The Sacrifices of Lent
Ash Wednesday falls on Feb-ruary 25th this year, and so begins another Lenten season.
Lent finds itself competing with American traditions during March, and has been losing ground to them of late.
There’s nothing wrong with following the “March Madness” of college basketball playoffs, or making plans for Spring break, of course, but there is something wrong with setting Lent aside while attending to other things. What’s wrong is that a wonderful and very personal opportunity for the enrichment of faith is missed if Lent is ignored.
Lent is so much more than six Sundays in which one happens to notice the Lenten hymns, the violet paraments, and the lack of alleluias and flowers. Lent is meant to be a period of very personal involvement in the faith.
Fasting is the first ingredient in the journey, a kind of little personal sacrifice of sorts, in which one puts on a bodily reminder of the humiliation of Christ. The existence of minor hunger pangs resulting from the fast serves to keep the season in your consciousness throughout the day. This is also a subtle way of telling yourself that the Christian faith is of profound significance for body and soul, according the Scripture Jesus quoted in the wilderness: “Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Secondly, there is an increased opportunity for worship, particularly here at St. Paul’s. We have made some changes in the schedule to facilitate attendance at Lenten daily mass.
Following Ash Wednesday, whose schedule remains the same (masses at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., with the imposition of ashes), daily mass will be at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
The shift in schedule at the nursing home has helped to enable this change; the Tuesday morning service at Kewanee Care has been discontinued, as the few members there will be ministered to individually.
So if you are able, take time in the morning during Lent to come to daily mass at 8:30 every weekday. The service, a low mass, lasts about a half hour.
In addition, you might consider making a special donation to the alms box during Lent, to help the poor in our community. I keep those funds on hand, and use them to provide help for indigent people who pass through every so often, asking for help.
The benefits of Lenten sacrifices are somewhat intangible, but they are very real, in that they help provide an awareness of the journey of Christ to Jerusalem to sacrifice Himself for the sin of the world.
+ Pastor Eckardt
3/10/1990 Steve and Melinda Grier
3/19/1977 Jeff and Diana Shreck
3/1 Barbra Kraklow
3/2 Joseph Eckardt
3/3 Kerry Sovanski
3/7 Amber McReynolds
3/8 Carol Kegebein
3/8 Connie Von Holton
3/10 Cindy Von Holton
3/13 Brent (Dylan) Davis
3/16 Ila Scaife
3/21 Kristy Eckardt
3/23 Marvin Jagers
3/25 Carol Eckardt
Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells, Bob Bock
Daily Mass for Lent, note time change (again):
The daily mass schedule for Lent is as follows.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
Midweek mass still Wednesday at 7 p.m. as usual (in addition to Wednesday morning)
This does not apply to Ash Wednesday, which, as noted above, will be observed at 7 am and 7 pm
During Lent, Saturday (Junior) catechesis follows morning mass.
The Lighter Side
JESUS' REPORT CARD
Interim Report Student: J. CHRIST Form: III Term: 1
SUBJECT / GRADE / TEACHER’S COMMENT
Religion D To the question "Who made the world?" persisted in answering 'My dad and I did'.
English D+ Tends to speak and write in archaic forms and uses outmoded figures of speech.
History A Excellent pupil of ancient and religious history.
Geography C- Assignment on 'Hot, dry lands' was excellent, but shows little interest in the rest. In geology, keeps talking about the Rock of Ages instead of the ages of Rock.
Social Studies B+ Keen interest in social issues.
Mathematics F Lacks basics. Keeps muttering about 'Three in one' and 'I and the father are one'.
General Science D Lacks discipline - eg, when asked to repeat the experiment for making hydrogen, claims he knew a better way.
Graphic Communication D Prefers to draw with a stick in the sand to pencil and paper.
Consumer Education C+ Interesting ideas about alternative life style: Something about living like sparrows and lilies of the fields...too impractical.
Art Craft B Obviously has imagination and creativity, a good potter – works well with dirt and water.
Material Studies A Excellent in woodwork section. Obviously receives help and stimulation at home.
Music/Drama B+ A keen member of the school choir. On occasions can be frighteningly dramatic.
Physical Education D- A trouble maker - eg during the learn-to-swim campaign insisted on trying to walk across the pool.
Health Classes A Shows a remarkable aptitude for first aid and knowledge of the body.
Home Economics A+ This kid really knows how to stretch a loaf of bread and a fish!
CLASS TEACHERS COMMENT: This boy has a very unhealthy tendency to form gangs. He has organized twelve of his friends into a gang and is seen constantly in the company of the children of publicans and sinners. He needs to be more selective in his choice of friends. Also, he should learn to keep his hair at a tidy length and not wear sandals with the school uniform.
Lenten Soup Suppers
Beginning on March 4th, a team of volunteers is planning to provide soup suppers for Lent at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday. Members are encouraged to come and enjoy one another’s company for supper in the cafeteria, and then hang around for the Wednesday midweek masses for Lent at 7.
Soup, salad, bread, etc. is the expected menu. No desserts, though. (Well, it’s Lent!)
A freewill offering will be taken.
A Change in the Easter Schedule:
SUNRISE MASS AT 7 A.M.;
NO LATE MASS
As previously announced, this year we are initiating a change in schedule for Easter. The Sunrise Mass will be moved to 7 am Sunday morning, rather than 6 am. This moves the Easter breakfast to about 8:30. There will be no late Easter Mass, however.
Therefore, plan ahead: only one Mass on Easter morning, at 7 a.m., followed by the Easter breakfast.
As in the past, the Easter Vigil will be held at 7 pm on Saturday, the day before Easter.
Altar Guild Notes
In our February meeting we did some alterations to some of the altar superfrontals, which were a bit too long.
