Above: United Church on the Green, New Haven, Connecticut, Between 1900 and 1915
Image Published by Detroit Publishing Company
Image Source = Library of Congress
Reproduction Number = LC-D4-39346
United Church is the name of the merger of North Congregational Church and Third Congregational Church in the 1800s. Today it is a congregation of the United Church of Christ.
HARRIET KING OSGOOD MUNGER (MARCH 14, 1857-1925)
U.S. Congregationalist Hymn Writer
Harriet King Osgood, born in Salem, Massachusetts, studied at Wellesley College yet had to leave due to ill health. After her health improved, however, she studied art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and overseas before teaching at the Burnam School for Girls, Northampton, Massachusetts, in the 1880s. In 1889 she married the Reverend Theodore T. Munger (1830-1910), pastor of the United Church on the Green, New Haven, Connecticut, from 1885 to 1900. Our saint, active in church life, taught the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Class for mothers, held when they could attend. She also contributed to the life of the city by starting the New Haven Nurses’ Association.
Theodore T. Munger retired in 1900 and remained in New Haven. After his death in 1910 Harriet returned to Salem, Massachusetts, where she , in the words of the Handbook to the Hymnal (1935), page 412, lived
a highly useful life until her death in 1925.
That reference work indicates that, late in life, our saint mastered Braille, won national recognition for her skills therein, and, for five years, spent two or three years hours daily translating texts into that language. The volume does not specify how late in life she did this.
Among our saint’s hymns was “O My Father, I Would Know Thee,” debuted at the United Church on the Green on October 7, 1894. One verse is especially applicable:
I would turn my highest powers
Into service sweet;
For all ministry to others
Make me meet.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
AUGUST 18, 2013 COMMON ERA
PROPER 15–THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C
THE FEAST OF ERDMANN NEUMEISTER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER
THE FEAST OF SAINT HELENA, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I
THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PORCHER DUBOSE, EPISCOPAL THEOLOGIAN
Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:
By the guidance of your Holy Spirit, grant that we may
do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;
through Jesus Christ, our judge and Redeemer,
who lives and reigns with you for ever. Amen.
Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12
Acts 14:14-17, 21-23
—Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 736
Revised on December 23, 2016