Archive for the ‘The Hymnal (1933)’ Tag

Feast of Alfred Tennyson (August 5)   2 comments

Tennyson

Image in the Public Domain

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ALFRED TENNYSON (AUGUST 6, 1809-OCTOBER 6, 1892)

English Poet

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For finished and exquisite artistry he had no peer among his contemporaries.  His mind moved habitually on high levels; his teaching was always on what ennobles and exalts; and though his sensitive spirit was acutely alive to to the questionings and spiritual uncertainties of his age, which his work faithfully reflects, his faith in Divine goodness and guidance and in the life beyond gave comfort and strength to his generation.

–James Moffatt, ed. Handbook to the Church Hymnary (London, England, UK:  Oxford University Press, 1927), pages 516 and 517

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Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892), perhaps the most famous English poet of the Victorian age, was son of George Clayton Tennyson, an Anglican priest.  Our saint published is first volume of poetry with his brother Charles; Poems by Two Brothers (1827) debuted before Tennyson started his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge (1828).  While a student there he published a solo volume, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical (1830).  Many great poems followed.  Our saint became the national Poet Laureate in 1850.  In 1884 he became a peer, the Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Farringford.  He died in 1892, interred at Westminster Abbey.

Tennyson, who never wrote hymns per se, did compose texts from which others excerpted hymns.  Here is one example:

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar

When I put out to sea,

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But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

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Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell

When I embark;

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For, though from out our bourne of time and place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have reached the bar.

And here is another example:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

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Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

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Ring out old shapes of foul disease,

Ring out the narrow lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

I found these texts and another one (which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog) in The Hymnal (1933), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., one of the better hymnbooks–certainly one classier ones–of the previous century.  And I found another Tennyson in Hymns for the Family of God (1976), one of the hymnals on the other end of the spectrum from classy:

More things are wrought by prayer

Than this world dreams of.

Wherefore, let thy voice

Rise like a fountain for me night and day.

For what are men better than sheep or goats

That nourish a blind life within the brain,

If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer

Both for themselves and those who call them friends,

For so the whole round earth is every way

Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

That text is a rare bright spot of quality in that hymnal, populated by a combination of gold and dross–mostly the latter.

This is a post about Tennyson, however, so I return to him.  Our saint, a man of deep piety and great literary ability, used his talents to glorify God and to beautify the world–to exalt the noble and the lovey.  He set the bar very high.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 28, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF CHARLES KINGSLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST, NOVELIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BARNBY, ANGLICAN CHURCH MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF RICHARD FREDERICK LITTLEDALE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

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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 Alfred Tennyson

and all those who with words 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 Clifford Bax (July 13)   Leave a comment

Clifford_Bax

Image in the Public Domain

CLIFFORD BAX (JULY 13, 1886-NOVEMBER 18, 1962)

Poet, Playwright, and Hymn Writer

Clifford Bax (1886-1962), brother of composer Sir Arnold Bax (1883-1953), was born in London, England.  Our saint traveled when young, studying art in Germany, Belgium, and Italy, before turning to literature and becoming a skilled poet and playwright.  Some of his published works were:

  1. Twenty Chinese Poems (1910);
  2. Poems Dramatic and Lyrical (1911);
  3. Square Pegs:  A Rhymed Fantasy for Two Girls (1920);
  4. A House of Words (1920);
  5. Antique Pageantry (1921):
  6. The Traveller’s Tale (1921);
  7. Up Stream:  A Drama in Three Acts (1922);
  8. Polite Satires (1922); and
  9. Island Far (1925), a book of recollections.

The text which brought Bax to my attention was a hymn, “Turn Back, O Man, Forswear Thy Foolish Ways” (1916), written during World War I.  That conflict, unfortunately, was not the “war to end all wars.”  No, President Woodrow Wilson’s prophesy from 1919 proved correct; a much worse global war followed it.  And World War I destroyed empires, changed the map of Europe and parts of Asia, claimed the lives of many people, and devastated a generation.  Bax’s hymn is a profound text, one which Godspell (1971) bastardizes and makes frivolous.  I prefer the Gustav Holst music:

Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.

Old now is earth, and none may count her days,

Yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,

Still wilt not hear thine inner God proclaim–

“Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.”

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Earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.

Age after age their tragic empires rise,

Built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep:

Would not but wake from out his haunted sleep,

Earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.

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Earth shall be fair, and all her people are:

Nor till that hour shall God’s whole will be done.

Now, even now, once more from earth to sky,

Peals forth in joy man’s old, undaunted cry–

“Earth shall be fair, and all her fold be one!”

The Handbook to The Hymnal (1935), companion volume to The Hymnal (1933), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., said:

In spite of the flame of reason which crowns the brow of man, in spite of the lessons of history, he still goes forth in his foolish ways, still fails to hear the gentle voice of God which speaks in his bosom….This call to repentance rises with holy indignation from the soul of the poet, who sees what ruin man’s folly and wrath have wrought, and sees as well what good will and brotherly kindness might do.

