Archive for February 2015

Feast of Karl Otto Eberhardt (August 30)   Leave a comment

Seraphim

Above:  The Hymn Tune “Serpahim,” from the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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KARL OTTO EBERHARDT (AUGUST 31, 1714-DECEMBER 16, 1757)

German Moravian Organist, Music Educator, and Composer

Available information about Karl Otto Eberhardt (1714-1757) seems to be scarce.  He entered the world on August 31, 1714.  Eberhardt’s father was a Lutheran teacher and organist.  Our saint’s first music lessons occurred at home; perhaps his father provided them.  Eberhardt joined the Moravian Church in 1740.  From 1756 to his death the following year he served as an organist and a teacher at Herrnhut, the Moravian headquarters in Saxony.  His musical legacy, as far as I can determine, rests upon “Seraphim,” a hymn tune dated to 1746 and used in Moravian hymnals for centuries, down to today.

The ideal of Moravian musicianship was to build up the community of faith and to glorify God.  Eberhardt succeeded in that goal.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE ADOLPHINE DIERKS, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS SERRANO, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation

in the work of your servant Karl Otto Eberhardt.

Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may behold your glory,

and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.  

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8

2 Chronicles 20:20-21 or Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 4:8-9

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (1996), page 61

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Feast of Henriette Luise von Hayn (August 27)   1 comment

Herrnhut 1765

Above:  Herrnhut, 1765

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRIETTE LUISE VON HAYN (MAY 22, 1724-AUGUST 27, 1782)

German Moravian Hymn Writer

Henriette Luise von Hayn, daughter of Georg Heinrich von Hayn, master of the hounds to the Duke of Nassau, entered the world at Idstein, Nassau, on May 22, 1724.  She joined the Moravian Church in 1742.  Our saint taught at the girls’ school at Herrnhaag then at Gross Hennersdorf.  From 1766 to 1782 she cared for the invalid sisters at Herrnhut, the Moravian headquarters in Saxony.

Hayn contributed forty hymns to the Bruder Gesangbuch (1778).  Only one hymn she wrote exists in English translations, however.  The Frederick William Foster (1760-1835) translation from 1789, as I found it in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923) follows:

Jesus makes my heart rejoice,

I’m His sheep, and know His voice;

He’s a Shepherd, kind and gracious,

And His pastures are delicious;

Constant love to me He shows,

Yea, my very name He knows.

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Trusting His mild staff always,

I go in and out in peace;

He will feed me with the treasure

Of His grace in richest measure,

When athirst to Him I cry,

Living water He’ll supply.

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Should not I for gladness leap,

Led by Jesus as His sheep?

For when these blest days are over,

To the arms of my dear Saviour

I shall be conveyed to rest:

Amen, yea, my lot is blest.

The composite translation from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) follows:

I am Jesus’ little lamb,

Ever glad at heart I am;

For my Shepherd gently guides me,

Knows my need, and well provides me,

Loves me ev’ry day the same,

Even calls me by name.

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Day by day, at home away,

Jesus is my Staff and Stay.

When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,

Into pleasant pastures leads me;

When I thirst, He bids me go

Where the quite waters flow.

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Why so happy as I am,

Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?

And when my short life is ended,

By His angel host attended,

He shall fold me to His breast,

There within His arms to rest.

Hayn died at Herrnhut on August 27, 1782.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE ADOLPHINE DIERKS, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS SERRANO, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Henriette Luise von Hayn 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 William Herzberger (August 26)   Leave a comment

Flag of Missouri

Above:  Flag of Missouri

Image in the Public Domain

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FREDERICK WILLIAM HERZBERGER (OCTOBER 23, 1859-AUGUST 26, 1930)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Translator

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Christ is arisen

From death’s painful prison.

Now we rejoice with gladness;

Christ will end all sadness.

Kyrieleis.

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All the world had ended

Had Jesus not ascended

From grave and death triumphantly.

For this, Lord Christ, we honor Thee.

