Archive for the ‘Catherine Winkworth’ Tag

Feast of Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale (July 1)   2 comments

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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CATHERINE WINKWORTH (SEPTEMBER 13, 1827-JULY 1, 1878)

Translator of Hymns

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JOHN MASON NEALE (JANUARY 24, 1818-AUGUST 6, 1866)

Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

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That these hymns and tunes first sprang up on a foreign soil is no reason why they should not take root among us; all who use our Common Prayer know well how the unity of the Christian sentiment is felt to swallow up all diversity of national origin.  In truth, any embodiment of Christian experience and devotion, whether in the form of hymn or prayer or meditation, or whatever shape art may give it, if it do but go to the heart of our common faith, becomes at once the rightful and most precious inheritance of the whole Christian Church.

–Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book for England (1862), vii

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The thought that, in conclusion, strikes one is this:  the marvellous ignorance in which English ecclesiastical scholars are content to remain of this huge treasure of divinity–the gradual completion of nine centuries at least.  I may safely calculate that not one out of twenty who peruse these pages will ever have read a Greek ‘Canon’ though; yet what a glorious mass of theology do these offices present!  If the following pages tend in any degree to induce the reader to study these books for himself, my labour could hardly have been spent to a better result.

–John Mason Neale, Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862), xli

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INTRODUCTION

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Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale were Anglicans who enriched English-language hymnody with their translations–Winkworth contributed translations of German hymns while Neale, her contemporary, delved into the treasures of Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

To celebrate the lives of these saints is appropriate.  My Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days now follows the custom of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), which, since the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), have commemorated Winkworth and Neale in one feast, dated July 1.  The Episcopal Church, my denomination, also celebrates these saints, but in separate feasts, both on August 7–Neale since at least 1970 and Winkworth since 2009.  The Church of England’s feast day for Neale is also August 7.  In this post I follow the Lutheran feast, but with the Episcopal propers–certainly an ecumenical approach.

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JOHN MASON NEALE

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John Mason Neale, whose health was always fragile, entered the world at London, England, on January 24, 1818.  He studied at Sherborne Grammar School as well as privately under the tutelage of the Reverend William Russell and one Professor Challis.  Next Neale was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, at which he matriculated in 1836.  Our saint, who graduated with his undergraduate degree in 1840 and his M.A. five years later, became involved in the Anglo-Catholic movement at Cambridge, as an undergraduate.  Between degrees Neale joined the ranks of the clergy–as a deacon in 1841 and a priest the following year.  Our saint, near death in 1843, could not accept the Incumbency of Crawley, Sussex; we went to Madeira instead, and there remained until the summer of 1844.  He also married Sarah Norman Webster in 1842.

Neale, back in England, and his lungs in somewhat better condition than 1843, settled into the obscure and low-paying position of Warden of Sackville, College, East Grimland, in 1846.  There he spent the rest of his life as a studious servant of God.  At a time when many Evangelical Anglicans and other Evangelicals considered the Anglo-Catholic movement to be in league with Satan, Neale’s Anglo-Catholicism was quite controversial.  Somehow he remained good-natured despite vitriolic and even violence.  At Sackville College our saint delved into ancient and medieval liturgies and hymnody, publishing the following:

  1. Medieval Hymns and Sequences (1851);
  2. The Hymnal Noted (1851);
  3. Hymns, Ancient and Modern (1859);
  4. Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862);
  5. Essays on Liturgiology and Church History (1863); and
  6. Hymns, Chiefly Medieval, on the Joys and Glories of Paradise (1865).

Original Sequences, Hymns, and Other Ecclesiastical Verses debuted posthumously.

In 1854 Neale co-founded the Sisterhood of Saint Margaret.  Members lived in convents, operated orphanages, helped women escape prostitution, and visited ill girls and women in their homes.  His last pubic act was to lay the foundation for a new convent.

On August 6 (the Feast of the Transfiguration), 1866, Neale died after having been seriously ill for months.  He was 48 years old.

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CATHERINE WINKWORTH

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Catherine Winkworth did not survive past the age of 48 years.  Her contributions to English-language hymnody, like those of Neale, have survived her and blessed many.

