Archive for the ‘Edward Caswall’ Tag

Feast of William John Blew (December 23)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM JOHN BLEW (APRIL 13, 1808-DECEMBER 27, 1894)

English Priest and Translator of Hymns

Robert Campbell (1814-1868) was a Tractarian who translated hymns from Latin into English.  So was William John Blew (1808-1894), a native of London and a priest of The Church of England.  Blew, who attended Wadham College, Oxford (B.A., 1830; M.A., 1832), took Holy Orders and served as, in order:

  1. the Curate of Nuthurst and Cocking;
  2. the Curate of St. Anne’s, Westminster; and
  3. the Incumbent of St. John’s, near Gravesend.

Many of Blew’s translations debuted as single-sheet copies for use in his congregation, but The Church Hymn and Tune Book (First Edition, 1852; Second Edition, 1855), which he and Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876) edited, shared them with a larger audience.  Among the translations our saint prepared was the following, a collaboration with Edward Caswall (1814-1878):

All ye a certain cure who seek

In trouble and distress,

Whatever griefs the spirit break,

Or sins the soul oppress:

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Jesus, who gave Himself for men,

Upon the cross to die,

For you unlocks His heart; O then

Unto that heart draw nigh!

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Ye hear His gracious voice and free,

Ye hear His summons blest:

“O all ye weary, come to me,

And I will give you rest!”

Our saint’s publications included more than translations of hymns:

  1. The Iliad, Books I and II (1831)
  2. Ecclesia Dei:  A Vision of the Church (1848);
  3. Breviarium Aberdonense (1854);
  4. Hymns and Hymn-Books, with a Few Words on Anthems:  A Letter to the Rev. William Upton Richards, M.A. (1858);
  5. God Save the Men of Denmark! (1864);
  6. On the New Latin Prayer-Books:  A Letter to a Friend in the Shires (1865);
  7. Church Life:  Its Grounds and Obligations (1867); and
  8. The Second Year of the Reign of King Edward VI:  The Altar Service of the Church of England for That Year, to Which is Added That of the Third Year (1549) (1877).

Blew died on December 27, 1894.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HORATIUS BONAR, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ABOLITIONIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William John Blew and others, who have translated hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Frederick Oakeley (January 30)   1 comment

Vatican Flag

Above:  Vatican Flag

Image in the Public Domain

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FREDERICK OAKELEY (SEPTEMBER 5, 1802-JANUARY 29, 1880)

Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest

Frederick Oakeley was the son of Sir Charles Oakeley, former Governor of Madras.  The younger Oakeley graduated from Oxford and became a priest of The Church of England.  His brother-in-law, William George Ward, brought him over to  the Tractarian camp of the Established Church.  So it was, in 1839, while serving at All Saints’ Church, Margaret Street, London, that Oakeley attracted attention (much of it negative) because of his Anglo-Catholic ways.  James Moffatt, in his companion volume to the 1927 Scottish Presbyterian Hymnary, noted Oakeley’s

ultra-ritualistic service (page 450),

a comment I would expect from a Presbyterian of a certain stripe.  Oakeley’s drift toward Roman Catholicism led to his suspension and his formal conversion in 1845.  He became Canon of Westminster in 1852.  Oakeley wrote extensively on matters of Roman Catholic doctrine and liturgy, especially antiphonal chanting.  Robert Guy McCutchan, in his companion volume to the 1935 U.S. Methodist Hymnal, observed

His publications were numerous, some having considerable value.  (page 132)

Such faint praise from a Methodist source in the 1930s does not surprise me, given the relative state of ecumenism at the time.

Perhaps Oakeley’s best known hymn is “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” which he translated from Latin, in which there are eight stanzas.  Most English versions in hymnals have fewer stanzas, however.  I collect hymnals, many of which I have consulted while preparing this post.  Some of these volumes contain a different English translation, that of Edward Caswall.  Others contain Oakeley’s translation.  And certain hymnals offer hybrid versions.  I have reconstructed a five-verse Oakeley version from The Hymnal (1933) of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and The Hymnal of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1957).

O come, all ye faithful,

Joyful and triumphant, (or Joyfully triumphant)

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!

Come and behold Him

Born the King of Angels!

Refrain:

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!

The Brightness of glory,

Light of light eternal,

Our lowly nature

He hath not abhorred:

Son of the Father, Word of God Incarnate!

Refrain

O see how the shepherds,

Summoned to His cradle,

Now leaving their flocks,

Draw nigh with lowly fear;

We, too, will thither bend our joyful footsteps;

Refrain

O sing, choirs of angels,

Sing in exultation,

O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! (or Through heaven’s arches be your praises poured!)

Glory to God (or Now to our God be glory)

In the highest!

Refrain

Amen, Lord, we greet Thee,

Born this happy morning; (or Born for our salvation)

O Jesus, to Thee be glory giv’n; (or Jesus, be forever Thy name adored:)

Word of the Father,

Now in flesh appearing,

Refrain

I have researched, drafted, and typed this post immediately prior to Advent 2012.  So it seems appropriate to ponder Oakeley, a translator of one of the great Christmas carols, at this moment.  His legacy survives him; it is current.  Recently, while spending too much time at YouTube, I found a video of cats meowing the hymn.  It was not a sublime experience.  No, “O Come, All Ye Faithful” deserves more respect, as does Frederick Oakeley.

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

thank you for those (especially Frederick Oakeley)

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 God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 30, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

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Revised on November 21, 2016

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Feast of Edward Caswall (January 3)   2 comments

Above:  Edward Caswall

Image in the Public Domain

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EDWARD CASWALL (JULY 15, 1814-JANUARY 2, 1878)

Anglican Priest and Tractarian who became a Roman Catholic Priest; Hymn Writer and Translator

Edward Caswall, born at Yately, Hampshire, England, on July 15, 1814, was the son and brother of priests in the Church of England.  Ordained an Anglican priest in 1839, Caswall, a Tractarian, left for Roman Catholicism eight years later, entering the priesthood of that communion in 1852.  He spent many years at the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, near Birmingham, where he attended to his priestly duties and tended to the needs of children and the poor.  Furthermore, Caswall wrote hymns and translated others from Latin into English.  His legacy in non-Roman Catholic hymnals consists mostly of his translations from Latin. You, O reader, might know some of the following:

Caswall died at Birmingham, England, on January 2, 1878.

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

May 16, 2010

The Seventh Sunday of Easter

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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 Edward Caswall.  Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  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 the Proper for Artists and Scientists from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 2006, the hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Revised on November 12, 2016

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