Archive for the ‘Saints of 1830-1839’ Category

Feast of Stephen Theodore Badin (July 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stephen Theodore Badin

Image in the Public Domain

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ÉTIENNE THÉODORE BADIN (JULY 17, 1768-APRIL 21, 1853)

First Roman Catholic Priest Ordained in the United States of America

Roman Catholic Missionary in Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan

Étienne Théodore Badin/Stephen Theodore Badin comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006).

Badin was French.  He, born in Orléans on July 17, 1768, studied at Montaigu College, Paris, then, starting in 1789, at the Sulpician seminary, Orléans.  Our saint, subdeacon when the revolutionary government closed the seminary in 1791, departed France before the end of the year.  In November, he sailed from Bordeaux in the company of Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850) and John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841).  The three Frenchmen arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 26, 1792.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop (1789-1808) then Archbishop (1808-1815) of Baltimore, welcomed them in Baltimore two days later.  Badin had slightly more than a year of theological education left to complete.  After he did, Carroll ordained him to the priesthood on May 25, 1793.  This was the first ordination of a Roman Catholic priest in the United States of America.

Father Badin embarked on a long ministry.  His first appointment was to Georgetown.  During those few months, our saint improved his command of English.  Then he and one Father Barrières walked from western Pennsylvania and across Kentucky.  They found Roman Catholics, heard confessions, reconciled penitents, and said Masses.  Father Barrières left for New Orleans in April 1794.  Until the spring of 1819, Badin tended to his mission field (Kentucky) faithfully.  He did much to build what became the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808.  Starting in July 1806, Father Charles Nerinckx joined the Kentucky mission.  Benedict Joseph Flaget, on Badin’s recommendation, served as the Bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808-1832 and 1833-1841, then as the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1841-1850.  David was the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown in 1819-1832 then the Bishop of Bardstown in 1832-1833.  Badin frequently accompanied Bishop Flaget on journeys within the diocese.

Badin returned to France in the spring of 1819.  He served as a parish priest in Millaney and Marreilly-en-Gault, about 40 miles from Orléans, starting in 1820.  Badin helped to provide funding and furniture for the Kentucky missions.

Badin, back in the United States of America in 1828, returned to the mission field.  He spent a year in Michigan, followed by a year in Kentucky.  Our saint ministered among the Pottawattomie Indians at the St. Joseph River, Indiana, until 1836.  After spending 1836-1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Badin served as the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Bardstown (1837f).  Our saint also continued to visit missions.  When the see transferred to Louisville in 1841, so did Badin.  Our saint celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of this ordination to the priesthood in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 25, 1843.  From September 1846 to the winter of 1848, Badin ministered at Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, in the Diocese of Chicago.  Then our saint retired.

Badin spent his retirement in episcopal households.  Until 1850, he was part of the household of Martin John Spalding (1810-1872), the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky (1848-1850).  Spalding’s famous and illustrious nephew was John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908) and one of the founders of the Catholic University of America.  In 1850, Badin joined the household of John Baptist Purcell (1800-1883), the Bishop (1833-1850) then Archbishop (1850-1883) of Cincinnati.

Badin died in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 21, 1853.  He was 84 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Stephen Theodore Badin,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of

Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.

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), 716

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Feast of Lemuel Haynes (July 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lemuel Haynes

Image in the Public Domain

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LEMUEL HAYNES (JULY 18, 1753-SEPTEMBER 28, 1833)

First Ordained African-American Minister

The Reverend Lemuel Haynes comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006).

Haynes served God and resisted racism, slavery, the colonization movement, and Universalism.  That life started in a socially inauspicious context.  Our saint, born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on July 18, 1753, never knew his father and saw his mother only once that he recalled.  Hayne’s father was an African American.  Our saint’s mother, who was white, worked as a washer woman on a farm.  She, refusing to acknowledge her son, abandoned him when he was a few days old.  In time, she married and started a new life.  Haynes saw her from a distance, eventually, and her flight from the scene indicated that she still refused to accept him.  Our saint spent his first five months in the home of a farmer, Mr. Haynes, who named the child Lemuel, literally “Consecrated to God.”

Mostly, though, our saint grew up (until the age of 12 years) in the home of David Rose, of Granville, Massachusetts.  Young Lemuel, an indentured servant, grew up as one of the children in a white family.  The Roses of Granville were a devout Congregationalist family in an intellectual backwater.  The town had a terrible school and no public library.  Haynes, baptized in the local Congregational church, spent much of his life piecing together an education, often via tutoring and reading.  In time, for example, our saint studied Greek and Latin under tutors.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Granville, Massachusetts, joined with the Granville Baptist Church to form the Granville Federated Church (United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches U.S.A.) in 1937.