Winkworth, born in Ely Place, Holborn, London, England, on September 13, 1827 (not 1829, as some of the hymnal companion volumes I consulted stated), was a daughter of Henry Winkworth, a silk merchant of Alderley Edge, Cheshire.  Our saint, a well-educated woman, was a feminist who spent much of her adult life promoting the higher education of women.  She did this in various capacities over decades.  She, having grown up mostly in Manchester, moved with the family to Clifton, near Bristol, in 1862.  Thus the geographical concentration of much of her educational work was the area of Bristol and Clifton.

Winkworth, a devout Anglican, was deeply interested in economic justice, in literature, and in German hymnody.  Her translations of biographies–Life of Pastor Fliedner (1861) and Life of Amelia Sieveking (1863)–represented our saint’s social conscience.  The Reverend Theodor Fliedner (1800-1864) had renewed the female diaconate in the Lutheran Church.  Amelia Wilhemina Sieveking/Amalie Wilhemine Sieveking (1794-1859) had done much to help poor people and pioneer social work in Germany.

Winkworth, more than any other translator, was responsible for the revival of the English use of German hymns.  Her major works in this field were the two series (1855 and 1858) of Lyra Germanica as well as the Chorale Book for England (1863).  In Christian Singers of Germany (1869) our saint provided biographies.  John Percival (1895-1917), the Headmaster of Clifton College and later the Bishop of Hereford, commented on Winkworth:

She was a person of remarkable intellectual and social gifts and very unusual attainments; but what specially distinguished her was her rare ability and great knowledge with a certain tender and sympathetic refinement which constitutes the special charm of the womanly character.

–Quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), 989.

Winkworth, while traveling to an international conference on women’s issues, died of heart disease at Monnetier, Savoy.  She was 50 years old.

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CONCLUSION

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If one values quality in English-language hymnody, one should thank God for the legacies of Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale.  Winkworth’s contributions include “Now Thank We All Our God;” “Jesus, Priceless Treasure;” “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee;” and “Deck Thyself, My Soul, with Gladness.”  She has 10 entries in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 (1985), 30 in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 41 in Lutheran Worship (1982), 19 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), and 40 in the Lutheran Service Book (2006).

Neale, responsible for translating or writing about one-eighth of the hymns in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, has bequeathed a glorious legacy of hymnody also.  If one has sung “Of the Father’s Love Begotten;” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice;” “What Star is This, with Beams So Bright;” and “All Glory, Laud, and Honor;” for example, one has encountered Neale’s work.  He has remained prominent in hymnals, with 45 entries in The Hymnal 1982, 21 in the Lutheran Book of Worship, 18 in Lutheran Worship, 14 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and 26 in the Lutheran Service Book.

I thank God for the legacies of Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 22, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF GENE BRITTON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF DONALD S. ARMENTROUT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF KATHE KOLLWITZ, GERMAN LUTHERAN ARTIST AND PACIFIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VITALIS OF GAZA, MONK, HERMIT, AND MARTYR

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Grant, O God, that in all time of testing we may know and obey your will;

that, following the example of your servant John Mason Neale,

we may with integrity and courage accomplish what you give us to do,

and endure what you give us to bear;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 106:1-5

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Matthew 13:44-52

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 511

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Comfort your people, O God of peace, and prepare a way for us in the desert,

that, like your poet and translator Catherine Winkworth,

we may preserve the spiritual treasures of your saints in former years

and sing our thanks to you with hearts and hands a voices,

eternal triune God whom earth and heaven adore;

for you live and reign for ever and ever.  Amen.

Exodus 6:28-7:2

Psalm 47:5-9

1 Corinthians 14:20-25

Mark 1:35-38

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 513

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Feast of Michael Weisse and Jan Roh (February 12)   2 comments

Moravian Logo

Above:  Logo of the Moravian Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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MICHAEL WEISSE (CIRCA 1480-MARCH 19, 1534)

German Moravian Minister and Hymn Writer

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JAN ROH (1485/1490-FEBRUARY 11, 1547)

Also known as John Horn, Johann Horn, and Johann Cornu

Bohemian Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

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The names of Michael Weisse and Jan Roh came to my attention because of my interest in the history of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum).  As I took notes on Roh’s life the name of Weisse kept recurring.  The best way to tell their stories, I concluded, was together.

Michael Weisse was a native of Neisse, Silesia (now Nysa, Poland).  He, born circa 1480, grew up in the Roman Catholic Church.  Weisse probably matriculated at the University of Krakow in 1504.  After he completed his studies our saint entered the Franciscan monastery at Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) and became a priest.  In 1518, howevr, Weisse left monastic life and Roman Catholicism behind and entered the Unitas Fratrum, the Bohemian Brethren.

