Archive for the ‘Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney’ Tag

Feast of Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney (June 15)   1 comment

gurney_dfb

Above:  Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney

Image Source = http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/g/u/r/gurney_dfb.htm

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

DOROTHY FRANCES BLOMFIELD GURNEY (OCTOBER 4, 1858-JUNE 15, 1932)

English Poet and Hymn Writer

One of the most famous poems by our saint follows:

The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.

Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney, the author of those words, was born in London, England, in 1858.  Her grandfather, Charles Blomfield (1786-1857), had been the Bishop of London.  Her father, Frederick George Blomfield, was an Anglican priest.  And her husband, Gerald Gurney, an Oxford-educated actor, was also an Anglican priest.  (I detect a pattern.)

Our saint was a talented writer.  She composed the texts of, among other works, The Childhood of Queen Victoria (1901) and Poems (1913).  Perhaps, however, her fame rests primarily upon the “God’s Garden” poem (from the beginning of this post) and the following hymn, which she wrote in 1884 for her sister’s wedding:

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,

Lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,

That theirs be the love which knows no ending,

Whom thou forevermore dost join in one.

+++++

O perfect Life, be thou their full assurance

Of tender charity and steadfast faith,

Of patient hope, and quiet, brave endurance,

With childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.

+++++

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;

Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,

And to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow

That dawns upon eternal love and death.

The Gurneys, married since 1897, converted to Roman Catholicism.

Our saint died at London in 1932.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 10, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEODOSIUS THE CENOBIARCH, 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

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

We bless your name for inspiring Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney

and all those who with words 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), page 728