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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