Archive for the ‘Saints of 1930-1939’ 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 Albert Frederick Bayly (July 23)   1 comment

Above:  Logo of The United Reformed Church

Image in the Public Domain

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ALBERT FREDERICK BAYLY (SEPTEMBER 6, 1901-JULY 26, 1984)

English Congregationalist then United Reformed Minister, Librettist, and Hymn Writer

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[Bayly] counts as the first of the new wave of experimental hymn writers, making some of the first gestures towards a hymnody celebrating the scenes, languages, and social needs of modern life.

Erik Routley, quoted in Paul Grime and Joseph Hurl, eds., Hymnal Supplement 98 Handbook (1998), 148

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

Bayly, a contributor to the “hymn explosion” in England (1960s forward) was of the Reformed persuasion.  He, born in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, on September 6, 1901, studied at Hastings Grammar School and St. Mary Magdalen School, St. Leonards.  Our saint briefly trained as a shipwright at the Royal Dockyard School, Portsmouth.  Bayly’s calling was ordained ministry.  He attended Mansfield College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1928.  Bayly had already earned his B.AS. from London University.

Above:  Christ Church, Swanland, England

Image Source = Google Earth

Bayly served in parish ministry from 1928 to 1971, when he retired.  During his time of active ministry, our saint’s denomination was the Congregational Church in England and Wales.

  1. Bayly, as the assistant minister at Whitley Bay (1928-1938), was pastor of the mission (now St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church) in neighboring Monkseaton.
  2. Next, our saint served at the Morpeth Congregational Church, Morpeth, Northumberland (1938-1946).  This congregation eventually amalgamated with St. George’s Presbyterian Church, Morpeth, to become St. George’s United Reformed Church.
  3. Bayly was pastor of Hollingreave Congregational Church, Burnley, Lancashire (1946-1950).  This congregation amalgamated into Burnley and Nelson United Reformed Church in 1979.
  4. Our saint served at Swanland Congregational Church, Swanland, East Riding, Yorkshire (1950-1956).  The local Methodist congregation amalgamated with the United Reformed congregation in 1981 to form Christ Church, Swanland, in the former Congregational/United Reformed building.
  5. Bayly was pastor of Eccleston Congregational Church, St. Helens, Lancashire (1956-1962).  This congregation’s legacy has passed to one of the four United Reformed churches in the town.
  6. Our saint served at the Thaxted Congregational Church, Thaxted, Essex (1962-1971).  This congregation has become the Thaxted United Reformed Church.

With the merger of the Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church in England in 1972, Bayly became a minister in The United Reformed Church.

Bayly wrote.  He wrote hymns, starting in 1945.  Our saint composed librettos for three of William Lloyd Webber‘s cantatas.  Bayly wrote several mission-themed pageants.  He also published collections of hymns:

  1. Rejoice, O People (1950);
  2. Again, I Say Rejoice (1967);
  3. Rejoice Always (1971);
  4. Rejoice in God (1977); and
  5. Rejoice Together (1981).

Bayly, who retired to Springfield, Chelmsford, died in Chichester, Sussex, on July 26, 1984.  He was 82 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND AGENT OF NATIONAL HEALING; AND BETTY FORD, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF ALBERT RHETT STUART, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF GEORGIA AND ADVOCATE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF ALICE PAUL, U.S. QUAKER WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF GEORG NEUMARK, GERMAN LUTHERAN POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI BATTISTA BONONCINI AND ANTONIO MARIA BONONCINI, ITALIAN COMPOSERS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Albert Frederick Bayly 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 Vicar Earle Copes (July 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas

Image Source = Google Earth

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VICAR EARLE COPES (AUGUST 12, 1921-JULY 20, 2014)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Liturgist, Composer, and Organist

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

Copes spent his life serving God.  He, born in Nofolk, Virginia, on August 12, 1921, was the only child of Archibald Vicar Copes (1883-1964) and Lena Agnes Early (Copes) (1887-1984) who survived to adulthood.  Our saint, a graduate of Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina (B.A., 1940), and Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York (M.S.M., 1944; B.D., 1945), became an ordained elder in The Methodist Church.  Copes, an associate pastor in McAllen, Texas (1945-1946), served as the Minister of Music at Highland Park Methodist Church (now United Methodist Church), Dallas, Texas (1946-1949).  Then he left parish ministry until 1973.

