“For All The Saints” – Hymns for All Saints’ Day



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What is the story behind the hymn “For All The Saints“?

For All the Saints” was written as a processional hymn by the Anglican Bishop of WakefieldWilliam Walsham How. It was first printed in Hymns for Saints’ Days, and Other Hymns, by Earl Nelson, 1864. (Wikipedia)

The hymn was sung to the melody Sarum, by the Victorian composer Joseph Barnby.  In 1906  Ralph Vaughan Williams used a new setting which he called Sine Nomine (literally, “without a name”) about its use on the Feast of All Saints, 1 November (or the first Sunday in November). It is “one of the finest hymn tunes of [the 20th] century.” 

“For All the Saints” describes the ordinary life of all the saints. We thank Jesus Christ for drawing us all to him, for the strength and guidance that we continue to draw from Him and for our joint communion in Christ. We pray that Christ will guide us in the continuing struggle against evil and lead us to the coming day when the dead shall rise, and we shall all worship together before God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “No matter what path each of us travels, we all will enjoy the same glorious eternal life.” 

 On Sunday, we will name our PUMC family members and others connected to us who have passed on since last All Saints’ Day. We will also honor and celebrate the work of God’s saints in the church, in the community, and the world today. “For All the Saints” is a beautiful, accessible thanksgiving prayer in remembrance of those who’ve gone before us.

Our musicians will include Tom Shelton, Camilla Pruitt, Delaney McCarty, Julia Hanna, John Girvin, the PUMC Youth Choir and Hyosang Park who will be playing the “bell tree” as we pray.

Click here to enjoy a Youtube performance of “For All the Saints” Hymn by The Choir of Paisley Abbey, a parish church of the Church of Scotland.

To worship with us, hear our beautiful music, sing with us, enjoy our children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, our stories, and join in our communion and our prayers, go to our Facebook page, or click here.

Written by Isabella Dougan

A Weekend for Stained Glass Windows

REVISED as below in red.

Light shining through a church window can be like God’s light offering solace to one’s heart. On Saturday and Sunday, January 25 and 26, Dan Aubrey (of Community News NJ and U.S. 1 Newspaper) offers stained glass window tours in Trenton and Princeton. Aubrey is a long-time appreciator of beautiful windows who has written about windows for his publications, and he has a Facebook page, Stained Glass Project of Greater Trenton and Princeton. 

In Trenton, come to ST. MICHAEL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 140 N Warren Street, on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 3 p.m. Here, you will see glass by Tiffany, the Victorian England-era Kempe Company, and the NJ-based Lamb Company. Aubrey will present a slide show of the area’s stained glass and then lead the group across the street to the CATHEDRAL OF ST. MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION to see creations by the former Edward Byrne Company in Bucks County.

In Princeton, come to PRINCETON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (PrincetonUMC) on Sunday, January 26 from noon to 1 p.m.  Dan Aubrey will speak at 12:30 p.m and town-wide tour handouts will be distributed.  (The schedule has changed in order to accommodate a special service. Please email windows@PrincetonUMC.org to schedule additional times). Take the guided or self-guided tour of this 1910 Arts and Crafts style church, with its Tiffany window and other windows with glass that is milky, not translucent. Discovered at the end of the 19th century, this “opalescent” glass could have different shades and colors in a single piece. In the balcony, the Tiffany window shows St. George and the Dragon. In the next room is a spectacular triptych by Louis Lederle, a former Tiffany artist, and the adjoining chapel has some sweetly sentimental windows dating from the 1940s.

Aubrey will lead the group to three other churches in Princeton: St. Paul’s, the University Chapel, and Trinity Church on Mercer Street. Princeton UMC remains open until 3 p.m. Please email windows@PrincetonUMC.org to schedule a time convenient to you. All are welcome, and the tour is free. Click here for details.

Windows: Christ at Heart’s Door

“Christ at Heart’s Door” photo by Duncan Hartley

Looking deeper into the history and spirituality of the stained glass windows —

This window in the chapel at Princeton United Methodist Church, is popularly known as ‘Christ at Heart’s Door’ re Revelations 3:20 (Behold, I stand at the door and knock.) Many 19th century British and German paintings had similar subjects — Christ knocking at the door of a home. They offer a puzzle: where is the handle on the door? The answer “you must open your heart from the inside.”

Dr. David Morgan of Valparaiso University in a 1994 exhibition catalog, suggested this particular image was influenced by the painting The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt. “The barely concealed heart produced by the luminance of Christ and the frame of the doorway convey Christ’s call to the soul ensnared in thistles of sin and the darkness of ignorance and willfulness,” he writes. “Yet, as promotional literature points out, ‘all is not hopeless, for there is an opening of grillwork in the door ‘revealing the darkness within,’ so that the individual may see who is at the door, and see that He is good and kind.'” 

