Archive for the ‘Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923)’ Tag

Feast of John Swertner and John Mueller (March 11)   2 comments

Moravian Logo

Above:  The Logo of the Moravian Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN SWERTNER (SEPTEMBER 12, 1756-MARCH 11, 1813)

Dutch-English Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymnal Editor

worked with

JOHN MUELLER (A.K.A. JOHN MILLER OR JOHN MULLER) (1756-1790)

German-English Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor

With this post I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days two Moravian ministers in the British Isles.

John Swertner, a native of Haarlem, The Netherlands, debuted on September 12, 1756.  The son of a Moravian minister studied at the Moravian school at Zeist then the seminary at Barby, answered a call to England, where he spent most of the rest of his life.  Swertner, son-in-law of the Calvinistic Methodist-turned-Moravian evangelist John Cennick (1718-1755) and husband of Elizabeth Cennick, worked in various capacities for the Moravian Church at Fulneck, Yorkshire, London, and Fairfield, in England, and Dublin in Ireland.  He, ordained in 1779, edited the British Moravian hymnals of 1789 and 1801.  His partner in editing A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren (1789) was John Mueller (1756-1790), a.k.a. John Miller or John Muller.

Mueller/Muller/Miller, a native of Hennersdorf, in Germany, also ministered in England.  Information about him proved scarce during the research phase of the development of this post.  I was successful, however, in locating two complete hymn texts by him in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).  The first was a Christmas hymn from 1789:

Christ the Lord, the Lord most glorious,

Now is born; O shout aloud!

Man by Him is made victorious;

Praise your Saviour, hail your God!

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Praise the Lord, for on us shineth

Christ the Sun of righteousness;

He to us in love inclineth,

Cheers our souls with pardoning grace.

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Praise the Lord, Whose saving splendor

Shines into darkest night;

O what praises shall we render

For this never-ceasing light.

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Praise the Lord, God our Salvation,

Praise Him Who retrieved our loss;

Sing, with awe, and love’s sensation,

Hallelujah, God with us.

The other hymn also dated to 1789:

O, that we all could quite fulfill

Our Saviour’s testament and will;

To love each other we desire;

Come, sacred love, our hearts inspire.

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We join together heart and hand,

To walk towards the promised land;

For this appearance may with care

Each member day and night prepare.

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Till we the Lord, our Righteousness

Shall see in glory face to face,

The bond of peace may we maintain,

And one with Him, our Lord, remain.

Swertner’s contributions to hymnody proved influential.  The Collection of 1789, which he and Mueller/Muller/Miller edited, contained 887 hymns, down from 1055, the count in A Collection of Hymns of the Children of God in All Ages, From the Beginning Till Now; Designed Chiefly with the Brethren’s Church (1754), the preceding British Moravian hymnal.  Swertner and Mueller/Muller/Miller altered many older translations of German hymns and provided new translations of other German hymns.  The purpose of these changes was to avoid excessive emotionalism, enthusiasm, overly sentimental devotion, which had characterized previous Moravian hymnody.  A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren–New and Revised Edition (1801), with its supplement of 1808, was also in use in North America.  (Swertner did not edit the supplement of 1808).

Swertner also wrote and translated hymns.  I have added two of his texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Swertner died at Bristol, England, on March 11, 1813.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 14, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT VENANTIUS HONORIUS CLEMENTIUS FORTUNATUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY ANN THRUPP, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

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

thank you for those (especially John Swertner and John Mueller)

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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of Henry Elias Fries and Rosa Elvira Fries (March 3)   1 comment

Fries Photograph 1917

Above:  Henry Elias Fries, 1917

Image Source = The Winston-Salem Journal, October 9, 1917, page 5

Accessed via newspapers.com

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HENRY ELIAS FRIES (SEPTEMBER 22, 1857-MARCH 3, 1949)

U.S. Moravian Industrialist and Hymn Writer

and his wife

ROSA ELVIRA MICKEY FRIES (MAY 24, 1860-AUGUST 7, 1938)

U.S. Moravian Musician

I do not know what or how much I will find when I begin to take notes on someone when considering him or her for addition to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  For example, will I find enough information for more than a blurb?  In the case of the Frieses the answer is yes.

