Archive for the ‘December 9’ Category

Feast of John Zundel (December 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  John Zundel

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANNES ZUNDEL (DECEMBER 10, 1815-MAYN21, 1882)

German-American Organist, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Tune Composer, and Music Educator

John Zundel comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Zundel was a native of the Kingdom of Württemberg.  He, born in Hochdorf an der Enz on December 10, 1815, studied at the Royal Academy, Esslingen (1829-1831).  Our saint taught at Birkach (1831-1833) then Esslingen (1833-1839) before studying organ building at Ludwigsburg (1839).  From 1840 to 1847, Zundel lived and worked in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire.  He was the organist at St. Anne’s Lutheran Church, as well as the bandmaster of the Imperial House Guards.

Above:  Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, New York, 1866

Image in the Public Domain

Zundel came to the United States of America in 1847.  He served as the organist at All Souls’ Unitarian Church then St. George’s Episcopal Church, New York New York (1848-1850), before going to work as the organist at Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, New York (1850-1878).  The pastor was the famous Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887).  Zundel became as much of a draw to Plymouth Church as was Beecher.  Our saint took some time away from Plymouth Church over the years; he toured and played the organ at other churches on occasion.  At Plymouth Church, Zundel collaborated with Beecher ton two important works in the development of U.S. hymnals:

  1. Temple Melodies (1851), and
  2. The Plymouth Collection (1855).

The latter volume included twenty-eight of Zundel’s hymn tunes.

Zundel wrote, co-wrote, edited, or co-edited the following works and publications:

  1. Two Fugues with Three Subjects (1841);
  2. Six Preludes and Interludes (1848);
  3. Two Hundred and Fifty Easy Voluntaries and Interludes (1851);
  4. The Choral Friend (1852);
  5. The Complete Melodeon Instructor (1853);
  6. The Amateur Organist (1854);
  7. Zundel’s Psalmody (1855);
  8. Plymouth Sunday School Collection (1858);
  9. New Method for the Melodeon, Harmonium, and Other Instruments of the Organ Class (1859);
  10. The Modern School for the Organ (1860);
  11. Treatise on Harmony and Modulation (1862);
  12. Monthly Choir (1863-1864);
  13. Organ Journal (1863-1864);
  14. Festival March (1867);
  15. Christian Heart Songs (1870);
  16. Zundel and Brandt’s Quarterly (1873f); and
  17. School Harmonist (1873).

Zundel’s musical legacy may rest primarily on one hymn tune, BEECHER, to which many people continue to sing “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”

Zundel retired from playing the organ in the United States and returned to his homeland in 1878.  He, aged 68 years, died in Kirchheim unter Teck, German Empire, on May 21, 1882.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 10, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WALSHAM HOW, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF WAKEFIELD, AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS SISTER, FRANCES JANE DOUGLAS(S), HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE DE HUECK DOHERTY, FOUNDER OF THE MADONNA HOUSE APOSTOLATE

THE FEAST OF SAINT CYRAICA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR AT ROME, 249; AND SAINT SIXTUS II, HIS COMPANIONS, AND SAINT LAURENCE OF ROME, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS AT ROME, 258

THE FEAST OF SAINTS EDWARD GRZYMALA AND FRANCISZEK DRZEWIECKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1942

THE FEAST OF JOHN ATHELSTAN LAURIE RILEY, ANGLICAN ECUMENIST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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

thank you for those (especially John Zundel)

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 Thomas Merton (December 9)   7 comments

Above:  Abbey of Gethsemani

Image Source = Google Earth

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THOMAS MERTON (JANUARY 31, 1915-DECEMBER 10, 1968)

U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, and Spiritual Writer

Also known as Father Louis Merton

His feast transferred from December 10

Thomas Merton comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via three sources:  Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997); G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006); and The Episcopal Church.

Instead of composing a brief biography of Merton, I refer you, O reader, to the biography available at the website of the Merton Center at Bellarmine University.  I choose to spend most of this post pondering one defining principle in our saint’s life.

One day, Merton, a monk, stood on the corner of South Fourth Street and East Walnut Street in Louisville, Kentucky.  He had an epiphany there.  Later, our saint wrote:

I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers.  It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness.

How much better would the world be if more people loved as Merton did?  He grasped mutuality, a principle embedded in the Law of Moses and the New Testament.  Our saint understood that all people bore the image of God, as he did.  So, he loved them.  This love compelled him to follow a radical path, one that entailed embracing interfaith dialogue and opposing the Vietnam War.

