Archive for the ‘February 15’ Category

Feast of Michael Praetorius (February 15)   Leave a comment

michael-praetorius

Above:  Michael Praetorius

Image in the Public Domain

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MICHAEL PRAETORIUS (FEBRUARY 15, 1571-FEBRUARY 15, 1621)

German Lutheran Composer and Musicologist

Michael Praetorius, whose German surname was Schultz, was a native of Kreuzberg, Thuringia.  He, born on February 15, 1571, worked as the choirmaster at Luneberg.  Then, in 1604, our saint relocated to Wolfenbuttel to become the organist, choirmaster, and secretary to the Duke of Brunswick.  Over time he also worked with Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672) at the court of the Elector of Saxony in Dresden and served as the Prior of the monastery of Ringelheim, near Golsar, without having to reside there.  Praetorius wrote much music for the Church.  His compositions included the following:

  1. Terpsichore Musarum;
  2. Magnificat;
  3. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming;
  4. Puer Natus in Bethlehem;
  5. Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland;
  6. Allein Gott in der Sei Ehr;
  7. In Dulce Jubilo; and
  8. Mass for Christmas Morning.

One might recognize some of these tunes from worship; I do.

Praetorius also wrote the Treatise on Music (1614-1620), in three volumes plus a fourth volume left incomplete due to the author’s death.  The wide-ranging treatise covered a variety of sacred music as well as secular music.

Praetorius died at Wolfenbuttel on February 15, 1621, his fiftieth birthday.

His music continues to enrich the lives of many people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHANNING MOORE WILLIAMS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP IN CHINA AND JAPAN

THE FEAST OF ALICE FREEMAN PALMER, U.S. EDUCATOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRIOC, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT TUDWAL, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT OSMUND OF SALISBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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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 Michael Praetorius

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), page 728

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Feast of Thomas Bray (February 15)   Leave a comment

bray

Above:  Thomas Bray

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS BRAY (1656-FEBRUARY 15, 1730)

Anglican Priest and Missionary

Thomas Bray did much to help The Church of England in North America.  The native of Marton, Shropshire, England, graduated from Oxford University then became a priest in Warwickshire.  In 1696 the Bishop of London selected Bray to supervise church work in Maryland.  Our saint sailed for the colony three years later.  During two and a half months in 1700 Bray became concerned about the neglect of the Anglican Church in the North American colonies, as well as about the realities of life for Native Americans and for African-American slaves.  Back in England he spent the rest of his life working for the welfare of slaves, founding schools and libraries, raising funds for missionary work, and recruiting priests to serve in North America.  Bray also lobbied for the appointment of a bishop for North America.  He was not alone in this cause.  Unfortunately, The Church of England did not consecrate a bishop for North America until 1787, when Charles Inglis (1734-1816) became the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, with a sprawling diocese.  (Scottish non-juring bishops consecrated Samuel Seabury in 1784.)

Bray’s final charge was St. Botolph Without, Aldgate, London, from 1706 until his death, in 1730.  Aside from the North America-related efforts I have listed, our saint, deeply involved in domestic prison reform, suggested that General James Edward Oglethorpe found a colony and include debtors as settlers in it.  In 1732, Oglethorpe secured the charter for Georgia.  The boats arrived the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHANNING MOORE WILLIAMS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP IN CHINA AND JAPAN

THE FEAST OF ALICE FREEMAN PALMER, U.S. EDUCATOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRIOC, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT TUDWAL, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT OSMUND OF SALISBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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O God of compassion, you opened the eyes of your servant

Thomas Bray to see the needs of the Church in the New World,

and led him to found societies to meet those needs:

Make the Church in this land diligent at all times

to propagate the Gospel among those who have not received it,

and to promote the spread of Christian knowledge;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 102:15-22

Philippians 2:1-5

Luke 10:1-9

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 225

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Feast of the New Martyrs of Libya (February 15)   1 comment

New Martyrs of Libya--Tony Rezk

Above:  Icon of the New Martyrs of Libya, 2015

Icon Writer = Tony Rezk

I have found the icon on many websites, never with any mention of any restriction regarding the use of the image.