Fries-Mickey

Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The Fries family has been in the United States of America since 1809, when Johann Christian Wilhelm Fries (1775-1866), a German native, arrived in North Carolina.  In 1811 he married Johanna Elisabeth Nissen (1787-1864).  The first of their children was Francis Lewin Fries (1812-1863), husband of Lisette Maria Vogler (1820-1903).  The sixth of their seven children was Henry Elias Fries (1857-1949), part of the third generation of Frieses in the United States.

Henry, who lost his father at age six, grew up to become a civil leader and a devout Moravian.  Our saint, a native of Salem, North Carolina, attended Salem Boys School then Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina.  Fries never graduated, for bad eyesight forced him to drop out of school after three years.  While he was still enrolled at Davidson College our saint took interest in a new Moravian Sunday School in East Salem.  The East Salem Sunday School had begun in 1876.  Fries, returned from Davidson, became the superintendent of that Sunday school in October 1877.  Four decades later he was still the Sunday School Superintendent at what that effort became–the Fries Memorial Moravian Church.

Upon withdrawing from Davidson College Fries embarked on his career in industry.  His first job was as manager of a family owned business, the Wachovia Mills, which produced flour.  Fries served as the secretary of the State Industrial Exposition at Raleigh in 1884.  The following year he organized the Southside Cotton Mill, Winston.  For years our saint served as president of that mill.  In 1897 he founded the Fries Manufacturing and Power Company, thereby pioneering electrical development in the environs of Winston and Salem.  By 1913 Fries was operating a streetcar system and providing electricity to homes.  In 1909 our saint and his brother, Francis Henry Fries (1855-1931), founded the Winston-Salem Southbound Railway, of which Henry served as president for the rest of his life.  Our saint, who also operated the Forsyth Manufacturing Company and the Arista Mills, was a major figure in building up the industrial center of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Fries was also active in public life, with a strong emphasis on education.  In 1887 he served a term in the state legislature.  Other offices included positions on the Democratic National Committee, the Forsyth County Board of Education, the city council of Salem, the state Board of Agriculture, and the State Geological Board.  The three-term mayor of Salem was also a trustee of the Slater Industrial and Normal School (later Winston-Salem State University) and a founder of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (later the North Carolina State University), Raleigh, for which he was a trustee for a decade.  Our saint, a leading advocate of the merger of the Cities of Winston and Salem in 1913, helped to organize the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of the Red Cross.

Fries Memorial Moravian Church 1917

Above:  Fries Memorial Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1917

Source = The Winston-Salem Journal, October 9, 1917, page 5

Our saint also wrote hymns.  I know of the existence of at least four such texts, but have located only two of them, both in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969) and one in its predecessor, the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).  Fries composed the text of “Come, Join the Throng on This Glad Day” for the dedication of the brick edifice of Fries Memorial Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, in 1915.  (The former building had ceased to be sufficient for the congregation.)

Church Dedication

The Winston-Salem Journal, March 9, 1915, page 6

Accessed via newspapers.com

Do shades of uniqueness exist?

Come Now, O Lord” originated on the afternoon of June 8, 1930, which was Pentecost Sunday that year, after an inspiring sermon by the Reverend Herbert B. Johnson at Fries Memorial Church.  Our saint shared the new text with Johnson early that evening.  The minister requested that Fries sing it for the congregation at the late service that day.  Our saint did do, performing it to the tune MORECAMBE, as his wife, Rosa, accompanied him.  A week later she composed a tune, PENTECOSTAL HYMN, for it.  That has been the tune paired with that text in Moravian hymnals since at least the Moravian Youth Hymnal (1942).

Rosa Elvira Mickey, born in Salem, North Carolina, on May 24, 1860, came from European Moravian Church stock.  She met Henry at the East Salem Sunday School, where she taught and he served as superintendent.  For half a century Rosa not only taught Sunday School but played the piano and sang soprano.  She and Henry, married in 1881, had one child, Anna Marguerite Fries (1892-1916), who died of scarlet fever.  Rose followed her daughter into death on August 7, 1938, at Cherry Lane, North Carolina, after a stroke.  She was 78 years old.

Henry lived to the ripe old age of 91 years.  On March 3, 1949, we went to his office.  Those who saw him recalled later that he seemed to be in good health.  There, at his desk, our saint died of a heart attack.  His work was done; Winston-Salem was considerably better off because of his professional contributions over decades.

