Archive for June 2015

Feast of Philipp Heinrich Molther (December 31)   Leave a comment

Bedford Bridge 1783

Above:  Bedford Bridge, 1783, by Francis Grose

Image in the Public Domain

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PHILIPP HEINRICH MOLTHER (DECEMBER 28, 1714-SEPTEMBER 9, 1780)

German Moravian Minister, Bishop, Composer, and Hymn Translator

Philipp Heinrich Molther (1714-1780) was a multi-talented man who glorified God and improved the life of his communities of faith.  Our saint, a graduate of the University of Jena, taught French to Christian Renatus von Zinzendorf (1727-1752), son of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), on whose estate the underground Unity of the Brethren became the Renewed Moravian Church.  Our saint, a member of the Moravian Church since 1738, also translated many hymns into French and composed several cantatas, including one for the laying of the Single Brothers House (1738) at Herrnhaag, a settlement the Unitas Fratrum closed in the early 1750s.

Molther spent much time (1739-1740, 1741, and 1766-1780) in England.  He a minister, helped to start Moravian Church work in the British Isles.  Prior to his final stint in England our saint served as a pastor at Montmirial, Switzerland, then at Dublin, Ireland.  At Bedford, England, where Molther served from 1766 to 1780, he had the distinction of being one of the most gifted Moravian Church musicians in the country at the time.  Our saint, a bishop since 1775, died at Bedford on September 9, 1780.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 4, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEISLER AND JOHANN CHRISTIAN GEISLER, SILESIAN MORAVIAN ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS; AND JOHANNES HERBST, GERMAN-AMERICAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS CARACCIOLO, COFOUNDER OF THE MINOR CLERKS REGULAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN XXIII, BISHOP OF ROME

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God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant Philipp Heinrich Molther,

who made the good news known in the British Isles.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Feast of Mary Cornelia Bishop Gates (December 17)   1 comment

rca-crest

Above:  The Crest of the Reformed Church in America

A Scan from the Cover of Our Reformed Church, by Howard G. Hageman and Revised by Gregg A. Mast (New York, NY:  Reformed Church Press, 1995)

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES (DECEMBER 14, 1842-DECEMBER 17, 1905)

U.S. Dutch Reformed Hymn Writer

Mary Cornelia Bishop, born at Rochester, New York, on December 14, 1842, came from a family where culture and public service were values.  Roger Williams (1603-1683), the founder of Rhode Island and champion of religious toleration and the separation of church and state, was in the family tree.  Her father, William S. Bishop (1804-1863), was an attorney, a state legislator, and an elder of the Central Presbyterian Church, Rochester.  Our saint’s mother, Anna Cornelia Bishop (1808-1893), was a daughter of a state legislator.  Young Mary received a fine education before teaching at Le Roy Female Seminary (now Ingham University), Le Roy, New York, for several years.

In 1873 our saint married Dr. Merrill Edward Gates (1848-1922), who served as the Principal of Albany Academy, Albany, New York, from 1870 to 1882.  Then he was the President of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, from 1882 to 1890, and the President of Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, from 1891 to 1899.  Next the educator served on the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners from 1899 to 1912.  During that time he preached at a Congregational church in Washington, D.C.

Mary was a skilled writer.  She contributed to publications such as The Christian Intelligencer (Dutch Reformed, 1830-1920), The Independent (Congregationalist, 1848-1928), The Youth’s Companion (1827-1929), and The Atlantic Monthly (1857-present, now just The Atlantic).  A posthumous volume, Hymns of Nature and Songs of the Spirit (1908), collected many of her writings between two covers.  Dr. Denis Wortman (1835-1922) wrote:

The characteristic of her poems is their evangelical nature.  She lives in the great world of nature, but her particular home is with the Nazarene.  She has a personal affection for Jesus, like Mary and Martha, and like them she makes him the guest of her home and of her heart.

One of the themes in our saint’s hymns was foreign missions, for she served on the Women’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church in America for many years.