Our next meeting is March 2nd at 6 p.m.
Mary Hamilton at home; Ruth Snider at home; Mark Baker at home, and Anna Baker at home. Jack Stewart at Kewanee Care; Mirilda Greiert at Courtyard Estates; Elva Garrison at Avon Nursing Home; Ruth Melchin at Hillcrest Home; Jane Melchin at Lutheran Home, Peoria. Lorraine Mohr will be recovering from back surgery at home.
Private Confession is always available to anyone between 6 and 6:30 pm on these Wednesdays (and also, as always, by appointment). Pastor is usually available as well on Saturdays, from about 4 pm until Mass.
Ash Wednesday, February 25:
On this first day of Lent, we will celebrate Mass twice, both at 7 a.m. and at 7 p.m. On both occasions we will observe the imposition of ashes, to mark the first day of this holy season of fasting and prayer.
Wednesday Radio Bible Class
Every Wednesday at 2:30 a Bible class is held in pastor’s study, and recorded as St. Paul’s on the Air, which airs on WKEI Sunday mornings at 7:30. Programs are also available on the internet at www.stpaulsonthair.blogspot.com.
Dear members of St. Paul’s:
Your church council decided it would be helpful if a letter were included in this newsletter to bring two matters to your attention.
First, the good news: the estate of Mildred Eckhardt (no relation to Pastor) has left a sum of just over $40,000 to St. Paul’s, which we received during February. We hope to put this money to the best use. We would love to be able to paint the church ceiling, or renew the chancel, but first we need to attend to some badly needed repairs at the south end of the roof. We also have about $82,000 left on our loan from several years ago, which we’ve been paying off little by little. We expect to discuss the matter at our quarterly voters’ assembly in April. All members are welcomed to attend and give their input. With thankful hearts we receive this inheritance, continually aware that God in His grace has always provided for His little flock at St. Paul’s.
Second, the challenge. While we are aware that a small portion of this amount is needed for some short-term obligations, we certainly do not want to see it get depleted with operating expenses. Our sesquicentennial is just around the corner: in 2012 we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary. A new committee is being formed to make plans, including a new directory, a new parish history, and, hopefully, the raising of funds for beautifying of our church as mentioned above. But we face a challenge in the meantime, which is that we are not quite making ends meet, and must dip into our savings little by little. So here is the challenge for you, the members of St. Paul’s: make a new assessment of your giving pattern, and consider whether you can manage to eke out a larger portion for your offerings. Many of our families are already giving sacrificially, out of love for the Savior and this parish, and so we are confident that the inheritance we received will not be seen as justification for giving less. Were that to happen, as most everyone is likely aware, it would disappear in no time! Rather, we are hopeful that it will serve as incentive.
The Lord has blessed us here in many ways: the Gospel is preached in its purity, the Sacraments are rightly administered, our choir is a brilliant enhancement for our liturgy, and our family of believers is close-knit and tenderhearted toward one another. It is in the spirit of thankfulness to God that we appeal to you, the members, to consider this challenge.
Sincerely in Christ,
Jan Schoen, Stewardship Chairman
Keeping the Feast: A Study of the Holy Liturgy (continued)
Elevation and Adoration
The placement of the elevation of the Host immediately after its consecration seems to have begun at the close of the twelfth century in Paris, where the bishop directed it, probably in response to the offensive and curious view of some at the university there, who held that bread only became the Body of Christ after the words of consecration had been spoken over both the bread and the wine. Since this view aroused considerable opposition, this practice of elevating the Host immediately after its consecration arose as a kind of protest, a confession that it was the word of Christ which made it immediately so. By the end of the thirteenth century it was ordered throughout the Continent and England that one of the great bells of the church should be tolled at the moment of the elevation, in order that even those at work in the fields might kneel down and adore at the same time as the assembled congregation is doing so.
The elevation of the Elements after their consecration is meant to be a wordless confession of what they are: the true Body and Blood of Christ. Here we raise our eyes to look upon and adore the elements, quite simply because we know them to be what Christ has declared them to be, which is a most salutary thing to remember before receiving the Sacrament. One does not elevate symbols or mere tokens of Christ, nor should we kneel before mere ordinary things such as bread and wine. But here is no ordinary bread and wine! According to Jesus’ own words, this bread is His body, and this wine is His blood.
Although, to be sure, the Lutheran Church has always considered the practice of elevating the consecrated elements an optional thing, there is also the matter of the adiaphoristic controversy of the sixteenth century, in which the fathers declared, “when a plain and steadfast confession is required of us, we should not yield to the enemies in regard to such adiaphora” (Formula of Concord, Epitome X:6). So although we would not wish to condemn those who do not elevate the elements, we also ought to regard the current state of affairs in the churches, where even in our own circles there have been found those who deny that the Sacrament is Christ Himself, and others who say that the Sacrament does not become the body of Christ until it is consumed—an odd interpretation of is if ever there was one!—and so also deny that the consecrated elements are truly Christ’s body before they are consumed.
Hence it becomes even more appropriate and fitting to elevate the elements and adore them with the eyes, and so declare that we know them to be what Christ says they are; for surely we cannot think it wrong to adore Christ=s Body, which is Christ Himself. To be sure, His purpose is not to present His Body here for adoration but for oral reception, but is it not fitting to emphasize in our ceremony the truth that it is His Body that we are about to receive? Do we not agree that his true Body is where He says that it is? These ceremonies, then, are no mere smoke and fire, but most appropriate settings for the Mystery that is Christ among us, and for us. ANo one, unless he be an Arian heretic, can and will deny that Christ Himself, true God and man, who is truly and essentially present in the Supper, should be adored in spirit and in truth in the true use of the same, as also in all other places, especially where His congregation is assembled@ (Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VII.126).
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443