To write about the holy lives of people without the either of prefixes “St.” or “Bl.” attached to their names is appropriate.  In the case of the Frieses germane factors include their marriage, which lasted for more than half a century, and their high level of activity in their congregation.  Such details require few words and little space to summarize, but the positive influences, both direct and indirect, of those details are great and span generations.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETIUS OF TRIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP; AND SAINT AREDIUS OF LIMOGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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POSTSCRIPT:

When I saw Rosa’s maiden name, Mickey, I wondered if she were related to Bishop Edward Timothy Mickey, Jr. (1908-1986), whom I have added to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days already.  Yes, she was a first cousin of his father.

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servants

Henry Elias Fries and Rosa Elvira Mickey Fries,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 726

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Feast of Martin Dober, Johann Leonhard Dober, and Anna Dober (October 12)   4 comments

Dober

Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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THIRD ENTRY IN A SERIES OF FOUR POSTS

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MARTIN DOBER (NOVEMBER 23, 1703-DECEMBER 9, 1748)

Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

brother of

JOHANN LEONHARD DOBER (1706-1766)

Moravian Missionary and Bishop

husband of

ANNA SCHINDLER DOBER (APRIL 9, 1713-DECEMBER 12, 1739)

Moravian Missionary and Hymn Writer

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Two brothers emigrated to Herrnhut in 1725.  Martin and Johann Leonhard (whose name some sources Anglicize as Leonard) Dober were potters from Monchsroth, Swabia.  They were far more than skilled potters; the Renewed Moravian Church provided them opportunities to manifest other abilities in the service of God.

Martin Dober (1703-1748) spent much time at Herrnhut.  For at least part of his time there he led morning worship at 5:00 then went to work in his pottery shop.  Martin became a trusted assistant of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) and a teacher at Herrnhut.  Dober became a bishop in 1744, led the Moravian communities in Britain and Ireland in 1744 and 1745, and ended his days at Herrnhaag.  He also wrote hymns, such as “Jesus, Saviour, I Implore Thee.”  The Index of Authors and Translators in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923) described him as:

highly gifted in original languages and in the cure of souls.

–Page 674

Johann Leonhard Dober (1706-1766), or Leonard Dober, as some sources refer to him, was a giant in the early decades of the Renewed Moravian Church.  From 1732 to 1734 he served as a missionary in the West Indies.  David Nitschmann (1696-1772) traveled with him to St. Thomas and spent sixteen weeks helping him get started.  Dober labored faithfully in the West Indies, but without much success.  In late 1734 he left for Herrnhut to answer the summons to succeed the late Martin Linner as Chief Elder of the denomination.  Dober had, years earlier, assisted Linner, then the leader of the Single Brothers’ Choir at Herrnhut.  (A choir was a communal group.)

Dober’s successor at St. Thomas was Friedrich Martin (1704-1750), who succeeded, leaving 1,600 baptized people at the time of his death.  He, a bishop from 1748, survived legal obstacles, such as imprisonment for refusing to swear an oath in court and to pay the accompanying fine.  His widow, Maria Barbara Leinbach (1722-1810), married David Nitschmann (1696-1772) in 1754.

Anna Schindler (1713-1739), a native of Kunewald, Moravia, helped Anna Nitschmann (1715-1760) found the Single Sisters’ Choir at Herrnhut in 1730, having lived at the settlement since 1725.  Anna Schindler married Johann Leonhard Dober on July 13, 1737.  He had been the Chief Elder of the Renewed Moravian Church for two years.  In 1738 he and his wife started evangelizing in Amsterdam.  She died at Marienborn, Saxony, on December 12, 1739, a few months short of her twenty-seventh birthday.

Anna wrote at least eighteen hymns, including “Lamb of God, Who Thee Receive” (1735) and “O What Depth of Love and Boundless Grace” (1737).  The translation of the latter hymn from the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969) follows:

O what a depth of love and boundless grace

The gospel light to sinful man displays,

When Christ Himself to us doth manifest,

And we in Him find comfort, peace, and rest!

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When in the soul this blessed truth resounds,

That Christ’s death, for sinners life abounds,

O how doth this fresh the fainting heart,

And bid all anxious doubts and fears depart.

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For sinners without merit of their own

Which could the burden of great guilt atone,

Who no escape from penalty can see,

For such the Lamb of God died on the tree.

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From Him there goes forth virtue, that we may

With confidence to God the Father pray.

And then we shall ourselves to all proclaim

The heirs of God through faith in Jesus’ Name.