I do not pretend to be a spiritual giant.  Compared to Merton, I am a spiritual dust mite, actually.  I grasp certain high spiritual principles more in the intellectual sense than in the visceral sense.  I accept, for example, that all people bear the image of God.  I do not, however, love all people.  I know that I should love all people.  I struggle to approach Merton’s spiritual peak.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people–some of them professing Christians–reject responsible, morally defensible measures (such as wearing face masks and getting fully vaccinated), in violation of mutuality and love of neighbors.  They need a dose of Mertonian ethics.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF COLBERT S. CARTWRIGHT, U.S. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUGLIELMO MASSAIA, ITALIAN CARDINAL, MISSIONARY, AND CAPUCHIN FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN SCRIMGER, CANADIAN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, ECUMENIST, AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIM SANDOVICH, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1914

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICTRICIUS OF ROUEN, ROMAN CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR AND ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Gracious God, you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence,

and moved him in his contemplative writings

to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others:

Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ,

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

Isaiah 57:14-19

Psalm 62

Colossians 2:2-10

John 12:27-36

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 113

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Feast of David Bruening (December 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  David Bruening

Image Source = Yearbook and Almanac of the Evangelical and Reformed Church 1935 (1934)

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DAVID BRUENING (DECEMBER 10, 1869-MAY 2, 1934)

U.S. German Evangelical Minister, Hymnal Editor, and Hymn Tune Composer

Also known as David Bruning and David Brüning

David Bruening comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

The companion volume to that hymnal provided much useful and some inaccurate information.  That volume did, however, provide clues to which primary sources I should consult.  Official publications of the former (German) Evangelical Synod of North America and the former Evangelical and Reformed Church spelled our saint’s surname three different ways.  The Evangelical Hymnal (1917) spelled his name two ways:  “Bruening” (on the title page) and “Brüning” (in the index of composers).  The obituary section in the Yearbook and Almanac of the Evangelical and Reformed Church 1935 (1934) spelled his surname “Bruning.”

David Breuning came from the Prussian Evangelical tradition.  King Frederick William III of Prussia (reigned 1797-1840) merged the Lutheran and Reformed churches in his realm in 1817.  The American immigrant outgrowth of this Lutheran-Reformed merger was the German Evangelical Synod of North America (1840-1934).  The denomination dropped “German” from its name in 1927.  Then, on June 26, 1934, the Evangelical Synod merged with the (German) Reformed Church in the United States to constitute the Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Above:  The Logos of the Reformed Church in the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America

Image Source = Yearbook and Almanac of the Evangelical and Reformed Church 1935 (1934)

Our saint’s parents were German immigrants and devout members of the German Evangelical Synod of North America.  David was a son of Johann Heinrich Friedrich (anglicized as John Henry Frederick) Brüning and Sophia Lina (Sievers) Brüning.

Bruening became a minister in the German Evangelical Synod of North America.  He graduated from Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois (1889).  Then he graduated from Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (1892).  Bruening, ordained at St. Paul’s Evangelical Church (Edgewater Evangelical Church, 1929-1940; North Shore Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1940-1960; closed in 1960), Chicago, Illinois, on July 31, 1892, also married Ida Stifel of Chicago there on June 8, 1893.  The couple had seven children, five of whom outlived them.  Our saint served in the following congregations:

  1. Rose Hill Evangelical Church, Chicago, Illinois (1892-1898);
  2. St. Paul’s Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), Pekin, Illinois (1898-1904);
  3. St. Peter’s Evangelical Church (now Evangelical United Church of Christ), Louisville, Kentucky (1904-1920); and
  4. St. Matthew’s Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ), Baltimore, Maryland (1920-1934).

Bruening served above the parish level, too.  While in Louisville, Kentucky, he was the President of the Indiana District for a time.  At some point in his career, our saint also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eden Theological Seminary.  Furthermore, Bruening also edited The Evangelical Hymnal (1917).

Bruening had long-standing musical interests and abilities.  While a seminarian, he had directed a choir of other seminarians.  As a pastor, Bruening had composed catchy lyrics and tunes for church building campaigns.  And our saint contributed seven original hymn tunes to The Evangelical Hymnal (1917):

  1. BEAUTY,
  2. BREAD OF LIFE,
  3. FOR THEE,
  4. IMMORTAL LOVE,
  5. SWEET HOME,
  6. WHITE FIELDS, and
  7. WORK FOR ALL.

