Archive for the ‘Petter Dass’ Tag

Feast of Petter Dass (August 18)   Leave a comment

Above:   Flag of the Kingdom of Denmark

Image in the Public Domain

(Historical Note:  By marriage, the dynasties of Norway and Sweden merged in the 1300s.  King Magnus II of Sweden (reigned 1319-1364) was also King Magnus VII of Norway (reigned 1319-1355).  His son, King Haakon VI (of Sweden, 1362-1363, and of Norway, 1355-1380), married Queen Margrethe I of Denmark and Norway (reigned 1387-1412), who reigned also as the Queen of Sweden (1389-1397).  The crowns of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden remained united until Sweden broke away in the middle 1400s.  The crowns of Denmark and Norway remained united until 1814, when Norway came under Swedish control.  Norway became independent in 1905.)

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PETTER PETTERSON DASS (CIRCA 1647-AUGUST 17, 1707)

Norwegian Lutheran Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

Petter Dass comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via hymns.

Our saint was of Scottish and Norwegian ancestry.  Peter Dundas (died in 1653), from Scotland, was a trader in the coastal region of northern Norway.  Maren Falch (1629-1709) came from a Norwegian family.  Petter Dass, born in Nord-Herø, in the parish of Alstahaug, Norway, was one of six children in the family.  His father died when our saint was six years old.  Maren distributed her children among relatives.  Peter lived with a maternal aunt and her husband, a Lutheran minister, at Nerøy, for a few years.  Then, in 1660, Petter moved to the home of an uncle in Bergen.  Our saint attended the cathedral school there.

Above:  The Petter Daas Museum, Next to the Medieval Alstahaug Church, Alstahaug, Norway

Image Source = Google Earth

Petter matriculated at the University of Copenhagen in 1666.  He was unhappy there.  Our saint was impoverished, lonely, and among strangers.  He left after three years.

Above:  The Medieval Alstahaug Church, Alstahaug, Norway

Image in the Public Domain

Petter made his life elsewhere.  Immediately after leaving Copenhagen, our saint became a tutor to Jacob Wirthmond, the resident chaplain in Vefson.  After a few years, Petter applied to become the house chaplain to the resident chaplain of a neighboring parish.  Our saint, ordained in 1673, married Margrethe Andersdatter that year.  In 1689, he became the senior pastor of the parish of Alstahaug.  This parish, with its coastal villages, was large.  Our saint’s duties required him to made dangerous trips in the open sea.  He found time to become a successful fish dealer, too.  In that capacity, Petter assisted the farmers of Helgeland during the difficult years of 1696-1698.  Failing health forced our saint to retire in 1704.

Above:  Alstahaug, Norway

Image Source = Google Earth

Petter composed much verse, most of it published posthumously.  His secular poetry included folklore-based ballads and verse complete with references to the daily lives of fishermen.  Our saint’s religious verse (all of it published posthumously) included hymns and poetic setting of Martin Luther’s catechism.  One of these hymns, translated into English as “Lord, Our God, with Praise We Come,” became hymn #467 in The Worshipbook:  Services and Hymns (1972), hymn #244 in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), and hymn #730 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006).

Our saint, aged 60 years, died in Alstahaug, Norway, on August 17, 1707.

Petter, the first congregational Norwegian poet, made his mark in the literature and folk music of Norway.  He has also become a figure in Norwegian folklore.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN NIEMOLLER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND PEACE ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER CLARK, U.S. METHODIST PROTESTANT MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JORDAN OF PISA, DOMINICAN EVANGELIST

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM BRIGHT, ANGLICAN CANON, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Petter Dass 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 Eivind Josef Berggrav (January 14)   1 comment

Above:  Eivind Josef Berggrav

Image in the Public Domain

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EIVIND JOSEF BERGGRAV (OCTOBER 25, 1884-JANUARY 14, 1959)

Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, Hymn Translator, and Leader of the Norwegian Resistance During World War II

Born Eivind Josef Jensen

Also known as Eivind Josef Jensen Berggrav (1907-1917)

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Mighty God, to thy dear Name be given

Highest praise o’er all the earth and heaven.

All saints distressed,

All men oppressed,

Their voices raising,

United in praising

Thy glory.

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God is God, though all the earth lay wasted;

God is God, though all men death had tasted.

