Archive for October 2013

Feast of Edwin Pond Parker (May 28)   1 comment

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Above:  Edwin Pond Parker

Image Source = HymnTime

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EDWIN POND PARKER (JANUARY 13, 1836-MAY 28, 1920)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

The Reverend Edwin Pond Parker was a talented and remarkable man.  He left a lasting legacy in the lives of many of his parishioners, all of whom have died.  But, to the rest of us born in more recent years, his legacy is one of hymns.

Parker, born in Castine, Maine, graduated from Bowdoin College then Bangor Theological Seminary.  Then he, ordained a Congregationalist minister, began his remarkable career.  From 1860 to 1912 he was pastor of the Second Church of Christ (South Church), Hartford, Connecticut, whose history he wrote.  He was, for some of that time, also the chaplain to the state Senate.  Seldom does anyone have so long a pastoral tenure.  Parker’s term started with some controversy, which died down, thus enabling him to do the good work of a dutiful pastor for so long.

And our saint enriched the life of the larger church via his work in hymnody.  He edited hymnals:

  1. Song Flowers for the Sunday School (1866);
  2. Book of Praise (1868);
  3. Sunday School Songs (1869);
  4. The Christian Hymnal (1877);
  5. Sunday School Hymnal (1880); and
  6. The Christian Hymnal (1889).

Parker also wrote at least eight hymns and composed hymn tunes.  I have posted the text of one of his hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Here is another hymn, from 1888:

Master, no offering,

Costly and sweet,

May we, like Magdalene,

Lay at Thy feet;

Yet may love’s incense rise,

Sweeter than sacrifice,

Dear Lord, to Thee,

Dear Lord, to Thee.

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Daily our lives would show

Weakness made strong,

Toil some and gloomy ways

Brightened with song;

Some deeds of kindness done,

Some souls by patience won,

Dear Lord, to Thee,

Dear Lord, to Thee.

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Some word of hope for hearts

Burdened with fears,

Some balm of peace for eyes

Blinded with tears,

Some dews of mercy shed.

Some wayward footsteps led,

Dear Lord, to Thee,

Dear Lord, to Thee.

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Thus in Thy service, Lord,

Till eventide

Closes the day of life,

May we abide!

And when earth’s labors cease,

Bid us depart in peace,

Dear Lord, to Thee,

Dear Lord, to Thee.

My only (very mild) criticism of the generally excellent text is the use of the word “Magdalene.”  The author referred to Luke 7:36-50, which does not identify the woman.  We do read the name of Mary Magdalene in Luke 8:2, but as a follower of Jesus.  And, that text tells us, seven demons had gone out from her.  Given the Hellenistic understanding of demonic possession as being responsible for a host of ailments from mental illness to epilepsy, I wonder what “seven demons” might mean in modern diagnosis.  The erroneous tradition of identifying St. Mary Magdalene as ever having been a prostitute has besmirched her reputation in Western Christianity.  In the Eastern Orthodox Church, however, she occupies her rightful place as “Equal to the Apostles.”

Parker died a few months after celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of assuming pastoral duties in Hartford, Connecticut.

I highlight the work of a pastor, which many people do not notice and to which a host of individuals do not give sufficient praise.  It is challenging and frequently thankless work, labor which many lay people, perhaps out of ignorance, are quick to criticize.  Our saint labored in one congregation for fifty-two years, dealing with a variety of personalities.  I can only imagine what that must have been like.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 29, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL MANZ, DEAN OF LUTHERAN CHURCH MUSIC

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE JORDAN, RENEWER OF SOCIETY

THE FEAST OF JAMES HANNINGTON AND HIS COMPANIONS, ANGLICAN MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JOHN BUCKMAN WALTHOUR, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ATLANTA

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Edwin Pond Parker

to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock.