Gates died on December 17, 1905.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Mary Cornelia Bishop Gates 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 Luke of Prague and John Augusta (December 11)   4 comments

Flag of the Kingdom of Bohemia

Above:  Flag of the Kingdom of Bohemia

Image in the Public Domain

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LUKE OF PRAGUE (1458-DECEMBER 11, 1528)

Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

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JOHN AUGUSTA (1500-JANUARY 13, 1572)

Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

With this post I add two foundational figures of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Luke of Prague (1458-1528) became a great leader of the young church during the period of Moravian Church history scholars refer to as the time of the Bohemian Brethren, or the Ancient Unity.  Luke graduated from Charles University (the University of Prague) in 1481.  Shortly thereafter he joined the Bohemian Brethren; a friend had introduced him to the young church, founded circa 1457.  Our saint became the most influential theologian and writer of the Unitas Fratrum at the time.  He provided it with stability and identity.  Luke’s leadership bore many fruits, including the following:

  1. In 1495 each of the 200 congregations had a school attached to it;
  2. The Bohemian Brethren had founded several institutions of higher learning by 1495;
  3. Luke made worship more formal, introducing embroidered corporals and golden communion cups;
  4. He led the Ancient Unity during a time (the 1490s-1516) of persecution by the Roman Catholic Church;
  5. Luke, a bishop since 1500, increased the number of bishops;
  6. He wrote a catechism (which John Augusta kept in circulation) for children in 1501 or 1501; and
  7. Luke edited the Moravian hymnal of 1519.  He might also have edited the hymnal of 1501 (the first Protestant hymnbook) and the hymnal of 1505.

Luke wrote religious texts.  He composed hymns, few of which exist in English translations.  He also wrote commentaries on the Book of Psalms, the Gospel of John, and 1 Corinthians 11.

Luke was an ecumenist.  He had established contact with Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic leaders in the 1480s.  After 1517 he maintained a correspondence with Martin Luther (1483-1546).  The leader of the Moravian Church disagreed with Luther’s theology of salvation by faith alone, arguing that Luther’s position contradicted scripture and underestimated the importance of good works as a fruit of faith.  (Luke did not think that James was an epistle of straw, did he?)

Reading the early history of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) reveals a process of sorting out major theological questions.  Such processes require much time, as a study of the first five centuries of Christianity confirms.  In the Moravian case the positions regarding celibacy of the clergy and the number of sacraments have changed.  Luke affirmed the celibacy of the clergy and the existence and efficacy of seven sacraments, making him more Catholic than the contemporary Moravian Church.

Luke died on December 11, 1528.  His great successor as leader was John Augusta (1500-1572), who suffered much due to the general lack of religious toleration.  (Liberty of conscience has long been among my favorite ideals of the Enlightenment.)

Augusta, like Luke of Prague before him, converted to the Bohemian Brethren.  Augusta had been a Utraquist.  The Utraquists, who were irregular Catholics, gained their name because they received the Communion in both kinds, instead of the normative wafer only.  Utraquism had influenced the Moravian Church at the beginning of the Ancient Unity’s existence.  Augusta, a hatter and the son of a hatter, had grown up despising the Bohemian Brethren, but he changed his mind and joined it, becoming a minister.  In 1532 he became a bishop.

Augusta favored ecumenism.  He proposed the union of the Utraquist Church with the Unitas Fratrum in 1547.  That never came to fruition, but he held out hope.  Our saint also corresponded with Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564), earning their respect for the Bohemian Brethren, whose discipline the reformers praised.

Augusta also wrote hymns, two of which I have found in English translations.  That legacy survives in the Moravian Church and beyond.

