Archive for the ‘Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’ Tag

Feast of August Crull (February 17)   1 comment

august-crull

Above:  August Crull

Image in the Public Domain

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AUGUST CRULL (JANUARY 27, 1845-FEBRUARY 17, 1923)

German-American Lutheran Minister, Poet, Professor, Hymnodist, and Hymn Translator

The name of August Crull came to my attention due to my interest in liturgy and hymnody.  I have added five of his hymn translations to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Now I add him to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  I have relied heavily on archive.org and on hymnal companion volumes, which I have supplemented with an obituary from the February 19, 1923, edition of The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, accessible via newspapers.com.  Certain details in the hymnal companion volumes contradict the obituary, but I have found that, when following leads, that the hymnal companion volumes are more reliable than the obituary.

Crull’s life started in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, where his mother gave birth to him on January 27, 1845.  Our saint’s father, attorney Hofrat Crull, died when August was quite young.  August’s mother remarried eventually, joining her life with that of Albert Friedrich Hoppe, a doctor of laws.  Our saint’s stepfather went on to edit the St. Louis edition of Luther’s Works (1880-1897).  The family emigrated in the 1850s.

Our saint’s life in the United States was one of great accomplishments.  He attended Concordia College at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and St. Louis, Missouri, graduating in 1862.  Next Crull studied at Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, from which he graduated in 1865.  The newly ordained Reverend Crull served as assistant pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1865 to 1866.

Trinity Church, Milwaukee

Above:  Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Congregation Founded in 1847

Building Erected in 1878

Image Source = Library of Congress

Call Number = HABS WIS,40-MILWA,24-

Bad health forced our saint to resign after a year.  He studied theology and medicine in Dresden, Germany, before returning to St. Louis, where he edited a newspaper until 1868.  From 1868 to 1870 Crull was the principal of the Lutheran High School in St. Louis.  Then, from 1871 to 1873, he served as pastor of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Crull’s occupation for most of his life, however, was as a professor of German language and literature at Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 1873 to 1915.

Crull’s obituary from 1923 described his teaching career eloquently.

Crull Obituary 02C

Crull Obituary 03A

Source = The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 19, 1923, Page 2

Accessed via newspapers.com

Crull, a poet and author of two volumes of German poetry, published a German-language grammar (1880) and Das Walte Gott (1893), a book of devotions derived from sermons by Missouri Synod founder Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther (1811-1887).  Our saint also edited three hymnals.

The first of these influential hymnals was the Hymn Book for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Schools and Congregations (1879).  This was the first English-language hymnal of the old Norwegian Synod (1853-1917).  The hymnal, which offered 130 hymns and 10 doxologies, was in use inside the old Norwegian Synod and beyond, including congregations of the Missouri Synod, officially the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (GELSMOOS).  Among the hymnal’s admirers was Walther.

The second hymnal Crull edited was Hymns of the Evangelical Lutheran Church:  For the Use of English Lutheran Missions (1886).  The Missouri Synod published this collection of 33 hymns with melodies.

Crull’s magnum opus of hymnody was the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1889), which the English Evangelical Lutheran Conference of Missouri (1872-1888)/General English Evangelical Lutheran Conference of Missouri and Other States (1888-1891)/English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States (1891-1911) authorized.  The volume of 400 hymns, texts only, went into a second edition with added liturgical materials in 1892.  The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book (1889) was  great advance, but denominational President Frederick Gottlob Kuegele (1846-1916) wrote in Der Lutheraner:

If we desire to build a true English Lutheran church for our descendants, then we must also be concerned, before it is too late, for a true English hymnal.

Crull’s magnum opus laid the foundations for the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1912), the first official English-language hymnal of the Missouri Synod, then still GELSMOOS (now The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod).  (The English Synod of Missouri had merged into the Missouri Synod in 1911 and become the English District thereof.)  The 1912 hymnal had 567 hymns, 27 chants, and much liturgical material.

Crull, whose work in the realm of hymnody helped the Missouri Synod make the transition from German to English, married twice.  His first wife (from 1867 to 1884) was Sophie Biewend (1849-1884), with whom he had four children.  One one of these offspring survived the parents.  He was Dr. Eric A. Crull (1876-1936), who devoted his career to the battle against tuberculosis.  Our saint’s second wife (from 1896) was Katharine John, who died in 1944.

