Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 2010

February 14: Lent Begins

The season of Lent, forty days not counting Sundays, is a season of penitence and preparation for the celebration of Easter. Jesus also fasted, for forty days, in the wilderness, as the Gospel for the First Sunday in Lent recounts.

The term Lent is derived from the Old English lencten, which means, simply, ‘spring’. In German, however, the season is called Fasten, that is, the time of fasting. This follows upon the venerable custom of abstaining from certain foods. The custom of fasting itself is quite biblical. If Moses, Elijah, and Jesus himself fasted, certainly it must be a good practice. Indeed, on Ash Wednesday we hear Jesus saying, When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, etc. So Luther’s Small Catechism declares that fasting and other bodily preparation is indeed a fine outward training.

Liturgically too, the Church fasts during Lent (even as Israel fasted forty years in the wilderness). This is why the color for Lent is the penitential purple. Alleluias are not heard during Pre-lent or Lent, and there is less music (fasting of the ears); flowers are absent, and, during the last two weeks of Lent, all statutes, images, and crosses in the churches are veiled (fasting of the eyes). As the season moves on toward Easter, the fast becomes deeper in stages. The traditional season of pre-Lent merely hints at the fast to come; then Lent itself begins; then come the last two weeks of Lent, called Passiontide, during which no Glorias are sung at all; and within that span comes Holy Week, and finally within Holy Week the Triduum Sacram, that is, the Sacred Three Days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

Yet right in the midst of this penitential mood there is joy, for the fourth Sunday in Lent is called Laetare, which means ‘rejoice’, and there is some lessening of the liturgical fast during that day. For the entire penitential season is not to be sad, but joyful. For true joy of heart, born of the suffering and resurrection of Christ, transcends all parts of Christian life, even the deepest of sorrows, as we confess with David that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Thus the forty days of Lent is followed by a contrastingly festive forty-day season from Easter until Ascension Day, the time period during which Jesus appeared to his disciples.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Ash Wednesday, February 17:

On the 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 venerable custom of the imposition of ashes, to mark the first day of this holy season of fasting and prayer. Just prior to mass, members may come forward to the altar to receive the imposition of ashes on the forehead with the words “Remember, o man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” There is no liturgical response to this, it is received in silence while kneeling at the altar, and the recipient then returns to his seat in silence.

David Andrew Eckardt
was born to Andy and Kristy Eckardt on Monday, January 25th at the hospital in Dixon, Illinois. Mother and baby are doing well. The Baptism is set to take place here (by Grandpa Eckardt) on February 14th.

A Special Voters’ Assembly is set for Sunday, February 7th, after mass. This will be a second meeting to deal only with the matter of the chancel panels will convene next Sunday just prior to Bible class. This is in accord with the vote taken by the special assembly in January to look into this matter further and return with further information within a few weeks. Further data on options and ideas will be available.

February Birthdays
2/2 Mindie Fisher
2/4 Joshua Kraklow
2/5 Tom Wells
2/17 Monroe Kemerling
2/18 Ashton Powers
2/23 Carol McReynolds
2/24 Ruth Snider

Daily Mass for Lent

The daily mass schedule for Lent is as follows.
Mondays, 8:30 am.
Tuesdays, 8:30 am
Wednesdays, 7 pm (as usual).
Thursdays, 8:30 am
Fridays, 8:30 am
Saturdays, 9 am.

This schedule does not apply to Ash Wednesday, which will be observed twice, at 7 am and at 7 pm. During Lent, Saturday catechesis follows morning mass.

February Ushers
Otis Anderson, Scott Clapper, John Ricknell, Bill Thompson

February Anniversaries

Septuagesima Season
This season includes the three Sundays prior to Lent. January 31st is Septuagesima Sunday, February 7th is Sexagesima Sunday, and February 14nd is Quinquagesima Sunday. These names mean seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth, respectively, and indicate the anticipation of Easter by as many days, approximated on the Sunday that falls nearest to the seventieth, sixtieth, or fiftieth day before Easter.

Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home; Ruth Snider at home; Mark Baker and Anna Baker at home. Don Clapper at Royal Oaks. Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care. Ila Scaife at Courtyard Estates. Elva Garrison at Avon Nursing Home.

Every Day Will I Bless Thee
Some copies of my devotional book Every Day Will I Bless Thee: Meditations for the Daily Office are available for purchase at the reduced rate of $16.00. -Pastor

Annual Voters’ Assembly is set for Sunday, January 31st, at 7:30 pm. Council meets at 7.

is February 2nd (Ground hog’s day). We will observe it on Wednesday the 3rd at 7 pm. Every member of St. Paul’s is encouraged to come to this beautiful and dignified ceremony and Mass. February 2nd is the fortieth day from Christmas, which makes it the day the rite of purification for the Blessed Virgin Mary, when she also came she presented her first born Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as she was also required to do by the law.