While nations stumble,

In darkness fumble,

By stars surrounded,

Countless aboundeth

God’s harvest.

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Highest hills and deepest vales shall vanish,

Earth and heaven both alike be banished.

As in the dawning

Of every morning

The sun appeareth,

So glorious neareth

God’s kingdom.

–Petter Dass (1647-1707), translated by Eivind Josef Berggrav; quoted in Service Book and Hymnal (1958), #357

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Bishop Eivind Josef Berggrav comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).  January 14 is his feast day, according to the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006).

Philip H. Pfatteicher and Carlos R. Messerli, Manual on the Liturgy:  Lutheran Book of Worship (1979) inform me that the correct pronunciation of our saint’s surname is BEAR-grahf.

Eivind Josef Berggrav was originally Eivind Josef Jensen.  He, born in Stavanger, Norway, then under Swedish rule, on October 25, 1884, was a son of Marena Christine Pederson (1846-1924) and Otto Jensen (1856-1918).  Otto was a minister in The Church of Norway, as well as  a teacher.  The father served as the Minister of Education and Church Affairs in 1906-1907, at the dawn of Norwegian independence.  He went on to serve as Dean of Kristiania (now Oslo) (1912-1917) the Bishop of Hamar (1917-1918).  Our saint legally changed his surname to Jensen Beggrav (in 1907) then to Berggrav (in 1917).  “Berggrav” had been his grandfather’s surname.

Our saint followed in his father’s footsteps.  He studied theology at the University of Kristiania (now Olso), starting in 1903.  Ordained in 1908, Jensen Berggrav taught until 1918.  He also worked as a newspaper correspondent during World War I.  Berggrav’s early political involvement in linguistic controversy entailed advocating for the integration of East Norwegian (Østnorsk) and the national written form of Norwegian.  In 1924 Berggrav became a prison chaplain in Oslo and a parish minister in Hurdal.  From 1928 to 1937 he served as the Bishop of Hålogaland.  Our saint became the Bishop of Oslo and the primate of The Church of Norway in 1937.

Berggrav became the Bishop of Oslo during challenging times.  Nazism, on the ascendancy to the south, ascended to the north, also; the Third Reich invaded Norway in April 1940 and occupied the country until May 1945.  For a few months in 1940, Berggrav led the national Administrative Council, which sought to save lives by discouraging interference with German rule.  Before the end of the year, though, our saint became the leader of the Norwegian resistance.

Berggrav, as the primate of The Church of Norway, was in a special position to lead the resistance.  All clergymen of The Church of Norway were civil servants, so when the state church resisted the Nazis and the Norwegian puppets, that action carried more weight than when ministers of other denominations did.  Resistance from the state church constituted rebellion within the Norwegian government.  Berggrav led the ecumenical Christian Council for Joint Deliberation, formed in 1940.  The Bishop of Oslo defied orders from the Nazi overlords that interfered with the state church.  One of these orders mandated changes to the liturgy.  On February 1, 1942, Nazis invaded Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim; an unauthorized service followed.  A crowd gathered outside the cathedral and sang “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”  Soon thereafter, all the bishops of the state church resigned in protest against the invasion of the cathedral.

Berggrav, the main author of the resistance movement’s declarations, spent much of the war as a prisoner.  Authorities arrested him on Good Friday in 1942.  He was not the only prominent church-based prisoner; other members of the Christian Council for Joint Deliberation were also inmates at a concentration camp.  Our saint, nearly executed, spent the rest of the occupation in solitary confinement north of Oslo, in a wooded setting.  His guards, however, helped him escape periodically, to meet with members of the resistance.

Katherine Seip (b. 1883), Berggrav’s wife, died in 1949.

Berggrav remained active after the liberation of Norway.  He, leader of the Norwegian Bible Society since 1938, continued in that role until 1955.  He retired as the Bishop of Oslo in 1950.  Our saint was a leader of the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches until his death in Olso on January 14, 1959.

Berggrav had to make difficult decisions and endure hardships during the occupation of Norway.  We who have never been in such circumstances have been fortunate.  May we draw positive lessons from Berggrav’s example and do our duty in circumstances better than those in which he labored faithfully.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 3, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOANNA, MARY, AND SALOME, WITNESSES TO THE RESURRECTION

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Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant Eivind Josef Berggrav.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

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

with you and the Holy Spirit, 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), 60

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