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household and true servants

of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719

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Feast of Clarence Dickinson (May 6)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, Circa 1910

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-74646

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CLARENCE DICKINSON (MAY 7, 1873-AUGUST 2, 1969)

U.S. Presbyterian Organist and Composer

Clarence Dickinson (1873-1969), church organist, choirmaster, and (with his wife, Adell) composer was born into a New School Presbyterian family.  Grandfather Baxter Dickinson, a professor at Auburn Seminary then Lane Theological Seminary, wrote the Auburn Declaration in 1837.  That document, in Clarence’s words,

separated the church into the old school and the new school, the conservative and the advanced.

Father William Cowper Dickinson, a Presbyterian minister, played with Harriet Beecher Stowe when he was young.  William, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Indiana, in 1873, welcomed his son, Clarence, into the world.  Clarence, impressed with church organs since very young age, had only one destiny, for which he was well-suited.  He studied piano and organ as a youth and had become sufficiently advanced by age fifteen to assume the post of university organist at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.  Later he attended Northwestern University, where he chose organ over classical languages.

Clarence’s life from 1892 to 1909 was eventful.  For five years he played the organ at the Church of the Messiah, Chicago, Illinois.  Then, in 1897-1898, he did the same at St. James Episcopal Church in the city.  From 1898 to 1901 our saint studied organ in Berlin (1898-1899) then in Paris (1899-1901).  In Europe he met his future wife, Adell, who earned her doctorate in philosophy from Heidelberg.  They married in 1904 and she collaborated with him creatively, including on his nearly 500 choir anthems.  Clarence led the Aurora Musical Club, Aurora, Illinois, from 1901 to 1906, then organized the fifty-member Musical Arts Society, devoted to performing classic works of church music, in Chicago.

In 1909, after three years with the Musical Arts Society, our saint became the organist and choirmaster at Brick Presbyterian Church, New York, New York, a post he held for more than fifty years.  The Reverend Henry Van Dyke, pastor, once told Clarence,

It hardly seems necessary to preach; the music has said it all.

Our saint also contributed to the larger church.  He founded the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in 1928.  And he served as the Music Editor for The Hymnal (1933), which the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. used for over twenty years.  Dickinson as served as the Music Editor of The Hymnal (1941) for the Evangelical and Reformed Church, a forerunner of the United Church of Christ.

Clarence Dickinson devoted his life to glorifying God via music.  His was a noble legacy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Amended on December 9, 2013 Common Era

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

We bless your name for inspiring Clarence Dickinson 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, 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

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

Feast of Julia Bulkley Cady Cory (May 2)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Church of the Covenant, New York, New York

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = HABS NY,31-NEYO,97–1

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JULIA BULKLEY CADY CORY (NOVEMBER 9, 1882-MAY 1, 1963)

U.S. Presbyterian Hymn Writer

Most of the legacy of Julia Bulkley Cady Cory, as I have been able to discover it, rests upon one hymn.  Yet, even with just that text and some information focused mostly on our saint’s early life, we know more about her than we do about many Roman Catholic saints.  She is not on that calendar, of course, for she was a Presbyterian.  But she has earned a space on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Julia was a daughter of J. Cleveland Cory, a leading architect in New York, New York.  He designed the Museum of Natural History, the old Metropolitan Opera House, and the 1871 structure of the Church of the Covenant, which became part of Brick Presbyterian Church in 1893.  The great architect served as Superintendent of Sunday School at Church of the Covenant.

Our saint, educated at the prominent Brearley and Reynolds Schools, grew up in church.  In 1902 J. Archer Gibson, organist at Brick Presbyterian Church, found the words of “We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing,” based on an European text, distasteful.  The standard English-language text, speaking of God smiting the wicked and delivering the oppressed righteous, prompted the organist to ask Julia to write new words to fit the tune, Kremser.  She wrote a new hymn, which debuted at Thanksgiving services at Brick Church and Church of the Covenant that year:

We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator,

In grateful devotion our tribute we bring.

We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee,

We bless Thy holy Name, glad praises we sing.

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We worship Thee, God of our fathers, we bless Thee;

Through life’s storm and tempest our Guide hast Thou been.