When Jesus was presented in the temple, the priest Simeon also came in and declared, in the words of the Nunc Dimittis, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel."

This declaration of the Christ Child as a Light is the reason for the ceremonial use of candles at this Mass. The use of these lights in connection with the Blessed Sacrament emphasizes the analogy of Simeon’s exultation on receiving the Child with our own reception of Christ at the altar. This connection is made at every Mass, of course, in our own recitation of the Nunc Dimittis. At Candlemas, the connection is highlighted because the Gospel appointed for the day is this very Gospel.

The name Candlemas, also provides a link to the Feast from which it springs, that great feast of forty days earlier, namely Christmas.

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.

Keeping the Feast: A Study of the Holy Liturgy (concluded)
This study, much of which has taken space in a few years’ worth of newsletter articles, now comes to a conclusion, and is about to be published as a book. Its purpose has been most especially to present the divine liturgy in such a way as not only to highlight its beauty and dignity, but to provide the reader with conviction of its necessity from the standpoint of Christian faith. The progression to this point of conviction follows a logical pattern: first, by arguing the necessity of the New Testament itself, as fulfillment of the Old. The New Testament proclaims the coming of Christ in the fullness of time, and so fleshes out the types and images embedded in the Law and the Prophets, in the Person of Jesus, come to redeem the world. Secondly, by making the connection between this fulfillment and its proclamation by the liturgy, not merely as one presentation of Christ among many, but as the divinely appointed alteration of true worship, formerly seen in the temple and the synagogue, but now rotating around the temporal axis of the coming of Christ, so that true worship and faith now look back to it rather than anticipating it.

It is not accidental that the term new testament refers both to the canon of apostolic books arising after Christ’s ministry and to the Holy Sacrament of the altar. This fact alone should alert us to the integral connection between word and worship, or between faith and the reception of the incarnate Christ. And just as the written New Testament is the word of God, and therefore the sole norm and rule for all of Christian life, so the sacramental new testament (in Christ’s blood) must be the heart of truly Christian worship, from which all other forms of devotion and piety flow.

Altar Guild Notes

Our altar guild members have always taken great pains to see that the preparation of the credence is done properly, when setting up for mass. Here is a list of things we have discussed in meetings, toward that end.

Be sure:
• That the proper number of hosts is put out, and that the extra pyx is put out, containing extras.
• That the extra purificator put on the credence does not have a cross embroidered on it (the ones with crosses are only for use with consecrated elements, and thus are placed on the chalice: two for Saturday night or Tuesday morning, three for Sunday or Wednesday night)
• That the chalice veil hangs in the form of a trapezoid reaching the credence tabletop, rather than ‘draped’ over the chalice. The chalice should be placed forward enough to allow room for this.
• That there are no spots of any kind on the corporal.
• That for Sunday morning there are only six individual cups prepared. No individual cups for any other masses.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Know Anyone Who Might Need a Visit?
If ever you become aware of a member who might have a special need or desire for a pastoral visit, please contact Pastor to let him know. 852-2460.

On the Lookout for Visitors
Don’t be shy about inviting visitors to join you when you come to church. Brochures are available in the hallway to give friends, associates, relatives, etc. If you think someone might be interested but is hesitating, offer to pick him up and bring him with you. Offer your assistance if the liturgy is unfamiliar.

Looking Ahead: Easter Schedule

Since last year, our Easter Sunrise Mass is at 7 am Easter 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.

Wednesday afternoons
are now reserved for a meeting of volunteers to work on such things as the preparation of new Ordos, Gottesdienst, and, at 2:30, to record St. Paul’s on the Air (which is really a Bible Class). We usually begin at 2 pm with mid day prayers in the church.

Anyone may join us, as always.

First Monday
February 1st, Altar Guild is at 6 pm, Vespers is at 6:45, and Elders is at 7:15, as usual.

The Lighter Side

In the spirit of Super Bowl festivities this month, we provide herewith a glossary of terms.
Church Football
Benchwarmer – one who does not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit.
Quarterback Sneak - Church members quietly leaving before mass is over.
Draw Play - What many children do with the bulletin during worship.
Halftime - The period between mass and Sunday School when many choose to leave
Backfield-in-Motion - Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) repeatedly during the service.
Staying in the Pocket - What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord’s work.
Instant Replay - The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week’s illustrations.
Trap - You’re called on to pray and are asleep.
End Run - Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guest or fellow member.
Flex Defense - The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.
Blitz - The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.
Two-minute Warning - The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.
Halfback Option - The decision of 75% of the congregation not to return for the midweek service.
Sudden Death - What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the preacher goes "overtime."

St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443

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