Johann Leonhard Dober resigned as Chief Elder at the Synod of 1741.  The job of leading the Moravian Church was too much for one person, he said.  There were also concerns that the Chief Eldership might turn into a Moravian version of the Papacy.  The decision that Jesus Christ would become the Chief Elder of the Moravian Church occurred on September 16, 1741.  The formal announcement of this fact on November 13 of that year has become a commemorated event, the Festival of Christ the Chief Elder.  The General Conference, a three-member committee, became the decision-making body.  Dober did not belong to it.

Dober, a bishop since 1747, traveled widely on church business.  For example, in 1749, when the Church was cleaning up the mess of the “Sifting Time” (1743-1750), centered at Herrnhaag, Dober and Bishop David Nitschmann (1696-1772) visited European Moravian communities as part of the effort.  During his labors Dober also wrote at least twelve hymns, none of which North American Moravian hymnals since 1923 have contained.

Dober died at Herrnhut in 1766.

Here ends the third installment of this series of posts.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 26, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINTS REMACLUS OF MAASTRICHT, THEODORE OF MAASTRICHT, LAMBERT OF MAASTRICHT, HUBERT OF MAASTRICHT AND LIEGE, AND FLORIBERT OF LIEGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT LANDRADA OF MUNSTERBILSEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; AND SAINTS OTGER OF OF UTRECHT, PLECHELM OF GUELDERLAND, AND WIRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES

THE FEAST OF SAINT PASCHASIUS RADBERTUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HUNT, FIRST ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servants

Martin Dober, Johann Leonhard Dober, and Anna Schindler Dober,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724

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Feast of Henriette Luise von Hayn (August 27)   1 comment

Herrnhut 1765

Above:  Herrnhut, 1765

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRIETTE LUISE VON HAYN (MAY 22, 1724-AUGUST 27, 1782)

German Moravian Hymn Writer

Henriette Luise von Hayn, daughter of Georg Heinrich von Hayn, master of the hounds to the Duke of Nassau, entered the world at Idstein, Nassau, on May 22, 1724.  She joined the Moravian Church in 1742.  Our saint taught at the girls’ school at Herrnhaag then at Gross Hennersdorf.  From 1766 to 1782 she cared for the invalid sisters at Herrnhut, the Moravian headquarters in Saxony.

Hayn contributed forty hymns to the Bruder Gesangbuch (1778).  Only one hymn she wrote exists in English translations, however.  The Frederick William Foster (1760-1835) translation from 1789, as I found it in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923) follows:

Jesus makes my heart rejoice,

I’m His sheep, and know His voice;

He’s a Shepherd, kind and gracious,

And His pastures are delicious;

Constant love to me He shows,

Yea, my very name He knows.

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Trusting His mild staff always,

I go in and out in peace;

He will feed me with the treasure

Of His grace in richest measure,

When athirst to Him I cry,

Living water He’ll supply.

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Should not I for gladness leap,

Led by Jesus as His sheep?

For when these blest days are over,

To the arms of my dear Saviour

I shall be conveyed to rest:

Amen, yea, my lot is blest.

The composite translation from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) follows:

I am Jesus’ little lamb,

Ever glad at heart I am;

For my Shepherd gently guides me,

Knows my need, and well provides me,

Loves me ev’ry day the same,

Even calls me by name.

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Day by day, at home away,

Jesus is my Staff and Stay.

When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,

Into pleasant pastures leads me;

When I thirst, He bids me go

Where the quite waters flow.

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Why so happy as I am,

Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?

And when my short life is ended,

By His angel host attended,

He shall fold me to His breast,

There within His arms to rest.

Hayn died at Herrnhut on August 27, 1782.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE ADOLPHINE DIERKS, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS SERRANO, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Henriette Luise von Hayn 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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Feast of Frederick William Foster (August 4)   2 comments

Moravian Logo

Above:  The Moravian Logo

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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FREDERICK WILLIAM FOSTER (AUGUST 1, 1760-APRIL 12, 1835)

English Moravian Bishop, Liturgist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

Frederick William Foster was a skilled writer and translator of hymns.  As one source I consulted informed me, his hymn translations were standard for more than a century.  I have added some of his texts, both original and translated from others, to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Foster entered the world at Bradford, England, on August 1, 1760.  He attended the Moravian school at Fulneck, England, before studying at the theological seminary at Barby, Saxony.  His ministerial career started in 1781, when he became the assistant minister at Fulneck.  Foster served in several locations within the British Province and became a bishop in 1818.  He edited A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren (1801), its Supplement (1808) and therefore the composite 1809 volume, and the revised Collection (1826).  He was also the father-in-law of Peter LaTrobe (1795-1863), an English Moravian bishop and composer.

