Archive for October 2014

Feast of Jennette Threlfall (November 29)   Leave a comment

Crucifix I July 15, 2014

Above:  One of My Crucifixes, July 15, 2014

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JENNETTE THRELFALL (MARCH 24, 1821-NOVEMBER 30, 1880)

English Hymn Writer

Jennette Threlfall had reasons to harbor resentment.  Her parents died when she was young.  Then accidents rendered the native of Blackburn, Lancashire, England, an invalid.  She spent her life in the care of relatives.  Despite Threlfall’s suffering, however, she had a positive attitude.  In “idle moments: she wrote poems, which she published in two volumes:  Woolsorrel, or, Leaves from a Retired Home (1856) and Sunshine and Shadow (1873).

Among her texts from Sunshine and Shadow was this Palm Sunday hymn:

Hosanna, loud hosanna,

The little children sang;

Thro’ pillared court and Temple

The lovely anthem rang.

To Jesus, who had blessed them,

Close folded to His breast,

The children sang their praises,

The simplest and the best.

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From Olivet they followed

Mid an exultant crowd;

The victor palm branch waving

And chanting clear and loud.

The Lord of men and angels

Rode on in lowly state

Nor scorned that little children

Should on His bidding wait.

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“Hosanna in the highest!”

That ancient song we sing,

For Christ is our Redeemer,

The Lord of heav’n our King.

Oh, may we even praise Him

With heart and life and voice

And in His blissful presence

Eternally rejoice.

Threlfall died at Westminster, Middlesex, England, on November 30, 1880.  Her life stood for, among other things, the principle that, although fait accomplis stand, our attitudes matter.  Some of the most sincere praises have arisen from contexts of suffering.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHN BOWRING, ENGLISH UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF JULIA WARD HOWE, ABOLITIONIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Jennette Threlfall 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

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Feast of Frederick Cook Atkinson (November 29)   Leave a comment

Norwich Cathedral

Above:  The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Norwich, England, Between 1900 and 1920

Image Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a24712

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FREDERICK COOK ATKINSON (AUGUST 21, 1841-NOVEMBER 30, 1897)

Anglican Church Organist and Composer

Frederick Cook Atkinson, a native of Norwich, Norfolk, England, became a prominent organist in the Church of England.  He began as a chorister and assistant organist at the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Norwich, from 1849 to 1860, studying under Dr. Zechariah Buck (1798-1879), the organist and choirmaster from 1819 to 1877.  Atkinson studied music at Cambridge.  After his graduation (1867) he went to work as the organist and choirmaster at St. Luke’s Church, Manningham, Bradford.  Atkinson returned to Norwich Cathedral as organist and choirmaster in 1881.  Then, in 1885, he left to assume the same duties at St. Mary’s Church, Lewsham.  He died at East Dereham, Norfolk, on November 30, 1897.

Atkinson composed services, songs, piano works, anthems, and hymn tunes.  I have found two of his hymn tunes in hymnals.  Morecambe (1870) seems to be popular in current hymn books, many of which set more than one hymn to it.  Among these texts is “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.”  Less frequent in current hymnals is Caritas Perfecta (1885), to which The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) sets “A Perfect Love.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHN BOWRING, ENGLISH UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF JULIA WARD HOWE, ABOLITIONIST

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Frederick Cook Atkinson)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Johann Daniel Grimm (November 5)   1 comment

Herrnhut 1765

Above:  Herrnhut, 1765

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN DANIEL GRIMM (OCTOBER 5, 1719-APRIL 27 OR AUGUST 20, 1760)

German Moravian Composer

I found two possible dates of the death of Johann Daniel Grimm during my research, so I have included both of them.

Grimm led a full and creative life, one which touches lives today.  In fact, Moravian hymnals still contain some of his hymn tunes and musicians continue to perform his choral and instrumental works.  He wrote cantatas, sonatas, and at least thirteen string trios.

Our saint, a native of Stralsrund, Western Pomerania, along the Baltic Coast of Germany, converted to the Moravian Church in 1747.  He, twenty-eight years old, was already an accomplished musician.  He lived at the Moravian settlements of Herrnhaag and Marienborn, in Saxony, from 1748 to 1750.  Later he settled at Herrnhut then relocated to teach music at Gross Hennersdorf, also in Saxony.  In the 1750s one student at Gross Hennersdorf was Johann Friedrich Peter (1746-1813), who, in time, became the leading Moravian composer in America.

