Archive for the ‘Theodor Fliedner’ Tag

Feast of Lucy Jane Rider Meyer (September 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Two Methodist Deaconesses, 1889

Image in the Public Domain

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LUCY JANE RIDER MEYER (SEPTEMBER 9, 1849-MARCH 16, 1922)

Novelist, Hymn Writer, Medical Doctor, and Foundress of the Deaconess Movement in the Methodist Episcopal Church

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INTRODUCTION

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Lucy Jane Rider Meyer comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

The changing nature of Methodist ministerial orders over time requires explanation and is germane to this blog post.  Both versions (1945 and 1965) of The Book of Worship for Church and Home (of The Methodist Church, extant 1939-1968) include Orders for the Ordination of Deacons, the Ordination of Elders, the Consecration of Bishops, and the Consecration of Deaconesses.  The Order for the Consecration of Deaconesses, from The Book of Worship for Church and Home (1945) includes the following instructions to the candidate(s):

Dearly beloved, we rejoice that in the providence of God a door of usefulness has been opened to you in the Church of Christ.  You are to give yourselves to the service if the Lord, going about doing good.  You are to minister to the poor, visit the sick, pray for the dying, care for the orphaned, seek the wandering, comfort the sorrowing, and lead the sinning to their Saviour.  Such service lays upon you solemn responsibility.

–452

The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), the immediate successor to The Books of Worship for Church and Home, includes the Order for the Consecration of Diaconal Ministers in lieu of the old Order for the Consecration of Deaconesses.  The consecration ritual includes these instructions to the candidate(s):

My brothers and sisters,

you are to be consecrated to diaconal ministry in Christ’s holy Church.

You are to represent to the Church the ministry of servanthood in the world.

 

God has called you to a special ministry that will exemplify Christ’s servanthood.

You are to lead the people of God to be obedient servants,

to participate in the leadership of worship,

to demonstrate concern for love, justice, and freedom,

to counsel the troubled in spirit,

to teach from the riches of God’s grace,

to serve the poor, the sick, and the oppressed,

to equip all Christians to be in ministry and in service to the community,

and to embody the unity of the congregation’s worship with its life in the world.

–657

When I was a United Methodist preacher’s kid in southern Georgia, U.S.A., in the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, the ordained clergy on the parish level came in three tiers:  Local Pastor, Deacon, and Elder.  My father started as a local pastor in 1980.  He became a deacon in 1986 then an elder in 1994.  (I have his framed ordination certificates.)  I knew about diaconal ministers; I saw them, from a distance, consecrated at the Annual Conferences in June.  My father wore a stole over both shoulders, but a diaconal minister wore a stole over one shoulder.  Diaconal ministers usually served on staff in large congregations in cities.  

I, being on this earth, in part, to be an Episcopalian, converted to The Episcopal Church on December 22, 1991.  I stopped paying such close attention to the details of United Methodist ministerial orders.  In 1996, The United Methodist Church established the Order of Deacons.  The denomination revised its ministerial orders and redefined the diaconate.  Deacons ceased to be parish ministers who had not become elders yet.  Deacons started wearing the one-shoulder stole.  The Church ceased to consecrate diaconal ministers, although some people already consecrated as diaconal ministers still used the title.  Likewise, when The Episcopal Church had relabeled all deaconesses as deacons, some deaconesses had retained their former title in a denomination that had ceased to set women apart as deaconesses.

Now that increasing numbers of denominations have authorized the ordination of women, many of those denominations have discontinued the Order of Deaconesses.   The Order of Deacons has come to include both men and women in many denominations.  Yet the Order of Deaconess has persisted in some quarters of the Church; Rosa Parks (1913-2005) was a deaconess in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, for example.

I live in a time in which a woman can be the Presiding Bishop.  I approve of this.

Lucy Jane Rider Meyer, however, lived in a time and a culture quite different from mine.  Progress for women in the churches meant opening up gendered, parallel institutions.  After the U.S. Civil War, for example, opposition to sending single women abroad as medical missionaries declined, and women from various denominations founded ecumenical and denominational missions agencies for women.  Furthermore, the renewal of the female diaconate spread in the United States.

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DEACONESSES

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The revival of the ancient Order of Deaconesses started in Europe.  The renewed Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) did this first, in 1745.  In Germany, Lutheran pastor Theodor Fliedner (1800-1864) opened a deaconess training center at Kaiserworth in 1836.   The revival of the female diaconate spread throughout European Lutheranism.