Crull retired from Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1915, and moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  There he remained until he died on February 17, 1915.  He was 78 years old.  Our saint had joined the Choir Invisible, but his legacy has never died.  I have found his hymn translations in current Lutheran hymnals.  These texts are superior to many contemporary lyrics of worship songs in literary quality and theological density.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 31, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT WOLFGANG OF REGENSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP

ALL HALLOWS’ EVE

REFORMATION DAY

VIGIL FOR THE EVE OF ALL SAINTS’ DAY

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

thank you for those (especially August Crull)

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 Ditlef Georgson Ristad (November 22)   2 comments

Flag of MinnesotaFlag of Wisconsin

Above:  The Flags of Minnesota and Wisconsin

Images in the Public Domain

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DITLEF GEORGSON RISTAD (NOVEMBER 22, 1863-SEPTEMBER 20, 1938)

Norwegian-American Lutheran Minister, Hymn Translator, Liturgist, and Educator

Ditlef Georgson Ristad entered the world at Overhallen, Norway, on November 22, 1863.  His parents, George Ristad and Johanna Bergitte Ristad, were farmers.  Our saint graduated from the Klabu Normal School, taught in a school, tutored privately for three years, and served in the army.  Then, in 1887, he emigrated to the United States of Army.

Ristad’s destiny was the ordained ministry, but that was not obvious in 1887 and 1888.  He worked in various industries for two years before matriculating at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, an institution of the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (SNELCA) (1853-1917), in 1889.  He graduated three years later, became an ordained Lutheran minister, and served as the pastor of the church at East Koskonong, Wisconsin, from 1892 to 1900.  During this time our saint traveled to Europe (in 1894), took courses at the University of Chicago (in 1896 and 1897), and edited the Lutheran Sunday-School Hymnal (1897).

Then academia beckoned.  Ristad served as the President of Albion Academy, Albion, Wisconsin, from 1900 to 1905, traveling in Europe again in 1904.  Our saint’s next position was President of Park Region Luther College, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, from 1905 to 1916.  During this time he served on the commitees for The Lutheran Hymnary (1913) and the Lutheran Hymnary Junior (1916).  A few years (1916-1919) as the President of the Lutheran Ladies’ Seminary at Red Wing, Minnesota, followed.

Ristad pursued other ventures from 1919 to 1922.  He established a trade journal, the Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter, at Edgerton, Wisconsin, in 1919, and worked as a correspondent for other trade journals.  Our saint also published a volume of Norwegian poetry in 1922.

From 1923 to the end of his life (in 1938) Ristad was active in parish ministry again.  He served as the pastor of the First Lutheran Church, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, during that time.  In 1930 the Norwegian government made him a Knight of St. Olaf in honor of his active role in Norwegian-American cultural organizations.  Ristad received the LD.D. degree from St. Olaf’s College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1935, capping off a productive life.

Ristad, the family man, was the husband of Sara Moltzau (1869-1957) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the father of George Rolf Ristad (1905-1954) and Robert Nicholas Ristad.

Among our saint’s hymn translations was a rendering (from 1908) of a text by Hans Adolf Brorson (1694-1764) from 1734.  “I walk in danger all the way,” it began.  Stanzas #2, 3, and 6 follow:

I pass through trials all the way,

With sin and ills contending;

In patience I must bear each day

The cross of God’s own sending;

Oft in adversity

I know not where to flee;

When storms of woe my soul dismay,

I pass through trials all the way.

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Death doth pursue me all the way,

Nowhere I rest securely,

He comes by night, he comes by day,

And takes his prey most surely;

A failing breath–and I

In death’s strong grasp may lie

To face eternity for aye:

Death doth pursue me all the way.

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My walk is heavenward all the way,

Await, my soul, the morrow,

When thou shalt find release for aye

From all thy sin and sorrow;

All worldly pomp, begone,

To heaven I now press on;

For all the world I would not stay,

My walk is heavenward all the way.

Ristad died on September 20, 1938.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2015 COMMON ERA

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

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUIBERT OF GORZE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NICOLAUS COPERNICUS, SCIENTIST

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

thank you for those (especially Ditlef Georgson Ristad)

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 Carl Doving (October 2)   2 comments

Decorah, Iowa 1908

Above:  Panoramic View of Decorah, Iowa, Circa 1908

Copyright Claimant = Brunt & Parman

H116196–U.S. Copyright Office

Image Source = Library of Congress

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CARL DOVING (MARCH 21, 1867-OCTOBER 2, 1937)

Norwegian-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

I collect hymnals from different denominations for several reasons, including the fact that variety in hymnody interests me.  Variety is the spice of life with regard to hymns, for it guards against a generic, vanilla sensibility in church music and texts thereto.  Hymns which Carl Doving (1867-1937), or, as The Service Hymnal:  A Lutheran Homecoming (2001) misspells his last name, “Dovig,” translated are most likely to appear in hymnals of denominations with a Scandinavian or German heritage, for he rendered texts from Scandinavian and German sources into English.  These English-language texts are products of a finely honed mind, the intellect of a skilled linguist, and a deep trust in God.

