Hodgson, Peter J. Violet Hay. Chestnut Hill, MA: Longyear Museum Press, 2005.
Hodgson’s personal appreciation for Violet Hay—a Christian Science practitioner (healer), teacher (authorized by Christian Science headquarters), leading contributor to founding First Church in London, first Christian Science Committee on Publication in Cape Town (S.A.), contributing founder of a boys’ school, Fan Court School, poet, and musician—stems from his role as The Mother Church organist. He recognizes that her significant contributions in all those areas was based on “the spiritual animus that motivated her” (55). Long-time Christian Scientists know her best as the author of many of their most beloved hymns (such as ‘Arise ye people, take your stand;’ ‘From these Thy children;’ and ‘Jesus’ prayer for all his brethren’). Her hymn ‘I love Thy way of freedom, Lord’ was distributed to men of the Royal Air Force in WWII and became known as ‘The Airman’s Song of Praise.’ Hodgson believes Hay wrote her hymn texts in response to what she perceived to be the needs of the Christian Science movement in the world at the time. As a participant in the hymnal updating in 1932, she strove to keep the music in Christian Science in line with both Mary Baker Eddy’s vision for ‘recognized standard of musical excellence’ and the reform of music she observed in the Church of England.