Kyrieleis.

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Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Now we rejoice with gladness;

Christ will end all sadness.

Kyrieleis.

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Frederick William Herzberger (1859-1930) translated that text.  He, the son of a Lutheran minister, entered the world at Baltimore, Maryland.  At two years of age our saint became an orphan.  This background influenced his adult life.

Herzberger devoted his adult life to evangelism and to humanitarian efforts.  The 1882 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, became a minister of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (1847-present), the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States from 1919 to 1948 and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod since 1948.  He founded six congregations in Arkansas then served at Carson, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; and Hammond, Indiana.  Next our saint became the first Missouri Synod city missionary to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1898.  He founded the Society for Homeless Children in 1903 and played a vital role in founding the Lutheran Convalescent Home of St. Louis.  He was also active in the Associated Lutheran Charities (founded in 1901), a social ministry with an emphasis on child welfare.  Herzberger aided other institutions devoted to helping sick and vulnerable children and senior citizens in other states also.  He died at St. Louis on August 26, 1930.

Our saint was also a capable poet, a translator of hymns, and a devotional writer.  Representative volumes included Pilgrim Songs (1888) and The Family Altar (1920).

As our Lord and Savior said in Matthew 25, those who aid the least of his brethren do the same for him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE ADOLPHINE DIERKS, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS SERRANO, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those 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

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Feast of William John Copeland (August 25)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM JOHN COPELAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 1804-AUGUST 25, 1885)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Translator

O Christ, who art the Light and Day,

Thou drivest night and gloom away;

O Light of light, whose Word doth show

The light of heav’n to us below.

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All holy Lord, in humble prayer,

We ask tonight Thy watchful care.

O grant us calm repose in Thee,

A quiet night, from perils free.

–Quoted in Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), Hymn #571

The translator of those stanzas (and five more) from an anonymous Latin text was William John Copeland (1804-1885).  He, son of William Copeland, a surgeon, entered the world at Chigwell, on September 1, 1804.  Our saint won the English Verse Prize at St. Paul’s School, London, in 1823, and the prize for the best Latin essay at the same institution the following year.  Copeland also studied at Trinity College, Oxford (B.A., 1829; M.A., 1831), of which he became a fellow then a dean.  Our saint took Holy Orders in The Church of England in 1829.  From 1829 to 1832 he was the Curate of Hackney.  1832 found him back at Oxford.  Then, from 1849 to 1885, Copeland served as the Rector of Farnham, Essex, and the Rural Dean of Newport.  He also served for a time as the Chaplain to the Bishop of St. Albans.

Copeland’s literary efforts consisted mostly of translating Latin hymns and of editing the sermons of John Henry Newman, for our saint was a High Church Anglican.  His Hymns for the Week, and Hymns for the Seasons, Translated from the Latin (1848) is available at archive.org, as are Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons (1868; Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII), Sermons Bearing on Subjects of the Day (1869), and Selection Adapted to the Seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year; from the Parochial and Plain Sermons (1878), which Copeland edited.

Copeland died at Farnham, England, on August 25, 1885.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 16, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NORBERT OF XANTEN, FOUNDER OF THE PREMONSTRATENSIANS; SAINT HUGH OF FOSSES, SECOND FOUNDER OF THE PREMONSTRATENSIANS; AND SAINT EVERMOD, BISHOP OF RATZEBURG

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN FREDERICK MARTIN, SR., AND CHARLES AUGUSTUS ZOEBISCH, GERMAN-AMERICAN INSTRUMENT MAKERS

THE FEAST OF JANANI LUWUM, ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SILVIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William John Copeland 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 Dryden (August 9)   1 comment

John Dryden (Sir Godfrey Kneller)

Above:  A Painting of John Dryden by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN DRYDEN (AUGUST 9, 1631-MAY 18, 1700)

English Puritan then Anglican then Roman Catholic Poet, Playwright, and Translator

Many of the people I have added to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days have been fairly consistent throughout their lives, at least in terms of denominational affiliations.  A certain Moravian bishop, for example, grew up in the Moravian Church and spent his life in that communion.  John Dryden (1631-1700), however, changed greatly.