The Ancient Unity and Bishop Augusta had to contend with the political reality of the general lack of religious toleration.  Augusta enlisted the aid of Baron Conrad Krajek to intercede on behalf of the Bohemian Brethren with Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia (reigned 1526-1564), later the Holy Roman Emperor (reigned 1558-1564), in 1535.  Ferdinand I agreed to grant religious toleration to the Brethren, whom he recognized as loyal subjects.  Eleven years later, however, the monarch faced a Protestant uprising.  The Moravians, as loyal subjects, prayed for their king.  Yet the triumphant Ferdinand I, having vanquished his foes in 1547, became convinced that the Brethren were traitors and that Augusta had led the rebellion.  Thus, in May 1548, the monarch ordered the Brethren to emigrate or to convert to Roman Catholicism.  Many of the members of the Unitas Fratrum became fugitives; others emigrated to Poland, where they started the Polish branch of the Moravian Church.  Augusta spent 1548-1564 as a prisoner.  During that time his health broke, as did his ecclesiastical authority.  Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II (reigned 1564-1576) freed the old bishop on the condition that he not preach in public.

Augusta died at Jung-Bunzlau, Bohemia, on January 13, 1572.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servants Luke of Prague and John Augusta,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Robert Murray (December 10)   1 comment

Flag of Canada 1868-1921

Above:  Flag of Canada, 1868-1921

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT MURRAY (DECEMBER 25, 1832-DECEMBER 10, 1910)

Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Some people set out upon a course–a godly one–yet find themselves pursuing a different path–also a godly one.  That statement applies to Robert Murray (1832-1910).

Our saint was a child of John William Murray and Christina Matheson Murray, who emigrated from Scotland to Nova Scotia in 1822.  He, born at Earltown, near Truro, Nova Scotia, on Christmas Day, 1832, was a talented you who read theology and composed poetry prior to his tenth birthday.  Murray seemed destined for parish ministry when he graduated from the Halifax Free Church College and received a license to preach.  He became an editor instead.

From 1855, when Murray was 22 years old, to 1910, when he died, our saint edited the Presbyterian Witness (1841-1925).  During our saint’s tenure the affiliation of the Witness changed due to a series of ecclesiastical unions.  It went from being a publication of the Synod of the Free Church of Nova Scotia (1844-1860) to one of the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia (1860-1866) to one of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of the Lower Provinces (1866-1875) to one of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (1875-1925).  Murray, who supported Canadian confederation (not a universally popular political change, especially in Nova Scotia) in 1867, advocated church union.  Part of this Protestant ecumenism was, for him, a product of anti-Roman Catholicism.  Murray, also an opponent of Anglo-Catholicism, which he considered destructive to souls, was a man of his time, culture, and subculture.  I, as a post-Vatican II Episcopalian with Roman Catholic tendencies, invoke my Anglican collegiality, thereby recognizing him as a saint while offering no excuses for his anti-Catholicism.  Murray, who died fifteen years before the formation of The United Church of Canada in 1925 from Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations, probably would have supported that union also, for he favored the union of all Protestant denominations in Canada.

Our saint married Elizabeth Carey (1835-1920) on August 24, 1867.  The couple had seven children, five of whom survived into adulthood.

Murray, a hymn writer, composed at least seven hymns.  He also published hymns in the Presbyterian Witness, with only “M.” to identify the author.  He sought to avoid giving the impression of claiming equality with other Canadian poets.

Our saint died at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 10, 1925.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Robert Murray 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 Georg Friedrich Hellstrom (December 9)   Leave a comment

Moravian Logo

Above:  Logo of the Moravian Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GEORG FRIEDRICH HELLSTROM (DECEMBER 7, 1825-1912)

Dutch-German Moravian Musician, Composer, and Educator

Georg Friedrich Hellstrom was one of many composers and musicians of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) who used his talents for the glory of God and the spiritual enrichment of his faith community.  He, whose father was Swedish and mother was Danish, entered the world at Zeist, The Netherlands.  Our saint studied at Niesky, where he played viola in the orchestra, sang in the choir, and trained as an organist.  Later Hellstrom taught in the Moravia Church schools at Niesky, Kleinwelka, and Ebersdorf.  From 1852 to 1894 he served at Christiansfeld, Denmark, where he observed the development of the congregation’s musical style into a more Romantic one.  He left for Gradenfrei in 1845, Kleinwelka in 1895, and Neudietendorf in 1898.  There he died in 1912.

