Commemoration of Catherine Winkworth (The Choral Book for England)



Catherine Winkworth               Paul Gerhardt

Early to rise this morning, I was off to the Network to help with the food bank. I arrived about 0650 and we were soon off and running. It was a fine morning and the sun came out by the time we delivered food to the El Cajon community. The route then went to City Heights and around that neighborhood ending up where we started. Lunch and a nap for me (all on the clock), then it was time to set up for the afternoon tutoring.


The kids came in droves and soon filled the room. At times I had three to work with, but soon more volunteers showed up and we settled in and worked with one child. This very bright fellow was full of fun and ready to work. While he was working on his homework I thought about how he may grow up. Maybe a space engineer, or a surgeon, or well I could go on, but bottom line is I would hope it would be something he enjoys.  As we worked together it took me back when I would have my grandson read to me. I would  think of what he will become. He was such a good reader and is a very good writer. Yet he loves to play in a rock a roll band and work in a coffee shop where he is loved. He has found his job and calling for now.


I do have the advantage of many years following many young people growing up and picking their way through life. This whole train of thought started this morning at morning prayer, as we remembered Catherine Winkworth, who went to Germany to study the great hymns of German composers. She was just going for a year but then she spent the rest of her life translating and putting together Choral Books. In addition to translating hymns, she was deeply involved in promoting Women’s rights. It would be great if someone would make sure that this minority group of girls had all the benefits of higher education and employment. I do fear that the girls will have it harder than the boys.


Hither come, ye poor and wretched;

Know his will is to fill every hand outstretched;

Here are riches without measure,

Here forget all regret; fill your hearts with treasure.

(Paul Gerhardt, Praxis Pietartis Melica, 1656)




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