Jan Roh, Weisse’s contemporary, was of Bohemian origin.   Roh, a.k.a. Johann Horn, John Horn, and Johann Cornu, was a native of Domascbitz near Leitmeritz, Bohemia.  The saint, born in 1485/1490, became a presbyter in the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) in 1518 at Jungbunzlau, Bohemia.  He became one of the three Seniors of the Unity.  Three years later, he joined the ranks of bishop.

Sometime after 1518 the lives of Roh and Weisse began to overlap.  Roh, Weisse, and John Augusta (1500-1572) represented the Bohemian Brethren in theological discussions with Martin Luther.  In 1531, the year in which Weisse became a presbyter, he edited the Unity’s first German-language hymnal.  The volume reflected Weisse’s Zwinglian theology of the Holy Communion.  Roh, who edited the Unity’s Czech hymnal of 1541, revised Weisse’s German-language hymnal in 1544, correcting the Eucharistic theology to conform to the Brethren’s position–the real presence.  In 1532 and 1535 Roh and Augusta prepared the Unity’s confession of faith in Czech and Latin.  Weisse translated the 1532 statement into German, incorporating his theological tendencies in the process.

Weisse, who joined the Unity’s Inner Council in 1532, died of food poisoning in 1534.  He had founded German-language congregations in Bohemia and Moravia.  Weisse had also, since 1531, been overseer of the German-language congregations at Lanskroun and Fulnek, Moravia (now the Czech Republic).  The saint’s original legacy in hymnody consists of hymn tunes, hymn texts, and translations of hymn texts.  I have added some of his hymn translations and original texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  The Moravian Book of Worship (1995) contains six hymn tunes Weisse composed and one he adapted.

Among Weisse’s original hymns from the hymnal of 1531 was the following, as Donald M. McCorkle (1929-1978) translated it in 1963:

To us a Child is born this night.

Behold His glorious light;

To us a Son is given,

Who Himself is our true God,

Our Life here and in heaven.

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Now wide is opening heaven’s door,

And out the light doth pour;

A gleam of majesty,

Christ the Son of Righteousness,

Who makes all people free.

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The light is Christ, our gracious Lord,

The true Immanuel,

To Christians now revealed;

And with wondrous grace and truth

Shows them what was concealed.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969)

Roh, who composed and adapted hymn tunes, wrote hymns, a few of which exist in English translations.  I have added the Catherine Winkworth translation, “Once He Came in Blessing” (1858), to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  I have also found “Praise God! Praise God with Singing” (translated by John Daniel Libbey, 1871, altered).  Roh’s original text dated to 1544.

Praise God! Praise God with singing!

Rejoice, thou Christian flock!

Fear not though foes are bringing

Their hosts against thy rock;

For though they here assail thee

And seek thy very life,

Let not thy courage fail thee;

Thy God shall turn the strife.

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O be not thou dismayed,

Believing little band.

God, in His might arrayed,

To help thee is at hand.

Upon His palm engraven

Thy name ever found.

He knows, Who dwells in heaven,

The ills that thee surround.

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His purpose stands unshaken–

What He hath said he’ll do;

And, when by all forsaken,

His Church He will renew.

With pity He beholds her

E’en in her time of woe,

Still by His Word upholds her

And makes her thrive and know.

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To Him belong our praises,

Who still abides our Lord,

Bestowing gifts and graces

According to His Word.

Nor will He e’er forsake us,

But will our Guardian be

And ever stable make us

In love and unity.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969)

Roh died at Jungbunzlau, Bohemia, on February 11, 1547.

NOVEMBER 1, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

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

thank you for those (especially Michael Weisse and Jan Roh)

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 Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart (November 9)   Leave a comment

Fort, Coburg

Above:  The Fort, Coburg, Thuringia, Germany, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-01086

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JOHANN(ES) MATTHAUS MEYFART (NOVEMBER 9, 1590-JANUARY 26, 1642)