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NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA

Died February 15, 2015

On February 15, 2015, militants–terrorists, really; let us use the correct term–of the self-proclaimed Tripoli Province of the Islamic State beheaded 21 men in orange jumpsuits.  The terrorists had abducted these martyrs in December 2014 and January 2015.  The abducted were migrant workers.  All but one were Egyptian Coptic Christians who, their murderers claimed, persisted in unbelief.  These martyrs were:

  1. Milad Makeen Zaky,
  2. Abanud Ayad Atiya,
  3. Maged Solaiman Sheheta,
  4. Yusuf Shukry Yunan,
  5. Kirollas Shokry Fawzy,
  6. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel,
  7. Somaily Astafanus Kamel,
  8. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet,
  9. Tawardos Yusuf Tawardos,
  10. Girgis Milad Sinweet,
  11. Mina Fayez Aziz,
  12. Hany Abdelmesih Salib,
  13. Bishoy Adel Khalaf,
  14. a worker from Awr village,
  15. Ezat Bishri Naseef,
  16. Loqa Nagaty,
  17. Gaber Munir Adly,
  18. Esam Badir Samir,
  19. Malak Farag Abram, and
  20. Sameh Salah Faruq.

The twenty-first martyr was Matthew Ayariga of Ghana.  He had been a Christian for only a brief period of time before dying.  When terrorists asked Ayariga if he rejected Jesus, he identified with the Christian faith of the other martyrs.

Their God is my God,

Ayariga answered.  For that he died.

Coptic Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Tawardos II declared these men the New Martyrs of Libya on February 21, 2015, and established their feast day as Amshir 8 on the Coptic Calendar, which is equivalent to February 15 on the Gregorian Calendar.

Often those who commit violence do so in the name of God, as they understand God.  If God is love, as I affirm, those who commit murder in the name of God stand in grievous error.  May they repent of their sins and throw themselves on the mercy of God, who forgives the penitent.  And may the examples of stalwart fidelity to God in the face of death inspire those of us who claim to follow God in Christ to remain in the faith, regardless of the cost.  May we heed the advice of the authors of the Letter to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse of John; may we remain faithful, not commit apostasy.  And may we refrain from repaying hatred and violence with anything except the love of Christ.  The servant is not greater than the master.  May we take our guidance from him.  May we leave that which is in the purview of God there and live in the love which Jesus modeled for us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 31, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT WOLFGANG OF REGENSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP

ALL HALLOWS’ EVE

REFORMATION DAY

VIGIL FOR THE EVE OF ALL SAINTS’ DAY

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Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of the New Martyrs of Libya,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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

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Feast of Francis Harold Rowley (February 15)   Leave a comment

Horses

Above:  Horses

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANCIS HAROLD ROWLEY (JULY 15, 1854-FEBRUARY 14, 1952)

Northern Baptist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer

The Reverend Francis Harold Rowley entered the world at Hilton, New York, in 1854.  He graduated from Rochester University (1875) and Theological Seminary (1878) then became a minister in the American Baptist Missionary Union.  (Aside:  The ABMU renamed itself the Northern Baptist Convention in 1907.  The NBC became the American Baptist Convention in 1950.  And the ABC became the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. in 1972.   The “Northern”/American Baptists have long been more progressive on average than their Southern Baptist counterparts.  An old joke oversimplifies the distinction:  A Northern Baptist says that there isn’t a Hell, but a Southern Baptist says, “The Hell there isn’t.”)  Rowley served churches at the following places:

  • Titusville, Pennsylvania (1879-1884);
  • North Adams, Massachusetts (1884-1892);
  • Oak Park, Illinois (1892-1896);
  • Fall River, Massachusetts (1896-1900); and
  • Boston, Massachusetts (1900-1910).

