The staff of NewChurchHistory.org would like to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The three holiday cards included here are from the Glencairn Museum Archives in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. The first card was created by Lawrence Bradford Saint (1885-1961) and sent out by his family in 1920. Saint was a stained glass artist who worked on the Bryn Athyn Cathedral project from 1917 until 1928, when he left to work on the Washington National Cathedral. The figures on this card bear some resemblance to a stained glass Christmas window he made for Bryn Athyn Cathedral in 1919.
The second card was sent to John and Gertrude Pitcairn in 1887 by Rev. F.W. Tuerk and his wife, Maria. Tuerk was the pastor of the Berlin (now Kitchener) society in Ontario, Canada. The card uses the unique New Church dating system in place at the time, and also includes the expression “Vive l’Academie!” (Long live the Academy!), the name of an early Academy of the New Church song. In the late 1800s and early 1900s “Vive l’Academie!” was often used on Christmas and New Year cards exchanged between members of the Academy of the New Church.
The third card was sent by Louis and Anna Tafel in 1887 (presumably to John and Gertrude Pitcairn). It includes inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as well as the expression “Vive l’Academie.” Like the card above, it makes use of the unique New Church dating system.
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