Archive for the ‘Frederick Oakeley’ Tag

Feast of John Goss and William Mercer (May 10)   2 comments

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Above:  Flag of England

SIR JOHN GOSS (DECEMBER 27, 1800-MAY 10, 1880)

Anglican Church Composer and Organist

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WILLIAM MERCER (1811-AUGUST 21, 1873)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Translator

John Goss (1800-1880) grew up at Fareham, England, where his father was the organist.  Young John followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming an organist himself.  Goss studied at the Chapel Royal, where Thomas Attwood taught and mentored him.  In 1838 Goss succeeded Attwood, whom he respected, as organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Goss, trained also an an opera singer, focused on church music as an organist, a composer, and a theorist.  He edited the following:

  • Parochial Psalmody (1826);
  • An Introduction to Harmony and Thorough Bass (1833);
  • Chants, Ancient and Modern (1841); and
  • the music in William Mercer‘s Church Psalter and Hymn Book (1857).

And Goss composed church anthems and hymn tunes, prededing each effort with prayer.  Two of his more famous anthems were “Christ our Passover and “O Saviour of the World.”

The Church Psalter and Hymn Book (1857), the most popular English hymnal of its time, was the brain child of William Mercer (1811-1873), who sought to encourage congregational singing.  Mercer, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, was an Anglican priest at Sheffield.  He translated hymns from Latin and German.  One such effort was “How Bright Appears the Morning Star“.  Another example was a translation of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”  The Frederick Oakeley version is more famous, but is not the only rendering available.

The William Mercer translation follows:

O come, all ye faithful,

Joyfully triumphant,

To Bethlehem hasten now with glad accord;

Lo! in a manger

Lies the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

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Though true God of true God,

Light of light eternal,

The womb of a virgin He hath not abhorred;

Son of the Father,

Not made, but begotten;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

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Raise, raise, choirs of angels,

Songs of loudest triumph,

Through heaven’s high arches be your praises poured,

“Now to our God be

Glory in the highest.”

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

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Amen! Lord, we bless Thee,

Born for our salvation!

O Jesus, for ever be Thy Name adored:

Word of the Father,

Now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Goss and Mercer devoted their talents to the worship of God–truly a noble cause.  May we honor them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 27, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD, COMPOSER, ORGANIST, AND CONDUCTOR

THE FEAST OF CHARLES HENRY BRENT, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK

THE FEAST OF JOHN MARRIOTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT RUPERT OF SALZBURG, APOSTLE OF BAVARIA AND AUSTRIA

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

thank you for those, especially Sir John Goss and William Mercer,

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

Feast of Frederick Oakeley (January 30)   1 comment

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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 Richard Frederick Littledale (January 11)   Leave a comment

Church of England Logo

Above:  Logo of The Church of England

Image in the Public Domain

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RICHARD FREDERICK LITTLEDALE (SEPTEMBER 14, 1833-JANUARY 11, 1890)

Anglican Priest and Translator of Hymns

The Irish-born Richard Frederick Littledale graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, with a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degree in 1862, the same year he collected a Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) comitatus causa degree from Oxford.  The priest served St. Matthew’s, Thorpe Hamlet, Norfolk, and St. Mary the Virgin, Crown Street, Soho, London, but spent most of his career on literary pursuits due to persistent ill health.  Littledale, an Anglo-Catholic, heard more confessions than most Anglican priests; only Edward Bouverie Pusey heard more than he did.

Littledale was a very intelligent man.  He, blessed with a nearly photographic memory, proved to be a formidable debater.  He put those skills to use in his Plain Reasons for Not Joining the Church of Rome, a defense of The Church of England.  And he was a skilled liturgist; he co-edited The Priest’s Prayer-Book (1864) and The People’s Hymnal (1867).  Littledale, a good friend of John Mason Neale,  collaborated with him on Biblical commentaries, including four volumes on the Book of Psalms.

Littledale, a trained linguist, translated hymns from six languages into English.  One of those works was “Come Down, O Love Divine,” which he incorporated into The People’s Hymnal.

Come down, O love divine;

Seek thou this soul of mine

and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;

O Comforter, draw near;

within my heart appear

and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

Oh, let it freely burn,

till worldly passions turn

to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

and let thy glorious light

shine ever on my sight,

and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity

mine outward vesture be,

and lowliness become mine inner clothing–

true lowliness of heart,

which takes the humbler part,

and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,

with which the soul will long,

shall far outpass the pow’r of human telling;

no soul can guess Love’s grace

till it becomes the place

wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

Project Canterbury has a useful page of Littledale’s writings here.

I have sung this hymn and many others for years without knowing much or anything about those who made the hymn possible.  One of the joys of this new phase of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is learning some of those stories.  The saints cover a great deal of theological ground.  For example, Littledale argued against converting to Roman Catholicism but Frederick Oakeley, the  next addition, did convert to it.  We Christians need not agree all or most of the time.  And, after a while, certain disagreements become minor or irrelevant points.  We humans fall into camps, cliques, and tribes naturally; I notice that tendency in myself.  And I defend my tribe (The Episcopal Church, mainly its left-of-center wing) vigorously.  But I do so as I recognize  that Christ has sheep in many folds, not just the one to which I have converted.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 30, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

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O God, by your Holy Spirit you give to some the word of wisdom,

to others the word of knowledge,

and to others the word of faith:

We praise your Name for the gifts of grace manifested in your servant Richard Frederick Littledale,

and we pray that your Church may never be destitute of such gifts;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:97-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16

John 17:18-23

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 720

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Revised on November 21, 2016

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