Bruening, aged 64 years, died in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 2, 1934.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

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

thank you for those (especially David Bruening)

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 George Job Elvey (December 9)   1 comment

Above:  St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, 1842

Image in the Public Domain

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SIR GEORGE JOB ELVEY (MARCH 27 OR 29, 1816-DECEMBER 9, 1893)

Anglican Composer and Organist

Sir George Job Elvey comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Elvey came from a musical family; it had long contributed to music at Canterbury Cathedral.  Our saint, a younger son of Abigail Hardiman Elvey and John Elvey, was a younger brother of Stephen Elvey (1805-1860), an organist, a composer, and an editor of a musical psalter.  Stephen composed services, anthems, at at least one hymn tune, SANCTUS.  Our saint, born in Canterbury on March 27 or 29, 1816, followed him in the family’s legacy of music.  He, baptized a Presbyterian, sang in the choir of Canterbury Cathedral.  He also studied at the Royal Academy of Music and under the tutelage of Stephen, his brother, who was, at the time, the Master of Boys at Canterbury Cathedral.

Elvey spent most of his life as the organist and the Master of Boys at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.  He held that position from 1835 to 1882.  Duties included composing music for state functions, such as royal weddings and funerals.  Our saint, B,M. (1838) and Mus.D. (1840) from New College, Oxford, composed oratorios, service music, and hymn tunes.  The oratorios were The Resurrection and Ascension (1840) and Mount Carmel (1886).  Elvey’s most famous hymn tunes were DIADEMATA (“Crown Him with Many Crowns“); ST. GEORGE’S, WINDSOR (“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come“); and ST. CRISPIN (“Strong Son of God, Immortal Love“).  He insisted that church music must be stately.

Elvey married four times and buried his first three wives.  He married Harriet Skeats (d. 1851) in 1839.  They had a son.  Our saint wedded Georgiana Nichols (d. 1863) in 1854.  They had three sons and one daughter.  Elvey married Eleanora Grace Jarvis (d. 1879) in 1865.  Finally, he wedded Mary Savory (d. 1923) in 1882.  She wrote The Life and Reminiscences of Sir George Elvey (1894).

Our saint, knighted in 1871, retired to Windlesham, Surrey, in 1882.  He, 77 years old, died on December 9, 1893.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK HERMANN KNUBEL, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HUMILITY, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMITESS AND ABBESS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN FOREST AND THOMAS ABEL, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1538 AND 1540

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIA OF CORSICA, MARTYR AT CORSICA, 620

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA RITA LÓPES PONTES DE SOUZA BRITO, BRAZILIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

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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 [Sir George Job Elvey]

and all those 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), 728

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Feast of Blessed Liborius Wagner (December 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Liborius Wagner

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED LIBORIUS WAGNER (DECEMBER 5, 1593-DECEMBER 9, 1631)

German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1631

Religious persecution is always wrong.  Frequently it occurs when atheists or antitheists (to use Reza Aslan’s term) persecute religion in general.  On other occasions, religious persecution is of members of one religion by adherents of another one.  Another variety of religious persecution is intrafaith, such as Christians persecuting other Christians.  Consider the martyrdom of Blessed Liborius Wagner, O reader.

Wagner, born in Mühlhausen, Unstrut-Hainich, Thuringia, on December 5, 1593, grew up a Lutheran.  At that time of polarized religion and the Religious Wars, our saint’s conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1613 led to a break with his parents.  Four years later, Wagner became a teacher.  The date of his ordination to the priesthood was March 29, 1625.

Religious conflict during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) forced Wagner to move from town to town.  In 1631 he was a priest in Altenmünster.  The approach of Swedish forces compelled Wagner to flee.  He hid with and ministered to his parishioners in nearby Reichmannhausen.  Swedes captured our saint on December 4, 1631, after someone betrayed him.  The Swedish Army dragged Wagner behind a horse for a few miles to Mainberg.  There they tortured the priest, who refused to renounce his faith.  The immediate cause of his death was beating with firearms and swords, on December 9, 1631.