The Reverend William Alfred Passvant, Sr. (1821-1894), the pastor of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1845f), became active in providing social services.  From 1849 to 1871, he founded hospitals, orphanages, homes for the aged, and homes for epileptics.  Passavant also raised funds to support these institutions.  And, in 1846, he wrote Fliedner and requested deaconesses in Pittsburgh.  Fliedner and four deaconesses arrived in 1849.  They helped to open Deaconess’ Hospital, Pittsburgh, in 1850.  Passavant consecrated Catherine Lousia Marthens (1828-1899), the first American deaconess, in 1850.  And, in 1885, Passavant invited Norwegian Lutheran deaconess Elizabeth Fedde (1850-1921) to work in the United States.  She worked in this country from 1883 to 1895.  She opened hospitals in New York and Chicago.  

The revival of the female diaconate spread to the Anglican Communion, too.  Elizabeth Catherine Ferard (1825-1883) became the first deaconess in The Church of England in 1861.  The movement to revive the ancient Order of Deaconesses in The Episcopal Church began in earnest in 1871.  The denomination approved that order in 1889.

The 1888 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (extant 1784-1939) approved the creation of the Order of Deaconesses in that denomination.  

That detail brings me to the woman known as the “Archbishop of Deaconesses.”

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A SHATTERER OF MOLDS AND AN ALLEGED HERETIC, THEREFORE, BY DEFINITION, A CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE

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Above:  Lucy Jane Rider and Josiah Shelly Rider

Image in the Public Domain

Lucy Jane Rider, born in New Haven, Vermont, on September 9, 1849, became a mold-breaker and an educator.  She was the only child of widower Richard Dunning Rider (1807-1876) and his second wife, Jane Child Rider (1823-1901).  Our saint had three younger half-siblings, born in 1834, 1840, and 1847.  Lucy graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in literary studies in 1872.  She, planning to become a medical missionary, matriculated at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania the following year.  Our saint, engaged to marry, suffered heartache in 1875; her fiancé died.  Lucy dropped out of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and served as the principal of the (Methodist Episcopal) Troy Conference Academy, Poultney, Vermont (1876-1877).  

Rider also had an interest in chemistry.  She studied the subject at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1877-1878.)  Then she was a professor of chemistry at McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois (1879-1881).  This interest in chemistry was also evident in her children’s book, Real Fairy Folks, or, The Land of Chemistry:  Explorations in the World of Atoms (1887).

Our saint turned her full-time attention to Christian education next.  She, a delegate to the World Sunday School Convention, London, in 1880, worked as a field secretary for the Illinois State Sunday School Association in 1881-1884.  This period in Rider’s life proved to be foundational for her subsequent labors.  She became convinced that Christian educators and others engaged in evangelism needed to be better informed than many of them were.  

In 1885, Rider married Chicago businessman and ordained Methodist Episcopal minister Josiah Shelly Meyer (1849-1926).

The Meyers opened the Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign Missions (later renamed the Chicago Training School for Home and Foreign Missions) in 1885.  Josiah served as the first superintendent and Lucy as the first principal.  The school, which was for women, had a curriculum some conservatives considered more advanced than necessary for mere females.  Furthermore, Lucy was allegedly a heretic because she argued that the authors of the Bible did not take dictation from God.  She taught that the Biblical authors were inspired, and that others edited those texts into the forms present in the Bible.  

Lucy, married, returned to medical school.  She graduated with her M.D. from the Women’s Medical College of Chicago in 1887.

Lucy founded The Message, a periodical, in 1886, and served as its editor until 1914.  After the Methodist Episcopal Church formally approved the Order of Deaconesses in 1888, she renamed the magazine The Deaconess Advocate.  

Lucy remained active in the Methodist deaconess movement for the rest of her life.  She designed the uniform.  Our saint established the deaconess houses in Chicago (1888), Boston (1889), and Toronto (1894).  She appointed Isabella Thoburn (1840-1901), one of the first Methodist deaconesses, as the superintendent of the Chicago deaconess house.  Lucy founded the Methodist Deaconess Association in 1908.  And she wrote about deaconesses.  Her published works germane to this topic included:

  1. Deaconesses:  Who They Are and What They Do (188?),
  2. Deaconesses:  Biblical, Early Church, European, American (1889),
  3. Deaconesses and Their Work:  Biblical, Early Church, European, American (1897), and
  4. Deaconess Stories (1900)

Women became eligible to serve as delegates to the General Conference, starting in 1904.  Lucy was a delegate to the General Conferences of 1904 and 1908.