Grimm was a pioneer in Moravian Church music.  His Choralbuch (1755) was a collection (apparently not a bound one) of about 1000 tunes.  It pioneered the practice of numbering hymn tunes.  Christian Gregor (1723-1801) simplified that system with his bound Choralbuch (1784), which incorporated much material from Grimm’s Choralbuch and set the standard for a long time.

Grimm applied his creativity to the project of glorifying God inside and outside of church buildings.  He also passed his knowledge along to others.  I honor his legacy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHN BOWRING, ENGLISH UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF JULIA WARD HOWE, ABOLITIONIST

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Johann Daniel Grimm)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of William Hiley Bathurst (November 25)   Leave a comment

BCP 1662

Above:  The Title Page of a 1968 Edition of The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

Scan Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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WILLIAM HILEY BATHURST (AUGUST 28, 1796-NOVEMBER 25, 1877)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

William Hiley Bathurst (1796-1877) was the son of the Right Honourable Charles Bragge-Bathurst, Member of Parliament for Bristol.  Our saint, born at Clevadale, near Bristol, England, on August 28, 1796, was also a son of Charlotte Addington Brazze-Bathurst, whose mother’s maiden name was Hiley.

Our saint, an 1818 graduate of Christ Church, Oxford, became an Anglican deacon in 1819 and a priest the following year.  From 1820 to 1852 he served as the Rector of Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire.  There he earned his reputation as a pious introvert who had, as one source another source I consulted quoted yet did not identity indicated,

the peculiarity of becoming utterly silent if one asked him the most trivial question.

That introversion helped Bathurst write much, for, while Rector, he published the following books:

  1. Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use (1831), 206 hymns plus 150 Psalm versifications; he wrote all but 18 of them;
  2. Metrical Musings (1849); and
  3. A Translation of the Georgics of Virgil (1849).

By 1852, however, our saint had developed theological reservations about the baptismal and funerary rites in The Book of Common Prayer (1662), so he retired from priestly duties.  (I have sought without success information regarding the precise nature of his theological qualms.)

Bathurst’s retirement entailed more writing.  For about eleven years he lived at Darley Dale, near Matlock, Derbyshire.  Then, in 1863, he inherited the family estate at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, when his brother died.  Our saint died there on November 25, 1877.  A book, Roman Antiquities of Lydney Park, rolled off the presses in 1879.

Among Bathurst’s hymns was “Jesus, Thy Church with Longing Eyes” (1831), an Advent text.  The third stanza prayed:

Come, gracious Lord, our hears renew,

Our foes repel, our wrongs redress,

Man’s rooted enmity subdue,

And crown Thy Gospel with success.

Another 1831 text asked God for a “faith that will not shrink.”  Although I disagree with parts of that hymn, the fifth stanza stands the test of time well:

A faith that keeps the narrow way

Till life’s last spark is fled

And with a pure and heavenly ray

Lights up the dying bed.

Introverted, bookish saints appeal to me, for I am an introverted, bookish person and Christian.  Overly extroverted forms of religion annoy me at best and alienate me at worst.  I knew that, regardless of any theological distance between Bathurst and me, I liked him when I read that he was shy and retiring and had translated Virgil.  And, when our saint developed theological qualms, he retired; he did not commit schism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS POTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF HUGH LATIMER, NICHOLAS RIDLEY, AND THOMAS CRANMER, ANGLICAN MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Hiley Bathurst 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

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Feast of William Cooke and Benjamin Webb (November 27)   2 comments

Trinity College, Cambridge, England

Above:  Trinity College, Cambridge, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08091

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WILLIAM COOKE (BAPTIZED MARCH 17, 1821-DIED NOVEMBER 23, 1894)

Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns

collaborator with

BENJAMIN WEBB (NOVEMBER 28, 1819-NOVEMBER 27, 1885)

Anglican Priest and Translator of Hymns

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William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, co-editors of The Hymnary:  A Book of Church Song (1872), were priests, liturgists, and scholars.

Cooke, born at Pendlebury, near Manchester, England, in 1821 and baptized early that year, attended Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with his A.B. degree in 1843 and his A.M. degree in 1847.  He, ordained deacon in 1844 and priest the following year, held various posts in the Church of England until 1849, when he became the Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Chester.  He remained in that position for about eight years, until 1857.  In 1850 Cooke became the Select Preacher to the University of Cambridge.  Four years later he became Honorary Canon of Chester.  In 1868 he became a Fellow to the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Cooke left a theological and literary legacy.  He and William Denton co-edited The Church Hymnal (1853), which contained a fine translation of an eleventh-century Latin text.  Cooke also wrote The Power of the Priesthood in Absolution (1863); Worship of Men and Angels Through the Incarnate Word (1865); and Of Ceremonies, Light and Custom (1868).  Furthermore, late in life he donated his library to the new Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Benjamin Webb (1819-1885), born in London, England, attended St. Paul’s School then Trinity College, Cambridge.  He graduated with his A.B. degree in 1842 and his A.M. degree three years later.  Webb, who took Anglican Holy Orders in 1843, co-founded the Cambridge Ecclesiastical Society with his friend, John Mason Neale.  They collaborated on The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments:  A Translation of the First Book of the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum (1843) of William Durandus, a theologian who lived from circa 1270 to 1322.  Webb also edited The Ecclesiologist from 1842 to 1868 and edited Neale’s The Hymnal Noted (1852).  Apart from Neale Webb wrote Continental Ecclesiology (1847) and co-edited other volumes.