Pope Paul VI declared Wagner a Venerable in 1973 then beatified him the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 26, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ISABEL FLORENCE HAPGOOD, U.S. JOURNALIST, TRANSLATOR, AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDRA GIACINTO LONGHIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TREVISO

THE FEAST OF PHILIP DODDRIDGE, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF VIRGIL MICHEL, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ACADEMIC, AND PIONEER OF LITURGICAL RENEWAL

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Liborius Wagner

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant to us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Holiday Busyness   2 comments

Above:  A Domestic Scene, December 8, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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On my bed when I think of you,

I muse on you in the watches of the night,

for you have always been my help;

in the shadow of your wings I rejoice;

my heart clings to you,

your right hand supports me.

–Psalm 63:6-8, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

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In my U.S. culture, the time from Thanksgiving (late November) to New Year’s Day is quite busy.  Holidays populate the calendar.  Some of these holidays are, for lack of a better word, ecumenical.  Others are religiously and/or culturally specific, though.  Christmas, originally the Christ Mass, has become an occasion, for many, to worship the Almighty Dollar at the high altar of commercialism.  This is how many Evangelicals of the Victorian Era wanted matters to be.

On the relatively innocuous side, this is the time of the year to populate one’s calendar with holiday social events, such as parties, school plays, and seasonal concerts.  Parents often like to attend their children’s events, appropriately.  Holiday concerts by choral and/or instrumental ensembles can also be quite pleasant.

Yet, amid all this busyness (sometimes distinct from business), are we neglecting the innate human need for peace and quiet?  I like classical Advent and Christmas music, especially at this time of the year (all the way through January 5, the twelfth day of Christmas), but I have to turn it off eventually.  Silence also appeals to me.  Furthermore, being busy accomplishing a worthy goal is rewarding, but so is simply being.

The real question is one of balance.  Given the absence of an actual distinction between the spiritual and the physical, everything is spiritual.  If we are too busy for God, silence, and proper inactivity, we are too busy.  If we are too busy to listen to God, we are too busy.  If we are too busy or too idle, we are not our best selves.

May we, by grace, strike and maintain the proper balance.  May we, especially at peak periods of activity, such as the end of the year, not overextend ourselves, especially in time commitments.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY ANN THRUPP, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCDONALD, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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Published originally at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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Feast of St. Peter Fourier and Blessed Alix Le Clerc (December 9)   Leave a comment

peter-fourier

Above:  St. Peter Fourier

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT PETER FOURIER (NOVEMBER 30, 1565-DECEMBER 9, 1640)

“The Good Priest of Mattaincourt”

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BLESSED ALIX LE CLERC (DECEMBER 2, 1596-JANUARY 9, 1622)

Foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Canonesses Regular of Saint Augustine

Her feast transferred from January 9

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These two saints contributed much to education, especially that of impoverished girls.

St. Peter Fourier entered the world at Mirecourt, Lorraine, on November 30, 1565.  He joined the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine in 1585.  As a young man Fourier tutored the sons of wealthy families.  Our saint, ordained a priest in 1689, had studied at the University of Pont-a-Mousson, starting at the age of 15 years.  He returned to that university years later and studied theology.  Fourier, an excellent student, committed the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas to heart.

In 1597, at the age of 32 years, our saint became the priest at Mattaincourt, Vosges.  He remained there for nearly 30 years.  During that time Fourier did much to improve his community and earned his label, the “good priest of Mattaincourt.”  He proclaimed Roman Catholic theology plainly, lived ascetically, nursed sick people in the community, and established a bank that issued zero-interest loans.

alix-le-clerc

Above:  Blessed Alix Le Clerc

Image in the Public Domain

Fourier’s influence extended well beyond Mattaincourt.  In 1597, for example, he supported Blessed Alix Le Clerc in founding the Congregation of Notre Dame of Canonesses Regular of Saint Augustine, an order devoted to the education of impoverished girls.  Le Clerc, born into a wealthy family at Remirement, Lorraine, on December 2, 1576, spent many of her early years in frivolous living.  The family moved to Mattaincourt when he was 18 years old.  When she was 21 years old an illness confined her to bed for a time.  She read a devotional book and devoted her life to the service of God and the poor.  Le Clerc also reported seeing visions (including one of St. Mary of Nazareth) and hearing voices that told her to help poor children.  Fourier encouraged her when many others heaped scorn upon her.