Haynes joined the revolutionary cause.  He became a minuteman in 1774 then joined the Continental Army the following year.  In 1776, our saint condemned the hypocrisy of slaveholding Patriots in an essay, “Liberty Further Extended.”

Above:  Granville, New York, and Environs

Image Source = Google Earth

After Haynes left the Continental Army, he became a licensed Congregationalist preacher at Middle Granville, New York, on November 29, 1780.  Our saint married Elizabeth “Bessie” Babbitt (1763-1836), a white teacher, on September 23, 1783.  The couple had nine children.  Haynes became the first ordained African-American minister on November 9, 1785, at Middle Granville Congregational Church.  The Haynes family departed for Torrington, Connecticut, the following year.

Note:  The Congregational church in Middle Granville, New York, no longer exists.  However, North Granville, South Granville, and Granville are short drives away and also in Washington County.

Haynes spent 1786-1788 as a pastor in Torrington.  The congregation, founded in 1741, was the First Church of Christ until 1787, when it became the First Congregational Church.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Torrington, Connecticut, is an affiliate of the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.

Haynes was a pastor in West Rutland, Vermont, from March 28, 1788, to April 27, 1818.  During this time, in 1804, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, awarded our saint an honorary M.A.  He, therefore, became the first African American to receive such a degree.  Our saint’s departure from that ministry was unhappy; racism was one of the reasons for it.

Note:  That congregation is now the United Church of West Rutland, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes ministered at the First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, from 1818 to 1822.

Note:  The First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, is an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes served as the pastor of South Granville Congregational Church, South Granville, New York, from 1822 to 1833.  There he remained until, at the age of 80 years, he died of natural causes on September 20, 1833.

Note:  As far as I can tell, based on its website, South Granville Congregational Church is independent.

Above:  Lee-Oatman Cemetery

Image Source = Google Earth

Haynes’s legacy continues.  His mortal remains rest in the Lee-Oatman Cemetery, between South Granville and Granville, New York.  His home in South Granville is a National Historic Landmark.  The current edifice of the South Granville Congregational Church slightly postdates Haynes’s lifetime.  Next to that building sits the Haynes House of Hope, where up to two terminally ill people may live.  The legacy of Lemuel Haynes also persists anywhere Christians resists racism and confront hypocrisy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you have sent

to call the Church to its tasks and renew its life [such as your servant Lemuel Haynes].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Henry Williams, Marianne Williams, Jane Williams, and William Williams (July 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

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HENRY WILLIAMS (FEBRUARY 11, 1792-JULY 16, 1867)

husband of

MARIANNE COLDHAM WILLIAMS (DECEMBER 12, 1793-DECEMBER 16, 1879)

sister-in-law of

JANE NELSON WILLIAMS (1801?-OCTOBER 6, 1896)

wife of

WILLIAM WILLIAMS (JULY 18, 1800-FEBRUARY 9, 1878)

Anglican Bishop of Waiapu

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ANGLICAN MISSIONARIES IN NEW ZEALAND

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INTRODUCTION

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For the sake of clarity, I have restricted the number of specified saints in this post to four.  The extended Williams family included a large number of missionaries and other ecclesiastical figures generation after generation.  Furthermore, my context is North American.  I admit freely that most details of the history of New Zealand are outside my expertise.  I have read, however.  I have also chosen not to clutter this post with too many geographical and historical details, so that one not from New Zealand can understand the Williamses’ context fairly well.

Henry and Marianne Williams are officially saints, according to The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.  Henry’s feast day in that denomination is July 16.  Marianne’s feast day is December 16.  I add William (Henry’s brother) and Jane (William’s wife and Marianne’s sister-in-law) Williams via their relationships to Henry and Marianne.  These four saints and many others were full partners in ministry, each in his or her unique way.

Christian missionaries from a range of denominations and in various places at different times have frequently been politically unpopular for defending the rights and dignity of indigenous people.  Obeying the Golden Rule leads to confronting social injustice.  In the case of the Williamses, they opposed the exploitation of the Maori by settlers and the government.  Greed, racism, ethnocentrism, and indifference to human suffering were evils the Williamses named and resisted.