Rowley retired from parish ministry and First Baptist Church, Boston, in 1910, and devoted the rest of his life to philanthropic work.  He served as President (1910-1945) then Chairman of the Board (1945-1952) of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  He also wrote The Humane Ideal and The Horses of Homer.  And Rowley worked on children’s health care.  I have concluded that the link between good health care for children and the prevention of cruelty to animals is the relative vulnerability and powerlessness of both populations.  So Rowley’s compassion reached out to both of them, as it should have done.

I am familiar with one aspect of Rowley’s legacy, a hymn, “I Will Tell the Wondrous Story.”  Any hymn, if set to a bad tune and/or sung badly, can prove irritating to one with good taste.  (I have good taste.)  Unfortunately for me, I grew up in rural congregations where bad singing was rife.  People sang hymns too quickly and with bad diction and nasal vowels.  It was a joyful noise, with the accent on “noise.”  But YouTube searches today have revealed more than one setting of the hymn.  Some of the arrangements even sound joyful and not noisy.  The words, however, are a separate matter from the music.  Rowley composed the text in 1886, while pastor of First Baptist Church, North Adams, Massachusetts.

1.  I will sing the wondrous story

Of the Christ who died for me,

How he left His home in glory

For the cross of Calvary.

Refrain:

Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story

Of the Christ who died for me,

Sing it with the saints in glory,

Gathered by the crystal sea.

2.  I was lost, but Jesus found me,

Found the sheep that went astray,

Threw his loving arms around me,

Drew me back into His way.

Refrain

3.  I was bruised, but Jesus healed me;

Faint was I from many a fall;

Sight was gone, and fears possessed me,

But He freed me from them all.

Refrain

4.  Days of darkness still come o’er me,

Sorrow’s paths I often tread,

But the Saviour still is with me;

By His hand I’m safely led.

Refrain

There is another part of the Rowley legacy.  The School of Humanities at Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., bears his name.  That is appropriate.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 15, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PROXMIRE, UNITED STATES SENATOR

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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, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

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

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Revised on December 2, 2016

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for February   Leave a comment

Winter, by Hendrick Avercamp

Image in the Public Domain

1 (Henry Morse, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr)

  • Benedict Daswa, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr
  • Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Roman Catholic Composer and Musician
  • Sigebert III, King of Austrasia

2 (PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE)

3 (Anskar and Rimbert, Roman Catholic Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen)

  • Alfred Delp, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Charles Seymour Robinson, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist
  • Nicholas Kasatkin, Orthodox Archbishop of All Japan

4 (CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION)

5 (Martyrs of Japan, 1597-1639)

  • Avitus of Vienne, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Jane (Joan) of Valois, Cofounder of the Sisters of the Annunciation
  • Phileas and Philoromus, Roman Catholic Martyrs

6 (Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Poet and Hymn Writer)

  • Mateo Correa-Magallanes and Miguel Agustin Pro, Mexican Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Vedast (Vaast), Roman Catholic Bishop of Arras and Cambrai
  • William Boyce and John Alcock, Anglican Composers

7 (Helder Camara, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Olinda and Recife)

  • Adalbert Nierychlewski, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Mitchell J. Dahood, Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar
  • Moses, Apostle to the Saracens

8 (Josephine Bakhita, Roman Catholic Nun)

  • Jerome Emiliani, Founder of the Company of the Servants of the Poor
  • John of Matha and Felix of Valois, Founders of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity
  • Josephina Gabriella Bonino, Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family

9 (Benjamin Schmolck, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer)

  • Adelaide Anne Procter, English Poet and Feminist
  • Alto of Altomunster, Roman Catholic Hermit
  • Porfirio, Martyr

10 (Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola; and her twin brother, Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino and Father of Western Monasticism)

  • Benedict of Aniane, Restorer of Western Monasticism; and Ardo of Aniane, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Henry Williams Baker, Anglican Priest
  • Philip Armes, Anglican Church Organist and Composer

11 (ONESIMUS, BISHOP OF BYZANTIUM)

12 (Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee, Evangelists and Social Activists)

  • Charles Freer Andrews, Anglican Priest
  • Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Michael Weisse, German Moravian Minister and Hymn Writer and Translator; and Jan Roh, Bohemian Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

