|Short Name:||Percy Dearmer|
|Full Name:||Dearmer, Percy, 1867-1936|
Percy Dearmer, (27 February 1867 – 29 May 1936) was an English priest and liturgist best known as the author of The Parson's Handbook, a liturgical manual for Anglican clergy. A lifelong socialist, he was an early advocate of the public ministry of women (but not their ordination to the priesthood) and concerned with social justice. Dearmer also had a strong influence on the music of the church and, with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw, is credited with the revival and spread of traditional and medieval English musical forms.
Born in Kilburn, Middlesex, to an artistic family—his father, Thomas Dearmer, was an artist and drawing instructor. Dearmer attended Streatham School and Westminster School (1880–1881), before moving on to a boarding school in Switzerland. From 1886 to 1889 he read modern history at Christ Church, Oxford, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1890.
Dearmer was ordained to the diaconate in 1891 and to the priesthood in 1892 at Rochester Cathedral. On 26 May of that year, Dearmer married 19 year old Jessie Mabel Prichard White (1872–1915), the daughter of Surgeon-Major William White. She was a writer (known as Mabel Dearmer) of novels and plays. She died in 1915 while serving with an ambulance unit in Serbia.
They had two sons, both of whom served in World War I. The elder, Geoffrey, lived to the age of 103, one of the oldest surviving war poets. The younger, Christopher, died in 1915 of wounds received in battle.
Dearmer's liturgical leanings were the product of a late Victorian debate among advocates of Ritualism in the Church of England. Although theoretically in agreement about a return to more Catholic forms of worship, High Churchmen argued over whether these forms should be appropriated from post-Tridentine Roman Catholic practices or revived from the traditions of a pre-Reformation "English Use" rite. Dearmer's views fell very much on the side of the latter.
Active in the burgeoning Alcuin Club, Dearmer became the spokesman for a movement with the publication his most influential work, The Parson's Handbook. In this book his intention was to establish sound Anglo-Catholic liturgical practices in the native English tradition which were also in full accord with the rites and rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer and the canons that govern its use, and therefore safe from attack by Evangelicals who opposed such practices. Such adherence to the letter was considered necessary in an environment where conservatives such as John Kensit had been leading demonstrations, interruptions of services and legal battles against practices of Ritualism and sacerdotalism, both of which they saw as "popery".
The Parson's Handbook is concerned with general principles of ritual and ceremonial, but the emphasis is squarely on the side of art and beauty in worship. Dearmer states in the introduction that his goal is to help in "remedying the lamentable confusion, lawlessness, and vulgarity which are conspicuous in the Church at this time". What follows is an exhaustive delineation, sparing no detail, of the young priest's ideas on how liturgy can be conducted in a proper Catholic and English manner.
In 1901, after serving four curacies, Dearmer was appointed the third vicar of London church St Mary-the-Virgin, Primrose Hill, where he remained until 1915. He used the church as a sort of practical laboratory for the principles he had outlined, revising the book several times during his tenure.
In 1912 Dearmer was instrumental in founding the Warham Guild, a sort of practical arm of the Alcuin Club / Parson's Handbook movement, to carry out "the making of all the 'Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers thereof' according to the standard of the Ornaments Rubric, and under fair conditions of labour". It is an indication of the founders' outlook, emphasis and commitment to the English Use that it was named for the last Archbishop of Canterbury before the break with Rome. Dearmer served as lifelong head of the Warham Guild's advisory committee.
Working with renowned composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and as musical editor, Dearmer published The English Hymnal in 1906. He again worked with Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw to produce Songs of Praise (1926) and The Oxford Book of Carols (1928). These hymnals have been credited with reintroducing many elements of traditional and medieval English music into the Church of England, as well as carrying that influence well beyond the walls of the church.
In 1931 an enlarged edition of Songs of Praise was published. It is notable for the first appearance of the song Morning Has Broken, commissioned from noted children's author Eleanor Farjeon. The song, later popularised by Cat Stevens, was written by Farjeon to be sung with the traditional Gaelic tune Bunessan. Songs of Praise also contained Dearmer's version of A Great and Mighty Wonder which mixed John Mason Neale's Greek translation and a translation of the German Es ist ein Ros entsprungen from which the music to the hymn had come in 1906.
For the fifteen years following his tenure as vicar at St Mary's, Dearmer served in no official ecclesiastical posts, preferring instead to focus on his writing, volunteerism and effecting social change. During World War I he served as chaplain to the British Red Cross ambulance unit in Serbia, where his wife died of enteric fever in 1915. In 1916 he worked with the Young Men's Christian Association in France and, in 1916 and 1917, with the Mission of Help in India. Dearmer married his second wife, Nancy Knowles, on August 19, 1916. They had two daughters and a son, Antony, who died in RAF service in 1943.
