Archive for the ‘George Frederick Root’ Tag

Feast of Henry Stephen Cutler (October 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  An Episcopal Priest with the Choir and the Altar Boys, Circa 1920

Photographer = Theodor Horydczak

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-H814-T-2897-x

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

HENRY STEPHEN CUTLER (OCTOBER 13, 1824-DECEMBER 5, 1902)

Episcopal Organist, Choirmaster, and Composer

Henry Stephen Cutler comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via hymnody.  This post relies mainly on six hymnal companion volumes.

Above:  Henry Stephen Cutler

Image in the Public Domain

Cutler was one of the most influential yet subsequently obscure churchmen in The Episcopal Church and in the United States of America.  His legacy has remained commonplace, however.

Cutler was a musician.  He, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 13, 1824, was a son of Richard Cutler and Martha Richardson Cutler.  Our saint studied music first in Boston.  His teachers included George Frederick Root (1820-1895) and Aaron Upjohn Hayter (1799-1873).  Hayter was the organist at Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston.

Above:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts, 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a07836

Cutler spent 1844-1846 abroad, studying music.  He went first to Frankfurt, then a free city within the German Confederation.  From there he went to England.  In England, our saint became enamored of the Oxford Movement, English cathedral services, and liturgical correctness.

Above:  Grace Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

Cutler, back in Boston in 1846, went to work as a church musician.  He was the organist at Grace Episcopal Church, Boston, from 1846 to 1852.  Our saint experienced frustration, for he found little support for his liturgical ideals.

Above:  The Episcopal Church of the Advent, Boston, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

However, Cutler found sufficient support for his liturgical ideals as the organist and choirmaster (1852-1858) at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Boston.  In 1856, Cutler made history in the United States of America and The Episcopal Church.  He sat the choir in the chancel.  He also restricted choir membership to men and boys (liturgically correct, in his opinion) and vested that choir in cassocks and surplices.

Above:  Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, New York, New York, 1863

Photographer = George Stacy

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-51435

Cutler carried these practices to Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City, where he was the organist and choirmaster (1858-1865).  While there, he also introduced the full English cathedral service to the parish.  Our saint, a composer of 22 church anthems, published Trinity Psalter (1864) and Trinity Anthems (1865).  Columbia University awarded him the Mus.D. degree in 1864.  Our saint’s tenure at Trinity Church, Wall Street, ended in the middle of 1865.  The vestry was under the impression that he had left for a concert tour without asking them first.  Therefore, the vestry fired him.  Cutler’s successor was the great Arthur Henry Messiter (1834-1916).

Cutler continued to work as a church organist until 1885.  He served at the following churches, in order:

  1. St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York;
  2. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Providence, Rhode Island;
  3. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and
  4. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Troy, New York.

During this time, Cutler published Original Compositions for the Organ (1879) and married Ellen McNoah (in 1883).

Cutler retired to the Boston area in 1885.  Aged 78 years, our saint died at home, in Swansport, Massachusetts, on December 5, 1902.

Cutler composed at least five hymn tunes:

  1. ALL SAINTS NEW,
  2. ST. JOHN,
  3. INVITATION,
  4. HOSANNA TO DAVID’S SON, and
  5. OUR CHRISTMAS TREE.

Above:  “The Son of God Goes Forth to War,” from the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917)

Perhaps you, O reader, will think of Cutler whenever you process as part of a vested choir, see a vested choir, see a choir seated in the chancel, or sing “The Son of God Goes Forth to War.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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

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

thank you for those (especially Henry Stephen Cutler)

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 George Frederick Root (August 5)   1 comment

US_flag_34_stars.svg

Above:  Flag of the United States of America, 1861-1863

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

GEORGE FREDERICK ROOT (AUGUST 30, 1820-AUGUST 6, 1895)

Poet and Composer

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

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true, and brave,

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom;

And altho’ they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom.

The union forever,

Hurrah! boys, Hurrah!

Down with the traitor, up with the star;

While we rally round the flab boys, rally once again,

Shouting the battle-cry of Freedom.

–George Frederick Root

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

George Frederick Root (1820-1895), born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, studied music in Boston.  He began to serve an assistant organist  at Winter Street Congregational Church and Park Street Congregational Church there at the age of nineteen.  In 1841, at the age of twenty, our saint began to teach music in the Boston public school system.  There he worked with Lowell Mason (1792-1872), the famous choir director and hymn tune composer who made a lasting contribution to generations of hymnals.

In 1844 Root moved to New York City, where, during the next fifteen years, he taught at Jacob Abbot’s Young Ladies’ School, Rutger’s Female Institute, Union Theological Seminary, and the New York Institute for the Blind.  At the last school he taught Fanny J. Crosby, whose songs I have learned to despise.  (Everyone is entitled to an opinion.)  Root also played the organ at Mercer Street Presbyterian Church, the administrative successor of which is First Presbyterian Church.

In 1859 Root moved to Chicago, where he joined his brother’s musical publishing firm, Root & Cady (1858-1872).  During the Civil War he composed words and music for many popular songs, such as The Battle-Cry of Freedom and just the music for others, such as The Vacant Chair.

Root composed a variety of music, from cantatas to hymn tunes.  He wrote the music for When He Cometh for a Unitarian minister who converted to the Wesleyan Methodist Church (now the Wesleyan Church) later.  The Second Coming of Jesus being the hymn’s theme and the text being based on a passage of Scripture, the parson was relatively orthodox.

Root died at his summer home on Bailey’s Island, Maine, in 1895, twenty-four days short of his eighty-fifth birthday.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEDIDERIUS/DIDIER OF VIENNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUIBERT OF GORZE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST SAINT JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, SCIENTIST

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

For Further Reading:

http://pdmusic.org/root-gf.html

http://www.poemhunter.com/george-frederick-root/

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

Lord God, you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the example of your servant George Frederick Root,

may persevere in the course that is set before us, and,

at the last, share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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