Lucy also made her contribution to hymnody.  She wrote at least 17 hymns and edited Everybody’s Gospel Songs (1910).

Lucy’s other published works included:

  1. The Shorter Bible, Chronologically Arranged (1895), as editor;
  2. Mary North:  A Novel (1903);
  3. What Made Life Worth Living,” an article in The American Journal of Nursing (December 1904); and
  4. Some Little Prayers (1907), as compiler.

Lucy retired as the principal of the Chicago Training School for Home and Foreign Missions in 1917. 

She died, aged 72 years, on March 16, 1922, in Chicago.

The legacy of the Chicago Training School for Home and Foreign Missions has continued.  It merged into Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois, in 1930.  This institution merged with the Evangelical Theological Seminary (formerly of the Evangelical United Brethren Church), Napierville, Illinois, in 1974, to form Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, in 1974.

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Loving God, who called many women to Christian service as deaconesses,

thank you for the faithful life of Lucy Jane Rider Meyer,

reviver of that ancient order in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

May we, inspired by her good example,

follow you where and when we are, and as you direct us.

In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Exodus 22:21-24

Psalm 10

Acts 9:36-43 and Romans 16:1-2

Matthew 25:31-46

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZACHARY OF ROME, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF HENRY WALFORD DAVIES, ANGLICAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JAN ADALBERT AND LADISLAUS FINDYSZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS IN POLAND

THE FEAST OF OZORA STEARNS DAVIS, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF VETHAPPAN SOLOMON, APOSTLE TO THE NICOBAR ISLANDS

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Feast of Louisa Marthens (July 16)   4 comments

Above:  The Sisters’ House, Passavant Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Image in the Public Domain

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CATHARINE LOUISA MARTHENS (JULY 17, 1828-JANUARY 12, 1899)

First Lutheran Deaconess Consecrated in the United States of America, 1850

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And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

–Matthew 25, 40, Revised Standard Version, Second Edition (1971)

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Deaconess Catharine Louisa Marthens (the spelling of her name on her grave marker) comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006).

Marthens, from a devout Lutheran family, found her vocation via her pastor and mentor, William Alfred Passavant, Sr. (1821-1894).  Marthens, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 17, 1828, was a daughter of Henry Christian Marthens (1782-1857) and Catherine Slator Marthens (1788-1868).  Our saint learned her catechism from Passavant, the pastor (1844-1855) of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh.  Passavant had an interest in social services, especially for the most vulnerable members of society.  He founded hospitals and orphanages from 1849 to 1871.  In 1849, at Passavant’s invitation, German Lutheran minister Theodor Fliedner (1800-1864), the renewer of the order of deaconesses in the Lutheran Church, visited Pittsburgh.  Fliedner brought four deaconesses with him.  The North American Lutheran female diaconate had begun.

Through Passavant’s influence, Marthens became interested in the deaconess movement.  She even visited Germany to observe Fliedner and the deaconesses there in action.  Marthens had found her vocation.  In 1850, at First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Passavant consecrated her a deaconess.  The name of the authority for which our saint worked was the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses.  Marthens worked at Passavant’s hospital in Pittsburgh; she was both a nurse and an administrator.  When a mob, fearful of cholera patients, attacked, our saint protected her patients.  Later, she served as the first matron of the orphanage in Pittsburgh.  In 1859, Marthens helped to start the orphanage in Germantown.  Subsequently, she served as the matron of the girls’ orphanages in Rochester, Pennyslvania, and Jacksonville, Illinois, in order.

Marthens, aged 70 years, died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 12, 1899.  She had spent her life well, devoting most of it in the service of Christ, present in the “least of these.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN WYCLIFFE AND JAN HUS, REFORMERS OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF GEORGE DUFFIELD, JR.; AND HIS SON, SAMUEL DUFFIELD; U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF HENRY THOMAS SMART, ENGLISH ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JOSIAH CONDER, ENGLISH JOURNALIST AND CONGREGATIONALIST HYMN WRITER; AND HIS SON, EUSTACE CONDER, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF OLUF HANSON SMEBY, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Lord God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Amalie Wilhemine Sieveking (July 24)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stamp Depicting Amalie Wilhemine Sieveking

Image in the Public Domain

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AMALIE WILHEMINE SIEVEKING (JULY 25, 1794-APRIL 1, 1859)

Foundress of the Women’s Association for the Care of the Poor and Invalids

Also known as Amelia Wilhemina Sieveking

German Lutheranism did not provide many avenues for laywomen to serve in the world.  Amalie Wilhemina Sieveking pioneered social work in Germany, inspired the revival of the ancient order of deaconesses in the Lutheran Church, founded an order for laywomen, and advocated for greater educational opportunities for females.

