Archive for the ‘Emma Frances Bevan’ Tag

Feast of Justus Falckner (September 22)   1 comment

Gloria Dei Church, 1850

Above:  Gloria Dei Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1850

Photographer = Frederick De Bourg Richards

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-39946

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JUSTUS FALCKNER (NOVEMBER 22, 1672-SEPTEMBER 21, 1723)

Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) commemorate the lives of William Passavant (1821-1894; feast day in The Episcopal Church = January 3), Justus Falckner, and Jehu Jones (1786-1852). pioneering Lutheran ministers in North America, on November 24, the anniversary of the ordination of Falckner in 1703. On my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, however, each man receives his own feast day.

Falckner, born at Crimmitschau, Saxony, on November 22, 1672, was the fourth son of Daniel Falckner (Sr.), a Lutheran pastor, and a brother of Daniel Falckner (Jr.).  [Aside:  The tradition of naming a son after the father without adding a suffix, especially common in Germany and England, is really annoying to many historians and genealogists.  To know which Johannes Doe one is reading about is really helpful.  Sometimes it is relatively easy, but on other occasions it is impossible.]  Our saint, who began his studies at the University of Halle, with the intention of becoming a pastor, felt inadequate for that goal by the time he graduated.  Instead he became a lawyer and a land agent like his brother, Daniel Jr.  In 1700, at Rotterdam, the Falckner brothers acquired the power of attorney for the sale of William Penn‘s lands in Pennsylvania.  The following year the Reverend Andreas Rudman (1668-1708), a pioneering Swedish minister in what became the United States, purchased 10,000 acres along Manatawny Creek for Swedish Lutherans.  The connection with Rudman helped to convince the Falckner brothers to serve as clergymen in North America.  On November 24, 1724, 1703, at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Justus Falckner became the first Lutheran minister ordained in North America.  The service was the first recorded instance of the use of an organ at a worship service in what became the United States.

Our saint served as many as 14 congregations spread out over a territory of 200 miles at one time during nearly 20 years of ordained ministry.  His first assignment was a Dutch congregation near New Hanover, Pennsylvania.  Later he succeeded Rudman (who returned to Sweden) at New York City.  Fortunately, Rudman left the congregation in good condition.  Falckner also served at Albany, where the congregation was in dire shape; he had to start “from scratch” there.  In 1719, after the death of Pastor Joshua Kocherthal, our saint assumed responsibility for the congregations in the Hudson River valley.

Meanwhile, if all that were not enough, Falckner would have been a busy man even without those responsibilities.  In 1704 he published the first Lutheran catechism in North America.  Over the years he lobbied for the use of organs in Lutheran churches in the Delaware River valley.  He succeeded.  And, in 1717, our saint married Gerritje Hardick, with whom he had three children (in 1718, 1720, and 1723).

Falckner died at Newburgh, New York, on September 21, 1723.  He, aged 51 years, had damaged his health via his work load.   Daniel Jr., a pastor in New Jersey since 1708, added the Hudson River valley congregations to his responsibilities, starting that year.

Our saint seems to have written at least two hymns (both from 1697, during his college years) extant in English-language translations.  “Rise, Ye Children of Salvation,” in English since 1858, courtesy of Emma Frances Bevan, is plainly by Falckner.  I am less (yet reasonably) certain about “If Our All on Christ We Venture,” which old North American Moravian hymnals attribute in the original German to Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760).  Both Zinzendorf and Falckner wrote in German, I know.  I also know that some old Moravian hymnals mistakenly attributed certain German hymns to the Count.

Falckner was indeed a pioneer of the faith in North America, and thereby worthy of much respect.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Justus Falckner,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.

We pray that, following their examples and the teaching of their holy lives,

we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ,

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Erdmann Neumeister (August 18)   Leave a comment

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Above:  The Market Church, Hanover, Germany, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-00456

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ERDMANN NEUMEISTER (MAY 12, 1671-AUGUST 18, 1756)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

The Uechteritz-born Erdmann Neumeister was the son of an organist and a schoolmaster.  Our saint, a graduate of the University of Leipzig, taught there before becoming an ordained Lutheran minister.  Neumeister served at Bibre from 1697 to 1704 (as the assistant minister for the first year or so).  Then, from 1704 to 1706, he tutored the only daughter of Duke Johann Georg at Weissenfels, near to our saint’s birthplace.  He also served as the assistant court preacher then as court preacher.  Duke Georg’s daughter died, so our saint moved on to Sorau by the invitation of the Duke’s sister.  At Sorau he functioned as the court preacher.  Then, in 1715, our saint became the pastor of the Market Church, Hamburg.

Neumeister was a man of great innovation, much creativity, high culture, and strong opinions.  He opposed both Pietism and Moravianism, citing excessive subjectivity in their teachings.  Our saint was a High Lutheran.  He also wrote one of the earliest account of German poetry, composed cantatas, probably invented that musical form, and definitely wrote 650 hymns.

Among those hymns was the following, the original of which dates to 1718, in the context of a sermon about Luke 15:1.  The English translation (1858) by Emma Frances Bevan (1827-1909), as reproduced in The Church Hymnary (1927), is of four of the original eight German verses.

Sinners Jesus will receive:

Tell this word of grace to all

Who the heavenly pathway leave,

All who linger, all who fall;

This can bring them back again:

“Christ receiveth sinful men.”

——

Shepherds seek their wandering sheep

O’er the mountains bleak and cold;

Jesus such a watch doth keep

O’er then lost ones of the fold,

Seeking them o’er moor and fen:

Christ receiveth sinful men.

—–

Sick and sorrowful and blind,

I with all my sins draw nigh;

O my Saviour, Thou can’st find

Help for sinners such as I;

Speak that word of love again:

“Christ receiveth sinful men.”

—–

Christ receiveth sinful men,

Even me with all my sin;

Openeth to me heaven again,

With Him I may enter in.

Death hath no more sting nor pain:

Christ receiveth sinful men.

Erdmann Neumeister–pastor, scholar, composer, and theologian–honored God with his piety, art, and intellect.  May each of us do the same.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS SELNECKER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE SOPHIE BARAT, MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF VENERABLE BEDE OF JARROW, HISTORIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Erdmann Neumeister 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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