The new order started on December 24, 1597, when Le Clerc and three other young women publicly dedicated themselves to Our Lady.  Le Clerc’s father, who opposed the new order, ordered his daughter to enter the convent at Ormes instead.  She obeyed her father initially and found the milieu of the convent unsatisfactory.  Fortunately, a wealthy person donated much money to the new order, so Le Clerc had the opportunity to follow her vocation.  The sisters did their work well.  They even pioneered the use of blackboards in classrooms and the practice of nuns teaching.  The nuns overcame much opposition from relatives and ecclesiastical authorities.  Their motto was, “Let God be your love around.”  The order received papal approval in 1616.

The new order’s difficulties were not over.  Ecclesiastical politics led to Fourier replacing Le Clerc as the leader of the order.  She handled these problems gracefully, however.  Le Clerc died at Nancy, Lorraine, on January 9, 1622.  She was 45 years old.

Pope Pius XI declared Le Clerc venerable in 1932.  Fifteen years later Pope Pius XII beatified her.

1625 was an eventful year for Fourier.  For three years he had been the instructor of the canonical communities of his order in the Diocese of Toul; he continued in that position until 1629.  In 1625 those communities formed one congregation, named the Congregation of Our Savior three years later.  He became the Abbot-General of the congregation in 1632.  Also in 1625 our saint spent six months in the region of Salm-Salm, gently reclaiming it for Holy Mother Church from Calvinism.

In 1636 Fourier and some like-minded canons regular had to go into exile because they refused to swear loyalty to King Louis XIII.  They relocated to Gray, Franche-Comte.  There they ministered to victims of plague.  Fourier died at Gray on December 9, 1640.  He was 75 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 24, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY CLAY SHUTTLEWORTH, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DANIEL C. ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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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, 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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Second Sunday of Advent, Year C   Leave a comment

Above:  St. John the Baptist

Hope Under Occupation

DECEMBER 9, 2018

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FIRST READING:  OPTIONS

Baruch 5:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version):

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,

and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.

Put on the robe of righteousness that comes from God;

put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting;

for God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.

For God will give you evermore the name,

Righteous Peace, Godly Glory.

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;

look toward the east,

and see your children gathered from west and east at the word of the Holy One,

rejoicing that God has remembered them.

For they went out from you on foot,

led away by their enemies;

but God will bring them back to you,

carried in glory, as on a royal throne.

For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low

and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,

so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.

The woods and every fragrant tree

have shaded Israel at God’s command.

For God will lead Israel with joy,

in the light of his glory,

with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.

Malachi 3:1-4 (Revised English Bible):

I am about to send my messenger to clear a path before me.  Suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight is here, here already, says the LORD of Hosts.  Who can endure the day of his coming?  Who can stand firm when he appears?  He is like a refiner’s fire, like a fuller’s soap; he will take his seat, testing and purifying; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver, and so they will be fit to bring offerings to the LORD.  Thus the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as they were in former days, in days long past.

RESPONSE

Canticle 16 (The Book of Common Prayer, 1979)

Luke 1:68-79 plus the Trinitarian formula

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;

he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior,

born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old,

that he would save us from our enemies,

from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers

and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,

to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,

holy and righteous in his sight

all the days of our life.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.  Amen.

SECOND READING

Philippians 1:3-11 (Revised English Bible):

I thank my God every time I think of you; whenever I pray for you, my prayers are always joyful, because of the part you have taken in the work of the gospel from the first day until now.  Of this I am confident, that he who who started the good work in you will bring it to completion by the day of Christ Jesus.  It is only natural that I should feel like this about you, because I have great affection for you, knowing that, both while I am kept in prison and when I am called on to defend the truth of the gospel, you all share in this privilege of mine.  God knows how I long for you with the deep yearning of Christ Jesus himself.  And this is my prayer, that your love may grow ever richer in knowledge and insight of every kind, enabling you to learn by experience what things really matter.  Then on the day of Christ you will be flawless and without blame, yielding the full harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

GOSPEL READING

Luke 3:1-6 (New Revised Standard Version):

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanius ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.  He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the words of the prophet Isaiah,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

“Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled,

and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight,

and the rough ways made smooth;

and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

The Collect:

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry Announces That the Lord is Nigh:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/on-jordans-bank-the-baptists-cry-announces-that-the-lord-is-nigh/

O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/o-day-of-peace-that-dimly-shines/

Prepare the Way, O Zion!:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/prepare-the-way-o-zion/

Advent Prayers of Dedication:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/advent-prayers-of-dedication/

Advent Prayers of Praise and Adoration:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/advent-prayers-of-praise-and-adoration/

Our Valleys Are Deep:  Prayer of Confession for the Second Sunday of Advent:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/our-valleys-are-deep/

An Advent Prayer:  Expectant God:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-expectant-god/

An Advent Prayer:  Divine Light:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-divine-light/

An Advent Prayer:  The Word of God is Near:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-the-word-of-god-is-near/

An Advent Prayer of Confession:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-of-confession/

Advent Prayers of Thanksgiving:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/advent-prayers-of-thanksgiving/

An Advent Blessing:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-blessing/

An Advent Prayer:  Expectant Hearts:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/an-advent-prayer-expectant-hearts/

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St. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus in more way than one.  Not only did John pave the way for Jesus’s ministry, he also functioned as a forerunner by dying.

