMN WRITER; AND HER UNCLE, SAMUEL MILLER WARING, HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS, BISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE

THE FEAST OF SAINTS WILLIBALD OF EICHSTATT AND LULLUS OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT WALBURGA OF HEIDENHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; SAINTS PETRONAX OF MONTE CASSINO, WINNEBALD OF HEIDENHELM, WIGBERT OF FRITZLAR, AND STURMIUS OF FULDA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS; AND SAINT SEBALDUS OF VINCENZA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT AND MISSIONARY

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

Proper 25, Year C   Leave a comment

04792r

Above:  Design Drawing for a Stained -Glass Window with the Publican

Image Source = Library of Congress

Designed by J. & R. Lamb Studios between 1857 and 1999

Grace, Divine and Human

The Sunday Closest to October 26

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

OCTOBER 23, 2019

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

The Assigned Readings:

Joel 2:23-32 and Psalm 65

or 

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 35:12-17 or Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 and Psalm 84

then 

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Luke 18:9-14

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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

Some Related Posts:

Prayer of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/prayer-of-praise-and-adoration-for-the-twenty-third-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Confession:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/prayer-of-confession-for-the-twenty-third-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/prayer-of-dedication-for-the-twenty-third-sunday-after-pentecost/

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

The biblical texts contain many repeated themes.  Among them is the command to obey God’s laws coupled with warnings of the consequences for not doing so followed by those consequences.  The Prophet Jeremiah, aware of those sins and their consequences, asked God for mercy on the people in Chapter 14.  In Jeremiah 15, however, God paid “no” in many words.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 35, which speaks of the divine preference for the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the wronged, begins with:

To keep the law is worth many offerings;….—35:1, The Revised English Bible

Much of the Old Testament tradition agrees with that statement.  So does the Pharisee from the parable in Luke 18:9-14.  He has kept the Law of Moses as best he knows how, as his tradition has told him to do.  But he misses one thing, another element of the Old Testament tradition:  humility before God.

You desire no sacrifice, or I would give it:

But you take no delight in burnt offerings.

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit:

A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

–Psalm 54:16-17, New Zealand Prayer Book (1989)

St. Paul the Apostle understood all this well.  What admirers wrote in his name after he died the Apostle could have said during his lifetime:

I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith;….—2 Timothy 4:7, The New Jerusalem Bible

The crown of righteousness is a matter of grace; we do not earn it.  Yes, James 2:24 (The Revised English Bible) tells us:

You seen then it is by action and not by faith alone that a man is justified.

But faith, in that formulation, is intellectual, so words are necessary for justification to God.  In the Pauline tradition, however, faith is inherently active, so:

For all alike have sinned, and are justified by God’s free grace alone, through his act of liberation in the person of Christ Jesus.

–Romans 3:23-24, The Revised English Bible

Therefore:

What room then is left for human pride?  It is excluded.  And on what principle?  The keeping of the law would not exclude it, but faith does.  For our argument is that people are justified by faith quite apart from any question of keeping the law.

–Romans 3:27-28, The Revised English Bible

According to St. Paul, the Law of Moses did its job until Christ did his, so Jesus has fulfilled the Law.

Even in judgment there can be hope, hence the lection from Joel.  The judgment which Jeremiah hoped would not come did arrive.  Later, however, so did mercy in extravagant doses.  Grace indeed!

Grace is also something we are supposed to extend to each other.

In January 2013 Jim McGown, a friend (now deceased), gave me a good book, the last of a sequence of fine volumes he imparted to me.  The last book is a daily devotional guide for Lent, Year C, by Bishop N. T. Wright.  The following lines come from Wright’s discussion of the parable from Luke:

Wasn’t the poor chap [the Pharisee] simply doing what God had told him to do?

Well, from one point of view, yes.  But Jesus was constantly nudging people, or positively shoving them, towards seeing everything differently.  Prayer is about loving God, and the deepest Jewish traditions insist that loving God is something you do with your hart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself, not calculating whether you’ve done everything just right and feeling smug because your neighbour hasn’t managed it so well.

Lent for Everyone:  Luke, Year C—A Daily Devotional (Louisville, KY:  Westminster/John Knox Press, 2012, pages 77-78; published originally in the United Kingdom in 2009 by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)

So I extend to you, O reader, a small portion of grace which a friend, at God’s prompting, gave to me.  Each of us is called to respond positively to God, who has done much for us.  Part of this sacred vocation is extending grace to our fellow human beings.  We have an excellent role model:  Jesus of Nazareth.  May we follow him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 8, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT II, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF DAME JULIAN OF NORWICH, SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAGDALENA OF CANOSSA, FOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY AND THE SONS OF CHARITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER OF TARENTAISE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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