Hellstrom was a frugal man and a prolific composer.  He was also a much sought-after music teacher and organist.  In 1859 he turned down an offer to move to Gradenfrei (where he moved in 1894) so he could remain at Christiansfeld.  Our saint was so frugal that he often copied his music on the back of works of other composers, not that using new paper would have constituted an offense.  Among his works was a setting of Morning Star, the great Christmas text, which, in his hands, came accompanied by a brass quartet.

Hellstrom and others like him were reasons the Moravian Church earned a reputation for musical excellence.  If one will praise God with music, why not do so with the best music?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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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 Georg Friedrich Hellstrom and

all 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, 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 Henry Ustick Onderdonk (December 6)   3 comments

Flag of Pennsylvania

Above:  The Flag of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK (MARCH 16, 1789-DECEMBER 6, 1858)

Episcopal Bishop, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer

Causes of ecclesiastical controversies interest me, especially long after the fact.  In England, when the Reverend Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the “Father of English Hymnody,” played his crucial role in the transition from psalmody to hymnody in much of the English-speaking Christian world, he created a controversy which outlived him on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  During the 1800s and into the 1900s the Oxford Movement divided parishes and dioceses in the Anglican Communion.  In 1868, for example, the addition of the singing of creeds and the prayers at Christ Episcopal Church, Macon, Georgia, prompted protests from Low Churchmen, who considered the changes “Papist.”  In 1869 the rector of the parish resigned from Christ Church to serve the breakaway parish (still inside the Diocese of Georgia at the time) of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Macon, where his changes were popular. That controversy came more than thirty years after Christ Church’s organ, the first in the city, had upset many people.

Christ Church and St. Paul’s Church, Macon, have been parishes of the Diocese of Atlanta since 1907, when the Diocese of Georgia divided for reasons of geography and the excessive workload on the Bishop of Georgia, then based out of Atlanta.

Our saint for today spent many years at the eye of the storm of High Churchmanship versus Low Churchmanship.  Henry Ustick Onderdonk, born at New York New York, on March 16, 1789, studied medicine at Columbia College, Manhattan (B.A., 1895; M.A., 1808), and at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland (M.D., 1810).  He did not remain in the medical field for long, for theology beckoned.  Onderdonk, ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1815 and a priest the following year, served as a missionary at Canandaigua, New York, before becoming the Rector of St. Anne’s Church, New York, New York, in 1820.  Seven years later he became the Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania amid much controversy.  The High Church-Low Church controversy divided the Diocese of Pennsylvania, so nobody could have won election without acrimony.  Low Churchmen failed to block Onderdonk’s election, and no Low Church clergymen, including bishops, participated in his consecration service.  Onderdonk became the Bishop of Pennsylvania in 1836.  He served until 1844, when he resigned and the House of Bishops suspended him indefinitely.  The de jure cause of the suspension was Onderdonk’s alcoholism, which had started after a doctor prescribed spirits as treatment for a chronic digestive disorder.  The Bishop of Pennsylvania had reformed his life prior to his resignation and suspension, but partisan pressures led to his suspension.

At the same time his brother, Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk (1791-1861), the Bishop of New York from 1830 to 1861, was in trouble also.  The Bishop of New York, a High Churchman like his brother, was on trial in 1844 and 1845 due to charges of improper touching of women.  He denied the allegations.  (I do not know if the charges were accurate, so I make no judgment in that matter.  Determining actual guilt or innocence in 2015 in this case might be impossible.)  The majority of the House of Bishops decided that the Bishop of New York was guilty, so it suspended him indefinitely in 1845 and never lifted the suspension.  He retained the title “Bishop of New York” until his death, but Provisional Bishops served there until 1861.  Regardless of whether the Bishop of New York was actually guilty, strong objections to his High Churchmanship influenced the House of Bishops and increased the level of interest in his case.