Copes worked on the academic and denominational levels from 1949 to 1973.  He was Professor of Organ and Church Music, Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas (1949-1956), then at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa (1956-1958).  Next, our saint was the Music Editor at the General Board of Education of The Methodist Church (1958-1967).  He, based in Nashville, Tennessee, had been working to improve the quality of music in the denomination since 1952.  This work continued for decades.  He edited Music Ministry magazine from 1958 to 1967.  Our saint also served on the subcommittee on hymn tunes for The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  One purpose of that hymnal was to improve the quality of hymnody in the denomination.  Sadly, The Methodist Hymnal (1966), a prescriptive hymn book, constituted a prescription much of The Methodist Church then The United Methodist Church rejected.  The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), being descriptive instead, became more popular than its predecessor.  Copes served as the head of the Department of Organ and Church Music, Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama (1967-1973).

Above:  Christ Church United Methodist, Kettering, Ohio

Image Source = Google Earth

Copes retired after spending 1973-1986 as the Minister of Music at Christ Church United Methodist, Kettering, Ohio.

Copes was qualified to serve in the capacities he did.  He composed choir anthems and at least four hymn tunes.  He wrote the tunes FOR THE BREAD, EPWORTH CHURCH, KINGDOM, and VICAR.  Copes also harmonized at least eight hymn tunes.  Furthermore, he played the organ in 32 states.

Above:  First Congregational United Church of Christ, Sarasota, Florida

Image Source = Google Earth

Copes, retired, was a substitute organist in the Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, area.  He attended the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Sarasota.

Copes, aged 92 years, died in Sarasota, Florida, on July 20, 2014.  Laura (Eakin), to whom he had been married for more than 70 years, survived him, as did their sons and the sons’ families.

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

thank you for those (especially Vicar Earle Copes)

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 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)   2 comments

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 St. Alexander Schmorell (July 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Cathedral of Holy New-Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, Munich, Germany, Site of the Shrine of Saint Alexander Schmorell

Image Source = Google Earth

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SAINT ALEXANDER SCHMORELL (SEPTEMBER 16, 1917-JULY 13, 1943)

Russian-German Orthodox Anti-Nazi Activist and Martyr, 1943

Also known as Aleksandr Gugovich Shmorel and Saint Alexander of Munich

St. Alexander Schmorell comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the U.S.A. (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople).

Schmorell held dual German and Russian citizenship.  He, born in Orenburg, Russian Empire, on September 16, 1917, debuted during revolutionary times.  Hugo Schmorell, a dual German and Russian citizen, was a physician.  Nataliya Vvedenstkaya was a daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest.  Hugo and Nataliya had to leave Moscow because of anti-German hysteria during World War I.  Hugo had vital medical skills, though, so he practiced medicine in Orenburg, where Alexander debuted.  Nataliya died of typhoid fever when our saint was a year old.  Hugo married Elizabeth Hoffman, a nurse and a Roman Catholic, in 1920.

The family fled Russia and moved to Munich in 1921.  That city served as the geographical center of Schmorell’s life for the rest of his life.  Our young saint did experience difficulty adjusting to life in Germany.  For example, his teacher in the mandatory religion course at school told him to cross himself in the Roman Catholic manner (left to right), not in the Eastern Orthodox way (right to left.)  Schmorell disobeyed.

The Third Reich put Schmorell in some difficult situations.  Our saint always opposed Nazism.  He did not pretend that some Nazis were, to quote Donald Trump, speaking of violent American Neo-Nazis in 2017,

very fine people.

No, Schmorell understood that the “good Nazi” was an oxymoron.  Nazis, our saint knew, were deplorable.  He condemned evil plainly.  He could not complete his medical studies (begun in 1939) at the University of Hamburg because of the German military draft.  Schmorell entered the German Army as a medic.  Somehow, he got out of having to swear loyalty to Adolf Hitler.  The Army sent our saint to France, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union.

Schmorell was a German patriot; he opposed the Third Reich and worked for the destruction of that government.  In the summer of 1942, our saint and Hans Scholl (1918-1943) founded the White Rose, an anti-Nazi organization, in Munich.  They wrote, printed, and distributed leaflets encouraging people to rise up against the government.  Schmorell wrote of the Holocaust in one leaflet.  Another member of the White Rose was Sophie Scholl (1921-1943), sister of Hans.  Members of the White Rose, after having initially focused on Munich, spread out across the Third Reich in January 1943.  That February 18, Nazi authorities arrested the Scholls, executed four days later.  Schmorell, arrested in Munich on February 24, 1943, received the crown of martyrdom on July 13, 1943.  He was 25 years old.

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia glorified (canonized) Schmorell in 2012.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2020 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBERO AND ULRIC OF AUGSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF CHARLES ALBERT DICKINSON, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL, QUEEN AND PEACEMAKER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SERVANT OF THE POOR AND OPPONENT OF FASCISM

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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 Saint Alexander Schmorell]

to use our freedom to bring justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name; through 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), 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 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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