Webb found geographical stability in 1851, when, after a string of short-lived assignments, he became the Perpetual Curate of Sheen, Staffordshire.  After about eleven years he transferred to St. Andrew’s Church, Wells Street, London, becoming the Vicar there.  He remained in that post until November 27, 1885, when he died.  At the time he had been, since 1881, the Prebend of Portpool at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, also.

Webb valued good church music.  During his tenure at St. Andrew’s the church it became famous for the quality of its music.  The fact that Joseph Barnby was the organist and choir director had much to do with that reality.  Under Barnby’s leadership the choir earned a reputation as the best church choir in the city.  Webb also translated hymn texts.  His translation, “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing” dated to 1854.  Also from that year came “O Love, How Deep, How High, How Broad” and “Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise.”

The legacies of William Cooke and Benjamin Webb survive, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS POTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF HUGH LATIMER, NICHOLAS RIDLEY, AND THOMAS CRANMER, ANGLICAN MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Cooke, Benjamin Webb, 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

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Feast of John Kenneth Pfohl, Bessie Whittington Pfohl, and James Christian Pfohl (November 23)   5 comments

Pfohls

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN KENNETH “J. KENNETH” PFOHL, SR. (AUGUST 13, 1874-NOVEMBER 27, 1967)

U.S. Moravian Bishop

husband of

HARRIET ELIZABETH “BESSIE” WHITTINGTON PFOHL (JULY 28, 1881-NOVEMBER 23, 1971)

U.S. Moravian Musician

mother of

JAMES CHRISTIAN PFOHL, SR. (SEPTEMBER 17, 1912-MARCH 28, 1997)

U.S. Moravian Musician

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Two Sundays ago my church choir, in which I sing bass, performed “Hearken! Stay Close to Jesus Christ,” with music by David Moritz Michael (1751-1827).  The sheet music, bearing a 1956 copyright date, indicated that the composition came from the Moravian Church archives at Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  My fellow choristers and I sang a motet probably available to contemporary audiences because of the efforts of Bessie Whittington Pfohl and/or James Christian Pfohl, Jr.  These two saints brought Bishop John Kenneth Pfohl, Sr, to my attention.  Once again hagiography has become a family affair.

John Kenneth “J. Kenneth” Pfohl, Sr. (1874-1967) was a prominent bishop in the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum).  He was, in fact, heir to generations of faithful (often ordained) Christian witness within the Moravian Church, going all the way back to the Ancient Unity, founded in 1457.  Great-grandfathers and a grandfather were ministers, and his father, Christian Thomas Pfohl, served as a congregational elder at Salem (now Winston-Salem), North Carolina, for twenty-three years.  J. Kenneth, a graduate of Moravian College (1898) and Moravian Theological Seminary (1900), became the first Principal of the Clemmons School, Clemmons, North Carolina, which opened its doors in October 1900.  This proved to be a crucial assignment in his life.

Harriet Elizabeth “Bessie” Whittington (1881-1971), a graduate of Salem College, joined the faculty of Clemmons School; she taught music in the lower grades.  She and the Principal fell in love.  They married on August 21, 1901, becoming partners in life and ministry for the next sixty-six years, three months, and six days.  They also raised six children:

  1. Margaret Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell;
  2. Mary Dorothea Pfohl Lassiter;
  3. Ruth Whittington Pfohl Grams;
  4. John Kenneth Pfohl, Jr.;
  5. James Christian Pfohl, Sr., and
  6. Donald Lawrence Pfohl.

All of the Pfohl children received music education at home and became musicians.  Music became either a vocation or an avocation for each of them.

