Archive for the ‘Thomas Chatterton’ Tag

Feast of William Chatterton Dix (September 9)   1 comment

Above:  William Chatterton Dix

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM CHATTERTON DIX (JUNE 14, 1837-SEPTEMBER 9, 1898)

English Hymn Writer and Hymn Translator

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In our work, and in our play,

Jesus, be thou ever near;

Guarding, guiding all the day,

Keeping in thy holy fear.

–William Chatterton Dix, quoted in The English Hymnal (1906)

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I have not undertaken a statistical analysis of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, but I would not be surprised to learn that most of the people on the Ecumenical Calendar were members of either the clergy or were brothers or sisters in one religious order or another.  William Chatterton Dix, however, was a layman.

William Chatterton Dix, born in Bristol, England, on June 14, 1837, became one of the great modern hymn writers and hymn translators.  He was a son of Susan (or Susannah) Moore and John Dix, a surgeon, poet, and biographer.  The father named his son after Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), a poet of whom he wrote a biography.  Our saint spent most of his life in Glasgow, Scotland, where he managed a marine insurance company.

Dix demonstrated great skill with the English language.  He studied Greek and Ethiopian, thereby expanding his linguistic horizons.  He also composed and translated many hymns, mainly during a few months, when, at the age of 29 years, he was bedridden, due to a serious illness.  A few of Dix’s most enduring texts were “As With Gladness Men of Old,” “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus,” and “What Child is This.”

Dix, a High Anglican, published books.  Most of these were volumes of hymns and other poetry.  Two books were of a devotional nature, and another, for children, concerned moral living.

Dix, aged 61 years, died in Cheddar, Somerset, England, on September 9, 1898.  Many of his hymns have remained in use, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDITH STEIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONK AND MISSIONARY TO THE ALEUT

THE FEAST OF JOHN DRYDEN, ENGLISH PURITAN THEN ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MARY SUMNER, FOUNDRESS OF THE MOTHERS’ UNION

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

William Chatterton Dix and others, who have composed and 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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