Doving, a native of Norddalen, Norway, lived in Norway, South Africa, and the United States of America.  In 1883, ag age 16, he moved to the Natal, South Africa.  There Bishop Nils Astrup, a missionary of the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (SNELCA), educated him.  Our saint taught at Astrup’s Schreuder Mission, Untunjambili, for a few years before emigrating to the United States at age 23 in 1890.  He studied at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, for three years, graduating in 1893 then commencing studies at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, from which he graduated in 1896.  Along the way to becoming an ordained minister of the SNELCA then its immediate successor, the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (1917-1946)/The Evangelical Lutheran Church (1946-1960), wrote three books from his experiences in South Africa:

  1. Billeder fra Syd-Afrika (1892),
  2. Blandt Zuluerne i Syd-Afrika (1894), and
  3. Izihabelelo (1896).

The last book was a volume of Zulu hymns;  the first two were apparently about missionary efforts among the Zulus, according to the scant information I found online.

My sources–books, secondary websites, and primary sources I accessed via Internet searches–helped me to establish some dates in Doving’s career, but not as many as I would have preferred.  I do know the following, however:

  1. Doving served a churches in Red Wing and Montevideo, Minnesota.  He was serving at the congregation in Montevideo in 1902.
  2. In 1903 the SNELCA asked Doving to undertake missionary work among the Zulus.  I have found no indication of his reply.
  3. By 1905 Doving was serving as pastor of the First Scandinavian Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, New York, New York.  He remained there through at least 1911, perhaps 1912.
  4. Doving served as a visiting pastor in Freeborn County, Minnesota, in October and November 1912, overlapping with the long-term tenure of Olof Hanson Smeby (1851-1929) there.  By then Smeby and Doving had concluded their service on the committee for The Lutheran Hymnary (1913).
  5. Doving’s final assignment was as city missionary in Chicago.  This work was well underway by 1916.  One of our saint’s duties was visiting people in hospitals.  Many of them were immigrants not fluent in English.  Fortunately, Doving was fluent in German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Greek.

Preface

Above:  The Conclusion of the Preface to The Lutheran Hymnary (1913)

Scanned from the 1935 edition of The Lutheran Hymnary by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Doving applied his linguistic abilities to translating German and Scandinavian hymns also.  Some sources I consulted indicated that The Lutheran Hymnary contains 32 of his translations.  I counted hymns and wrote down titles, however, and arrived at a different number–37.

Mason City Globe-Citizen, March 6, 1934, page 16 01

Mason City Globe-Citizen, March 6, 1934, page 16 02

Above:  An Article from the Mason City Globe-Citizen, Mason City, Iowa, March 6, 1934, Page 16

Obtained via newspapers.com

The Lutheran Hymnary and users thereof benefited from our saint’s large hymnological library and extensive knowledge of hymnology.  Doving donated that library to Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, in 1934.  Since 1997 the custodian of said library has been Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.  That library contains thousands of hymnals and books about hymns in more than 300 languages and from six continents.  The oldest book in the collection dates to the middle 1600s; the most recent volume comes from the early 1900s.  It is a collection which a recognized expert in the field of hymnology assembled.

Carl Doving (D.D., Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, 1931), died at Chicago, Illinois, on October 2, 1937.  His hymn translations survive, and not only in out-of-print hymnbooks.  My survey of germane, current hymnals reveals the following count of Doving texts, in descending order:

  1. Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (The Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1996)–16;
  2. Ambassador Hymnal for Lutheran Worship (The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, 1994)–11;
  3. Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1993)–5;
  4. Lutheran Service Book (The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, 2006)–3;
  5. The Covenant Hymnal:  A Worshipbook (The Evangelical Covenant Church of America, 1996)–2;
  6. The Service Book:  A Lutheran Homecoming (unofficial, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2001)–2;
  7. Celebrating Grace Hymnal (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 2010)–1;
  8. Chalice Hymnal (Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1995)–1;
  9. Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2006)–1;
  10. Moravian Book of Worship (Moravian Church in America, 1995)–1;
  11. The New Century Hymnal (United Church of Christ, 1995)–1;
  12. The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1985)–1;
  13. Trinity Hymnal–Baptist Edition (Reformed Baptist, 1995)–1; and
  14. Trinity Hymnal–Revised Edition (Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Church in America, 1990)–1.