German Lutheran Educator and Devotional Writer

I grew up in rural United Methodist congregations in southern Georgia, U.S.A., in the 1980s and early 1990s.   The dominant form of piety in those churches was akin to that one found in neighboring Southern Baptist churches.  It was like that old joke that Methodists are Baptists who can read.  Then, in late 1991, I became an Episcopalian, for my inherent piety was closer to Roman Catholicism yet somewhat Protestant.  Five years later, shortly before the presidential election, I watched a dual biography of President Bill Clinton and Senator Robert Dole on public television.  The narrator described the nature of United Methodism in Kansas, prompting me to think that I preferred that to the character of United Methodism in rural southern Georgia.  A few years ago I started exploring Lutheranism via books, such as the Book of Concord and various service books-hymnals.  I have enjoyed this ongoing process, which has convinced me that German and Scandinavian hymnody is superior to the one inflicted upon me as a child.  Unfortunately, that inferior hymnody has been pursuing me even into The Episcopal Church during the last few years, prompting me sometimes to resort to speaking in two languages within one conversation, using French strategically.  On other occasions I have maintained a passive-aggressive silence instead.  But I digress, as much as I remain an unrepentant European classicist.

Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart (1590-1642) contributed to the treasures of Lutheran hymnody.  His father was a Lutheran pastor at Wahlwinkel, near Gotha, in the Holy Roman Empire.  Our saint’s mother was visiting her parents at Jena when she gave birth on November 9, 1590.  Meyfart studied at the Universities of Wittenberg and Jena (M.A., 1611; D.D. 1624).  His career was mainly an academic one.  He taught philosophy at Jena for a few years before moving to Coburg in 1616.  There he served as a professor at the gymnasium until becoming director in 1623.  At that school, as The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942) informs me,

he had great moral power.

–Page 546

To state that differently, in the words of The Hymnal 1940 Companion (1949),

he exerted a remarkable influence on all his pupils.

–Page 504

Our saint’s tenure at Coburg ended due to his dissertation on church discipline, De Disciplina Ecclesiastica (1633).  Many of his colleagues complained to the government because they disagreed with the dissertation’s contents.

The future Duke Ernst I of Gotha came to Meyfart’s rescue, offering him a new position.  Our saint became a professor of theology at the University of Erfurt.  In 1634 he became the Rector of the University.  And, starting in 1636, Meyfart served as the pastor of the Prediger Church in town.  Controversy followed our saint, for another writing on the subject of church discipline caused problems for him at Erfurt.  These controversies affected Meyfart adversely.

Meyfart seemed drawn to controversies.  He wrote a text, Anti-Becanus, in the context of a debate with Martin Becanus (1563-1624), a Jesuit, regarding Socinianism.  Becanus condemned not only Socinianism but all Protestant theology.  He and Meyfart, therefore, had the denunciation of Socinianism in common.  Our saint, however, was a Lutheran, therefore in a position to argue against Becanus.

Socinianism is multi-faceted; here is a partial explanation:

  1. The Roman Catholic Church condemns Socinianism as a heresy.
  2. Socinianism teaches that Jesus was purely human nature, that God adopted him as the Son of God, that Jesus embodied the Word or will of God, that Jesus is nevertheless worthy of adoration, and that God bestowed the government of the world on him after the Ascension.
  3. Therefore Socinianism denies the Holy Trinity.  In fact, Socinianism influenced the development of Unitarian theology, especially with regard to the nature of Jesus.

Meyfart wrote devotional works, from which hymns came.  These books indicated great literary skill and a firm grasp of theology.  Eduard Emil Koch (1809-1871) wrote of Meyfart in 1871.  Our saint was

a German Dante, full of learning and fantasy, an individual that one would seldom encounter anywhere.

The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1941) indicated that these devotional books were

noted for their vivid portrayals and their earnest calls to repentance and amendment of life.

–Page 546

One of Meyfart’s hymns, drawn from Tuba Novissima (1626), exists in English in various translations and altered forms thereof.  Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) published her translation in the second volume of her Lyra Germanica (1858).  (Consult pages 237-239, O reader.)  The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains an altered version of the Winkworth translation as “Jerusalem, Thou City Fair and High.”  The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) calls the hymn “Jerusalem, Whose Towers Touch the Skies.”  Lutheran Worship (1982) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006) list the hymn as “Jerusalem, O City Fair and High.”  William Rollinson Whittingham (1805-1879), Episcopal Bishop of Maryland from 1840 to 1879, prepared his own translation, which debuted in Hymns for Church and Home, Compiled by Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, as a Contribution to Any Addition That May Be Made to the Hymns Now Attached to the Prayer-Book (1860):

Jerusalem! high tower thy glorious walls,

Would God I were in thee!

