An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Dearmer, Percy

(Feb. 27, 1867-May 29, 1936). Liturgical scholar and hymn composer. He was born in London, England. Dearmer was educated at Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was one of the early members of the Christian Social Union, which was established in 1889. After he was ordained deacon and priest, he began a systematic and life-long study of liturgics and liturgical ceremonial. In 1899 he published The Parson's Handbook, in which he demonstrated that it is possible to be a ritualist without being a Romanist. He put his ideas into practice as vicar of St. Mary's Church, Primrose Hill, Hampstead, 1901-1915. From 1919 until 1936, he was professor of ecclesiastical arts at King's College, London. In 1931 he became a Canon of Westminster Cathedral. Dearmer was a co-editor of the English Hymnal (1906), Songs of Praise (1925), and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). In the 1920s, he published a five-volume work, Lessons on the Way. It was to form the basis for a course of lay education which would take five years to complete. Dearmer contributed to eight hymns in The Hymnal 1982, including his translation of the Latin text “Father, we praise thee” (Hymns 1-2), his text “Now quit your care and anxious fear and worry” (Hymn 145), his alteration of “Strengthen for service, Lord” (Hymn 312), and his text “He who would valiant be,” after John Bunyan (Hymns 564-565). Dearmer died in Westminster.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.