Above: A Globe
Image Source = Christian Fischer
MARY ANN THOMSON (DECEMBER 5, 1834-MARCH 11, 1923)
Episcopal Hymn Writer
Mary Ann Faulkner, born in London, grew up in an Anglican rectory. She, married to John Thomson, first librarian of the Free Library of Philadelphia (opened in 1894), wrote at least forty hymns, which she published in The Living Church and The Churchman.
Perhaps Thomson’s most famous hymn is “O Zion, Haste (1868):
O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling,
To tell to all the world that God is Light;
That He who made all nations is not willing
One soul should perish, lost in shades of night.
Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace,
Tidings of Jesus, redemption, and release.
Behold how many thousands still are lying
Bound to the darksome prison house of sin,
With none to tell them of the Saviour’s dying,
Or of the life He died for them to win.
Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation
That God, in whom they live and move is Love:
Tell how He stooped to save His lost creation,
And died on earth that man might live above.
He comes again; O Zion, ere thou meet Him,
Make known to every heart His saving grace;
Let none whom He hath ransomed fail to greet Him,
Through thy neglect, unfit to see His face.
Thomson began to write this great missionary hymn one night in 1868, as she stayed up late with a child who was ill with typhoid fever. She had the hymn tune in mind yet took until 1870 to get the words just right. All that time was worth it.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
AUGUST 22, 2013 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF RAYMOND E. BROWN, BIBLE SCHOLAR
THE FEAST OF LUCA MARENZIO, COMPOSER
Dear God of beauty,
you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to
Mary Ann Thomson 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
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
Revised on December 24, 2016