Henry Ustick Onderdonk was a capable hymn writer and a liturgist.  He helped to prepare the Hymns Suited to the Feasts and Fasts of the Church and Other Occasions (1826), or the Prayer Book Collection, informally, due to the fact that the Church ordered it bound with The Book of Common Prayer (1789).  The Prayer Book Collection, to which Onderdonk contributed nine hymns, marked the transition from psalmody to hymnody in The Episcopal Church.  He also worked on Plain Music for the Book of Common Prayer (1854).  The Hymnal of 1874 superceded that volume and the Prayer Book Collection (1826).  Most of our saint’s hymns fell out of Episcopal Church hymnody after the Hymnal of 1892.  The Hymnal 1916 (1918), The Hymnal 1940 (1943), and The Hymnal 1982 (1985), retained just one of his texts.

One can, however, read his hymns at hymnary.org.  I have added some of his texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog also.

The former Bishop of Pennsylvania, whose suspension the House of Bishops lifted in 1856, died at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 6, 1858.

Archive.org offers some of our saint’s publications:

  1. An Inaugural Dissertation on the Stone of the Bladder (1810);
  2. The New-York Medical Magazine, Volume I (1814, with Valentine Mott, M.D.);
  3. A Sermon [on Isa. lxii. 12] Preached at the Opening of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States in St. Paul’s Chapel, New York, October 17, 1832 (1832);
  4. The Rule of Faith:  A Charge to the Clergy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:  Delivered in Philadelphia, May 22, 1833, at the Opening of the Convention (1833);
  5. Episcopacy Tested by Scripture (1834; 1860 reprint);
  6. Episcopacy Examined and Re-Examined, Comprising the Tract “Episcopacy Tested by Scripture,” and the Controversy Concerning that Publication (1835); and
  7. An Essay on Regeneration (1835).

Our saint had to struggle with addiction, which is a medical condition, not a sin.  (Much of what one does in the maintenance of an addiction is sinful, however.)  Brain scans, which were not available in the 1800s, prove that the brains of addicts and non-addicts differ chemically.  May people cease to classify diseases as sins, and therefore stop imposing more burdens on those who need grace and help, not guilt and recrimination.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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

thank you for those (especially Henry Ustick Onderdonk)

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 Amilie Juliane, Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (December 3)   1 comment

Flag of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Above:  The Flag of the County of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Image in the Public Domain

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AMILIE (OR EMILIE) JULIANE, COUNTESS OF SCHWARZBURG-RUDOLSTADT (AUGUST 16, 1637-DECEMBER 3, 1706)

German Lutheran Hymn Writer

Amilie Juliane, Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1637-1706), wrote about 600 hymns.  She was therefore the most productive German female hymn writer.  Of those nearly 600 hymns, only three exist in English translations.  Once again, I notice that a great wealth of German hymnody remains off-limits to those of us who do not read German.

Our saint came from nobility.  He father was Count Albert Friedrich of Barby and Muhlingen.  The Count and his pregnant wife, displaced by the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), found refuge at the castle of Albert Friedrich’s uncle, Count Ludwig Gunther I of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (lived 1581-1646; reigned 1612-1646).  There, at the castle at Heidecksburg castle, Rudolstadt, our saint entered the world on August 16, 1637.  Her parents (her father, then her mother) died in 1641 and 1642, leaving Amilie Juliane an orphan.  Countess Emilie Antonia von Oldenburg-Delmenhorst, wife of Count Ludwig Gunther I, adopted her goddaughter (our saint) and raised her alongside our saint’s cousins at the castle.  Countess Emilie Antonia served as the regent of the County of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt from 1646 to 1662, after her husband died.  Count Albert Anton (lived 1641-1710; reigned 1662-1710) came of age, began to rule in his own right in 1662, and married Amilie Juliane on July 5, 1665.  That marriage ended just over four decades later, when our saint died on December 3, 1706.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 3, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILL CAMPBELL, AGENT OF RECONCILIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT LIPHARDUS OF ORLEANS AND URBICIUS OF MEUNG, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF UGANDA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MORAND OF CLUNY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND MISSIONARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Amilie Juliane, Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt,

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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