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A TAPESTRY OF WILLIAMSES

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Thomas Williams (1724/1725-1770) was a Congregationalist (nonconformist) minister in Gosport, Hampshire, England.  He married Rebecca Isgar on August 6, 1750.  The couple had three children:  Rebecca (b. 1751), Thomas (1753-1804), and Lydia (b. 1757).

Thomas Williams (1753-1804) married Mary Marsh on April 17, 1783.  He eventually served as a Sheriff of Nottingham.  From this devout family, successful in the textiles industry, came six children.  Three of them were Lydia (1788-1859), Henry (1792-1867), and William (1800-1878).  Lydia Williams (1788-1859) married Edward Garrard Marsh (1783-1862), a poet and a priest in The Church of England, as well as a member of the Church Missionary Society.

Henry Williams, born in Gosport, England, on February 11, 1792, joined the Royal Navy in 1806.  He served through 1818.  During his military service, Henry experienced the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812.  Our saint, having had more than his fill of warfare, decided to spend the rest of his life making peace.  He, still a lieutenant, married Marianne Coldham on January 20, 1818.  Edward Garrard Marsh conducted the ceremony.  Shortly thereafter, Henry left the Royal Navy, converted to The Church of England, and commenced preparation to become a missionary.

Marianne Coldham, born in Norwich, England, on December 12, 1793, was a daughter of businessman (and later Sheriff of Nottingham) Wright Coldham (d. 1815) and Anne Coldham (d. 1810).  Our saint had to help raise her siblings and manage the household after her mother died.  The family was Presbyterian.  She was about to become an Anglican, though.  Both Henry and Marianne converted to Anglicanism on February 20, 1818, under the theological influence of Lydia Williams Marsh and Edward Garrard Marsh.

William Williams, born in Nottingham, England, on July 18, 1800, also converted to Anglicanism via Lydia Williams Marsh and Edward Garrard Marsh on February 20, 1818.  William had studied at a Moravian school in Fairfield, Manchester, then at Southwell Grammar School, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  Next, our saint studied surgery.  In 1822, he matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford.  Two years later, William joined the ranks of Anglican clergymen.  Our saint joined the Church Missionary Society in 1825.  On July 11, 1825, he married Jane Nelson (1801?-1896).

After Thomas Williams, father of Lydia, Henry, and William, died in 1804, Mary Marsh Williams, his widow, moved the family to Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  There she founded a school for girls.  Jane Nelson had been a teacher at that school since 1817 when she married William in 1825.  Jane, born in Nottingham circa 1801, was a daughter of James Nelson and Anna Maria Dale (Nelson).  When Jane married William Williams, she prepared to leave her homeland for all but a few years of the rest of her life.

Henry Williams, ordained a deacon then a priest in 1822, sailed with Marianne and their children for New Zealand that year.  Both husband and wife were officially missionaries from the Church Missionary Society.  They entered a mission field Samuel Marsden (1765-1838), also a member of the Church Missionary Society, had pioneered in 1813-1814.

Above:  Paihia, New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

William and Jane Williams joined Henry and Marianne Williams at Paihia, the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on March 25, 1826.  Henry had begun to experience success as a missionary and the leader of a team of missionaries.  William made a fine addition to that team, which produced Maori translations of the Bible (1827-1857; complete in 1857) and The Book of Common Prayer (1845).  The Dictionary of the New England Language and a Concise Grammar (1844).  Over decades, members of the missionary team spread out across the islands, founded and restaffed mission stations and schools, and defended the rights of the Maori.

Marianne and Jane were invaluable members of the team of missionaries.  Henry acknowledged Marianne as his full partner in missionary work. The sisters-in-law collaborated.  They raised their children together.  Marianne had eleven children, and Jane had nine.  Marianne and Henry had opened a school for the children of missionaries.  Both of them taught in that school, as did Jane.  Marianne and Jane also founded a boarding school for Maori girls at Paihia.  Furthermore, the sisters-in-law provided first aid, health care, and midwifery services.  Henry also tended to the sick as other duties permitted.

The Wiliamses and company were effective missionaries in large part because they respected the Maori.  The missionaries honored all parts of Maori culture that did not contradict the Gospel.  They defended Maori rights and opposed injustices.  Henry and William, alarmed by the government taking of Maori lands, purchased land to hold in trust for the Maori.  This proved controversial.  Missionaries’ efforts to defend Maori rights during the Maori Wars also scandalized political enemies.  Henry Williams, dedicated to being a peacemaker in the name of Christ, learned that reconciliation could be divisive.  Yet the Maori respect for him remained.  Henry was Te Wiremu, literally “The Williams.”  That respect extended to Marianne, Mata Wiremu, or “Mother Williams.”