Foster wrote the following Sabbath hymn in 1808:

This day is holy to the Lord,

This day the Lord hath made;

We will rejoice with one accord,

And in His Name be glad.

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Come let us worship and bow down,

With thanks appear before His throne;

He to our songs of praise and prayer

Will lend a gracious ear.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923), Hymn #386

Bishop Foster died at Ockbrook, near Danby, England, on April 12, 1835.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 7, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES, APOSTLE TO THE SARACENS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BLAISE OF SEBASTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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

thank you for those (especially Frederick William Foster)

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

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Feast of Francis Florentine Hagen (July 7)   3 comments

Morning Star

Above:  The Title Page to Morning Star

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN (OCTOBER 30, 1815-JULY 7, 1907)

U.S. Moravian Minister and Composer

Francis Florentine Hagen belonged to an esteemed tradition–Moravian ministers who were also composers.  He maintained a high standard of quality in music while not embracing tradition for its own sake.  Bad performances of German chorales did nothing to grow the church, he said, much to the chagrin of some.  Thus Hagen accepted some popular forms of American church music–just not the dross, as he defined it.

Hagen, born in Salem, North Carolina, on October 30, 1815, was one of five children of Johann Joachim Hagen (1771-1844), a tailor and missionary, and Susanna Lick Hagen (1787-1853).  Our saint attended the Moravian Theological Seminary, graduating in 1835.  He taught at the boys’ school at Salem until 1837, then at Nazareth Hall, the boys’ school at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, from 1837 to 1841.  Then he returned to Salem.  In 1844 Hagen married Clara Cornelia Reichel (died in 1862).  They had six children.  He married a second time, to Ellen Smyser (died in 1872), in 1864.  They had three children.

Hagen’s ministerial career was as follows:

  1. Ordained a deacon (1844);
  2. Pastor at Bethania, North Carolina (1844-1851);
  3. Pastor at Freidberg, North Carolina (1851-1854);
  4. Ordained a presbyter (1852);
  5. Pastor at York, Pennsylvania (1854 forward);
  6. Member, Provincial Elders Council (1861-1867);
  7. Delegate to the General Synod at Herrnhut (1869);
  8. Pastor at New Dorp, Staten Island, New York, then at Harmony, Iowa (1867-1877);
  9. Retirement due to injury (1877); and
  10. Pastor at Easton, Maryland (1888-1889).

Hagen combined Romanticism and traditional Moravian influences in his music.  He composed anthems, solo songs, an orchestral overture, works for solo piano, and organ pieces.  His compositions included the following:

  1. Remembrance Rondoletto;
  2. A Friend in Need, Is a Friend Indeed;
  3. Her Last Words at Parting;
  4. Mowing the Harvest Hay;
  5. The Grave of My Wife;
  6. Alma Mater;
  7. A Loving Home’s a Happy Home;
  8. Morning Star, a Christmas-Epiphany anthem;
  9. Overture in F Major; and
  10. Scherzo Capriccioso.

He also arranged the works of other composers for the organ.  His Church and Home Organist Companion (two volumes, 1880 and 1881) contained musical arrangements, transcriptions, and original works.

Our saint died at Lititz, Pennsylvania, on July 7, 1907.  His music survives him, fortunately.

Morning Star Music

Scanned from the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923)

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

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

We bless your name for inspiring Francis Florentine Hagen

and all those who with music 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

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Feast of Christian Gregor (November 6)   9 comments

Herrnhut 1765

Above:  Herrnhut, 1765

Image in the Public Domain

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CHRISTIAN FRIEDRICH GREGOR (JANUARY 1, 1723-NOVEMBER 6, 1801)

Father of Moravian Music

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Given the fact that I maintain eight weblogs, I let some sit fallow for defined periods of time while I juggle projects.  Among those projects is Liturgy in the Moravian Church in America, a series at BLOGA THEOLOGICA.  That series brings names and contexts to my attention, thereby expanding the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days here at SUNDRY THOUGHTS and the breadth of material at GATHERED PRAYERS.  The name of Christian Gregor came to my attention during the process of working on a post in the Moravian liturgy series at BLOGA THEOLOGICA.