Sieveking, who chose never to marry, and to devote her life to service instead, came from Hamburg.  She, born there on July 25, 1794, was the only daughter and one of four children of Caroline Louise Sieveking and Heinrich Christian Sieveking, a merchant and a senator whose financial fortunes declined due to the Napoleonic Wars interrupting commerce.  Caroline died when our saint was five years old.  Heinrich died in 1809, leaving the four children orphaned.  The children scattered among relatives, and Sieveking’s educated suffered because she had to work sewing embroidery.  Yet, in 1813, she opened a school for girls.  She spent the rest of her life pursuing various causes, including opening more educational opportunities to females.

Under the influence of Pietism (which is not all bad) Sieveking, aware that the poor would always exist, decided to help many of them.  On May 23, 1832, she and 12 other women became the original members of the Women’s Association for the Care of the Poor and Invalids.  The Association consisted of laywomen who volunteered in their spare time.  In 1859, when Sieveking died at Hamburg, the Association had grown to 85 members and included a number of institutions.  One of those was the hospital at Kaiserwerth–the first Protestant hospital in Germany and, in time, the first modern school of nursing.  Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) trained there, and Pastor Theodor Fliedner derived inspiration to revive the order of deaconesses in the Lutheran Church.

If Wikipedia is trustworthy (a questionable proposition much of the time) regarding Sieveking, April 1 is her feast on a Lutheran Calendar of Saints.  However, my primary sources, which contain Lutheran calendars of saints, do not support this claim.  Sieveking does belong on a calendar of saints, of course, so I am glad to add her to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, with a feast day in July.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 5:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES OF NISIBIS, BISHOP; AND SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, “THE HARP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GETULIUS, AMANTIUS, CAERAELIS, AND PRIMITIVUS, MARTYRS AT TIVOLI, 12O; AND SAINT SYMPHOROSA OF TIVOLI, MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOR MARTIN JOHNSON, U.S. MORAVIAN CONDUCTOR AND MUSIC DIRECTOR

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale (July 1)   4 comments

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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CATHERINE WINKWORTH (SEPTEMBER 13, 1827-JULY 1, 1878)

Translator of Hymns

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JOHN MASON NEALE (JANUARY 24, 1818-AUGUST 6, 1866)

Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

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That these hymns and tunes first sprang up on a foreign soil is no reason why they should not take root among us; all who use our Common Prayer know well how the unity of the Christian sentiment is felt to swallow up all diversity of national origin.  In truth, any embodiment of Christian experience and devotion, whether in the form of hymn or prayer or meditation, or whatever shape art may give it, if it do but go to the heart of our common faith, becomes at once the rightful and most precious inheritance of the whole Christian Church.

–Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book for England (1862), vii

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The thought that, in conclusion, strikes one is this:  the marvellous ignorance in which English ecclesiastical scholars are content to remain of this huge treasure of divinity–the gradual completion of nine centuries at least.  I may safely calculate that not one out of twenty who peruse these pages will ever have read a Greek ‘Canon’ though; yet what a glorious mass of theology do these offices present!  If the following pages tend in any degree to induce the reader to study these books for himself, my labour could hardly have been spent to a better result.

–John Mason Neale, Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862), xli

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INTRODUCTION

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Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale were Anglicans who enriched English-language hymnody with their translations–Winkworth contributed translations of German hymns while Neale, her contemporary, delved into the treasures of Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

To celebrate the lives of these saints is appropriate.  My Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days now follows the custom of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), which, since the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), have commemorated Winkworth and Neale in one feast, dated July 1.  The Episcopal Church, my denomination, also celebrates these saints, but in separate feasts, both on August 7–Neale since at least 1970 and Winkworth since 2009.  The Church of England’s feast day for Neale is also August 7.  In this post I follow the Lutheran feast, but with the Episcopal propers–certainly an ecumenical approach.