Politically, Dearmer was an avowed socialist, serving as secretary of the Christian Social Union from 1891 to 1912. He underscored these values by including a "Litany of Labour" in his 1930 manual for communicants, The Sanctuary. After being appointed a canon of Westminster Abbey in 1931 he ran a canteen for the unemployed out of it.
In addition to his writings, volunteer efforts and work with the church, Dearmer served as professor of ecclesiastical art at King's College London from 1919 until his sudden death of coronary thrombosis on May 29, 1936. His ashes are interred in the Great Cloister at Westminster Abbey
Works written or edited by Dearmer
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Christian Socialism and Practical Christianity. London: The Clarion, Ltd., 1897.
The Parson's Handbook. London: Grant Richards, 1899.
The Cathedral Church of Wells: A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1899.
The Cathedral Church of Oxford: A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1899.
The Little Lives of the Saints. London: Wells, Gardner, Darton and Co., 1900.
Highways and Byways in Normandy. Macmillan, 1900.
The English Liturgy. 1903.
The English Hymnal. 1906. (General editor.)
The Training of a Christian According to the Prayer Book and Canons. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1906.
Socialism and Christianity. London: The Fabian Society, 1907.
The Ornaments of the Ministers. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1908.
Socialism and Religion. London: A.C. Fifield, 1908.
The Reform of the Poor Law. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1908.
Body and Soul: An Enquiry into the Effect of Religion on Health. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1909.
Everyman's History of the English Church. London: Mowbray, 1909.
Fifty Pictures of Gothic Altars. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1910.
The Church and Social Questions. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1910.
The Prayer Book: What It Is and How We Should Use It. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1910.
Reunion and Rome. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1911.
Is "Ritual" Right? London: A.R. Mowbray, 1911.
The Dragon of Wessex: A Story of the Days of Alfred. London: A.R. Mowbray; Milwaukee: The Young Churchman Co., 1911.
Everyman's History of the Prayer Book. London: Mowbray, 1912.
Illustrations of the Liturgy, being Thirteen Drawings of the Celebration of the Holy Communion in a Parish Church, by Clement O. Skilbeck. Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1912.
The English Carol Book (with Martin Shaw). 1913.
False Gods. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1914.
Russia and Britain. Oxford University Press, 1915.
Patriotism and Fellowship. London: Smith, Elder, 1917.
The Art of Public Worship. Bohlen Lectures, 1919.
The English Carol Book (with Martin Shaw), 2nd ed. 1919.
The Power of the Spirit. Oxford University Press, 1919.
The Communion of Saints. London: A.R. Mowbray, 1919.
The Church at Prayer and the World Outside. London: James Clarke, 1923.
Eight Preparations for Communion. London: SPCK, 1923.
Songs of Praise (with Martin Shaw and Ralph Vaughan Williams). Oxford University Press, 1925.
The Two Duties of a Christian: For the Use of Enquirers and Teachers. Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons, 1925.
The Lord's Prayer and the Sacraments: For the Use of Enquirers and Teachers. Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons, 1925.
Belief in God and in Jesus Christ. London: SPCK, 1927.
The Truth about Fasting: With Special Reference to Fasting Communion. London: Rivingtons, 1928.
The Sin Obsession. London: E. Benn, 1928.
The Oxford Book of Carols (with Martin Shaw and Ralph Vaughan Williams). Oxford University Press, 1928.
The Resurrection, the Spirit, and the Church. Cambridge: W. Heffer, 1928.
The Legend of Hell: An Examination of the Idea of Everlasting Punishment. London: Cassell, 1929.
The Communion Service in History. London: Church Assembly, 1929.
The Eastern Origins of Christian Art and Their Reaction upon History. London: Sampson Low, Marston and Co., 1929.
The Sanctuary, A Book for Communicants, London: Rivingtons, 1930.
The Urgency of Church Art: "Spiritual Truth Conveyed by Means of the Outward". London: 1930.
The Escape from Idolatry. London: Ernest Benn, 1930.
Some English Altars. Introductory Note by Percy Dearmer. London: Warham Guild, 1930-1944?
Songs of Praise Enlarged Edition (with Martin Shaw and Ralph Vaughan Williams) Oxford University Press, 1931.
The Server's Handbook, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, 1932.
Christianity and the Crisis. London: Gollancz, 1933.
Songs of Praise Discussed, A Handbook to the Best-known Hymns and to Others Recently Introduced (with Archibald Jacob) Oxford University Press 1933
Our National Church. London: Nisbet and Co., 1934.