Christian Gregor (1723-1801), the “Father of Moravian Music,” was a giant in the Renewed Unitas Fratrum (1727-).  He, the son of a Silesian peasant farmer, joined the Unitas Fratrum at age seventeen.  In 1742 he arrived at Herrnhut, where he spent most of the rest of his life.  From 1742 to 1748 our saint served as organist at the Moravian headquarters in Saxony.  In 1748 Gregor transferred to the planned community of Herrnhaag (1738-1753), where he worked as the music director. He performed the same function at Zeist, The Netherlands, from 1749 to 1753.  Then our saint returned to Herrnhut, where he remained except for visits elsewhere, such as his travels in Pennsylvania and North Carolina in 1770-1772.  Gregor, back at Herrnhut, served as the treasurer of the Moravian Church’s Board of Direction, starting in 1753.  Our saint, ordained deacon in 1756 and presbyter in 1767, joined that Board in 1764 and became a bishop in 1789.

Gregor was a talented linguist.  He stabilized Moravian hymnody, toning down maudlin tendencies regarding expressions of grief regarding the crucifixion and wounds of Jesus.  His greatest contributions in the field of worship were the Gesangbuch (1778) and the Choralbuch (1784), both of which established standards for the entire Moravian world.  The Gesangbuch, a hymnal, contained no music, according to Moravian custom of the time.  This volume, which remained in use for about a century, contained 1,750 texts, 308 of which Gregor had written or recast.  His Choralbuch, which contained no words, was a volume for organists.

Gregor, a prolific composer of more than 300 musical works apart from hymns, has remained influential in Moravian hymnody.  A few of those hymns and other works for church services include the following:

  1. With Thy Presence, Our Lord and Saviour;”
  2. Make My Calling and Election;”
  3. Sing with Awe in Strains Melodious;” and
  4. Thou, Whose Human Life Did For Us Happiness Obtain.”

Another text is “In This Sepulchral Eden” (with an English translation by Christian Ignatius LaTrobe):

In this sepulchral Eden the tree of life I’ve found,

Here is my treasure hidden, I tread on hallowed ground;

Ye sick, ye faint and weary, howe’er your ailments vary,

Come hither, and make sure of a most perfect cure.

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Here lies in death’s embraces,

My Bridegroom, Lord and God;

With awe my soul retraces

The dark and dolorous road

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That leads to this last station;

Here in sweet meditation

I’ll dwell by day and night,

Till faith is changed to sight.

Here is a translation of another Gregor text:

Sing hallelujah, Christ doth live,

And peace on earth restore;

Come, ransomed souls, and glory give,

Sing, worship and adore:

With grateful hearts to Him we pay

Our thanks in humble wise;

Who aught unto our charge can lay?

‘Tis God that justifies.

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Who can condemn, since Christ was dead,

And ever lives to God?

Now our whole debt is fully paid,

He saves us by His blood:

The ransomed hosts in earth and heaven

Through countless choirs proclaim,

“He hath redeemed us; praise be given

To God and to the Lamb.”

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In all we do, constrained by love,

We’ll joy to Him afford,

And to God’s will obedient prove

Through Jesus Christ our Lord:

Sing hallelujah, and adore

On earth the Lamb once slain,

Till we in heaven shall evermore

Exalt His Name.

And here is another translated Gregor text:

Countless hosts before God’s throne,

Where the Lamb abideth,

And as God and Man, His own

To life’s fountain guideth,

Now possess perfect bless,

Which for us is wanting,

And for which we’re panting.

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O how excellent and fair,

Goodly beyond measure,

Is the lot which we shall share;

And how rich the treasure!

When we see, bodily,

Our beloved Saviour,

And He is, for ever.

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May this ever blessed hope

Fill our hearts with gladness,

And ‘mid weakness bear us up,

Till from sin and sadness

We shall be wholly free,

And above for ever,

Praise our gracious Saviour.

Gregor introduced concerted anthems and arias into Moravian Church music.  Among his contributions in this regard was a 1783 setting of the following text:

Hosanna!  Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!

The arrangement in two voice parts fills two pages in the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923).

Blessed is He Gregor

Above:  Gregor’s 1783 Setting of the Hosanna

Scan Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Our saint attended a meeting of the Board of Direction at Herrnhut on in early November 1801.  Afterward he suffered a fatal stroke.  Gregor, his work completed, died on November 6.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL EXILED SAINTS

THE FEAST OF GODFREY THRING, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JANE CREWDSON, ENGLISH QUAKER POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, BISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE

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

thank you for those (especially Christian Gregor)

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

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