Above:  Pakaraka, New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

Henry Williams, dismissed from the Church Missionary Society in 1849, returned to its fold five years later.  He and Marianne then worked out of Pakaraka, near the the Bay of Islands.  He, 75 years old, died there on July 16, 1767.

At least two sons–Edward (1818-1909) and Samuel (1822-1907)–served as missionaries in New Zealand.  Samuel helped his uncle William found a school for Maori boys at Waerenga-a-hika, seven miles away from Turanga, Poverty Bay, in the 1850s.  Then, in 1875, Samuel helped his aunt Jane found a school for Maori girls at Napier.

Above:  Napier, New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

William Williams, based at different places in New Zealand over time, spent all but a few years from 1826 to 1878 in that country.  He, the archdeacon of the Diocese of East Cape (November 27, 1842f), spent 1850-1853 with his family in England.  The reason for that sojourn was Henry’s political difficulty with the Church Missionary Society.  William, back in New Zealand, served as the first Bishop of Waiapu (1859-1876).  He resigned after suffering a stroke in 1876.  Bishop William Williams died in Napier, New Zealand, on February 9, 1878.  He was 77 years old.

Two descendants held that office, too.  Son Leonard (1829-1916) served as the third Bishop of Waiapu (1895-1909).  Leonard’s son Herbert (1860-1937) was the sixth Bishop of Waiapu (1930-1937).

Marianne, 86 years old, died in Pakaraka on December 16, 1879.

Jane died in Napier on October 6, 1896.

The legacies of these Williamses continue, fortunately and to the glory of God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Ever-loving God, you called your servants Henry, William, Jane, and Marianne Williams

to advance the early New Zealand mission by their determination and ability;

give us patience and unwavering courage to put all our talents at your service and to make your love known;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 40:9-11

Psalm 119:129-136

2 Corinthians 1:12-14

Matthew 5:1-12

–Adapted from The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia

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Feast of Louisa Marthens (July 16)   3 comments

Above:  The Sisters’ House, Passavant Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Image in the Public Domain

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CATHARINE LOUISA MARTHENS (JULY 17, 1828-JANUARY 12, 1899)

First Lutheran Deaconess Consecrated in the United States of America, 1850

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And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

–Matthew 25, 40, Revised Standard Version, Second Edition (1971)

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Deaconess Catharine Louisa Marthens (the spelling of her name on her grave marker) comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006).

Marthens, from a devout Lutheran family, found her vocation via her pastor and mentor, William Alfred Passavant, Sr. (1821-1894).  Marthens, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 17, 1828, was a daughter of Henry Christian Marthens (1782-1857) and Catherine Slator Marthens (1788-1868).  Our saint learned her catechism from Passavant, the pastor (1844-1855) of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh.  Passavant had an interest in social services, especially for the most vulnerable members of society.  He founded hospitals and orphanages from 1849 to 1871.  In 1849, at Passavant’s invitation, German Lutheran minister Theodor Fliedner (1800-1864), the renewer of the order of deaconesses in the Lutheran Church, visited Pittsburgh.  Fliedner brought four deaconesses with him.  The North American Lutheran female diaconate had begun.

Through Passavant’s influence, Marthens became interested in the deaconess movement.  She even visited Germany to observe Fliedner and the deaconesses there in action.  Marthens had found her vocation.  In 1850, at First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Passavant consecrated her a deaconess.  The name of the authority for which our saint worked was the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses.  Marthens worked at Passavant’s hospital in Pittsburgh; she was both a nurse and an administrator.  When a mob, fearful of cholera patients, attacked, our saint protected her patients.  Later, she served as the first matron of the orphanage in Pittsburgh.  In 1859, Marthens helped to start the orphanage in Germantown.  Subsequently, she served as the matron of the girls’ orphanages in Rochester, Pennyslvania, and Jacksonville, Illinois, in order.

Marthens, aged 70 years, died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 12, 1899.  She had spent her life well, devoting most of it in the service of Christ, present in the “least of these.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN WYCLIFFE AND JAN HUS, REFORMERS OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF GEORGE DUFFIELD, JR.; AND HIS SON, SAMUEL DUFFIELD; U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF HENRY THOMAS SMART, ENGLISH ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JOSIAH CONDER, ENGLISH JOURNALIST AND CONGREGATIONALIST HYMN WRITER; AND HIS SON, EUSTACE CONDER, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF OLUF HANSON SMEBY, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Lord 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 unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of St. Joseph of Damascus (July 10)   1 comment

Above:  Christian Quarter, Damascus, Syria, Ottoman Empire, July 1860

Image in the Public Domain

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YOUSSEF IBN JIRJIS MOUSA IBN MOUHANA AL-HADDAD (MAY 15, 1793-JULY 10, 1860)

Syrian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1860

Also known as Joseph George Hadad Firzli

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I planted the seed in the true vineyard of Christ, and I am waiting for the harvest.

–St. Joseph of Damascus

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St. Joseph of Damascus comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and his connection to the family of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (1860-1915).

St. Joseph, born in Beirut on May 15, 1793, came from a poor and devout Orthodox family.  He was intelligent and intellectual, but poverty interrupted his formal education.  Nevertheless, our saint read deeply and widely.  He mastered Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek, for example.  St. Joseph translated parts of the Bible into Arabic.  Our saint, a weaver from his youth and a married man at age 19, fathered three sons–Moses, Abraham, and Joseph.

St. Joseph, ordained to the priesthood in 1817, when 24 years old, ministered at the old Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, located in the Old City, Damascus, Syria.  Starting in 1836, he was the Director of the Patriarchal School, Damascus.  St. Joseph built the school into the leading institution of Orthodox higher education in the Middle East.  He trained many church leaders.

St. Joseph contended against a variety of obstacles during his ministry.  Protestant missionaries vexed him.  Roman Catholic missionaries did, too.  Any outside Christian who did not understand the context of the Arab culture became a problem for St. Joseph.  At the end, though, Muslim violence against Christians created many martyrs, including our saint.

The Mount Lebanon Civil War (May 23-July 11, 1860) was a brief and bloody conflict.  It began as a struggle between Druze and Maronite Catholics in Lebanon, then part of Syria, itself part of the Ottoman Empire.  In July, the conflict spread to Damascus.  Muslim mobs killed Christians and burned churches while other Muslims risked their lives to protect their Christian neighbors.  Thousands of Christians died in Damascus during two days.  During and after the conflict, many Christians fled Damascus.  The parents of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (1860-1915) fled to Beirut after the events of July 1860.  Many other Christians sought shelter elsewhere during and after the conflict.  Some, being infirm, had to stay home in Damascus.

Many Orthodox Christians of Damascus had gathered at the Patriarchal Cathedral on July 9, 1860.  St. Joseph left his home and carried the Reserved Sacrament with him, as he traveled through the Old City of Damascus.  His journey was hazardous; he had to walk across rooftops and jump above narrow streets.  Along the way, he visited home-bound parishioners, hearing confessions, reconciling them, and giving communion.  On the morning of July 10, 1860, a mob burned the Patriarchal Cathedral.  Few people got out alive.  The mob shot or forced most who fled to return to the interior of the burning building.

St. Joseph got out alive.  He spent most of his little remaining time hearing confessions, reconciling people, and giving communion.  Soon, of course, hostiles with axes surrounding our saint.  He consumed the hosts and the consecrated wine of the Reserved Sacrament before he received the crown of martyrdom.  His murderers dragged his mutilated corpse through the streets, for further indignities.  St. Joseph was 67 years old.

St. Joseph and the other martyrs of Damascus in 1860 have been official saints since 1993.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN AND ANATOLIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, PATRIARCHS; AND SAINTS AGATHO, LEO II, AND BENEDICT II, BISHOPS OF ROME; DEFENDERS OF CHRISTOLOGICAL ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA, AND CHURCH FATHER; SAINT EUSEBIUS OF LAODICEA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA; AND SAINT ANATOLIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELIODORUS OF ALTINUM, ASSOCIATE OF SAINT JEROME, AND BISHOP OF ALTINUM

THE FEAST OF IMMANUEL NITSCHMANN, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND MUSICIAN; HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW, JACOB VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS SON, WILLIAM HENRY VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP; HIS BROTHER, CARL ANTON VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS DAUGHTER, LISETTE (LIZETTA) MARIA VAN VLECK MEINUNG; AND HER SISTER, AMELIA ADELAIDE VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN CENNICK, BRITISH MORAVIAN EVANGELIST AND HYMN WRITER

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

who have given their lives for the message of your love.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like your servants Saint Joseph of Damascus and the other martyrs of Damascus in 1860]

whose faithfulness led them in 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;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Thomas Helmore (July 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Thomas Helmore

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS HELMORE (MAY 7, 1811-JULY 6, 1890)

Anglican Priest and Arranger and Composer of Hymn Tunes

Thomas Helmore comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  Perhaps his most famous contribution to Christian worship is his arrangement of VENI IMMANUEL for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

Above:  Lichfield Cathedral

Image Source = Google Earth

Helmore, from nonconforming stock, found his spiritual home in High Church Anglicanism.  Our saint, born in Kiddenminster, Worcestershire, England, on May 7, 1811, was a son of Olive Holloway and Congregationalist minister Thomas Helmore.  (Aside:  Would suffixes, such as “Sr.,” “Jr.,” and “III” have been too much to use, to help keep relatives with the same names separate in one’s mind?  I guess so.)  Thomas, Jr., (or III or whatever), studied at Magdalen College, Oxford (B.A., 1840; M.A., 1845).  He also joined the ranks of priests in The Church of England in 1840.  Helmore served as the Curate of St. Michael’s Church, Lichfield, and the Vicar of Lichfield Cathedral, from 1840 to 1842.  He was frequently the Vice-Principal and Presenter of St. Mark’s College, Chelsea (1842-1977); the Master of Choristers of the Chapel Royal (1846f); and a priest at the Chapel Royal (1847f).  One of his students at the Chapel Royal was Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), one half of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Helmore became a leader in restoring plainchant in The Church of England.  He also composed hymn tunes for some of John Mason Neale‘s translations of Latin and Greek texts.  Furthermore, Helmore edited volumes of chants and anthems.  In 1855, our saint translated Treatise on Choir and Chorus Singing, by François-Joseph Fétis (1784-1871).  Helmore’s other publications included:

  1. The Psalter Noted (1849),
  2. The Canticles Noted (1849),
  3. A Manual of Plainsong (1850),
  4. The Hymnal Noted (1852-1854),
  5. A Brief Directory of Plain Song (1853),
  6. Carols for Christmas (1853),
  7. Carols for Easter (1853),
  8. St. Mark’s College Chant Book (1863),
  9. The Canticles Accented (1870),
  10. A Catechism of Music (1878),
  11. Plain-Song (1878), and
  12. A Fuller Directory of the Plain Song of the Holy Communion Service (1881).

Helmore, 78 years old, died in London on July 6, 1890.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN AND ANATOLIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, PATRIARCHS; AND SAINTS AGATHO, LEO II, AND BENEDICT II, BISHOPS OF ROME; DEFENDERS OF CHRISTOLOGICAL ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA, AND CHURCH FATHER; SAINT EUSEBIUS OF LAODICEA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA; AND SAINT ANATOLIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELIODORUS OF ALTINUM, ASSOCIATE OF SAINT JEROME, AND BISHOP OF ALTINUM

THE FEAST OF IMMANUEL NITSCHMANN, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND MUSICIAN; HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW, JACOB VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS SON, WILLIAM HENRY VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP; HIS BROTHER, CARL ANTON VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS DAUGHTER, LISETTE (LIZETTA) MARIA VAN VLECK MEINUNG; AND HER SISTER, AMELIA ADELAIDE VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN CENNICK, BRITISH MORAVIAN EVANGELIST AND HYMN WRITER

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

thank you for those (especially Thomas Helmore)

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 Blessed Antonio Rosmini (July 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Antonio Rosmini

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED ANTONIO FRANCESCO DAVIDE AMBROGIO ROSMINI-SERBATI (MARCH 25, 1797-JULY 1, 1855)

Founder of the Institute of Charity

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Pray that God in his mercy may give me patience to carry my cross though it be to the end of my life, and that I may never think hardly of those have brought it on me.

–Blessed Antonio Rosmini, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 284

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Blessed Antonio Rosmini, a priest, a scholar, a philosopher, and an Italian patriot, was usually embroiled in ecclesiastical controversies.

Our saint, born in Rovereto, Italy, Holy Roman Empire (when it was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, to quote Voltaire), on March 25, 1797, came from wealth and lower aristocracy.  His family’s money came from silk manufacturing.  Rosmini, a graduate of the University of Padua, joined the ranks of priests in 1821.  Then he wrote and studied at Rovereto (1821-1826) and Milan (1826-1828).

Rosmini started getting into trouble immediately.  He opposed state interference, such as the nomination of bishops, in ecclesiastical matters.  The Church, our saint insisted, must be independent of all states and an arm of none.  That position offended many powerful people.

Nevertheless, Rosmini had powerful allies, too.  One of these was Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari (1765-1846), also known as Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846).  Gregory XVI approved Rosmini’s new order of priests, the Institute of Charity, founded on February 20, 1828.  St. Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835), foundress of the Daughters of Charity, had, in 1820, invited our saint to found a similar order for men.  He accepted, eight years later.  The founding of the Institute of Charity was a response to one of the church’s problems–the inadequate education of priests.

Rosmini, a capable philosopher, countered John Locke.  In particular, our saint wrote in response to Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding.  Rosmini’s rebuttal was A New Essay Concerning the Origin of Ideas (1830).  Another major work that proved to be more controversial was Treatise on Moral Conscience (1839).  Rosmini was in trouble with elements of Holy Mother Church for that work from 1839 to 1854, when the Church exonerated him.

[NOTE:  I choose not to paraphrase Rosmini’s philosophy.  Instead, I refer you, O reader, to the article about our saint at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for those details.]

Two other controversial works were Five Wounds of the Church (1832) and A Constitution Based on Social Justice (1848).  The latter work anticipated Catholic social teaching that Pope Leo XIII (reigned 1878-1903) established.  The five self-inflicted wounds of the church were:

  1. The separation of the priests and the people at Mass.  Rosmini favored liturgical renewal that entailed the transition to vernacular language in the Mass.
  2. The Inadequate education of priests.  Rosmini addressed this problem in the Institute of Charity.
  3. The disunity of bishops.
  4. The nomination of bishops by secular authorities.
  5. The enthrallment of the Church to wealth.

Rosmini’s reputation in the Church was improving until 1848.  Pope Pius IX (reigned 1846-1878) was initially a liberal and a reformer.  During the first two years of his pontificate, our saint’s support for Italian unification was not a liability either.  In 1848, however, Pio Nono became a reactionary.  The following year, the Church listed Five Wounds of the Church (1832) and A Constitution Based on Social Justice (1848) on the Index.

Rosmini, 58 years old, died in Stressa, Piedmont, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, on July 1, 1855.

Rosmini’s official ecclesiastical reputation has varied postmortem.  He was officially exonerated from 1854 to 1888-1889.  Then Pope Leo XIII condemned some of our saint’s propositions.  The Vatican exonerated our saint again in 2001, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.  Then Pope Benedict XVI declared Rosmini a Venerable in 2006 and beatified him the following year.

Rosmini was ahead of his time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you have sent

to call the Church and renew its life [such as Blessed Antonio Rosmini].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Elizabeth Rundle Charles (March 29)   1 comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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ELIZABETH RUNDLE CHARLES (JANUARY 28, 1828-MARCH 28 OR APRIL 1, 1896)

Anglican Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer

Also known as Elizabeth Rundle-Charles

Elizabeth Rundle Charles come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Our saint, born Elizabeth Rundle, was a daughter of John Rundle, M.P.  She, born in Tavistock, Devonshire, England, on January 28, 1828, received training at home.  In 1851, she married barrister Andrew Paton Charles (d. 1868).  Our saint distinguished herself as a novelist, a poet, a hagiographer, a hymn writer and translator, a musician, and a painter.  She began her literary career in 1850, when she translated her first German hymn.  Our saint went on to translate texts from Swedish, German, and Latin.

Our saint’s works available at archive.org are:

  1. Mary, the Handmaid of the Lord (1854);
  2. Te Deum Laudamus:  Christian Life in Song–The Song and the Singers (First Edition, 1858; Second Edition, ?; Third Edition, ?; Fourth Edition, ?; Fifth Edition, 1897);
  3. The Black Ship:  With Other Allegories and Parables (1862);
  4. The Voice of Christian Life in Song; or, Hymns and Hymn-Writers of Many Lands and Ages (First Edition, 1858; Second Edition, 1865)
  5. The Early Dawn; or, Sketches of Christian Life in England in the Olden Time (1864);
  6. Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family (1865);
  7. Sketches of Christian Life in England in the Olden Time; Sketches of the United Brethren of Bohemia and Moravia (1865);
  8. Tales and Sketches of Christian Life in Other Lands and Ages (1865);
  9. The Martyrs of Spain, and the Liberators of Holland (1865);
  10. The Two Vocations; Or, the Sisters of Mercy at Home:  A Tale (1865);
  11. The Draytons and the Davenants:  A Story of the Civil Wars (1866);
  12. Wanderings Over Bible Lands and Seas (1866);
  13. Winifred Bertram and the World She Lived In (1866);
  14. On Both Sides of the Sea:  A Story of the Commonwealth and the Restoration (1867);
  15. The Women of the Gospels, the Three Wakings, and Other Verses (1868);
  16. Watchwords for the Welfare of Life; from Dr. Martin Luther (1869);
  17. The Diary of Brother Bartholomew, A Monk in the Abbey of Marienthal, in the Odenwald, in the Twelfth Century (1871);
  18. The Victory of the Vanquished:  A Story of the First Century (1871);
  19. Against the Stream:  The Story of an Heroic Age in England (1873);
  20. Conquering and to Conquer (1875)
  21. The Bertram Family (1877);
  22. Lapsed, But Not Lost:  A Story of Roman Carthage (1878);
  23. Joan the Maid, Deliverer of Deliverer of France and England:  A Story of the Fifteenth Century, Done Into Modern English (1879);
  24. Martyrs and Saints of the First Twelve Centuries (1885);
  25. Three Martyrs of the Nineteenth Century:  Studies from the Lives of Livingstone, Gordon, and Patteson (1885);
  26. Diary of Mrs. Kitty Trevylyan:  A Story of the Times of Whitefield and the Wesleys (1886);
  27. Songs Old and New (1887);
  28. Early Christian Missions of Ireland, Scotland, and England (1893);
  29. Attila and His Conquerors:  A Story of the Days of St. Patrick and St. Leo the Great (1894);
  30. The Ravens and the Angel: With Other Stories and Parables (1894); and
  31. Ewan Christian:  Architect (1896).

Our saint’s hymn translations include:

  1. Dost Thou In a Manger Lie,” and
  2. Be Not Dismayed, Thou Little Flock.”

Her original hymns include:

  1. “Praise Ye the Father,” and
  2. Never Further Than Thy Cross.”

Her hymnary.org page is here.

Our saint, aged 68 years, died in Hampstead Heath (near London) on March 28 or April 1, 1896.  By then she used Rundle-Charles as her surname.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 5, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOROTHEUS OF TYRE, BISHOP OF TYRE, AND MARTYR, CIRCA 362

THE FEAST OF BLISS WIANT, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER, MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR, ARRANGER, AND HARMONIZER; AND HIS WIFE, MILDRED ARTZ WIANT, U.S. METHODIST MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF INI KOPURIA, FOUNDER OF THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD

THE FEAST OF MAURICE BLONDEL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHER AND FORERUNNER OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

THE FEAST OF ORLANDO GIBBONS, ANGLICAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; THE “ENGLISH PALESTRINA”

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Elizabeth Rundle Charles and others, who have composed and translated hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

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 JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Benjamin Carr (May 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Benjamin Carr 

Image in the Public Domain

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BENJAMIN CARR (SEPTEMBER 12, 1768-MAY 24, 1831)

Anglo-American Composer and Organist

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

Music was the family business.  Our saint, born in London, England, on September 12, 1768, was a son of Joseph Carr, a music publisher.  Benjamin studied music in London.  He also performed as a soloist in Ancient Concerts in that city.  The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1793.  Our saint joined the family business, Carr’s Musical Repository, the first music store in the United States.  The original and main location was Philadelphia.  Benjamin opened the satellite store in New York City.  Brother Thomas opened the satellite store in Baltimore, Maryland.  Carr’s Musical Repository published patriotic music, including the Federal Overture, one of our saint’s compositions.

Carr was an organist, a pianist, a conductor, and a composer.  In 1800, he founded the Musical Journal to bring European music to the United States.  After 1800, he focused mainly on teaching and church music.  He, he briefly the organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Philadelphia, spent three decades as the organist and the director of music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia.  Carr also arranged the hymn tune SPANISH HYMN/MADRID/SPANISH CHANT (“Come, Christians, Join to Sing“) in 1825.  His arrangement was for solo, quartet, and a full choir.

Carr, aged 62 years, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 24, 1831.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN CARR, ANGLO-AMERICAN COMPOSER AND ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK AUGUSTUS BENNETT, FIRST MAORI BISHOP IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JÓZEF KURGAWA AND WINCENTY MATSUZEWSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1940

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF PERTH, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BAKER AND MARTYR, 1201

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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 [Benjamin Carr]

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 George Job Elvey (December 9)   Leave a 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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