The Book of Baruch, written in the name of the Prophet Jeremiah’s scribe, dates to a later time, the reign of Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV Epiphanes, circa 168 BCE.  Antiochus had captured and desecrated the Jerusalem Temple and launched a campaign of forced Hellenization and persecution of observant Jews.  The author of Baruch drew from Babylonian Exile-era imagery to make sense of his contemporary situation.  Circumstances will improve, for God will intervene, the author of Baruch said.

Judea/Palestine was occupied territory at the time of Jesus and St. John the Baptist.  Hellenized Romans were firmly in charge.  The imagery from Isaiah and Baruch proved germane:  God would intervene.  But the Messiah was not the national liberator many people expected.  One must, for the sake of accuracy, avoid stereotyping the Judaism of first century CE Judea/Palestine, for there were Judaisms there.  Some Jews sought a national liberator, but others looked for a more spiritual leader.

God intervenes in a violent world where prophets face the death penalty, empires occupy foreign (to them) territories, and enforce peace at the points of weapons.  In the midst of all this, however, hope remains.  God is acting; do we perceive it?  And, if prophets face the death penalty and tyrants rule, we humans bear responsibility for those realities.  We have free will.  In the words of a poster of which I heard years ago, we cannot not decide.  The social, economic, and political realities are human creations.  So we are responsible.  What will we do about that?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 10, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN ROBERTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF THOMAS MERTON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MONK

Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for December   Leave a comment

Poinsettia

Image Source = Andre Karwath

1 (Charles de Foucauld, Roman Catholic Hermit and Martyr, 1916)

  • Albert Barnes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Abolitionist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Brioc, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Tudwal, Roman Catholic Abbot, and Bishop of Treguier
  • Douglas LeTell Rights, U.S. Moravian Minister, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr., U.S. Moravian Bishop and Liturgist
  • George Hugh Bourne, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

2 (Hormisdas, Bishop of Rome; and his son, Silverius, Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 537)

  • Channing Moore Williams, Episcopal Missionary Bishop in China and Japan
  • Gerald Thomas Noel, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer; his brother, Baptist Wriothesley Noel, Anglican Priest, English Baptist Evangelist, and Hymn Writer; and his niece, Caroline Maria Noel, Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Justin Heinrich Knecht, German Lutheran Organist, Music Teacher, and Composer
  • Maura Clarke and Her Companions, U.S. Roman Catholic Martyrs in El Salvador, December 2, 1980
  • Rafal Chylinski, Polish Franciscan Roman Catholic Priest

3 (Francis Xavier, Roman Catholic Missionary to the Far East)

  • Amilie Juliane, Countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Jan Franciszek Macha, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • M. Woolsey Stryker, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Educator, Author, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Sophie Koulomzin, Russian-American Christian Educator

4 (John of Damascus and Cosmas of Maiuma, Theologians and Hymnodists)

  • Alexander Hotovitzky, Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1937
  • Bernard of Parma, Roman Catholic Bishop of Parma
  • Joseph Mohr, Austrian Roman Catholic Priest; and Franz Gruber, Austrian Roman Catholic Teacher, Musician, and Composer
  • Maruthas, Roman Catholic Bishop of Maypherkat, and Missionary to Persia
  • Osmund of Salisbury, Roman Catholic Bishop of Salisbury

5 (Clement of Alexandria, Father of Christian Scholarship)

  • Cyran, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Narcyz Putz, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, and Renewer of Society
  • Nicetius of Trier, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Bishop of Trier; and Aredius of Limoges, Roman Catholic Monk
  • Peter Mortimer, Anglo-German Moravian Educator, Musician, and Scholar; and Gottfried Theodor Erxleben, German Moravian Minister and Musicologist

6 (Nicholas of Myra, Bishop of Myra)

