Archive for the ‘William Gustave Polack’ Tag

Feast of Robert Campbell (December 19)   3 comments

Flag of Scotland

Above:  The Flag of Scotland

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT CAMPBELL (DECEMBER 19, 1814-DECEMBER 29, 1868)

Scottish Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Translator of Hymns

His translations are smooth, musical, and well sustained.

William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), page 489

Robert Campbell, a native of Trochraig, Ayrshire, Scotland, was an attorney with theological interests.  Manifestations of theology included translating hymns from Latin and working to improve the lives of poor people, especially young ones, via a focus on their education, in particular.  In 1848 our saint began to translate hymns from Latin.  Some of those renderings debuted in print in Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane (1850), a.k.a. the St. Andrews Hymnal.  Other translations were “At the Lamb’s High Feast” and “Christians, Come in Sweetest Measures.”  The traditional attribution of the latter hymn to Adam of St. Victor (died between 1172 and 1192) has come into question, but the text is wonderful nonetheless.

Campbell converted from the Scottish Episcopal Church to the Roman Catholic Church in 1852.  He continued to work with the impoverished youth and to translate hymns from Latin.  He died at Edinburgh on December 29, 1868, aged 54 years.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HORATIUS BONAR, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ABOLITIONIST

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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), page 60

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Feast of Paul Eber (December 10)   1 comment

Paul Eber

Above:  Paul Eber

Image in the Public Domain

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PAUL EBER (NOVEMBER 8, 1511-DECEMBER 10, 1569)

German Lutheran Theologian and Hymn Writer

His hymns, some of them written for his own children to sing to Luther’s melodies, are distinguished for their childlike spirit and beautiful simplicity.

William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), page 503

Paul Eber, author of seventeen hymns, was, among the Wittenberg poets, second only to Martin Luther (1483-1546).

Eber’s life entailed both joy and misfortune.  The son of a master tailor of Kitzingen, Bavaria, began to attend the gymnasium at Ansbach in 1523, at the age of eleven years.  In time, however, illness forced Eber to return home.  En route his horse threw him the dragged him for more than a mile.  This incident caused our saint to become deformed.  Life continued, and Eber studied under Martin Luther and Philipp Melancthon (1497-1560), the great systematic theologian, at Wittenberg University from 1532 to 1536.  In 1533 our saint married Helena Kuffnerin, who became the mother of his fourteen children.  On the professional side, Eber remained at Wittenberg, tutoring in philosophy at the university from 1536 to 1544, teaching Latin there from 1544 to 1557, teaching Hebrew there and serving as the preacher at the Castle Church from 1557 to 1558, and succeeding Johann Bugenhagen (1485-1558) as the town pastor of Wittenberg and the general superintendent of Saxony.  Eber, who received his Doctor of Theology degree in 1559, succeeded Melancthon as the leader of a school Lutheranism many Lutherans considered Crypto-Calvinistic.

Helena died in July 1569.  Our saint joined her in death on December 10 of that year.  His influence in Lutheran hymnody has never ceased, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 22, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Paul Eber 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 Gustave Polack (December 7)   3 comments

Polacks

Above:  The Family Tree of William Gustave Pollack

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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WILLIAM GUSTAVE POLACK (DECEMBER 7, 1890-JUNE 5, 1950)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer and Translator

The name of William Gustave Polack came to my attention because I collect hymnals and their companion volumes.  More than a decade ago I acquired a copy of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941).  More recently I purchased a copy of the Handbook thereto.  Then I saw the name of the author of that volume:  William Gustave Polack.

Our saint, a son of Herman Adolph Polack (June 10, 1862-April 25, 1930), a native of Crete Township, Illinois, and his German-born wife, Wilhemina “Minnie” Henrietta Carolina Stohs Polack (born circa 1863), entered the world at Wassau, Wisconsin, on December 7, 1890.  Herman was a son of the Reverend Wilhelm Gustave Polack (1825-1898), a German emigrant, and Maria Elizabetha Hansz Polack (1834-1922), a native of Alsace.  Herman, a school teacher, taught in public schools then in Lutheran parochial schools.  He was also an organist, a composer, and a choir director.  He composed the tune CLAIRVAUX for the hymn “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.”  Herman also served on the music committee for the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1912), the first English-language official hymnal of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), then called the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (GELSMOOS).  At least three hymnals–the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1912), The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), and the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996)–included that tune.  Herman died at Lakewood, Ohio, on April 25, 1930.  Attendees at his funeral sang “Jesus the Very Thought of Thee” to the tune CLAIRVAUX.

Our saint became a Lutheran minister.  Preparation for ordination included attending Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.  He graduated from seminary in 1914.  The Reverend Carl Adolf Frank (1846-1922), founder (in 1882) and first editor (1882-1891) of the Lutheran Witness, ordained Polack and mentored him.  From 1914 to 1925 our saint served  Trinity Lutheran Church, Evansville, Indiana, as assistant pastor (under Frank) from 1914 to 1921 and as pastor from 1921 to 1925.  On August 14, 1914, our saint had married Iona Mary Gick (1891-1971).  By the time of the 1920 Census the couple had three children.  Three more had joined the family in time for the 1930 Census.

In 1925 Polack became a Professor of Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, teaching liturgics and church history mainly.  At that time he became more involved in denominational life.  From 1925 to 1950 he served as the Associate Editor of the Lutheran Witness.  He edited the Concordia Historical Quarterly from 1927 to 1949, served as the Secretary of the Concordia Historical Institute from 1927 to 1937, and led the organization from 1945 to 1949.  Other editorial duties included those for the Concordia Junior Messenger (from 1928 to 1939) and denominational Sunday School literature for young people.

Polack was a leading liturgist in his denomination.  In 1929 he became the Chairman of the Committee on Hymnology and Liturgics of the Missouri Synod.  The following year he organized the Intersynodical Committee on Hymnology and Liturgics for the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America.  In that capacity he oversaw the creation of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), which included twelve of his hymns–three original texts and nine translations.

Polack wrote many books.  Among his favorite topics were church history and foreign missions.  Some of those volumes were:

  1. The Building of a Great Church:  A Brief History of Our Lutheran Church in America (1926);
  2. David Livingstone:  The Story of a Great Missionary Hero (1929);
  3. Into All the World:  The Story of Lutheran Foreign Missions (1930);
  4. The Story of Luther (1931);
  5. Famous Missionary Pioneers (1933);
  6. The Story of C. F. W. Walther (1935);
  7. The Lord is My Shepherd (1938);
  8. Fathers and Founders (1938);
  9. The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942);
  10. Rainbow Over Calvary (1943); and
  11. Beside Still Waters (1950, published posthumously).

Polack died of a brain tumor on June 5, 1950.  He was 59 years old.  His grave site is at Clear Lake Lutheran Church, Clear Lake, Indiana, which he helped to found (near his cottage) in 1938.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 20, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL HANSON COX, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND ABOLITIONIST; AND HIS SON, ARTHUR CLEVELAND COXE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK, HYMN WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANSEGISUS OF FONTANELLE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, AMELIA BLOOMER, SOJOURNER TRUTH, AND HARRIET ROSS TUBMAN, WITNESSES TO CIVIL RIGHTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS AND WOMEN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN II OF ANTIOCH AND ELIAS OF JERUSALEM, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCHS

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

thank you for those (especially William Gustave Polack)

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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