He began as a Puritan, born into a Puritan family at Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, England, on August 9, 1631.  Dryden, who earned his B.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1654, had supported the Commonwealth.  In 1658, for example, he published Heroic Stanzas on the Death of Oliver Cromwell.  Then he became a Royalist and an Anglican, supporting the Restoration of the monarchy.  His Astraea Redux and A Pagegyric on the Coronation testified to his support for the restored order.  In 1663 he married Lady Elizabeth Howard.  The marriage was unhappy, due largely to his infidelity.  In 1668 Dryden became the Poet Laureate.

How a person ends up is more important for the purposes of the Ecumenical Calendar than are the beginning and end of his or her life.  Thus I turn to the Roman Catholic phase of our saint’s life.  Dryden converted to Catholicism in 1685 and began to translate Latin hymns.  Among these was Veni Creator Spiritus, a classic Pentecost text.  Dryden’s 1693 rendering, in seven stanzas, read in part:

Plenteous of grace, descend from high,

Rich in Thy sevenfold energy.

Thou Strength of His almighty hand

Whose power does heaven and earth command;

Proceeding Spirit, our Defense,

Who dost Thy gift of tongues dispense

And crown’st Thy gift with eloquence.

–Quoted in W. G. Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second and Revised Edition (St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1942), page 176

The Glorious Revolution (1688) ended the reign of the Catholic monarch James II/VII and put Dryden in a difficult situation.  He lost his position and the accompanying financial security because he refused to swear loyalty to King William III and Queen Mary II.  This new reality forced him to write and translate much to earn a living.  He died on May 18, 1700.  His tomb is inside Westminster Abbey.

Dryden, who found his spiritual home in Roman Catholicism, wrote plays, poems, odes, and satires.  He also translated Latin hymns as well as works of Virgil, Juvenal, Plutarch, Boccaccio, et cetera.  Archive.org has made some germane books available.  These include:

  1. Memoirs of John Dryden, by Sir Walter Scott (1823; Volumes I and II);
  2. The Poetry of John Dryden, by Mark Van Doren (1920); and
  3. The Works of John Dryden (1808; Volumes I, IIIII, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, and XVIII).

How might words of John Dryden enrich your life, O reader?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 13, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF AQUILA, PRISCILLA, AND APOLLOS, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

THE FEAST OF ABSALOM JONES, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF ANDREAS KATSULAS, ACTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LICINIUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ANJOU

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation

in the work of your servant John Dryden.

Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may behold your glory,

and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.  

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8

2 Chronicles 20:20-21 or Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 4:8-9

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (1996), page 61

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Feast of John Athelstan Laurie Riley (August 10)   3 comments

St. Paul's Cathedral

Above:  St. Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars Bridge, London, England, United Kingdom, 1880s

Image Creator = G. W. Wilson and Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-06814

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JOHN ATHELSTAN LAURIE RILEY (AUGUST 10, 1858-NOVEMBER 17, 1945)

Anglican Ecumenist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

Many of those of us who read the names of hymn writers in hymnals wonder who some of those who wrote the words were.  What were their backgrounds?  What else did they write?  Among my favorite hymns is “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones” (1906).  The author of that text was John Athelstan Laurie Riley (1858-1945), an accomplished man and a staunch High Church Anglican.

Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

Scanned from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941)

Riley, an independently wealthy man and an advocate for public education, entered the world at London, England, on August 10, 1858.  He studied at Eton then at Pembroke College, Oxford, earning his M.A. degree in 1883.  He traveled extensively in preparation for a book, Athos; or, the Monastery of the Monks (1887).  That year he married Andalusia Louisa Charlotte Georgina, the eldest daughter of Viscount Molesworth.  Four sons and a daughter resulted from that union.  Riley wrote much about the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.  He also chaired the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association.  Due to these efforts he received the Order of St. Sava and became a Commander of the Order of King George I.  Our saint edited Birkbeck and the Russian Church:  Containing Essays and Articles by the Late W. J. Birkbeck, M.A, F.S.A., Written in the Years 1888-1915 (Being a Continuation of Russia and the English Church, Volume I) (1917).  Closer to home, Riley sat on the London School Board from 1891 to 1897.  Our saint also edited (with Michael E. Sadler and Cyril Jackson) The Religious Question in Public Education:  A Critical Examination of Schemes Representing Various Points of View (1911).

Riley also devoted time to liturgical matters.  He served as the Vice President of the Alcuin Club (named after St. Alcuin, an eighth century Frankish abbot who preserved knowledge and revived schools), which, according to its website, promotes the study of liturgy.  He also wrote hymns, translated other hymns, and served on the committee for the The English Hymnal (1906).  That volume contained three of his original hymns, seven of his translations from Latin (including “O Food of Men Wayfaring“), and one of his translations from Greek.  Riley also wrote Prayer Book Revision:  The Irreducible Minimum of the Hickleton Conference, Showing the Proposed Rearrangements of the Order for Holy Communion; Together with Further Suggestions (1911) and Concerning Hymn Tunes and Sequences (1915).

Riley retired to Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, in 1932.  He died there on November 17, 1945.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 11, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ONESIMUS, BISHOP OF BYZANTIUM

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

thank you for those (especially John Athelstan Laurie Riley)

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 John Bajus (August 14)   1 comment

Flag of Slovakia

Above:  Flag of Slovakia

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN BAJUS (APRIL 5, 1901-AUGUST 14, 1971)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

Emigration of Lutherans from Slovakia to the United States in the late 1800s led to the establishment of a new denomination in 1902.  The Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession in the U.S.A. renamed itself the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the U.S.A. in 1913.  This body became the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1945 then the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 1959.  Finally, in 1971, it merged into the The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and became the SELC District thereof.

John Bajus, born into a Slovak-American Lutheran family at Raritan, New Jersey, on April 5, 1901, lived for slightly longer that the Slovak Synod existed.  He graduated from Concordia Institute (now College), Bronxville, New York, in 1921.  Four years later he graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and became an ordained minister of the Slovak Synod, then the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the U.S.A.  He served at St. John Church, Granite City, Illinois, then at the West Frankfort-Stanton, Illinois, parish.  His biography from the 1942 Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) mentioned these congregations.  By 1949 Bajus was at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois.  The congregation moved to Norridge in 1963; our saint remained the pastor there until 1971, the year of his death.  His son, Luther John Bajus, a 1953 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, became the pastor at Zion Church on October 21, 1971.  He remains the minister there as of the typing of this post.

Our saint served on the synodical and intersynodical levels also.  He, a charter member of the Slovak Luther League in 1927, was its president from 1928 to 1930, its field secretary from 1928 to 1930 and again from 1933 to 1935, and the editor of its Courier from 1929 to 1946.  In 1949 Bajus became the Vice President and Statistician of the Slovak Synod, then the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church.  And he served on the committee for The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), which contains four of his translations.  I have added some of his translations to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Here is our saint’s 1940 translation of an anonymous mid-seventeenth century hymn:

Lo, Judah’s Lion wins the strife

And reigns o’er death to give us life.

Hallelujah!

Oh, let us sing His praises!

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‘Tis He whom David did portray

When he did strong Goliath slay.

Hallelujah!

Oh, sing with gladsome voices!

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Like Samson, Christ great strength employed

And conquered hell, its gates destroyed.

Hallelujah!

Oh, let us sing His praises!

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The power of death He brake in twain

When He to life arose again.

Hallelujah!

To Him all praise be given!

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He led to freedom all oppressed

And pardon won for sin-distressed.

Hallelujah!