  • Abraham of Kratia, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop of Kratia, and Hermit
  • Alice Freeman Palmer, U.S. Educator and Hymn Writer
  • Anne Ross Cousin, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer
  • Henry Ustick Onderdonk, Episcopal Bishop of New York, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Philip Berrigan and his brother, Daniel Berrigan, Roman Catholic Priests and Social Activists

7 (John Greenleaf Whittier, U.S. Quaker Abolitionist, Poet, and Hymn Writer)

  • Emma Francis, Lutheran Deaconess in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Harlem
  • Georg Friedrich Hellstrom, Dutch-German Moravian Musician, Composer, and Educator
  • John Howard Bertram Masterman, Anglican Scholar, Hymn Writer, Priest, and Bishop of Plymouth
  • Maria Josepha Rossello, Co-Founder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Pity
  • William Gustave Polack, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer and Translator

8 (Walter Ciszek, Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Political Prisoner)

  • Amatus of Luxeuil and Romaric of Luxeuil, Roman Catholic Monks and Abbots
  • Ambrose Reeves, Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, and Opponent of Apartheid
  • Erik Christian Hoff, Norwegian Lutheran Composer and Organist
  • Marin Shkurti, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1969
  • Narcisa de Jesús Martillo-Morán, Ecuadorian Roman Catholic Mystic and Ascetic

9 (Liborius Wagner, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1631)

  • David Brüning, S. German Evangelical Minister, Hymnal Editor, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • George Job Elvey, Anglican Composer and Organist
  • John Zundel, German-American Organist, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Tune Composer, and Music Editor
  • Peter Fourier, “The Good Priest of Mattaincourt;” and Alix Le Clerc, Founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Canonesses Regular of Saint Augustine
  • Thomas Merton, S. Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, and Spiritual Writer

10 (Karl Barth, Swiss Reformed Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar; and his son, Markus Barth, Swiss Lutheran Minister and Biblical Scholar)

  • Howell Elvet Lewis, Welsh Congregationalist Clergyman and Poet
  • John Roberts, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1610
  • Olivier Messiaen, Claire Delbos, and Yvonne Loriod, French Roman Catholic Musicians and Composers
  • Paul Eber, German Lutheran Theologian and Hymn Writer
  • Robert Murray, Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

11 (Martyrs of El Mozote, El Salvador, December 11-12, 1981)

  • Howard Chandler Robbins, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Kazimierz Tomas Sykulski, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, Hans Peter Boerresen, and Paul Olaf Bodding, Lutheran Missionaries in India
  • Luke of Prague and John Augusta, Moravian Bishops and Hymn Writers
  • Severin Ott, Roman Catholic Monk

12 (William Lloyd Garrison, Abolitionist and Feminist; and Maria Stewart, Abolitionist, Feminist, and Educator)

  • Bartholomew Buonpedoni and Vivaldus, Ministers among Lepers
  • Jonathan Krause, Silesian Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor
  • Ludwik Bartosik, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941
  • Thomas Canning, U.S. Composer and Music Educator
  • William Louis Poteat, President of Wake Forest College, and Biologist; his brother, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Sr., Southern and Northern Baptist Minister, Scholar, and President of Furman University; his son, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Jr., Southern Baptist Minister, Missionary, Musician, Hymn Writer, and Social Reformer;  his brother, Gordon McNeill Poteat, Southern and Northern Baptist and Congregationalist Minister and Missionary; and his cousin, Hubert McNeill Poteat, Southern Baptist Academic and Musician

13 (Samuel Johnson, “The Great Moralist”)

  • Christian Furchtegott Gellert, German Lutheran Minister, Educator, and Hymn Writer
  • Ella J. Baker, Witness for Civil Rights
  • Paul Speratus, German Lutheran Bishop, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Pierson Parker, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Episcopal Priest, and Biblical Scholar
  • R. Birch Hoyle, English Baptist Minister and Hymn Translator

14 (Radegunda, Thuringian Roman Catholic Princess, Deaconess, and Nun; and Venantius Honorius Clementius Fortunatus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers)

  • Dorothy Ann Thrupp, English Hymn Writer
  • Henry Aldrich, Anglican Priest, Composer, Theologian, Mathematician, and Architect
  • James Arnold Blaisdell, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • John of the Cross, Roman Catholic Mystic and Carmelite Friar
  • William Adams Brown, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

15 (Thomas Benson Pollock, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer)