Christianity as a New Religion. London: Lindsey Press, 1935.
Man and His Maker: Science, Religion and the Old Problems. London: SCM Press, 1936.
|Texts by Percy Dearmer (73)||As||Instances|
|A brighter dawn is breaking||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|A message came to a maiden young||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|A patre unigenitus, Through a maiden is come||Percy Dearmer (Collater)||2|
|Ah think not the Lord delayeth||Percy Deamer (Author)||5|
|Angels and ministers, spirits of grace||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|As the disciples, when thy Son||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|As the disciples, when thy Son had left them||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Book of books, our people's strength,||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Author)||25|
|Car un enfant est donné||Percy Dearmer (Tr. anglaise)||2|
|Come now, all people, keep high mirth||Percy Dearmer (Author)||6|
|Draw us in the Spirit's tether||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Author)||12|
|Easter eggs, Easter eggs||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|Father most holy, merciful, and tender||P. Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Translator)||11|
|Father of spirits, whose divine control||Percy Dearmer (Translator (from Latin))||1|
|Father, we praise Thee, now the night is over||P. Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Translator)||53|
|Father, who on man dost [doth] shower||Percy Dearmer (Author)||21|
|Father, who on man dost shower||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|From out of a wood did a cuckoo fly||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|God is love - his the care||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|Green groweth the holly, So doth the ivy||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||2|
|He who would valiant be||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Author)||8|
|How great the harvest is||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|My God, I love Thee--not because||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Adapter)||1|
|In dulci jubilo, now sing with hearts aglow||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|Jesus, good above all other||Percy Dearmer (Author)||6|
|Christ the fair glory of the holy angels||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Let us rejoice, the fight is won||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|Life is good, for God contrives it||Percy Dearmer, 1867- (Author)||5|
|Life is good, for God contrives it Deep on deep its wonder lies||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Little Jesus sweetly sleep||Percy Dearmer (Author)||11|
|Lo, the fair beauty of earth (Dearmer)||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Translator)||3|
|Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor||Percy Dearmer (Author)||1|
|Lord Jesus hath a garden full of flowers gay||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||2|
|Lord of health, thou life within us||Percy Dearmer (Author)||12|
|Lord, the wind and sea obey thee||Percy Dearmer (Author)||1|
|Martyr of God, whose strength was steeled||Percy Dearmer (Translator (from Latin))||1|
|Now quit your care and anxious fear||Percy Dearmer (Author)||5|
|Now thy earthly work is done||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|O Father above us, our father in might||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|O Father, the maker of beautiful things||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|O Holy Spirit, God of all loveliness||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|O let the heart beat high with bliss||Percy Dearmer (Translator (from Latin))||1|
|O little One sweet, O little One mild||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||3|
|Praise to God in the highest||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||3|
|Rejoice! The year upon its way||Percy Dearmer (Author)||1|
|Remember all God's children||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Remember all the people||Percy Dearmer (Author)||26|
|Servants of the great adventure||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Sing Alleluia forth in duteous praise||Percy Dearmer, 1887-1936 (Translator)||1|
|Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||5|
|Sing praise to God, who spoke the Word||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Author)||4|
|Spread, O spread, thou mighty word||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Spring has now unwrapped the flowers||Percy Dearmer (Author)||1|
|Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||7|
|The greatness of God in his love has been shown||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|The Royal Banners forward go||Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) (Translator)||3|
|The whole bright world rejoices now||Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936 (Translator)||5|
|Thou Judge, by whom each empire fell||Percy Dearmer (Author)||10|
|Thou true Vine, that heals the nations||Percy Dearmer (Author)||5|
|To the name that is salvation||Percy Dearmer (Author)||6|
|To us in Bethlem city||Percy Dearmer (Author)||4|
|Unknown and unrewarded their very names||Percy Dearmer (Author)||5|
|Unto us a boy is born||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||20|
|We wish you many happy returns||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|Welcome, day of the Lord, the first||Percy Dearmer (Author)||5|
|When by fear my heart is daunted||Percy Dearmer (Author)||3|
|When Christ had shown God's dawning reign||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|When Christ our Lord had passed once more||Percy Dearmer (Translator (from Latin))||1|
|When Jesus Christ was yet a child||Percy Dearmer (Translator)||1|
|Wherefore, O Father, we thy humble servants||Canon Percy Dearmer (Author)||1|
|Why, impious Herod, should’st thou fear||Percy Dearmer (Translator (from Latin))||1|
|With Jesus for hero, for teacher||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|
|With Jesus for hero, for teacher and friend||Percy Dearmer (Author)||2|