Oh, praise Him for His mercy!

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In festal spirit, song, and word,

To Jesus, our victorious Lord,

Hallelujah!

All praise and thanks be rendered.

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All honor, glory, praise be given

Our Triune God, who reigns in heaven.

Hallelujah!

Now gladly sing we:  Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 10, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF ANIANE, RESTORER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM; AND SAINT ARDO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP ARMES, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA, ABBESS AT PLOMBARIOLA

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John Bajus and others, who have translated 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 Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier (August 18)   1 comment

Tubingen

Above:  Tubingen, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-01197

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JONATHAN FRIEDRICH BAHNMAIER (JULY 12, 1774-AUGUST 18, 1841)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier devoted his life to God.  He, the son of J. C. Bahnmaier, a Lutheran minister, entered the world at Oberstenfeld, Wurttemberg.  Our saint studied theology at Tubingen.  Once ordained, his first assignment was as the assistant to his father.  Subsequent pastorates at Marlbach-on-the-Neckar (1806-1810) and Ludwigsburg (1810-1815) preceded his time as Professor of Education and Homiletics at Tubingen (1815-1819).  Bahnmaier’s relationship to a student organization created political problems which ended his professorship.  His final posting, Dean and assistant minister at Kirchheim-unter-Teck (1819-1841), was one in which he demonstrated his oratorical skills and pastoral abilities.  Bahnmaier, a fine poet, composed hymns, such as “Spread, O Spread, Thou Mighty Word” (1827), which reflected his interest in missions.  He also served on the committee for the Wurttemberg Gesangbuch (1842).  Bahnmaier, who had a keen interest in education, preached his last sermon at Kirchheim on August 15, 1841.  Three days later he was dead, having suffered a stroke while visiting a school at Brucker.

One should never underestimate the value of a capable and caring pastor.  Much of the work of pastoral ministry does not lend itself to detailed summaries long after the fact, due to the confidentiality involved.  Nevertheless, I affirm its value and honor this man of God as a saint in the New Testament definition of the word.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 9, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN SCHMOLCK, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER, ENGLISH POET AND FEMINIST

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

Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier 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 as 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

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

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Feast of Matthias Loy and Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette (August 11)   3 comments

City Hall, Columbus, Ohio, 1900

Above:  City Hall, Columbus, Ohio, Between 1900 and 1910

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a23314

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MATTHIAS LOY (MARCH 17, 1828-JANUARY 26, 1915)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Educator, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

predecessor of

CONRAD HERMANN LOUIS SCHUETTE (JUNE 17, 1843-AUGUST 11, 1926)

German-American Lutheran Minister, Educator, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

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Usually my multisaint posts add related people to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  This one, however, recognizes two unrelated men who had much in common:

  1. Both ministered at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Delaware, Ohio, in immediate succession;
  2. Both wrote and translated hymns;
  3. Both taught at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, at the same time;
  4. Both served as the President of Capital University, Capital University, in immediate succession;
  5. Both wrote and published on theological topics; and
  6. Both served as the President of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930), which I will refer to hereafter as the Ohio Synod, in immediate succession.

Both men were also Confessional Lutherans during a different time and a cultural milieu distinct from mine.  We would have agreed and disagreed on much.  My Anglican sense of collegiality has led me to admit the existence of areas of profound disagreement while emphasizing the theological common ground.  Despite major differences I have encountered while reading some of their writings, I recognize Loy and Schuette and coreligionists and add them to the Ecumenical Calendar enthusiastically.  Christian faith is far more than a matter of theological Twenty Questions; it is a pilgrimage of following Jesus.