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JOHN MASON NEALE

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John Mason Neale, whose health was always fragile, entered the world at London, England, on January 24, 1818.  He studied at Sherborne Grammar School as well as privately under the tutelage of the Reverend William Russell and one Professor Challis.  Next Neale was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, at which he matriculated in 1836.  Our saint, who graduated with his undergraduate degree in 1840 and his M.A. five years later, became involved in the Anglo-Catholic movement at Cambridge, as an undergraduate.  Between degrees Neale joined the ranks of the clergy–as a deacon in 1841 and a priest the following year.  Our saint, near death in 1843, could not accept the Incumbency of Crawley, Sussex; we went to Madeira instead, and there remained until the summer of 1844.  He also married Sarah Norman Webster in 1842.

Neale, back in England, and his lungs in somewhat better condition than 1843, settled into the obscure and low-paying position of Warden of Sackville, College, East Grimland, in 1846.  There he spent the rest of his life as a studious servant of God.  At a time when many Evangelical Anglicans and other Evangelicals considered the Anglo-Catholic movement to be in league with Satan, Neale’s Anglo-Catholicism was quite controversial.  Somehow he remained good-natured despite vitriolic and even violence.  At Sackville College our saint delved into ancient and medieval liturgies and hymnody, publishing the following:

  1. Medieval Hymns and Sequences (1851);
  2. The Hymnal Noted (1851);
  3. Hymns, Ancient and Modern (1859);
  4. Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862);
  5. Essays on Liturgiology and Church History (1863); and
  6. Hymns, Chiefly Medieval, on the Joys and Glories of Paradise (1865).

Original Sequences, Hymns, and Other Ecclesiastical Verses debuted posthumously.

In 1854 Neale co-founded the Sisterhood of Saint Margaret.  Members lived in convents, operated orphanages, helped women escape prostitution, and visited ill girls and women in their homes.  His last pubic act was to lay the foundation for a new convent.

On August 6 (the Feast of the Transfiguration), 1866, Neale died after having been seriously ill for months.  He was 48 years old.

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CATHERINE WINKWORTH

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Catherine Winkworth did not survive past the age of 48 years.  Her contributions to English-language hymnody, like those of Neale, have survived her and blessed many.

Winkworth, born in Ely Place, Holborn, London, England, on September 13, 1827 (not 1829, as some of the hymnal companion volumes I consulted stated), was a daughter of Henry Winkworth, a silk merchant of Alderley Edge, Cheshire.  Our saint, a well-educated woman, was a feminist who spent much of her adult life promoting the higher education of women.  She did this in various capacities over decades.  She, having grown up mostly in Manchester, moved with the family to Clifton, near Bristol, in 1862.  Thus the geographical concentration of much of her educational work was the area of Bristol and Clifton.

Winkworth, a devout Anglican, was deeply interested in economic justice, in literature, and in German hymnody.  Her translations of biographies–Life of Pastor Fliedner (1861) and Life of Amelia Sieveking (1863)–represented our saint’s social conscience.  The Reverend Theodor Fliedner (1800-1864) had renewed the female diaconate in the Lutheran Church.  Amelia Wilhemina Sieveking/Amalie Wilhemine Sieveking (1794-1859) had done much to help poor people and pioneer social work in Germany.

Winkworth, more than any other translator, was responsible for the revival of the English use of German hymns.  Her major works in this field were the two series (1855 and 1858) of Lyra Germanica as well as the Chorale Book for England (1863).  In Christian Singers of Germany (1869) our saint provided biographies.  John Percival (1895-1917), the Headmaster of Clifton College and later the Bishop of Hereford, commented on Winkworth:

She was a person of remarkable intellectual and social gifts and very unusual attainments; but what specially distinguished her was her rare ability and great knowledge with a certain tender and sympathetic refinement which constitutes the special charm of the womanly character.

–Quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), 989.

Winkworth, while traveling to an international conference on women’s issues, died of heart disease at Monnetier, Savoy.  She was 50 years old.

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CONCLUSION

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If one values quality in English-language hymnody, one should thank God for the legacies of Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale.  Winkworth’s contributions include “Now Thank We All Our God;” “Jesus, Priceless Treasure;” “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee;” and “Deck Thyself, My Soul, with Gladness.”  She has 10 entries in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 (1985), 30 in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 41 in Lutheran Worship (1982), 19 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), and 40 in the Lutheran Service Book (2006).

Neale, responsible for translating or writing about one-eighth of the hymns in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, has bequeathed a glorious legacy of hymnody also.  If one has sung “Of the Father’s Love Begotten;” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice;” “What Star is This, with Beams So Bright;” and “All Glory, Laud, and Honor;” for example, one has encountered Neale’s work.  He has remained prominent in hymnals, with 45 entries in The Hymnal 1982, 21 in the Lutheran Book of Worship, 18 in Lutheran Worship, 14 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and 26 in the Lutheran Service Book.