If you bring a visitor to the chapel, ask the question, “is there a handle on the door? Why not?” It’s a gentle way to offer a Jesus moment.



See the difference? No Paint!


You probably know that Princeton United Methodist Church opens its doors for stained glass window tours and meditation on Sundays, 11:30 to 1:30 pm. And you have probably taken the tour given by Duncan, Rick, Marv, or Barbara. But what if you bring a friend to church and the “official’ tour guides aren’t around? Or maybe you encounter a visitor?

Here are some of the interesting items to point out to visitors, keeping in mind that the visitor’s spiritual experience in our building, filled with a century of worship and prayer, is most important takeaway.

  • The Tiffany-designed St. George and the Dragon window, in the balcony, uses no paint. In contrast to the windows in the Jesus window, details were etched with acid.
    • Look for the dragon’s shimmering scales and the Tiffany Studio signature is on the lower right.
    • Methodists don’t usually have saints but this window memorializes a minister’s son, student at Princeton, who died in his 20s, so George is pictured AFTER he conquered evil (as if he were in heaven).
  • The four gospel writers in the sanctuary were like “stock photos.” They can also be found in the Cologne Cathedral. Ask a tour guide why they are out of order.
  • If the “Jesus and the Children” window in the Sanford Davis Room looks Tiffanesque, that’s because a former Tiffany artist, Louis Lederle, designed it, and also the windows on the adjacent stairwell. What do the faces of the women and children say to you?
  • The “Christ at Heart’s Door” in the chapel seems to ask the question, where is the handle on the door, and if there is one, why not? The “Jesus the Good Shepherd” window, sometimes called the Twenty-third Psalm Window, has a riddle as well, but you have to take the tour to find out!
  • Throughout, look for the Christian symbols in the smaller windows.

To schedule a tour – or help PrincetonUMC keep the doors open, email windows@PrincetonUMC.org. A special tour on April 15 will begin in our building at 12:30 and continue on to the chapel, led by Dan Aubrey of U.S. 1 Newspaper.


The Story of Eddie: How the Methodists Got George

Awestruck by the Tiffany window of St. George and the Dragon in the balcony of Princeton United Methodist Church, visitors want to know more about its history. It is dedicated to Eddie Durrell.

William Edward “Eddie” Durrell grew up in southern New Jersey. Well liked, and a talented baseball player, his father, Rev. Edward Hicks Durrell, was a Methodist minister. When Eddie came to Princeton University in 1884, he made Princeton Methodist Episcopal Church his church home. Princeton was (and is) a Presbyterian town, but the Methodists had gained a foothold when a “shell buyer” purchased the property for the first sanctuary, on Nassau Street. It was built in 1849. During Eddie’s time, the minister was Charles H. McAnney, “an evangelistic preacher of great power,” according to Ruth Woodward in A Journey of Faith for One Hundred Fifty Years: A History of Princeton United Methodist Church. 

Eddie majored in electrical engineering, graduated  with honors in 1889, did graduate work in 1890 and ’91, and starred on the baseball team all six years. In 1991 he went to study engineering in Berlin. On a trip to Italy, in 1892, he died of “congestion of the brain” and was buried in Rome.

Meanwhile the Methodists were evangelizing and growing.  Moses Taylor Pyne  (1855-1921, Princeton University Class of 1877), was the grandson of a Wall Street financier. Pyne bought and expanded Drumthwacket, which is now the New Jersey governor’s official home,  and he was very generous to his alma mater.  Although he was not a Methodist, he evidently thought that a bigger and grander Methodist church on a main street (he envisioned the High Street of an English village) would be an asset to the town. He bought the  property on the corner of Vandeventer — adjoining the sanctuary property, owned by a trustee — and donated it to the church.

In 1910 the church razed its original structure and constructed the present church on the double lot. Many stepped forward to help erect a grander building than before, worthy of a university town. Among the contributors was the family of Eddie Durrell. Ministers aren’t generally rich, but Rev. Durrell had been investing in cranberry bogs and had become one of the largest cranberry growers in the state.

Why St. George? We can think of George’s story as an allegory of the triumph of good over evil. George is pictured — not in the act of spearing the dragon — but with his sword sheathed, as if the battle had been won.



Down Memory Lane with the Corson Sisters

jane-and-book-imgp1656On September 12, two daughters with ancestral roots at Princeton United Methodist Church paid a visit to the chapel dedicated to the pastors in their family. Jane Corson Henry and Dorothy Corson Jones are the great granddaughters of Rev. Pennington Corson imgp1662(who served 1899-1904), granddaughters of Rev. Alexander Corson (1929-1932), and daughters of Rev. Lynn Corson. ‘All were pastors here; their father served this church from 1942 to 1950.