–pages 438 and 439

Or maybe we should dress in tacky clothing and sing and dance atop the World Trade Center.  O wait, those towers do not exist anymore.  Agents of hatred destroyed them.  No, sober spirituality, not frivolity, fits that text well.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SYNCLETIA OF ALEXANDRIA, DESERT MOTHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELARD OF CORBIE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA, DEACON AND MARTYR

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

Clifford Bax 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 William Hiram Foulkes (June 14)   1 comment

PCUSA 1937

Above:  Part of The Christian Century‘s Report on the 1937 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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WILLIAM HIRAM FOULKES (JUNE 16, 1877-DECEMBER 9, 1961)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

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Science and religion no more contradict each other than light and electricity.

–William Hiram Foulkes

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William Hiram Foulkes, born in Qunicy, Michigan, in 1877, was a Presbyterian minister, a denominational statesman, and a writer of hymns.

The progress of our saint’s career was as follows:

  1. Foulkes graduated from the College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas, in 1897.  Next he attended McCormick Theological Seminary, where he received the Bernardine Orme Smith Fellowship for general excellence.  He also studied on the graduate level at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  2. Foulkes ministered at churches in Elmira, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; New York, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey; in that order.
  3. Foulkes served as the General Secretary of the Board of Ministerial Relief and Sustenation of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. from 1913 to 1918.
  4. Foulkes served as the Chairman of the New Era Movement (in full, the New Era Expansion Program) of the denomination.  The purpose of the New Era Movement (1919-1933) was to encourage cooperation among congregations, presbyteries, synods, and denominational boards and agencies to promote stewardship, ecumenism, and missionary education.
  5. Foulkes sat on the General Council of the denomination.
  6. Foulkes contributed to the 1935 Handbook to the 1933 Hymnal.
  7. Foulkes served as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1937-1938.
  8. Foulkes retired in 1941.
  9. Foulkes died at Smithtown, New York, in 1961.

Our saint wrote at least three books:

  1. Living Bread from the Fourth Gospel (1914), a devotional volume;
  2. Sunset by the Wayside (1917), a volume of poems; and
  3. Homespun:  Along Friendly Roads (1936), a volume of Christian essays.

He also wrote hymns, including “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord” (1918), which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  It is a hymn about consecration to God–having the mind of Christ, yielding to God, et cetera.  He wrote it as a devotional text for young people.  Dr. Calvin Weiss Laufer had asked Foulkes to compose words

that will challenge their hearts and minds.

–Quoted in William Chalmers Covert and Calvin Weiss Laufer, eds., Handbook to The Hymnal (Philadelphia, PA:  Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1935), page 266

Perhaps the best way to conclude my remarks is to affirm a simple prayer from that hymn:

Guide Thou our ordered lives as Thou dost please.

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE

THE FEAST OF GEORGE AND LILLIAN WILLOUGHBY, QUAKER PEACE ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PACHOMIUS, FATHER OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNAL MONASTIC LIFE

THE FEAST OF RICHARD MEUX BENSON, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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

We bless you for inspiring William Hiram Foulkes

and all who with words 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

Feast of Edward Osler (March 7)   1 comment

08251v

Above:  Truro, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08251

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EDWARD OSLER (JANUARY 31, 1798-MARCH 7, 1863)

English Doctor, Editor, and Poet

Edward Osler was the house surgeon at Swansea Infirmary from 1819 to 1836.  That was noble work, to be sure.  But he felt the need for a change.  So our saint went to work in London then in Bath for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.  Then, in 1841, he transferred to Truro to assume the job he held until his death:  Editor of the Royal Cornwall Gazette.  His literary interests and skills were already established, for he had helped to produce Psalms and Hymns Adopted to the Service of the Church of England (“The Mitre Hymnal”) in 1836.  That volume included fifty of his hymns and fifteen of his psalm settings.

Two of Osler’s hymns which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS blog, “Lord of the Church, We Humbly Pray” and “O God Unseen, Yet Ever Near,” come from that hymnal.  Also from “The Mitre Hymnal” is this, the third stanza of “Praise the Lord:  Ye Heavens Adore Him,” as printed in The Hymnal (1933):

Worship, honor, glory, blessing,

Lord, we offer unto Thee;

Young and old, Thy praise expressing,

In glad homage bend the knee.

All the saints in heaven adore Thee;

We would bow before Thy throne:

As Thine angels serve before Thee,

So on earth Thy will be done.

Osler’s literary-spiritual legacy is magnificent.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNE HUTCHINSON, REBELLIOUS PURITAN

THE FEAST OF BLAISE PASCAL, MATHEMATICIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN EUDES, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF JESUS AND MARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Edward Osler 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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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of Frederick Oakeley (January 30)   1 comment

Vatican Flag

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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