When perils o’ertake us, escape Thou wilt make us,

And with Thy help, O Lord, our battles we win.

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With voices united our praises we offer,

To Thee, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise.

Thy strong arm will guide us, our God is beside us,

To Thee, our great Redeemer, forever be praise.

This hymn’s first publication occurred in Hymns of the Living Church (1910).

Our saint married business man Robert Haskell Cory in 1911.  She raised three sons, was active in the New York Hymn Society, and attended First Presbyterian Church, Englewood, New Jersey.  She, active in community affairs, led a good life devoted to loving God, her family, and her neighbors.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 28, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Julia Bulkley Cady Cory 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 John James Moment (May 11)   1 comment

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Above:  The Reverend John James Moment

Image Sources = The Cyber Hymnal and HymnTime.com

(http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/m/o/m/moment_jj.htm and http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/m/o/m/moment_jj.htm)

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JOHN JAMES MOMENT (FEBRUARY 1, 1875-MAY 11, 1959)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

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Forceful and persuasive preacher, civic leader, trusted counsellor in affairs of Church and community, gracious interpreter of the things of the spirit through song and sermons; now completing his twenty-eighth year of service in his present parish, he has fulfilled all the desired qualifications of a faithful and devoted pastor.

Princeton Alumni Weekly (1946) on John James Moment

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John James Moment (1875-1959), son of a Canadian Methodist pastor, was born in Orono, Ontario, on February 1, 1875  He, having come to the United States at a young age, graduated from Princeton University in 1896 and taught at the Lawrenceville School, near Princeton, New Jersey, from 1898 to 1904.  Our saint, perceiving a call to ordained ministry, attended Hartford Theological Seminary next, graduating in 1906.  His ministerial career entailed him serving at the following congregations:

  1. First Presbyterian Church, East Orange, New Jersey (1906-1908), as Assistant Minister;
  2. Bergen Reformed Church, Jersey City, New Jersey (1908-1911), as Assistant Minister;
  3. High Street Presbyterian Church, Newark New Jersey (1911-1918); and finally,
  4. Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, New Jersey (1918-retirement, meaning at least through 1946).

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Above:  The Cornerstone of Cresecent Avenue Presbyterian Church

Image used with the gracious permission of Dan Damon, Plainfield, NJ

Moment wrote prose and poetry.  A book was Faith in Christ (1917).  And he, having composed hymn texts, served on the committee which produced The Hymnal (1933) for the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  “God of Compassion, in Mercy Befriend Us”  is available at my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Another hymn of his follows:

Men and children everywhere,

With sweet music fill the air!

Nations, come, your voices raise

To the Lord in hymns of praise!

Join the angel song,

All the worlds to Him belong!

Holy, holy,

To our God all glory be!

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Morning, evening, bless His name,

Skies with crimson clouds aflame,

Rainbow arch, His covenant sign,

Countless stars by night that shine!

Through His far domain,

Love is King where He doth reign!

Holy, holy,

To our God all glory be!

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Storm and food and ocean’s roar,

Breakers crashing on the shore,

Waterfalls that never sleep,

Towering mountain, canyon deep,

Tell ye forth His might,

Lord of life and truth and right!

Holy, holy,

To our God all glory be!

Moment cared actively for and about others.  Thus, in addition to what I have mentioned, he founded the Plainfield Community Forum in 1944.  This organization continues to meet needs of people by working with public and private-sector partners to make a variety of programs possible for a diverse population ranging from the young to elderly.  One program is Meals on Wheels, for example.

John James Moment made a great and positive impact where he was.  His legacy survives him, fortunately.  May each of us likewise love God and our neighbors actively and effectively.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 24, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY CLAY SHUTTLEWORTH, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY CLARET, FOUNDER OF THE CLARETIANS

THE FEAST OF ROSA PARKS, MOTHER OF THE MODERN-DAY CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served.

Lead us by his love to serve all 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.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60