The parsonage on Hamilton Avenue was filled with five children; the eldest and youngest were boys.  Jane was the middle daughter and Dorothy the youngest daughter.By a grace-filled coincidence, Barbara Fox and Judy Algor happened to be in the building and able to show them around. and then go to lunch.corson-sisters-imgp1667


The four of us agreed that it was a blessing to meet each other — the PUMC members to learn about the past, and the Corson sisters to see how their father’s work carried into the future.


The sanctuary, they say, looked just as as beautiful as before. They remember the “back stairs” that lead from the Sanford Davis room to the Sunday School classes held in little curtained side rooms of what is now our renovated Fellowship Hall. They admired the music room mural and the library with its “photo wall” depicting three Pastor Corsons.

In 1948, the sisters recalled, Princeton schools were desegregated under “the Princeton Plan” by Chet Stroup, a PUMC member who was superintendent of schools. Instead of attending middle school in the 185 Nassau School, they walked to the school on Quarry Street that is now The Waxwood apartments. Their mother did not drive, so they walked everywhere and ‘hung out’ on the university campus, often rollerskating on the slate sidewalks.

When their father accepted a call to Haddonfield United Methodist Church, Jane was a freshman at Princeton High. Eventually they would attend Methodist schools; Jane and her older sister Barbara trained as nurses at Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia, and Dorothy went to Wesley College in Dover, Delaware and had a career in retail.

As “Preacher’s Kids,” they remember being always on display, at church, in the community, and at home. Their mother always cooked extra for the guests their father would invited, especially on Sunday.

“Our father would get us up in the morning chanting ‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,’ and we would want to throw pillows at him,” says Dorothy.

Dinner — always a family affair and always at 6 p.m. — was always followed by their father reading the passage from the Upper Room.  Some family traditions continue. As they raised their own families, they would begin each meal by holding hands and saying the familiar grace.

For all we eat, for all we wear

For all we have, everywhere,

We thank thee, Father. Amen.

Says Jane: “We were born with our faith, we were raised with it, and we lived by it. But — I wish I had paid more attention to Sunday School when I was here!”



St. George and the Dragon Window

Our 105-year-old building has a spectacular stained glass window from the renowned Tiffany Studio of New York City. How did PUMC acquire a window with such an unusual subject?

It was the gift of the family of William Edward “Eddie” Durrell, a Methodist preacher’s son who – while he attended Princeton University – made PUMC his church home. Eddie graduated in 1889 and two years later met an untimely death in Rome, perhaps because of an aneurism. His father (Reverend Edward Hicks Durrell, who had invested in cranbury bogs in South Jersey) and his brothers — grateful for what the church had offered Eddie – commissioned the window symbolizing the triumph of good conquering evil.

Most images show St. George on a horse in the act of spearing the dragon. This memorial window shows an athletic young man, sword sheathed, as if to say “the battle is over, he fought the good fight, he conquered evil.”

PUMC has many stained glass treasures, including the Corson Chapel windows and the “Let the children come to me” mural in the Sanford Davis room.  In the sanctuary, our windows of the four Gospel writers  can also be found in the cathedral in Cologne Germany. The windows with abstract and symbolic designs are beautiful.

The St. George window, by the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany, is the most valuable of our treasures. As Pam Hersh said in her column, it is ‘a spectacular piece of art in a surprising space.” Tiffany revolutionized stained glass art. While the Europeans fired paint directly on the glass, effectively dulling its natural transparency, Tiffany managed to create vivid color in the glass itself, and he etched details with acid instead of using paint. He layered multiple panels to create unparalleled clarity, and the windows shimmered on both sides.

Tiffany also redefined the use of leading. Traditionally, it was purely functional and thought of as little more than support for the glass. As a result, the lead tended to distract from, rather than enhance, the artistic vision. That is until Tiffany developed new techniques that allowed the metal to become an integral part of the design, and the once clunky lead lines were transformed into elaborate outlines for things like tree branches and butterfly wings — or, in this instance, cathedral windows.

The only other Tiffany windows in Princeton are on campus at Alexander Hall and Jadwin Hall. The best view of “Saint George and the Dragon” is from the back pew of the balcony. Look for the iridescent scales on the dragon (Tiffany patented that method as @Favrile), and also note the Tiffany signature on the right.

Source: Ruth Woodward in A Journey of Faith for One Hundred Fifty Years: A History of Princeton United Methodist Church and Elizabeth E. Evitts, Baltimore Magazine.