Desire of thee my longing heart enthralls,

Desire at home to be;

Wide from the world outleaping,

O’er hill and vale and plain,

My soul’s strong wing is sweeping

Thy portals to attain.

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O gladsome day and yet more gladsome hour!

When shall that hour have come

When my rejoicing soul its own free power

May use in going home,

Itself to Jesus giving

In trust to his own hand,

To dwell among the living

In that blest fatherland?

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A moment’s time, the twinkling of an eye

Shall be enough, to soar

In buoyant exultation, through the sky

And reach the heavenly shore.

Elijah’s chariot bringing

The homeward traveller there;

Glad troops of angels winging

It onward through the air.

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Great fastness thou of honor! thee I greet!

Throw wide thy gracious gate,

An entrance free to give these longing feet;

At last released, though late,

From wretchedness and sinning,

And life’s long weary way;

And now, of God’s gift, winning

Eternity’s bright day.

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What throng is this, what noble troop, that pours,

Arrayed in beauteous guise,

Out through the glorious city’s open doors,

To greet my wondering eyes?

The host of Christ’s elected,

The jewels that he bears

In his own crown, selected

To wipe away my tears.

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Of prophets great, and patriarchs high, a band

That once has borne the cross,

With all the company that won that land,

By counting gain for loss,

Now float in freedom’s lightness,

From tyrant’s chains set free;

And shine like suns in brightness,

Arrayed to welcome me.

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Once more at last arrived they welcome there,

To beauteous Paradise;

Where sense can scarce its full fruition bear

Or tongue for praise suffice;

Glad hallelujahs ringing

With rapturous rebound,

And rich hosannahs singing

Eternity’s long round.

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Unnumbered choirs before the Lamb’s high throne

There shout the jubilee,

With loud resounding peal and sweetest tone,

In blissful ecstasy:

A hundred thousand voices

Take up the wondrous song;

Eternity rejoices

God’s praises to prolong.

Meyfart died at Erfurt on January 26, 1642.

Reading about Meyfart reminds me of the fact that many gems of German Lutheran hymnody do not exist in any English-language translation.  That fact makes me with that the opposite were true.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 22, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RICHARD BIGGS, ACTOR

THE FEAST OF GEORG GOTTFRIED MULLER, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JULIA BULKLEY CADY CORY, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann(es) Matthaus Meyfart 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 Samuel Preiswerk (January 13)   Leave a comment

Basel, Switzerland

Above:  The Region of Basel, Switzerland

Scanned and cropped from Hammond’s Complete World Atlas (1951)

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SAMUEL PREISWERK (SEPTEMBER 19, 1799-JANUARY 13, 1871)

Swiss Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer

Samuel Preiswerk followed in his father’s footsteps.  Alexander Preiswerk was a Swiss Reformed minister at Rumlingen, in the Basel canton.  Samuel studied at Basel, Tubingen, and Erlangen before becoming an ordained minister.  He served as the Curate in Charge at Benken, Basel canton, before becoming the preacher at the orphanage at Basel in 1824.  Five years later he began to teach Hebrew at the Basel mission house.  Then, in 1830, Preiswerk became the pastor at Muttenz, near Basel.  Two years later, however, the outbreak of revolution forced him to leave the city.  In 1834 our saint became Professor of Old Testament Exegesis at the seminary at Geneva.  Nine years later he started to serve as the pastor of St. Leonard’s Church, Basel.  His final position was as the highest ranking dignitary at the Cathedral, or Munster, in Basel, starting in 1859.

Preiswerk wrote hymns and helped to edit the Basel Gesangbuch (1854).  Sixteen of his hymns appeared in Evangelischer Lieder Kranz (1844) and nine of them were present in Egangelisher Lieder-Schatz (1850).  Few of his hymns exist in English translation.  Among them is “Hark! the Church Proclaims Her Honor” (1844), thanks to the valiant efforts of Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878).

O hark! the Church proclaims her honor,

And her strength is only this:

God hath laid His choice upon her,

And the work she doth is His.

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He His Church hath firmly founded,

He will guard what He began;

We, by sin and foes surrounded,

Build her bulwarks as we can.

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Frail and fleeting are our powers,

Short our days, our foresight dim,

And we own the choice not ours,

We were chosen first by him.

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Onward, then! For naught despairing,

Calm we follow at His word,

Thus through joy and sorrow bearing

Faithful witness to the Lord.

