Archive for the ‘Saints of 1910-1919’ Category

Feast of Jessamyn West (July 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Jessamyn West

Fair Use

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MARY JESSAMYN WEST (JULY 18, 1902-FEBRUARY 23, 1984)

U.S. Quaker Writer

Jessamyn West, a Quaker, wrote novels and short stories.

The West family was Quaker.  Jessamyn, born in Vernon, Indiana, on July 18, 1902, was a daughter of Eldo Roy West and Grace Anna Milhous (West).  Through her mother, our saint was a second cousin of Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994), a very different Quaker.  The West family moved to California when Jessamyn was six years old.  At East Whittier Friends Church, Whittier, California, our saint belonged to the Sunday School class Frank Nixon (Richard’s father) taught.  Frank, whose faith the Social Gospel had influenced, influenced Jessamyn toward socialism.  Our saint graduated from Fullerton Union High School, Fullerton, California (1939), then from Whittier College, Whittier (1943).

Jessamyn was a professional writer.  She was a published author from 1939.  Her first published work was a short story.  Novels and other short stories followed.  Perhaps her most famous work was The Friendly Persuasion (1945), about Quakers during the Civil War.  Friendly Persuasion (1956), the movie adaptation, boasted a fine cast, especially a goose who stile the show, so to speak, in every scene that included her.

Our saint, aged 81 years, died in Napa Valley, California, on February 23, 1984.

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, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Jessamyn West.

Teach us to drive from the world the ugliness of chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may not be blind to your glory,

and that at length everyone may know the inexhaustible richness

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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Feast of R. B. Y. Scott (July 17)   1 comment

Above:  R. B. Y. Scott

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT BELGARNIE YOUNG SCOTT (JULY 18, 1899-NOVEMBER 1, 1987)

Canadian Biblical Scholar, Hymn Writer, and Minister

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What Israel’s prophets said long ago when they condemned the manner of this world and pointed men to the city of God, is directly and profoundly relevant for us.  They concerned themselves with political and economic issues because of their human consequences.  They laid bare the moral facts involved, in the light of Yahweh’s will as the supreme fact with which man in this life has to do.  They traced society’s troubles to the inverted order of material and spiritual things, to man’s self-interest and self-exaltation even against God, and to the denial of his own nature in denying human kinship.

–R. B. Y. Scott, The Relevance of the Prophets, 2nd. ed. (1968), 233

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R. B. Y. Scott comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.  I own a copy of The Relevance of the Prophets (1968), a copy of The Way of Wisdom in the Old Testament (1971), and a copy of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (1965).  I can also easily consult The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume V (1956), which includes Scott’s exegesis of and introduction to Isaiah 1-39.  I own all twelve volumes of The Interpreter’s Bible.  I also own the four original volumes (1962) of The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible:  An Illustrated Encyclopedia, to which Scott contributed.

Above:  Some of the Germane Books from My Library

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Scott, one of the greatest Biblical scholars in the twentieth century, was a Canadian.  Robert Belgarnie Young Scott, born in Toronto, Ontario, on July 18, 1899, grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  Our saint’s father was John McPherson Scott, a minister in that denomination.  Scott studied at Knox College, the University of Toronto (B.A., 1922; M.A., 1924; Ph.D., 1928).  His dissertation (later published) was “The Original Language of the Apocalypse.”

Scott, ordained in the United Church of Canada (formed via merger in 1925) in 1926, spent most of his career in academia.  After two years as the minister of Long Branch United Church, Long Branch, Toronto, Ontario, our saint became a professor.  He was Professor of Old Testament at Union College, Vancouver, British Columbia (1928-1931).  Then Scott taught at United Theological College, Montreal, Quebec (1931-1945).  During this time, Scott helped to found the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (1933) and served as its Secretary-Treasurer (1933-1940).  Our saint, the Dean of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1945-1955), then the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (1955-1968), served as one of the translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Scott was also active in the World Council of Churches from 1949 to 1955.

Scott took the Bible seriously without falling into fundamentalism.  His Social Gospel orientation was evident in many of his 24 hymns, the majority of which dated to the Montreal period.  Scott also argued for multiple authorship of the Book of Isaiah.  Furthermore, our saint insisted that Solomon was not Koheleth, author of Ecclesiastes, due to the presence of Greek literary forms and philosophical terminology (from a subsequent period) in the text.

Scott retired in 1968.  He served as the President of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in 1971.  Our saint’s first wife, Kathleen Cordingly, died in 1979.  After Scott, aged 88 years, died in Toronto on November 1, 1987, his widow was Ruth Tretheway Secord.

The Canadian Society of Biblical Studies offers an annual award in Scott’s honor.  The Scott Award recognizes

an outstanding book in the areas of Hebrew Bible and/or the Ancient Near East, written in English or French by a member of the CSBS and published in the current and previous two years.

The Scott Award is a properly-named prize.

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [R. B. Y. Scott and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Leon McKinley Adkins (July 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  First United Methodist Church, Delmar, New York

Image Source = Google Earth

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LEON MCKINLEY ADKINS (JULY 14, 1896-OCTOBER 11, 1986)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

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

Adkins was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) and its two immediate successors, The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and The United Methodist Church (1968-).  He, born in Ticonderoga, New York, on July 14, 1896, was a son of George Harvey Adkins (1848-1923) and Mary L. Brooks Adkins (1852-1928).  Our saint studied at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont (B.A., 1919) then at the Boston University School of Theology (S.T.B., 1925).  Adkins married Hazel Louise Haseltine (1894-1998) on July 7, 1920.  The couple had a son, Donald Brooks Adkins (1923-2014).  Our saint, ordained in 1921, served at what is now the First United Methodist Church, Delmar, New York, from 1927 to 1937.  After serving in Schenectady, New York (1937-1950), Adkins served as the pastor of University Methodist (now United Methodist) Church, Syracuse, New York (1950-1955).