13 (AQUILA, PRISCILLA, AND APOLLOS, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

14 (Abraham of Carrhae, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs
  • Johann Michael Altenburg, German Lutheran Pastor, Composer, and Hymn Writer
  • Victor Olof Petersen, Swedish-American Lutheran Hymn Translator

15 (New Martyrs of Libya, 2015)

  • Francis Harold Rowley, Northern Baptist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Michael Praetorious, German Lutheran Composer and Musicologist
  • Thomas Bray, Anglican Priest

16 (Philipp Melanchton, German Lutheran Theologian and Scribe of the Reformation)

  • Christian Frederick Martin, Sr., and Charles Augustus Zoebisch, German-American Instrument Maker
  • Louis (Lewis) F. Kampmann, U.S. Moravian Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Translator
  • Norbert of Xanten, Founder of the Premonstratensians; Hugh of Fosses, Second Founder of the Premonstratensians; and Evermod, Bishop of Ratzeburg

17 (August Crull, German-American Lutheran Minister, Poet, Professor, Hymnodist, and Hymn Translator)

  • Francis Serrano, Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary
  • Janani Luwum, Archbishop and Martyr
  • Marie Adolphine Dierks, Roman Catholic Nun, Missionary, and Martyr

18 (Ben Salmon, Roman Catholic Pacifist and Conscientious Objector)

  • Barbasymas, Sadoth of Seleucia, and Their Companions, Martyrs
  • Colman of Lindisfarne, Agilbert, and Wilfrid, Bishops
  • Guido di Pietro, a.k.a. Fra Angelico, Roman Catholic Monk and Artist

19 (Nerses I the Great, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Mesrop, Bible Translator)

  • Bernard Barton, English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • James Drummond Burns, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Samuel Davies, American Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

20 (Johann Heermann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Henri de Lubac, Roman Catholic Priest, Cardinal, and Theologian
  • Karl Friedrich Lochner, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Wulfric of Haselbury, Roman Catholic Hermit

21 (John Henry Newman, Cardinal)

  • Arnulf of Metz, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Germanus of Granfel, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr
  • Robert Southwell, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Samuel Wolcott, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Writer

22 (Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst, Anti-Nazi Martyrs at Munich, Germany)

  • Eric Liddell, Scottish Presbyterian Missionary to China
  • Margaret of Cortona, Penitent and Foundress of the Poor Ones
  • Praetextatus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Rouen

23 (Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishops and Martyrs)

  • Alexander Akimetes, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Willigis, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mainz; and Bernward, Roman Catholic Bishop of Hildesheim

24 (MATTHIAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

25 (Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder, Nonna, and Their Children:  Gregory of Nazianzus the Younger, Caesarius of Nazianzus, and Gorgonia of Nazianzus)

  • Felix Varela, Cuban Roman Catholic Priest and Patriot
  • John Roberts, Episcopal Missionary to the Shoshone and Arapahoe
  • Theodor Fliedner, Renewer of the Female Diaconate; and Elizabeth Fedde, Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess

26 (Antonio Valdivieso, Roman Catholic Bishop of Leon and Martyr)

  • Emily Malbone Morgan, Founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross
  • Paula of St. Joseph of Calasanz, Foundress of the Daughters of Mary

27 (Nicholas Ferrar, Anglican Deacon; George Herbert, Anglican Priest and Metaphysical Poet; and All Saintly Parish Priests)

  • Anne Line and Roger Filcock, Roman Catholic Martyrs
  • Gabriel Possenti, Penitent
  • Luis de Leon, Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian

28 (Thomas Binney, English Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and “Archbishop of Nonconformity”)

  • Andrew Reed, English Congregationalist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, African-American Educators
  • Elizabeth C. Clephane, Scottish Presbyterian Philanthropist and Hymn Writer

29 (John Cassian and John Climacus, Roman Catholic Monks and Spiritual Writers)

  • Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, Danish Lutheran Author and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Hopper, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Jemima Thompson Luke, English Congregationalist Hymn Writer; and James Edmeston, Anglican Hymn Writer

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