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Tho’ we here must strive in weakness,

Though in tears we often bend,

What His might began in meekness

Shall achieve glorious end.

The Lutheran Hymnal (1941)

Our saint died at Basel on January 13, 1871.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, DESERT FATHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN MOROCCO

THE FEAST OF EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS, UNITARIAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Samuel Preiswerk 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 Christoph Homburg (June 4)   Leave a comment

Naumburg 1890

Above:  Naumburg, Germany, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-00974

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CHRISTOPH HOMBURG (1605-JUNE 2, 1681)

German Lutheran Hymn Writer

Christoph Homburg was a skilled poet.  He, born at Eisenach, Thuringia, in 1605, practiced law at Naumburg, Saxony-Anhalt.  He also wrote secular poetry, including love songs and drinking songs, for years, until a series of difficult events, including his illness and the death of his wife, led to a conversion.  Homburg, who belonged to the Fruitbearing Society (founded in 1617 and devoted to standardizing vernacular German and promoting it as a literary and scholarly language) and the Elbe Swan Order (founded by hymn writer Johann Rist, who lived from 1607 to 1667), wrote about 150 hymns for his private use.  Then he published them in the two volumes of Geistliche Leider (1659).  Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) translated one of his hymns as “Christ, the Life of All the Living” in 1863.  The last stanza follows:

Then, for all that wrought my pardon,

For Thy sorrows deep and sore,

For Thine anguish in the Garden,

I will thank Thee evermore,

Thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing,

For Thy bleeding and Thy dying,

For that last triumphant cry,

And shall praise Thee, Lord, on high.

The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), hymn #151

Homburg died at Naumburg on June 2, 1681.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 13, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS, FOUNDER OF THE SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME

THE FEAST OF SAINT HILARY OF POITIERS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HUBERT HUMPHREY, UNITED STATES SENATOR AND VICE PRESIDENT

THE FEAST OF KENTIGERN (MUNGO), ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GLASGOW

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Christoph Homburg 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 Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, and Simon Dach (June 18)   2 comments

Luther Rose

Above:  Luther Rose

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHANN FRANCK (JUNE 1, 1618-JUNE 18, 1677)

German Lutheran Hymn Writer

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HEINRICH HELD (JULY 21, 1620-AUGUST 16, 1659)

German Lutheran Hymn Writer

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SIMON DACH (JULY 29, 1605-APRIL 15, 1659)

German Lutheran Hymn Writer

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In this post I return to one of  my favorite themes–people influencing each other positively.

Johann Franck (1618-1677) became one of the greatest hymn writers of this time.  His work marked the transition from objective hymns which reinforced doctrines to the dominance of subjective texts.  Franck’s emphasis was the union of a person’s soul with Jesus.  The collection of his hymns was Geitliches Sion (1674).

Franck entered the world at Guben, Brandenburg, on June 1, 1618.  His father, Johann Franck (Sr.), a councilor and an advocate there, died in 1620.  Our saints’s uncle, Adam Tielckau, the town’s judge, raised him.  Franck, educated at Guben, Cottbus, Stettin, and Thorn, entered law school at the University of Konigsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia), in 1638.  That institution of higher learning was a shelter from the ravages of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648).  While at the university our saint avoided certain destructive excesses with the help of Heinrich Held (1620-1659) and Simon Dach (1605-1659).

Heinrich Held, born at Guhrau, Silesia, on July 21, 1620, felt the affects of the Thirty Years’ War during his youth.  His family had to flee Guhrau for Fraustadt, Prussia (now Wschowa, Poland), to escape religious persecution.  From 1637 to 1640 he studied law at the University of Konigsberg.

Simon Dach, born at Memel, Prussia (now Klaipeda, Lithuania), grew up in a family of humble means, for his father, a court interpreter, earned a modest income.  Dach attended the cathedral school at Konigsberg then departed for Wittenberg to escape an outbreak of the plague.  Later he studied at Magdeburg yet left that city to flee from the plague and the Thirty Years’ War.  Thus he came to study philosophy and theology at the University of Konigsberg in 1626.  He remained in that city for the rest of his life.  Dach earned his degree then became a private tutor.  In 1633 he started teaching at the cathedral school; three years later he became the co-rector there.  In 1639 Dach became the Chair of Poetry at the University of Konigsberg, from which he received his doctorate the following year.  He led a prominent group of poets which published eight books of songs and poems from 1638 to 1650.  One member of this group was Johann Franck.

