Feast of Theodore P. Ferris (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts

Image Source = Library of Congress

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THEODORE PARKER FERRIS (DECEMBER 23, 1908-NOVEMBER 26, 1972)

Episcopal Priest and Author

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Preaching on the Ascension encounters certain obstacles which may in turn be used as opportunities.  The first obstacle is the resistance of the average layman to Christian doctrine.  In spite of the rising tide of “neo-orthodoxy” among the clergy, there are still a great many laymen who are interested in Christianity as a way of life, but are not at all interested in its framework of faith.  They believe that they can keep the Christian standards of moral conduct and give up the Christian articles of faith.  The Ascension, being one of those articles, does not concern them.  They want to know the things Jesus said, not the the things that were said about him….

A doctrine begins with a significant event from which people draw a general conclusion.  Just as people cannot escape the impact of events, so they cannot escape drawing conclusions  which attempt to explain the experience, relate it to the rest of experience, and communicate it to future generations by expressing it in an intelligible form.

–Theodore P. Ferris, in The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 9 (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1954), 24-25

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Theodore P. Ferris comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the ninth volume (1954) of The Interpreter’s Bible, for which he wrote the exposition on the Acts of the Apostles.

Ferris, a priest, taught preaching in seminaries.  He, born to Walter Andrew Ferris and Eva Parker (Ferris) in Port Chester, New York, on December 23, 1908, graduated from Harvard University in 1929 then from the General Theological Seminary in 1933.  He became a deacon in 1933 then a priest the following year.  Our saint served in three congregations in thirty-nine years.  He was:

  1. Assistant Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, New York, New York (1933-1937), doubling as a tutor a the General Theological Seminary;
  2. Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland (1937-1942); and
  3. Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts (1942-1972), doubling as adjunct instructor of homiletics at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1943-1964).

Ferris, a bachelor, also found time to write.  Aside from his work for The Interpreter’s Bible, his published works included:

  1. This Created World (1944),
  2. When I Became a Man (1957),
  3. The New Life (1961),
  4. Book of Prayer for Every Man (1962),
  5. What Jesus Did (1963), and
  6. The Image of God (1965).

Ferris, a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, left a fine legacy in other ways.  He, a recipient of at least six honorary doctorates, served as a delegate to the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1948.  He also composed the hymn tune “Weymouth” (1941) for The Hymnal 1940 (1943).

Ferris, aged 63 years, died in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 26, 1972.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2019 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “PASTOR OF THE REFORMATION”

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 CHRISTIAN X, KING OF DENMARK; AND HIS BROTHER, HAAKON VII, KING OF NORWAY

THE FEAST OF MARION MACDONALD KELLERAN, EPISCOPAL SEMINARY PROFESSOR AND LAY LEADER

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Theodore Parker Ferris 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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