Above: Ruins of Melrose Abbey, Between 1860 and 1890
Image Source = Library of Congress
Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-109098
ELIZABETH CECILIA CLEPHANE (JUNE 18, 1830-FEBRUARY 19, 1869)
Scottish Presbyterian Philanthropist and Hymn Writer
Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane and her two sisters were daughters of the Sheriff of Fife and Kinross. After he died they left Edinburgh, Scotland, for Ormiston, East Lothian, then for Melrose, where our saint settled. The sisters, members of the Free Church of Scotland, devoted themselves to philanthropy in the community. Our saint, although ill for most of her short life, was, according to James Moffatt:
…gentle and retiring in disposition, and generous to a degree; she was known as “the Sunbeam” among the poor and suffering in Melrose. The sisters spent all their income each year, giving what was not needed for their maintenance to charity.
—Handbook to The Church Hymnary, Revised Edition (London, UK: Oxford University Press, 1927, page 299)
Our saint published some of her hymns in periodicals, such as The Children’s Hour. Others appeared in print posthumously. Among her hymns was “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”
Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane could have focused on her own problems to the exclusion of those of others. Yet she walked a different spiritual path–the correct one.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JULY 9, 2013 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF JOHANN RUDOLPH AHLE AND JOHANN GEORG AHLE, GERMAN LUTHERAN ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS
THE FEAST OF EARL WARREN, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES
THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF GORKUM, HOLLAND
THE FEAST OF ROBERT GRANT, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND HYMN WRITER
O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,
and to give his life for the life of the world.
Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom
the world offers no comfort and little help.
Through us give hope to the hopeless,
love to the unloved,
peace to the troubled,
and rest to the weary,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
—Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60
Revised on December 9, 2016