I thank God for the legacies of Catherine Winkworth and John Mason Neale.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 22, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF GENE BRITTON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF DONALD S. ARMENTROUT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF KATHE KOLLWITZ, GERMAN LUTHERAN ARTIST AND PACIFIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VITALIS OF GAZA, MONK, HERMIT, AND MARTYR

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Grant, O God, that in all time of testing we may know and obey your will;

that, following the example of your servant John Mason Neale,

we may with integrity and courage accomplish what you give us to do,

and endure what you give us to bear;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 106:1-5

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Matthew 13:44-52

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 511

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Comfort your people, O God of peace, and prepare a way for us in the desert,

that, like your poet and translator Catherine Winkworth,

we may preserve the spiritual treasures of your saints in former years

and sing our thanks to you with hearts and hands a voices,

eternal triune God whom earth and heaven adore;

for you live and reign for ever and ever.  Amen.

Exodus 6:28-7:2

Psalm 47:5-9

1 Corinthians 14:20-25

Mark 1:35-38

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 513

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Feast of Theodor Fliedner and Elizabeth Fedde (February 25)   5 comments

luther-rose

Above:  The Luther Rose

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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THEODOR FLIEDNER (JANUARY 21, 1800-OCTOBER 4, 1864)

Renewer of the Female Diaconate in the Lutheran Church

His feast transferred from October 4

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ELIZABETH FEDDE (DECEMBER 25, 1850-FEBRUARY 25, 1921)

Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess

Her feast = February 25

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theodor-fliedner

Above:  Theodor Fliedner

Image in the Public Domain

Theodor Fliedner revived the female diaconate in the Lutheran Church.  He, born at Eppstein, Hesse, on February 21, 1800, was a son of a Lutheran minister.  Our saint, educated at Giessen, Gottingen, and Herborn, became the minister at a church at Kaiserworth (now Dusselforf) in 1821.  There he became involved in prison ministry.  Eventually Fliedner founded a halfway house for released female inmates.  Our saint also founded a nursery school.

The Moravian Church, the original Protestant denomination, founded in 1457, nearly extinguished after 1620, and renewed in 1727, revived the ancient order of deaconesses in 1745.  Their example inspired Fliedner to do the same for the Lutherans.  In 1836 he founded a deaconess training center at Kaiserworth.  He sent deaconesses around the world.  In 1846 William Alfred Passavant, Sr. (1821-1894), asked Fliedner to send some deaconesses to the United States.  In early 1849, our saint and four deaconesses–Elizabeth Hupperts, Paulina Ludwig, Luise Hinrichsen, and Elizabeth Hess–departed for America.  They arrived in Pittsburgh, where the deaconesses helped to open the new Lutheran deaconesses’ hospital the following year.  Fliedner toured the United States before returning to his home.  In 1864, when Fliedner died, he was responsible for the existence of 30 motherhouses, and 1,600 women were deaconesses.

elizabeth-fedde

Above:  Elizabeth Fedde

Image in the Public Domain

Among the deaconesses for whom Fliedner was indirectly responsible was Elizabeth Fedde, born at Feda, Vest-Agder, Norway, on December 25, 1850.  Her parents were Andreas Willumsen Fedde (1814-1873), a sea captain-turned-farmer, and Anne Marie Olsdatter (1818-1864).  Our saint trained as a deaconess at Christiania (now Oslo), Norway; her trainer was Katinka Guldberg, a deaconess who had trained at a motherhouse Fliedner had established.  Fedde worked at a minimally supplied hospital in Troms for a few years.  Then she received a letter from Gabriel Fedde, her brother-in-law and a lay minister with the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission, encouraging her to come to the United States.  She arrived in New York City in April 1883.

Fedde’s time (1883-1895) in the United States was productive.  In Brooklyn our saint worked as a home nurse, founded the Norwegian Relief Society, and, in 1885, began to rent a hospital.  Also in 1885, Passavant invited Fedde to work at the Lutheran deaconesses’ hospital in Pittsburgh.  She spent some time there.  Then, in 1888, while vacationing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, our saint helped to organize the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses’ Home and Hospital there.  She lived and worked in that city for a few years.  Meanwile, Fedde built her first hospital in Brooklyn in 1889.  Three years later our saint opened the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses’ Home and Hospital in Brooklyn.  Planning for the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses’ Home and Hospital in Chicago, opened in 1897, began in 1895.  Fedde participated in the planning process.

