Feast of Samuel Wolcott (February 21)   1 comment

samuel-wolcott

Above:  Samuel Wolcott

Hymn Source = hymntime.com

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SAMUEL WOLCOTT (JULY 2, 1813-FEBRUARY 24, 1886)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Writer

Samuel Wolcott started writing hymns at the age of 55 years.  He composed more than 200 texts, most of which have not remained popular with hymnal committees and editors.  Among these mostly forgotten hymns was “Father, I Own Thy Voice.”  However, “Christ for the World We Sing!” has endured.

Wolcott was a New Englander.  He, born at South Windham, Connecticut, on July 2, 1813, was one of at least six children of Elihu Wolcott (1784-1858) and Rachel McClintock McClure Wolcott (1783-1822).  Our saint’s father died.  His father remarried twice, first to Julianna Wolcott (in 1823) then, after her death, to Sarah Crocker Wolcott (in 1835).  Our saint graduated from Yale College in 1823 and Andover Theological Seminary four years later.

Wolcott, a minister in the Congregational Church, served abroad and in the United States.  From 1840 to 1842 he was a missionary in Syria; bad health forced his return to his homeland.  Our saint subsequently served at:

  1. First Church of Christ, Longmeadow, Massachusetts (1843-1847);
  2. Belchertown Congregational Church, Belchertown, Massachusetts (1847-1853);
  3. High Street Congregational Church, Providence, Rhode Island (1853-1859);
  4. Chicago, Illinois (1859-1862); and
  5. Plymouth Congregational Church, Cleveland, Ohio (1862-1883).

Wolcott was active in the Y.M.C.A., an organization that inspired “Christ for the World We Sing!”  Our saint, a trustee of Oberlin College from 1868 to 1881, also served as the secretary of the Ohio Home Missionary Society (1870s).

Wolcott married Harriet Amanda Pope (1821-1901).  The couple had at least 11 children, born from 1844 to 1863.  Among their children was Edward Oliver Wolcott (1848-1905), U.S. Senator from Colorado (1889-1901).

Our saint retired to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in 1883.  He died there on February 24, 1886.  He was 72 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETIUS OF TRIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP; AND SAINT AREDIUS OF LIMOGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Samuel Wolcott,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of Syria and the United States of America.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 716

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One response to “Feast of Samuel Wolcott (February 21)

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  1. Pingback: Father, I Own Thy Voice | GATHERED PRAYERS

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