Franck returned to Guben and his mother in 1640; the town had suffered greatly during the Thirty Years’ War.  He remained at that town for the rest of this life.  There he started practicing law in 1645, becoming a respected attorney in time.  He became a burgess councilor in 1648, the mayor thirteen years later, and a deputy to the Landtag (parliament) of Lower Lusatia in 1671.  He died at Guben on June 18, 1677.

Held, Franck’s fellow law student at Konigsberg, went on to study at Frankfurt and Leyden before traveling in The Netherlands, England, and France.  In 1647 he was a practicing attorney at Rostock.  The Thirty Years’ War, however, forced him to leave for Altdamm, a suburb of Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, Poland).  He became the clerk of Altdamm in 1657; later he served as the town treasurer and a councilor.  In 1659, however, Held became ill during a siege.  (The Swedish and Prussian governments disagreed about who had jurisdiction in the area.)  Our saint found refuge and a place to die at Stettin.  He, one of the best Silesian hymn writers, wrote Deutschen Gedichte Vartrab (1643) and received much recognition for his literary ability during his lifetime.

A portion of a Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) translation of one of Held’s Christmas texts follows:

Welcome, O my Savior, now!

Hail! My Portion, Lord, art Thou.

Here, too, in my heart, I pray,

Oh, prepare Thyself a way!

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King of Glory, enter in;

Cleanse it from the filth of sin,

As Thou hast so often done;

It belongs to Thee alone.

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As Thy coming was in peace,

Quiet, full of gentleness,

Let the same mind dwell in me

That was ever found in Thee.

The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), hymn #91

Dach’s final eighteen years of life contained personal commitment and a prolific output of hymns.  He married Regina Pohl, daughter of the court attorney, in 1641.  The couple had seven children.  And, after the death of his friend Robert Rotherbin in 1648, Dach ceased to compose secular poems and wrote more than 150 hymns instead.  He died at Konigsberg on April 15, 1659.

War shaped the times of these three men’s lives.  That context was often evident in their hymn texts, such as the following stanza by Heinrich Held in 1658, according to the 1866 translation by Charles William Schaeffer (1813-1896):

Holy Spirit, strong and mighty,

Thou who makest all things new,

Make Thy work within me perfect,

Help me by Thy Word so true;

Arm me with that sword of Thine,

And the victory shall be mine.

Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), hymn #149

Regardless of your context, O reader, may you find your source of faith to persevere and to glorify God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 10, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEODOSIUS THE CENOBRIARCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF CHARLES WILLIAM EVEREST, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE GOOD, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MILAN

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LAUD, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, Simon Dach,

 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 Samuel Rodigast (March 20)   Leave a comment

Collegium_Jenense

Above:  University of Jena, Circa 1600

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL RODIGAST (OCTOBER 19, 1649-MARCH 19, 1708)

German Lutheran Academic and Hymn Writer

Samuel Rodigast, son of a German Lutheran minister at Groben (near Jena), graduated with his Master of Arts degree from the University of Jena in 1671.  Five years later he joined the faculty as an Instructor of Philosophy.  In 1680 he became joint Rector of Grayfriars Gymnasium, Berlin.  Eighteen years later he was the sole Rector.  Rodigast retained that post until he died, turning down other job offers for a decade.

The Legacy of Samuel Rodigast seems to rest heavily or primarily on one hymn.  In 1675 a friend, Severus Gastorius, was seriously ill.  The Catherine Winkworth translation of Rodigast’s great hymn follows:

Whate’er my God ordains is right;

His holy will abideth;

I will be still, whate’er He doth,

And follow where He guideth.

He is my God;

Though dark my road,

He holds me that I shall not fall;

Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

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Whate’er my God ordains is right;

He never will deceive me;

He leads me by the proper path;

I know He will not leave me,

And take, content,

What He hath sent;

His hand can turn my griefs away,

And patiently I want His day.

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Whate’er my God ordains is right;

Here shall my stand be taken;

Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,

Yet I am not forsaken;

My Father’s care

Is round me there;

He holds me that I shall not fall,

And so to Him I leave it all.

Gastorius composed the hymn tune.  And Rodigast’s text has comforted many people for centuries.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 22, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RAYMOND E. BROWN, BIBLE SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF LUCA MARENZIO, COMPOSER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Samuel Rodigast 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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This is post #1600 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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