  • Fred D. Gealy, U.S. Methodist Minister, Missionary, Musician, and Biblical Scholar
  • Henry Fothergill Chorley, English Novelist, Playwright, and Literary and Music Critic
  • John Horden, Anglican Bishop of Moosenee
  • Ralph Wardlaw, Scottish Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist
  • Robert McDonald, Anglican Priest and Missionary

16 (Ralph Adams Cram and Richard Upjohn, Architects; and John LaFarge, Sr., Painter and Stained-Glass Window Maker)

  • Alexis Feodorovich Lvov, Russian Orthodox Musician and Composer
  • Conrad Kocher, German Composer and Music Educator; Reformer of Church Music in Germany
  • Filip Siphong Onphithakt, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Thailand, 1940
  • Lewis Henry Redner, Episcopal Organist and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Maude Dominica Petre, Roman Catholic Modernist Theologian

17 (Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton, Founders of Save the Children)

  • Althea Brown Edmiston, African-American Southern Presbyterian Missionary in the Congo Free State then Belgian Congo
  • Dorothy Sayers, Anglican Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Translator, Apologist, and Theologian
  • Frank Mason North, U.S. Methodist Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Cornelia Bishop Gates, U.S. Dutch Reformed Hymn Writer
  • Olympias of Constantinople, Widow and Deaconess

18 (Marc Boegner, French Reformed Minister and Ecumenist)

  • Alicia Domon and Her Companions, Martyrs in Argentina, 1977
  • Giulia Valle, Roman Catholic Nun
  • Horatio William Parker, Episcopal Composer, Organist, and Music Educator
  • John Darwall, Anglican Priest and Composer
  • John MacLeod Campbell Crum, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

19 (Raoul Wallenberg, Righteous Gentile)

  • Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Composer
  • Kazimiera Wolowska, Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1942
  • Robert Campbell, Scottish Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Social Advocate and Hymn Writer
  • William Henry Draper, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • William Howard Bishop, Founder of the Glenmary Home Missioners

20 (Dominic of Silos, Roman Catholic Abbot)

  • Bates Gilbert Burt, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, and Composer
  • Benjamin Tucker Tanner, African Methodist Episcopal Bishop and Renewer of Society
  • D. Elton Trueblood, U.S. Quaker Theologian
  • Johann Christoph Schwedler, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Michal Piasczynski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1940

21 (THOMAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

22 (Frederick Temple and William Temple, Archbishops of Canterbury)

  • Chaeremon and Ischyrion, Roman Catholic Martyrs, Circa 250
  • Chico Mendes, “Gandhi of the Amazon”
  • Demetrius A. Gallitzin, Russian-American Roman Catholic Missionary Priest; “The Apostle of the Alleghenies”
  • Henry Budd, First Anglican Native Priest in North America; Missionary to the Cree Nation
  • Isaac Hecker, Founder of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle

23 (John of Kanty, Roman Catholic Theologian)

  • Charbel, Roman Catholic Priest and Monk
  • Henry Schwing, U.S. Organist and Music Educator; “The Grand Old Man of Maryland Music”
  • James Prince Lee, Anglican Bishop of Manchester
  • Thomas Baldwin, U.S. Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • William John Blew, English Priest and Hymn Writer

24 (CHRISTMAS EVE)

25 (CHRISTMAS DAY)

26 (SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • STEPHEN, DEACON AND MARTYR

27 (THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • JOHN THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE

28 (FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • HOLY INNOCENTS, MARTYRS, 4 B.C.E

29 (FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Antonio Caldara, Roman Catholic Composer and Musician
  • John Burnett Morris, Sr., Episcopal Priest and Witness for Civil Rights
  • Philipp Heinrich Molther, German Moravian Minister, Bishop, Composer, and Hymn Translator
  • Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1170
  • Thomas Cotterill, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist

30 (SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Allen Eastman Cross, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • George Wallace Briggs, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Main, Anglo-Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Monk
  • Josiah Booth, English Organist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Frances Joseph-Gaudet, African-American Educator, Prison Reformer, and Social Worker

31 (SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Giuseppina Nicoli, Italian Roman Catholic Nun and Minister to the Poor
  • Henry Irving Louttit, Jr., Episcopal Bishop of Georgia
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Rossiter Worthington Raymond, U.S. Novelist, Poet, Hymn Writer, and Mining Engineer
  • Zoticus of Constantinople, Priest and Martyr, Circa 351

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.