Our saint returned to Norway in 1895.  She married Ole Sletteb and remained wedded to him for the rest of her life.  Fedde died at Egersund, Rogaland, Norway, on February 25, 1921.  She was 70 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 10, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL EBER, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HOWELL ELVET LEWIS, WELSH CONGREGATIONALIST CLERGYMAN AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN ROBERTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MURRAY, CANADIAN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servants Theodor Fliedner and Elizabeth Fedde,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

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

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of William Passavant (January 3)   6 comments

Passavant

Above:  William Alfred Passavant, Sr.

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM ALFRED PASSAVANT, SR. (OCTOBER 9, 1821-JANUARY 3, 1894)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Evangelist

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), the service book-hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, lists William Passavant as a saint, sharing the feast day of November 24 with fellow pastors Justus Falckner (died in 1723) and Jehu Jones (died in 1852).  However, my denomination, The Episcopal Church, celebrates Passavant’s life on January 3, without Falckner and Jones.  I choose to follow the lead of my church as it has expressed itself in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010).

Holy Women, Holy Men (2010) lists Passavant as a “Prophetic Witness.”  That description is succinct and accurate yet too vague.  Our saint, an ardent evangelist, laid and helped to lay the foundations of Lutheran synods in Canada and in the Midwest and the West of the United States.  His influence in this realm was both direct and indirect.  He also founded hospitals and orphanages, homes for epileptics, and homes for elderly people.  He raised funds for the support of these institutions of mercy and encouraged the founding of other such institutions.  Passavant proved instrumental in bringing the order of deaconesses, revived among German Lutherans in the 1800s, to the United States.  (Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, a Bavarian Lutheran minister, whose feast day is January 2, also worked on that aspect of church work in the 1800s.)  Deaconesses worked in institutions of mercy.  And our saint founded and helped to found educational institutions.

William Alfred Passavant, born at Zelienople, Pennsylvania, on October 9, 1821, was a son of Fredericka Wilhemina Basse Passavant and Philippe Louis Passavant, a merchant.  Our saint grew up in a pious Lutheran family with his parents and siblings.  He attended Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennyslvania, before preparing for the ordained ministry at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  The German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennyslvania and Adjacent States, or the Ministerium of Pennyslvania for short, licensed Passavant to preach in 1842 and ordained him during the following year.

Our saint spent two years (1842-1844) at Luther Chapel, Baltimore, Maryland.  During that time he edited the Lutheran Almanac, completed Hymns, Selected and Original, for Sunday Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and fell in love.  Eliza Walter (1823-1906) married Passavant in 1845, after he had relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to become pastor of the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The couple had five children:

  1. Philip (1846-1847),
  2. Virginia (1849-1858),
  3. Frank H. (1856-1967),
  4. William Alfred, Jr. (1857-1901), and
  5. Dettmer L. (1859-1932).

united-lutheran-church-in-america

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

At Pittsburgh Passavant began to make his greatest contributions to the Lutheran Church.  In 1845 he organized the Pittsburgh Synod, known as the “missionary synod.”  From Pittsburgh missionaries fanned out across Canada and the U.S. Midwest and West.  The Pittsburgh Synod, part of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the U.S.A. (1820-1918) from 1853 to 1864,  helped to found the more conservative General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1867-1918).  The Pittsburgh Synod divided in 1867, with the older body remaining an affiliate of the General Council and the second Pittsburgh Synod joining the General Synod.  Over time the General Synod became more conservative and the General Council shifted to the left.  The two federations moved toward each other.  Reunion in 1918 meant that the new United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962) had two Pittsburgh Synods, which merged in 1919.

The missionary legacy of Passavant’s Pittsburgh Synod is impressive.  That legacy includes the Texas Synod (1851), the the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Minnesota and Other States (1860), the Canada Synod (1861), the English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Northwest (1891), and the Nova Scotia Synod (1903).  The Minnesota Synod (1860), now part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, grew out of a scouting mission to St. Paul, Minnesota.  Passavant was interested in starting English-language congregations, for many English-speaking Lutherans who moved westward could not find any linguistically compatible Lutheran congregation.  Other denominations were gaining members because of this fact.  Passavant realized the necessity for German-language missions also, so he enlisted the aid of “Father” John Christian Frederick Heyer (1893-1873), who had served as a missionary in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana (1820-1840) and India (1842-1845 and 1847-1857).  Heyer founded the Minnesota Synod (1860).  English-language missions of the General Council also took root, becoming the English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Northwest (1891).  The General Council’s Pacific Synod branched off from the Synod of the Northwest in 1901.