Matthias Loy had help achieving his vocation.  His impoverished childhood began near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on March 17, 1828.  The Loys, a Lutheran family with ultimately seven children (of which Matthias was the fourth), moved to Hogestown in 1834.  Our saint’s mother provided his elementary education.  He became an apprentice to Baab and Hummel, printers at Harrisburg, during his fourteenth year of life.  This apprenticeship lasted for about six years, during which he attended school–first as a private student in Latin and Greek of the Principal of Harrisburg Academy, then as a regular student at that institution.  Our saint’s pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, Charles William Schaeffer (1813-1896), who met him via Mr. Hummel, encouraged the young man to enter the ordained ministry.  Health concerns led Loy to move westward to Circleville, Ohio, in August 1847, where he entered into a contract to print a German-language semi-monthly newspaper for the United Brethren Publishing House.  However, the Lutheran pastor at Circleville arranged for financial assistance which permitted our saint to leave for Capital University, Columbus, to study theology in the near future.  Loy got out of his contract and embarked on his vocation.  He graduated in 1849 and became an ordained minister of the Ohio Synod.

Loy’s ministerial career played out on the synodical and academic fields:

  1. His one pastorate was St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Delaware, Ohio, from 1849 to 1865.
  2. He was twice the President of the Ohio Synod.  Loy’s first tenure was 1860-1868.  During this time he kept the Ohio Synod out of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1867-1918), a relatively conservative body which his mentor, Charles William Schaeffer, cofounded then led for a time.  Loy framed the Four Points–Premillennialism, altar fellowship, pulpit fellowship, and secret societies–which troubled the General Council during the early years of its existence.
  3. He edited the Lutheran Standard from 1864 to 1891.
  4. He taught theology at Capital University from 1865 to 1878.
  5. In 1868 Loy vacated the Presidency of the Ohio Synod in favor of the Vice President, William F. Lehmann, who died two years later.
  6. In 1870 Loy returned to the Presidency of the Ohio Synod for his second tenure, which ended in 1894.  During this tenure he helped to form the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America (1871-1963) (hereafter the Synodical Conference), which was more conservative than the General Council, in 1872.  Ten years later, however, Loy led the Ohio Synod out of the Synodical Conference over a dispute regarding the Missouri Synod’s theology of predestination.
  7. He served as the President of Capital University from 1870 to 1890.
  8. He founded the Columbus Theological Magazine in 1881.
  9. In 1890 he rejoined the theology faculty at Capital University, retiring in 1902 due to bad health.

Loy’s published works included the following:

  1. Life and Deeds of Dr. Martin Luther, by Hermann Fick (1868, as translator);
  2. The Doctrine of Justification (first edition, 1869; second edition, 1882);
  3. “Essay on the Ministerial Office” (1870);
  4. Sermons on the Gospels (1888);
  5. Christian Prayer (1890);
  6. The Story of My Life (third edition, 1905);
  7. The Augsburg Confession (1908);
  8. The Sermon on the Mount:  A Practical Study of Chapters V-VII of St. Matthew’s Gospel (1909); and
  9. Sermons on the Epistles (1910).

Then, as one of my sources informed me, “the softening of his brain” set in.  Loy, the husband of Mary Willey of Delaware, Ohio, from 1853 and the father of seven children (five of whom outlived him) died at Columbus, Ohio, on January 26, 1915.

Loy’s written legacy persists, however.  I have listed some of his books and an essay, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention his twenty original hymns and his translations of German hymns.  One may find many of them in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880) and the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1908).  I have added part of his contribution to hymnody to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

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Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette succeeded Loy as pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Delaware, Ohio, serving there from 1865 to 1873.  Schuette, born at Varrel, Hanover, on June 17, 1843, emigrated to the United States with his family in 1854. He attended Capital University then became a minister of the Ohio Synod.  The newly ordained clergyman’s first posting was at Delaware, Ohio.  His wife (from September 4, 1865) was Victoria M. Wirth of Columbus, Ohio.  His immediate successor at St. Mark’s was Emanuel Cronenwett (1841-1931), who served there from 1873 to 1877.