I checked many other current hymnals in my collection and found no Carl Doving texts in them.

The top two hymnals on the list come from denominations with a dominant Norwegian heritage.  The Evangelical Lutheran Synod formed in opposition to the merger which created the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (1917-1946)/The Evangelical Lutheran Church (1946-1960), which merged into The American Lutheran Church (1960-1987).  The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is the remnant of The Lutheran Free Church, which merged into The American Lutheran Church (1960-1987) in 1963.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also has a strong Norwegian heritage.

Denominations with strong German roots include the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Moravian Church in America, and the United Church of Christ.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has strong Swedish and Danish roots, as well as Icelandic and Finnish heritages.  Hymnals of Swedish and Danish immigrant denominations had a stronger Scandinavian hymnody than non-ethnic U.S. Lutheran hymnbooks have had, beginning with the Service Book and Hymnal (1958).  The Evangelical Covenant Church of America has Swedish immigrant roots.

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has an ethnic Finnish constituency also.

Our saint left a fine legacy, one which continues to benefit people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 29, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENNA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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

thank you for those (especially Carl Doving)

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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Posted April 29, 2015 by neatnik2009 in October 2, Saints of 1870-1879, Saints of 1880-1889, Saints of 1890-1899, Saints of 1900-1909, Saints of 1910-1919, Saints of 1920-1929, Saints of 1930-1939

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Feast of George Alfred Taylor Rygh (July 16)   2 comments

Luther Rose

Above:  The Luther Rose

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GEORGE ALFRED TAYLOR RYGH (MARCH 21, 1860-JULY 16, 1942)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

A few years ago, when I started adding Norwegian Lutheran hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog in earnest, I came across the name of George Alfred Taylor Rygh, who translated some of them into English.  At the time I read about him at a hymn website and wrote a blurb about him at GATHERED PRAYERS.  Now I tell a fuller version of the story of his life.

Rygh, born at Chicago, Illinois, on March 21, 1860, studied for the ordained ministry.  He attended Luther College (A.B., 1881) then Luther Seminary, Decorah, Iowa, of the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1853-1917).  He completed his theological studies at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930).  Rygh, ordained in the Norwegian Synod, alternated between academic and pastoral work during his career, with editorial duties related to ecclesiastical publications much of the time:

  1. Instructor, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio (1883-1884);
  2. Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon (1884-1889);
  3. Teacher, Wittenberg Academy, Wittenberg, Wisconsin (1889-1890);
  4. Pastor, Grand Forks, North Dakota (1890-1891);
  5. Professor, North Dakota University (1891-1895);
  6. Pastor, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (1895-1898);
  7. Pastor, Chicago, Illinois (1899-1910);
  8. Editor, United Lutheran (1909-1913);
  9. Professor, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota (1910-1913);
  10. Member, The Lutheran Hymnary (1913) committee (Oluf Hanson Smeby, Chairman);
  11. Editor, American Lutheran Survey (1914-1921);
  12. DD.L. degree, Newberry College, Newberry, South Carolina (1917);
  13. Commissioner to the Baltic States, National Lutheran Council (1919-1920);
  14. Pastor, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1920-1930); and
  15. Editor, Lutheran Herald (1925 forward).

Rygh retired to Northfield, Minnesota, where he died on July 16, 1942.

His hymn translations continue to appear in hymnals.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK OAKELEY, ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BATHILDAS, QUEEN OF FRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS, AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF LESSLIE NEWBIGIN, UNITED REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

George Alfred Taylor Rygh and others, who have translated 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 Oluf Hanson Smeby (July 6)   6 comments

Albert Lea, Minnesota, 1908

Above:  Albert Lea, Minnesota, April 28, 1908

Photographer and Copyright Claimant = Frederick J. Bandholtz, Des Moines, Iowa

H116197–U.S. Copyright Office

Image Source = Library of Congress

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OLUF HANSON SMEBY (JANUARY 31, 1851-JULY 6, 1929)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

My reading in hymnody has brought the Reverend Oluf Hanson Smeby to my attention.  He translated Norwegian hymns into English.  I have added one text, “Abide with Us, the Day is Waning,” to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Part of another text, a translation of a hymn by Bishop Johan Nordahl Brun (1745-1816), follows:

Today I was my Savior’s guest,

My soul was there so richly blest,

The Bread of Life receiving.

Oh, may thereby my faith prevail,

So that its fruits shall never fail

Till my account is given

Before the throne in heaven.