Home Moravian Church

Above:  Home Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1935

Photographer = Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-csas-02662

J. Kenneth and Bessie were partners in church work.  He, pastor of Christ Moravian Church (1903-1908) then Home Moravian Church (1908-1934), both in Salem, North Carolina, had Bessie by his side.  She served as the organist and choir director of Home Church for eighteen years.  She resigned that post to work on the provincial level after her husband became the Bishop of the Southern Province.  J. Kenneth’s work beyond the parish level included membership on the Southern Provincial Elders’ Conference (starting in 1920), the Presidency of that body (1929-1953), the leadership of the provincial Foreign Missionary Society (1923-1935), and the Episcopate (1931-1959).  During World War II he functioned as the de facto leader of the worldwide Moravian Church.  And, on the local level, he became the senior pastor of the Salem Congregation, a cooperative agency of the Moravian congregations in Winston-Salem, in 1931.

Bessie, meanwhile, was rediscovering early American Moravian Church music and making it available to new audiences.   James Christian Pfohl, Sr. (1912-1997), one of her sons, edited many of these masterpieces.  The Moravian Church in America had felt much pressure to change its music, to make it more “American,” in the 1800s.  In the process of conforming the Church buried and forgot many of its treasures of sacred music.  Pfohls restored these lost works, fortunately.

Bishop Pfohl, a musician, pastor, and historian with a down-to-earth manner, died at Winston-Salem in 1967.  He was ninety-three years old.  Bessie joined him in the next life four years later.  She spent her final years at the Medicenter, Winston-Salem, where she played the piano for other patients.

James Christian Pfohl, Sr. (1912-1997), was an excellent musician.  He had become so accomplished that, at the conclusion of his undergraduate studies, he started the Department of Music at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, in 1933.  He founded the Davidson Music School for Boys (later the Transylvania Music Camp) in 1936; he led it for twenty-nine years.  James Christian also served as the President of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association from 1938 to 1939, founded the Brevard Music Center, conducted the Charlotte (North Carolina) Symphony Orchestra, and served as the Music Director (1952-1962) of the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony Orchestra.  He inspired the founding of the North Carolina School of the Arts (the University of North Carolina School of the Arts since 2008) in 1963.  If that were not enough, he founded a summer music camp at Reston, Virginia, in 1967 and another one at York, Pennsylvania, ten years later.

During my research I read the obituary of a son, James Christian Pfohl, Jr. (April 16, 1940-June 17, 2014).  He followed in the footsteps of many other Pfohls, for he maintained music as an avocation while working in a non-musical profession.

My reading about the Pfohl family of North Carolina has revealed it to be a nursery for artistic expression.  I have not worked out the full family tree, but I have read of singers, instrumentalists, musicologists, arrangers, choir directors, an orchestral conductor, and a dancer.  All this is wonderful, for beauty just might save the world.  Certainly beauty improves it.  As I heard years ago, people danced their religion before they thought it.  Also, music can convey meaning better than words can sometimes.  Thus we who seek God can benefit greatly from the arts if only we will permit ourselves to do so.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS POTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF HUGH LATIMER, NICHOLAS RIDLEY, AND THOMAS CRANMER, ANGLICAN MARTYRS

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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 the Pfohls and all those

who with words and music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lies and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, 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

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

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Feast of Robert Seagrave (November 22)   Leave a comment

Clare College and Bridge

Above:  Clare College and Bridge, Cambridge, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08080

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ROBERT SEAGRAVE (NOVEMBER 22, 1693-CIRCA 1759)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

Robert Seagrave (1693-circa 1759), son of an Anglican priest also named Robert Seagrave, attended and graduated from Clare College, Cambridge.  In 1715, the year following his commencement, he took Anglican Holy Orders.  Eventually our saint became involved in the nascent Methodist movement, which was not yet a denomination or group of denominations.  From 1731 to 1746 he wrote a series of pro-Methodist pamphlets.  Sometimes Seagrave preached at George Whitefield’s Tabernacle also.  And, from 1730 to 1750, our saint was the Sunday evening lecturer at Loriners’ Hall, London.  (The Worshipful Company of Loriners, an equestrian and charitable organization dating to 1261, had originally been a trade organization for makers of metal parts for harnesses, bridles, spurs, and other horse apparel.)

Seagrave published fifty original texts in Hymns for Christian Worship (1742).  I found one of these in an old hymnal and others online.  Here are a few of his hymns:

  1. Now May the Spirit’s Holy Fire;”
  2. Rise, My Soul, and Stretch Thy Wings” (in an old hymnal and online); and
  3. Cease, Ye Pilgrims, Cease to Mourn.”

Seagrave died circa 1759.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS POTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF HUGH LATIMER, NICHOLAS RIDLEY, AND THOMAS CRANMER, ANGLICAN MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Robert Seagrave 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

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