Feast of Frances Ridley Havergal (June 3)   1 comment

frances_ridley_havergal

 

Image Source = Steven R. Cook, M. Div.

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

FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL (DECEMBER 14, 1836-JUNE 3, 1879)

English Hymn Writer and Composer

Hymn tunes are interesting.  Certain ones remain in our memories yet often without the tune name attached.  Consider, for example, the tune “Hermas.”  I associate it with words–“Welcome, Happy Morning….,” an Easter hymn.  Yet I had not paid attention to the tune name or composer until I began to prepare this post.  Now I know that Frances Ridley Havergal composed that tune.

Our saint was the youngest child of Anglican priest William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), who emphasized high-quality church music.  He composed anthems, services, psalm tunes, and hymn tunes.  He also reformed metrical psalmody.

That background suited our Frances Ridley Havergal well.  She, a skilled linguist, knew French and German well.  She, familiar with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, read the Bible in its original languages.  Her excellent memory enabled her to memorize the entirety of the Psalms, Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, and the New Testament.  And the prolific writer began to compose texts at age seven.  I have added some of her hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Here is an Ascension hymn Havergal wrote:

Golden harps are sounding,

Angel voices ring,

Pearly gates are opened,

Opened for the King:

Christ, the King of Glory,

Jesus, King of Love,

Is gone up in triumph

To His throne above.

Refrain:

All His work is ended,

Joyfully we sing;

Jesus hath ascended:

Glory to our King!

—–

He who came to save us,

He who bled and died,

Now is crowned with glory

At His Father’s side;

Never more to suffer,

Never more to die,

Jesus, King of Glory,

Is gone up on high.

Refrain

—–

Pleading for His children,

In that blessed place,

Calling them to glory,

Sending them His grace;

His bright home preparing,

Faithful ones, for you;

Jesus ever liveth,

Ever loveth too.

Refrain

And here is a New Year-themed hymn:

Standing at the portal

Of the opening year,

Words of comfort meet us,

Hushing every fear;

Spoken through then silence

By our Father’s voice,

Tender, strong, and faithful,

Making us rejoice.

Refrain:

Onward, then, and fear not,

Children of the day;

For His word shall never,

Never pass away.

—–

For the year before us,

O what rich supplies!

For the poor and needy

Living streams shall rise;

For the faint and feeble

Perfect strength be found.

Refrain

—–

He will never fail us,

He will not forsake;

His eternal covenant

He will never break;

Resting on His promise,

What have we to fear?

God is all-sufficient

For the coming year.

Refrain

Our saint understood that she composed hymn texts in cooperation with God.  Perhaps she was correct.

Her health always fragile, Havergal died at age forty-two.  Memorial volumes and posthumous anthologies followed.  Here is a partial list:

  1. Frances Ridley Havergal:  The Last Week (1879);
  2. Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal (1880);
  3. Under His Shadow:  The Last Poems of Frances Ridley Havergal (1880);
  4. The Poetical Works (1880);
  5. Poems (1881);
  6. Swiss Letters and Alpine Poems (1882)
  7. Bells Across the Skies (1883);
  8. Loyal Responses, or Daily Melodies for the King’s Minstrels (1883);
  9. Frances Ridley Havergal:  A Full Sketch of Her life (1884);
  10. Letters by the Late Frances Ridley Havergal (1885);
  11. Life Chords, Comprising Zenith, Loyal Responses, and Other Poems (1885);
  12. Sunbeams from the Golden Land (1886);
  13. Royal Bounty (1888), and
  14. Golden Thoughts from the Life and Works of Frances Ridley Havergal (1895).

Yet perhaps the best memorial to Frances Ridley Havergal is a hymnal which contains many of her texts.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 4, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF FELIX MANZ, FIRST ANABAPTIST MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH SETON, FOUNDER OF THE AMERICAN SISTERS OF CHARITY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GREGORY OF LANGRES, TERTICUS OF LANGRES, GALLUS OF CLERMONT, GREGORY OF TOURS, AVITUS I OF CLERMONT, MAGNERICUS OF TRIER, AND GAUGERICUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF JOHANN KONRAD WILHELM LOEHE, LUTHERAN PASTOR

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

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Frances Ridley Havergal 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

One response to “Feast of Frances Ridley Havergal (June 3)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Frances Ridley Havergal | GATHERED PRAYERS

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: