Archive for the ‘Saints of 1890-1899’ Category

Feast of Helen Barrett Montgomery (July 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Helen Barrett Montgomery

Image in the Public Domain

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HELEN BARRETT MONTGOMERY (JULY 31, 1861-OCTOBER 19, 1934)

U.S. Northern Baptist President, Social Reformer, Biblical Translator, and Supporter of Foreign Missions

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Jesus Christ is the great Emancipator of woman.  He alone among the founders of the great religions of the world looked upon men and women with level eyes, seeing not their differences, but their oneness, their humanity.

–Helen Barrett Montgomery, at the Baptist World Congress (1923)

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Helen Barrett Montgomery 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).

Helen Barrett Montgomery blazed trails for women in Christianity in the United States of America.  Helen Barrett, born in Kingsville, Ohio, on July 31, 1861, was a daughter of educators Amos Judson Barrett (d. 1889) and Emily Barrows (Barrett).  The family moved to Rochester, New York, in 1874; Amos matriculated at Rochester Theological Seminary.  He went on to serve as the pastor of Lake Avenue (Memorial) Baptist Church, Rochester, New York (1876-1889).

Helen became an educator.  She graduated from Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1884.  She had mastered Greek.  Our saint, a teacher in Rochester, New York, then in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, married William A. Montgomery. a businessman of Rochester, on September 6, 1887.  The couple adopted a daughter, Edith Montgomery.

Montgomery was a Christian feminist.  She, a suffragette, remained active at Lake Avenue (Memorial) Baptist Church for more than four decades.  The congregation licensed our saint to preach in 1892.  Montgomery also taught a Sunday School class for women for forty-four years.  She also served as a delegate to annual conventions of the Northern Baptist Convention (now the American Baptist Churches U.S.A.), organized in 1907.  Our saint, elected the President of the Northern Baptist Convention in 1921, became the first female leader of a denomination in the United States of America.  Montgomery also served as the President of the Women’s American Baptist Foreign Mission Society.  Our saint, a theological Modernist, helped to fend off the fundamentalist faction of the denomination.  Northern Baptist fundamentalists favored an official confession.  Montgomery championed the Baptist principle of liberty.  Much of the fundamentalist wing of the Northern Baptist Convention broke away.  Schismatic groups included the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (1932) and the Conservative Baptist Association of America (1947).

Montgomery, a progressive and a reformer, worked with Susan B. Anthony in founding the Rochester chapter of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union.  Our saint, chapter president (1893-1911), helped impoverished women and children, frequently immigrants.  Tangible improvements included health clinics, a legal aid office, and playgrounds.

At a time when few women held public office, Montgomery spent a decade (1899-1909) on the Rochester School Board.  She helped to introduce vocational training, kindergarten, and health education.

Montgomery and Susan B. Anthony helped to make the University of Rochester co-educational.  They and the university trustees agreed that, if Montgomery and Anthony raised $50,000 ($1,574,901.72 in 2020 currency) by 1900, the university would become co-educational.  The women succeeded, and the university admitted female students in 1900.  However, the university operated a separate campus for women from 1930 to 1955.

Montgomery’s published works included:

  1. Life in Old Florence (1895);
  2. Christus Redemptor:  An Official Study of the Island World of the Pacific (1906);
  3. How to Use Christian Redemptor:  An Outline Study of the Island World of the Pacific (1906);
  4. How to Use Gospel in Latin Lands (1907);
  5. The Empire of the East (1908);
  6. Western Women in Eastern Lands:  An Outline History of Woman’s Work in Foreign Missions (1910);
  7. How to Use:  A Handbook of Suggestions to Accompany the Text Book The Light of the World:  An Outline of Christianity and Non-Christian Religions, by Robert E. Speer (1911);
  8. How to Use:  A Handbook to Accompany China’s New Day (1912);
  9. Following the Sunrise:  A Century of Baptist Missions, 1813-1913 (1913);
  10. The King’s Highway:  A Study of Present Conditions of the Foreign Field (1915);
  11. Our Neighbor Japan:  A Book for Adult Classes in the Sunday School (1917);
  12. How to Use Our Textbook Women Workers of the Orient:  A Handbook of Suggestions (1918);
  13. The Bible and Missions (1920);
  14. A Woman’s Life and the World’s Work (1921);
  15. Prayer and Missions (1924);
  16. The Centenary Translation of the New Testament, a.k.a. the Montgomery New Testament (1924); and
  17. From Jerusalem to Jerusalem (1929).

Montgomery was the second woman to translate the New Testament.  Julia Evelina Smith self-published her translation, The Holy Bible:  Containing the Old and New Testaments, Translated Literally from the Original Tongues in 1876.  The Northern Baptist Convention published Montgomery’s Centenary Translation of the New Testament (1924).  The translation’s genesis was necessity; extant translations proved unsatisfactory to our saint and unintelligible to many younger people.

Montgomery, an indefatigable supporter of foreign missions and a philanthropist, died in Summit, New Jersey, on October 19, 1934.  She was 73 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 9, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF AUGUSTUS TOLTON, PIONEERING AFRICAN-AMERICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN RUDOLPH AHLE AND JOHANN GEORG AHLE, GERMAN LUTHERAN ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF JOHANN SCHEFFLER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF GORKUM, HOLLAND, 1572

THE FEAST OF ROBERT GRANT, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND HYMN WRITER

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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 Helen Barrett Montgomery].

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 Blessed Valeriu Traian Frentiu (July 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Valeriu Traian Frentiu 

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED VALERIU TRAIAN FRENTIU (APRIL 25, 1875-JULY 11, 1952)

Romanian Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr, 1952

Blessed Valeriu Traian Frentiu ran afoul of the Communist government of Romania.  Our saint began life as a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Frentiu, born in Resita, Caras-Severin, on April 25, 1875, came from the western part of what is now Romania.  He became a priest in the Romanian Greek Catholic rite on September 28, 1898.  Our saint, having studied theology in Budapest, went on to study for his doctorate in theology in Vienna.  He received that degree in 1902.  Frentiu became the Eparch (Bishop) of Lugo on January 14, 1913.  Nine years later, our saint became the Eparch of Oradea Mare on February 25, 1933.  His predecessor’s cause of death was murder.  And, from 1941 to 1947, Frentiu served as the Apostolic Administrator of Fagaras si Alba Iulia.

In the spring of 1945, during the final months of World War II in Europe, Communist forces began to consolidate their power in Romania.  With the end of the monarchy in December 1947, Romania became a Communist state in the political orbit of the Soviet Union.  The law of August 4, 1948, officially granted freedom of religion and defined coercive acts intended to curb religious practices as crimes.  However, that law also brought organized religion under state control, thereby rendering churches allowed to exist as agents of the Communist government.

Frentiu refused to renounce Rome.  Authorities arrested our saint early in the morning of October 29, 1948.  He died in prison at Sighetu on July 11, 1952.  Frentiu was 77 years old.

Pope Francis declared Frentiu a Venerable then beatified him in 2019.

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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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Blessed Valeriu Traian Frentiu

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of the world,

and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

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

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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Feast of Alice Paul (July 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Alice Paul, 1918

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-37937

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ALICE STOKES PAUL (JANUARY 11, 1885-JULY 9, 1977)

U.S. Quaker Women’s Rights Activist

Alice Paul‘s Quaker faith, with its egalitarian elements, informed and compelled her feminist activism.

Our saint came from a devout Quaker family that valued education and social progressivism.  She, born in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, on January  11, 1885, was a daughter of William Mickle Paul, I (1850-1902), and Tacie Parry Paul (1859-1930).  Alice’s siblings were William Mickle Paul, II (1886-1958), Helen Paul Shearer (1889-1971), and Parry Haines Paul (1895-1956).  Tacie, a suffragette, took young Alice to suffragette meetings.  The influence lasted.

Paul, well-educated, changed her academic course mid-stream.  She, a graduate of Moorestown Friends School, Moorestown,  New Jersey, matriculated at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, as a biology major (B.A., 1905).  A year-long fellowship (1905-1906) at a settlement house on the Lower East Side of Manhattan led to graduate studies in economics, sociology, and political science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (M.A., 1907).  During the next three years, Paul lived in England.  She studied at the Woodbrooke Quaker Centre, Birmingham; the University of Birmingham; and the London School of Economics.  Our saint also became a militant suffragette.  She endured three prison sentences.  Paul, on hunger strikes, also endured forced feedings.  Our saint, back in the United States of America in 1910, earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her dissertation was “The Legal Standing of Women in Pennsylvania.”

Paul’s militant feminism, costly to her, benefited many women and the United States of America.  She, one of the founders of the National Woman’s Party (1916), protested, marched, and went to prison.  She and her sister activists, incarcerated unjustly in the “land of the free” that fought World War I allegedly to “make the world safe for democracy,” sought to allow women in all states to vote.  Women could vote in some states and territories yet not others prior to the ratification (1920) of the Nineteenth Amendment.  In prison, Paul and her sister activists, on hunger strikes, endured forced feedings.

(Thomas) Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America (1913-1921), was a difficult historical figure.  He was an unapologetic White Supremacist who segregated the District of Columbia.  (His father, the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Georgia, in 1861, had preached in favor of race-based chattel slavery.  Then Joseph had become a founding father of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America, committed to defending slavery as part of theological orthodoxy.  The apple did not fall far from the tree; Thomas was similar to Joseph.)  In the presidential election of 1912, Wilson, the nominee of the Democratic Party, was not the most progressive candidate.  That mantle fell to the Socialist Party’s Eugene V. Debs.  Progressive Party nominee and former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, whose platform included universal health care, was more progressive than Wilson.  Wilson, as President, usually governed as a conservative.  He governed as a progressive when he perceived that doing so was to his political advantage, such as shortly prior to the election of 1916, so he could attract the votes of many progressives during the Progressive Era.  Wilson, long an opponent of women’s suffrage, was a target for Paul’s activism.  Her militant tactics paid off; Wilson became a champion of women’s suffrage as the political winds changed course.

(Aside:  In case I have not been sufficiently clear, O reader, I do not like Woodrow Wilson.  I would not name an outhouse after him.  To do so would insult the outhouse.)

Paul studied law after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.  She earned her law degrees (through Doctor of Civil Laws) from the Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C., in 1922, 1927, and 1928.

Paul spent most of the rest of her life working for the legal equality of men and women under the law.  She co-wrote successive versions of the Equal Rights Amendment, starting in 1923, and lobbied for all of them.  Critics came from both the Right and on the Left.  On the Right, support for patriarchy prevailed.  On the Left, fears of losing gender-based protections for women prompted opposition.  In Paul’s mind, anything other than legal egalitarianism for men and women constituted “legalized inequality.”  Our saint also helped to add gender as one of the categories in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Paul, who kept her personal life private and never married, died in Moorestown, New Jersey, on July 9, 1977.  She was 92 years old.

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 and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us [like your servant Alice Paul] to use our freedom

to bring justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 370

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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 Arthur Henry Messiter (July 2)   Leave a comment

Above:  Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, New York, 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Image Contributor = Detroit Publishing Company

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a08581

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ARTHUR HENRY MESSITER (APRIL 12, 1834-JULY 2, 1916)

Episcopal Musician and Hymn Tune Composer

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

Above:  St. John’s Episcopal Church, Poultney, Vermont

Image Source = Google Earth

Messiter was a church musician.  He, born in Frome, Somersetshire, England, on April 12, 1834, was a son of George Messiter and Marion S. Malin (Messiter).  Our saint studied at a private school then studied music in Northamptonshire for four years.  He immigrated to the United States of America in 1863.  Messiter was a chorister at Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, New York, before leaving to serve as the organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Poultney, Vermont.  After a stint as the organist at St. James the Less Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, our saint began his service (1866-1897) as the organist of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, New York.

Messiter’s service while at Trinity Church, Wall Street, was distinguished and not restricted to the parish level.  He maintained the highest standard of English cathedral music at Trinity Church.  Our saint also shared that high standard with the denomination.  He served as the music editor of the 1893 musical edition of the 1892 Episcopal Hymnal and as the editor of the Choir-Office Book:  The Daily and Occasional Offices and the Order of Holy Communion Set to Anglican and Plain-Song Music as Used in Trinity Church, New York, New York (1891).  Our saint also arranged The Psalter:  Pointed for Singing and Set to Music, According to the Use of Trinity Parish, New York (1889).  Messiter also composed MARION, a hymn tune usually paired with the text, “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart.”  Furthermore, our saint, music historian at Trinity Church, wrote A History of the Choir and Music of Trinity Church, New York, from Its Organization to the Year 1897 (1906).

Messiter married Margaret S. Gaddis (1842-1938) in 1871.  They had a son, Arthur M. Messiter (1878-1898).

Messiter, aged 82 years, died in New York, New York, on July 2, 1916.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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

thank you for those (especially Arthur Henry Messiter)

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 Robert Seymour Bridges (April 20)   1 comment

Above:  Robert Seymour Bridges

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT SEYMOUR BRIDGES (OCTOBER 23, 1844-APRIL 21, 1930)

Anglican Hymn Writer and Hymn Translator

Robert Seymour Bridges comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  His works available at archive.org are numerous.  They include his Poetical Works (Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, and VI).

Bridges, born on the Isle of Thanet, England, on October 23, 1844, became a great figure in English-language hymnody.  He, educated at Eton then at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduated.  Then he traveled abroad for two years.  Next, our saint studied medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.  After practicing medicine in that hospital, Bridges ceased to do so in 1882.  He, his health failing, moved to Yattendon, Berkshire, and recovered.  Bridges married Mary Monica Waterhouse in 1884.  He lived in Oxford from 1907 to her death.

Bridges, post-medical career, devoted himself to writing.  He became the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 1913.  Other literary contributions, some of which predated his retirement from medicine, included the texts in Shorter Poems (1890) and The Testament of Beauty (1929).  Our saint also wrote and translated hymns.  Anyone who has sung “Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended,” “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded,” and/or “When Morning Gilds the Skies” has sung some of our saint’s translations.  Bridges’s original hymns included “Rejoice, O Lord, in God Thy Might.”  Our saint also served as an editor of The Yattendon Hymnal (1899, 1920), to which he contributed hymns.

Bridges died in Oxford, England, on April 21, 1930.  He was 85 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANKLIN CLARK FRY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA AND THE LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLAUDE OF BESANÇON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HENRY JAMES BUCKOLL, AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF JOHANN FRIEDRICH HERTZOG, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM KETHE, PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Robert Seymour Bridges and others, who have composed 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 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 Henry Walford Davies (March 15)   Leave a comment

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

Image in the Public Domain

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SIR HENRY WALFORD DAVIES (SEPTEMBER 6, 1869-MARCH 11, 1941)

Anglican Organist and Composer

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

Davies, of Welsh ancestry, was a maestro.  He, born in Oswestry, Shropshire, England, on September 6, 1869, joined the choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, at age 12.  At St. George’s Chapel, our saint studied under Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924).  From 1885 to 1890, Davies served as an assistant to Sir Walter Parratt (1841-1924), the organist of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.  Next, our saint was the organist at St. Anne’s, Soho, from 1890 to 1895, then a member of the faculty of the Royal College of Music (1895-1903).  Davies, the organist of the Temple Church, London, from 1898 to 1919, taught Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977).  Our saint also conducted the London Church Choir Association (1901-1913) and the London Bach Choir (1903-1907).  Davies served as the musical director of the Royal Air Force, with the rank of Major, during World War I.  He was Professor of Music at the University of Wales from 1919 to 1926.  He became Sir Henry in 1922.  In 1924, our saint began pioneering music education broadcasting on BBC radio; this work occupied him for a decade.  Meanwhile, he accepted the position of organist at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, in 1927.  Finally, in 1934, Davies succeeded Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) as the Master of the King’s Music.

Volumes Davies wrote or edited included:

  1. Hymns of the Kingdom (1923),
  2. Hymns of Western Europe (1927),
  3. The Church Anthem Book (1933), and
  4. Music and Worship (1935).

Davies was more of a teacher than a composer.  He also favored the “speech-rhythm” method of chanting psalms.  His family’s Congregationalist background influenced our saint; he advocated for congregational hymn singing, over the traditional Anglican metrical psalms.  Davies also composed hymn tunes, including:

  1. AUCTOR VITAE,
  2. CHRISTMAS CAROL,
  3. ETHERINGTON,
  4. FIRMAMENT,
  5. HAMPSTEAD,
  6. PENTATONE,
  7. PLENITUDE,
  8. PURPOSE,
  9. SPIRITUS CHRISTI,
  10. ST. ANDRÉ,
  11. TEMPLE,
  12. VISION, and
  13. WALLOG.

Davies’s other compositions included the Royal Air Force March; the Symphony #2; Solemn Melody; Royal Thanksgiving Music; The Holly and the Ivy; King of Glory, King of Peace; Festal Service in G; and anthems and chants, including God Be in My Head (included in The Methodist Hymnal, 1966) Blessed Are the Pure in Heart, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G, and settings of Psalms 121, 130, and 137.

Davies, aged 71 years, died in Wrington, Somerset, England, on March 11, 1941.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 4, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KOSTKA STAROWIEYSKI, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1941

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS CARACCIOLO, COFOUNDER OF THE MINOR CLERKS REGULAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN LANCASTER SPALDING, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF PEORIA THEN TITULAR BISHOP OF SEYTHOLPOLIS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETROC, WELSH PRINCE, ABBOT, AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF THOMAS RAYMOND KELLY, U.S. QUAKER MYSTIC AND PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY

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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 Henry Walford Davies]

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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