Smeby, born in Rock County, Wisconsin, in 1851, was the son of Hans O. Smeby and Helene Fryslie Smeby.  He entered the preparatory department of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, an institution of the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1853-1917), then transferred to the college proper, graduating with his A.B. degree in 1871.  Our saint’s next step was Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, from which he graduated three years later.

The Reverend Smeby, ordained in 1874, served God in that capacity for the rest of his life.  From 1874 to 1876 our saint served as the assistant minister to congregations in Freeborn County, Minnesota.  Then, in 1876, he married Marie Carlson, his partner in life, from that point forward.  From 1876 to 1922 Smeby became the senior pastor in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and ministered in churches in the area with the help of other clergymen.  His main responsibilities were the Albert Lea and Oakwood churches, but he also organized churches at Moscow and London Township in 1890 and 1891 and served them for a time.  Oluf and Marie Smeby traveled on good roads, bad roads, and places where roads should have been to take the Gospel and the sacraments to isolated farmers.  Eventually our saint left the care of the Moscow and London Township congregations to other ministers so that he could focus on his work at Albert Lea and Oakwood.  Some of those responsibilities included teaching Norwegian, German, and religion at Luther Academy, Albert Lea, from 1888 to 1904.

As if that were not enough, Smeby served on the denominational level also.  Our saint was the Secretary of the Iowa District of the Norwegian Synod from 1895 to 1907, Vice President of the same from 1907 to 1913, a member of the Committee for Christian Hymns (1898), and the chairman of the committee for The Lutheran Hymnary (1913).

Smeby retired in 1922, after forty-eight years of active ministry.  He died on July 6, 1929.

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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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Oluf Hanson Smeby,

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

We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

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

through the same 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), page 60

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Feast of Victor Olof Petersen (February 14)   1 comment

Augustana College

Above:  Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, 1914

Image Source = Library of Congress

J195906–U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright Claimant = Haines Photo Company, Conneaut, Ohio

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VICTOR OLOF PETERSEN (SEPTEMBER 24, 1864-FEBRUARY 14, 1929)

Swedish-American Lutheran Hymn Translator

Victor Olof Petersen, whose surname some sources list as “Peterson,” loved hymns and translated certain Danish and Swedish hymns into English.  I have found three of his translations.  “O Bride of Christ, Rejoice” was under copyright in 1996 yet had entered the public domain by the time the Lutheran Service Book (2006) rolled off the presses.  “Wheresoe’er I Roam” was under copyright when The Covenant Hymnal:  A Worshipbook (1996) debuted.  I do not know if the text is still under copyright.  Likewise, I have no information regarding the copyright status of “My Heart is Yearning Ever,” which I found in The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925, The Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod).  I do know that the translations have become increasingly difficult to find, except in certain old hymnals and a few current ones.

Petersen, born at Skede, Smaland, Sweden, on September 24, 1864, was a scientist and an educator.  He emigrated to the United States of America in 1867.  His early education occurred at Stanton, Iowa.  Then our saint attended Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois–first the academy then the college proper.  (Many colleges used to have high schools attached to them.)  Petersen graduated from college in 1889.  That summer he worked under a former professor, Dr. Joshua Lindahl, at the state museum in Springfield.  Next our saint taught physics and chemistry at Augustana College for sixteen years, becoming a professor after he completed some course work at Harvard University.  In 1906 Petersen became the Secretary of the Rock Island Tropical Plantation Company.  From 1907 to 1913 he managed the Chalohijapa Plantation in southern Mexico.  When the Mexican Revolution forced our saint to return home, he worked in real estate and insurance in Rock Island for seven years.  From 1920 to 1928 Petersen chaired the Department of Chemistry at Huron College, Huron, South Dakota.  He died at Huron on February 14, 1929.

Petersen was active in the American Lutheran Church, Huron, in the 1920s.  He was presumably a member of the Augustana Synod, which had Swedish origins, for a long time.  The Huron congregation, officially The English Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion of Huron, Beadle County, South Dakota, or “The English Lutheran Church” for short, until 1923, was of Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish origin.  In 1909 it affilated with the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1853-1917), a predecessor body of, in order, the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (1917-1946)/The Evangelical Lutheran Church (1946-1960), the American Lutheran Church (1960-1987), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Likewise, the Augustana Synod preceded the Lutheran Church in America (1962-1987) and the ELCA.

Petersen died and denominational labels have changed, but his translations of Danish and Swedish hymns continue to exist.  You, O reader, might find them (or at least some of them) edifying.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SYNCLETIA OF ALEXANDRIA, DESERT MOTHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABELARD OF CORBIE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE PALLOTINES

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Victor Olof Petersen and others, who have translated 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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