Friday, December 20, 2013

From time to time, it is worth remembering those in the past who are continuing to shape our present.  So let us pause this day and celebrate the life and ministry of Phillips Brooks (1835-1893). He is our alum (he arrived at VTS in 1856) and is, perhaps, best known for his Christmas Carol 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'. His bust is found in the entry of our library.

It was probably in 1868 (inspired by his visited to Bethlehem in 1865) that he wrote his poem that became his famous carol.  As it is almost certain that at some time this Christmas you will sing this Christmas carol, it is worth pausing and remembering the enormous impact that our alums can have. Here we are singing the words (feeling the words, enjoying the words, experiencing the words) of an alumnus who has made an enormous difference to Christendom.

It is also a moment to pause and reflect on how the historical memory need not be a Rector of a distinguished Church (although of course Phillips Brooks was the Rector of Trinity Church, Boston), but of someone who crafted words with care to express the deepest aspirations of our faith. Let us this day, give thanks for the impact of Phillips Brooks.

The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President


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