Schuette’s career was mostly synodical and academic:

  1. He was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Capital University from 1873 to 1880.
  2. He was Professor of Theology at Capital University from 1880 to 1890.
  3. He succeeded Matthias Loy as the President of Capital University in 1890, serving until 1894.
  4. He served as the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Pleasant Ridge (now Bexley), Ohio, from 1891 to 1894.
  5. He served as the President of the Ohio Synod from 1894 to 1924.
  6. He cofounded the National Lutheran Council (1918-1966) and served as its President from 1923 to 1925.

He died at Columbus, Ohio, on August 11, 1926.

Schuette wrote books, composed hymn texts, and translated hymns.  His books included the following:

  1. The Church Members’ Manual;
  2. Church, State, and School;
  3. Before the Altar; and
  4. Exercises Unto Godliness.

Some of his texts, original and translated, appeared in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880) and the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1908).  I have added one of his hymns, “Great God, a Blessing from Thy Throne” (1880), to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

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These two men make fine additions to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 8, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF MATHA AND FELIX OF VALOIS, FOUNDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

THE FEAST WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, U.S. ARMY GENERAL

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Matthias Loy, Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette, and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Adam of St. Victor (August 5)   Leave a comment

Abbey of St. Victor, Paris (Late 1700s)

Above:  Abbey of St. Victor, Late 1700s

Image in the Public Domain

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ADAM OF ST. VICTOR (DIED BETWEEN 1172 AND 1192)

Roman Catholic Monk and Hymn Writer

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Christians, come, in sweetest measures,

Sing of those who spread the treasures

In the holy Gospels shrined;

Blessed tidings of salvation,

Peace on earth their proclamation,

Love from God to lost mankind.

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See the rivers four that gladden

With their streams the better Eden,

Planted by our Savior dear.

Christ the Fountain, these the waters,

Drink, O Zion’s sons and daughters;

Drink and find salvation here.

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Here our souls, by Jesus sated,

More and more shall be translated

Earth’s temptations far above;

Freed from sin’s abhorred dominion,

Soaring on angelic pinion,

They shall reach the Source of love.

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Then shall thanks and praise ascending

For Thy mercies without ending

Rise to Thee, O Savior blest.

With Thy gracious aid defend us,

Let Thy guiding light attend us,

Bring us to Thy place of rest.

–In W. G. Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second and Revised Edition (St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1942), page 206; translation altered from Robert Campbell, Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St. Andrews (1850)

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The original Latin text (in ten stanzas) begins

Iucundare, plebs fidelis.

The author of that text was Adam of St. Victor, of whom we lack much information.  This is a common difficulty in history, the study of the past, for documentation is frequently lacking.

We do know some facts about our saint, however.  People who knew him called him “Brito,” indicating that he was either a Briton or a Breton.  Adam, educated at Paris, entered the Abbey of St. Victor, a center of learning at Paris, in 1130, when he was a young man.  He remained there for the rest of his life.  He composed prose works, hymns, and sequences for the Mass.  At least 106 hymns and sequences he wrote he survive.  Perhaps he wrote more which remain, but without his name on them.  And who know how many have not survived the ravages of time?  We do have three volumes (I, II, and III) of Adam’s liturgical poetry (with English translations), fortunately.

Archbishop Richard Chevinix Trench (1807-1886) included some of Adam’s Latin texts, including the basis of the English translation I quoted at the beginning of this post, in Sacred Latin Poetry (first edition, 1849; second edition, 1864; third edition, 1874).  Trench included a biographical sketch of Adam on pages 53-61 of the second edition.  In the same edition one can find untranslated texts by our saint on pages 62-83, 111-113, 123-128, 153-156, 161-181, 187-194, 202-205, 212-216, 219-220, and 227-233.

Trench wrote that Adam of St. Victor was

the foremost among the sacred poets of the Middle Ages.

The great Medieval sacred poet has become the newest addition to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 8, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF MATHA AND FELIX OF VALOIS, FOUNDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

THE FEAST WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, U.S. ARMY GENERAL

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

thank you for those (especially Adam of St. Victor)

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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