Passavant was also helpful to the Swedish and Norwegian immigrants who founded the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, later simply the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, in 1860.  (The Norwegians broke away in 1870.)  He, as the editor of The Missionary (1848-1861), encouraged his readers to support Swedish immigrant congregations financially in the 1850s.  Passavant also facilitated a speaking tour for Pastor Lars Paul Erbjorn (1808-1870), leader of those immigrants, to raise funds for the new churches.  Our saint continued to have a relationship with these congregations after they left the General Synod’s Synod of Northern Illinois (founded in 1851) and started the Augustana Synod in 1860.  He encouraged the new Augustana Synod to found orphanages.  They followed his advice, starting in 1865.

Related to missionary work was education.  Passavant helped to found Thiel Collge, Greenville, Pennyslvania, in 1869.  He also helped to found Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, in 1891.  Our saint understood the importance of having an English-language seminary to supply ministers for English-speaking congregations in the Midwest and the West.  The presence of the English Synod of the Northwest (also founded in 1891) and the new seminary in Chicago alarmed many in the Augustana Synod, also a member of the General Council.  Were the new English-language synod and seminary competing with the Augustana Synod on its turf?  Or were these Swedish Americans unduly sensitive?  Regardless of the answers to these questions, Passavant was prescient.

Passavant was active in the related fields of institutions of mercy and the revived order of deaconesses.  He founded hospitals, orphanages, homes for the aged, and homes for epileptics from 1849 to 1871 and raised more than $1 million for their support.  Those who were less fortunate deserved the best of care, our saint affirmed.  This man, who founded more such institutions than any other Lutheran in the United States, started the first Protestant hospital (at Pittsburgh, in 1849) and the oldest Protestant orphanage in continuous existence (also at Pittsburgh, in 1852) in the United States.  Among the workers in these institutions of mercy were deaconesses, heirs to an ancient Christian order historically stronger in the Eastern Orthodox Church than in Western Christianity.  Pastor Theodor Fliedner (1800-1864) had renewed the order among German Lutherans.  He and four deaconesses came to America in 1849, having accepted Passavant’s invitation.  Fliedner toured the United States then returned home.  The deaconesses worked in the new Lutheran hospital at Pittsburgh.  The following year our saint consecrated Catharine Louisa Marthens (1828-1899), the first American deaconess of the new Institution of Protestant Deaconesses.  That institution experienced slow growth through the early 1890s, for there were only twelve American deaconesses through 1891.  Nevertheless, the deaconess movement in U.S. Lutheranism grew elsewhere during that time.  The Ministerium of Pennsylvania established its deaconess motherhouse at Philadelphia in 1887.  Also, the deaconess movement in U.S. Norwegian Lutheranism began in 1883.  The Passavant portion of the deaconess movement gained new life in 1893, with the founding of the motherhouse at Milwaukee.

These “inner missions,” Passavant wrote in 1848, were just as important as formal education, Sunday School, catechesis, and good liturgy.  Church members, he wrote, had temporal needs.  Fulfilling them was a sacred task, one which William Alfred Passavant, Jr. (1857-1901), also a Lutheran minister, fulfilled.  Our saint’s son also founded institutions of mercy and was active in the deaconess movement.  The younger Passavant, who served as the General Superintendent of Home Missions for the General Council, died of apoplexy in 1901.  He was 44 years old.

Our saint, a vocal opponent of slavery before and during the Civil War, and a U.S. Army Chaplain during that conflict, lived according to a strong moral compass.  He encouraged faith-based good works and confessional Lutheran doctrine as editor of The Workman, of which William, Jr., was a publisher, from 1881 to his death in 1894.  In late December 1893 Passavant, Sr., attended the funeral of a fellow minister in Milwaukee.  There he came down with a severe cold.  A week later our saint died in Pittsburgh.  He was 72 years old.

His legacy continues, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 31, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL OTTO EBERHARDT, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

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Compassionate God, we thank you for William Passavant,

who brought the German deaconess movement to America so that

dedicated women might assist him in founding orphanages and hospitals for those in need

and provide for the theological education of future ministers.

Inspire us by his example, that we may be tireless to address

the wants of all who are sick and friendless;

through Jesus the divine Physician, who has prepared for us an eternal home,

and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Isaiah 29:17-24

Psalm 147:1-7

Revelation 3:14-22

Luke 13:10-22

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 155

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