Above:  University United Methodist Church, Syracuse, New York

Image Source = Google Earth

Adkins (D.D., Middlebury College, 1945) left parish ministry in 1955.  His last position prior to retirement was General Secretary of the Division of the Local Church, the Board of Education, The Methodist Church (1955-1966).  During some of these years Adkins was a member of the texts committee for The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Adkins wrote many poems for ecclesiastical publications.  One of these texts was a hymn, “Go, Make of All Disciples,” first published in Church School (February 1956 issue) then included in The Methodist Hymnal (1966), as hymn #342.  Our saint composed that text for Christian Education Week (September 25-October 2, 1955) and debuted it at University Methodist Church, Syracuse, New York.

Adkins, aged 90 yeas, died in Saratoga Springs, New York, on October 11, 1986.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABITES AND THE ANGLIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF BLESSEDS GEORGE NICHOLS AND RICHARD YAXLEY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1589; BLESSED HUMPHREY PRITCHARD, WELSH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1589; AND BLESSED THOMAS BELSON, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1589

THE FEAST OF GEORGES BERNANOS, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NOVELIST

THE FEAST OF HULDA NIEBUHR, CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR; HER BROTHERS, H. RICHARD NIEBUHR AND REINHOLD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIANS; AND URSULA NIEBUHR, EPISCOPAL THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH BOISSEL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND MARTYR IN LAOS, 1969

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Leon McKinley Adkins 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 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 Leo Sowerby (July 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. James Cathedral, Chicago, Illinois

Image Source = Google Earth

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LEO SALKELD SOWERBY (MAY 1, 1895-JULY 7, 1968)

Episcopal Composer and “Dean of Church Music”

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

Sowerby, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 1, 1895, became a distinguished composer and church musician.  He graduated from the American Conservatory, Chicago, Illinois (M.M., 1918).  Our saint, after serving in the United States Army in France, received the prestigious Prix de Rome scholarship in 1921.  He, a fellow at the American Academy, Rome, after World War I, served as the head of theory and composition at the American Conservatory, Chicago, from 1923 to 1963.  During that tenure, Sowerby received his Mus.D. (1934) from the University of Rochester and served as the organist and choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church/Cathedral, Chicago (1927-1963).  Our saint spent his final years (1962-1968), as the Director of the College of Church Musicians, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

Above:  Washington National Cathedral

Image Source = Google Earth

Sowerby, a member of the tunes committee of the Episcopal Hymnal 1940 (1943) and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his oratorio, Canticle of the Sun (1946), left an impressive body of work.  He composed at least seven hymn tunes (PALISADES, TAYLOR HALL, VENITE ADOREMUS, CRADLE HYMN, TWINKLING STARS, PERRY, and ROSEDALE).  Sowerby also composed both secular and sacred works–orchestral poems, anthems, concerti, oratorios, at least three symphonies, et cetera.  (For musical examples, consult YouTube, O reader.)

Sowerby, aged 73 years, died in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 7, 1968.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 1, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF LYMAN BEECHER, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST AND PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, AND ABOLITIONIST; HIS DAUGHTER, HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, U.S. NOVELIST, HYMN WRITER, AND ABOLITIONIST; AND HER BROTHER, HENRY WARD BEECHER, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN AND CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, AND ABOLITIONIST

THE FEAST OF BLESSED ANTONIO ROSMINI, FOUNDER OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHARITY

THE FEAST OF CATHERINE WINKWORTH, TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS; AND JOHN MASON NEALE, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN CHANDLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST, SCHOLAR, AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF PAULI MURRAY, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY AND EPISCOPAL PRIEST

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your holy name for inspiring Leo Sowerby 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 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 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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Feast of John MacLeod Campbell Crum (December 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN MACLEOD CAMPBELL CRUM (OCTOBER 12, 1872-DECEMBER 19, 1958)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

Also known as John M. C. Crum

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

Above:  St. Andrew’s Church, Farnham, England, UK

Image Source = Google Earth

Crum was a priest in The Church of England.  He, born in Mere Old Hall, Cheshire, on October 12, 1872, attended Eton then New College, Oxford (B.A., 1895; M.A., 1901).  Our saint, ordained deacon (1897) then priest (1900), was the Curate of St. John the Evangelist, Darlington (1897-1901), then the Domestic Chaplain (1901-1907) to Francis Paget, the Bishop of Oxford (1901-1911).  Our saint was subsequently the Curate of Windsor (1907-1910), the Vicar of Mentmore with Ledburn (1910-1912), the Rector of Farnham (1913-1928), and the Canon of Canterbury (1928-1943).

Crum’s published works included hymns, a book about the Gospel of Mark, and a biography of Francis Paget.  Our saint’s most enduring hymn has been “Now the Green Blade Riseth,” an Easter text.

Crum, aged 86 years, died in Farnham, Surrey, on December 19, 1958.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 2, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BLANDINA AND HER COMPANIONS, THE MARTYRS OF LYONS, 177

THE FEAST OF ANDERS CHRISTENSEN ARREBO, “THE FATHER OF DANISH POETRY”

THE FEAST OF CHRISTOPH HOMBURG, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF MARGARET ELIZABETH SANGSTER, HYMN WRITER, NOVELIST, AND DEVOTIONAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT STEPHEN OF SWEDEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY, BISHOP, AND MARTYR, CIRCA 1075

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John MacLeod Campbell Crum 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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