Eckardt Family Christmas Greetings
Upon Christmas we’re merry, so I’ll say and sing
Of the ending of sorrow and Source of all joy
When we hear of a virgin from whose womb did spring
The Elixir of Life in a heavenly Boy.
So too now, fellow Christians, join with me and say
That despair and depression that seeps from the tomb
Cannot have us, though Megan was taken away;
Still we mock them and rise from their ashes and gloom.
For she died on the day Christmas anticipates—
‘Twas glad Easter on which Peter lost his young bride
But how foolish, o death, was your choice of that date;
For we know that’s the day Jesus rose, though He died.
So we march on through life toward the place where she went
With more news of our fam’ly and life’s measurings,
Of more marriage and birthing and gifts God has sent,
Of rejoicing and gladness and yet higher things.
So now Peter continues to play out his part:
Seminary is teaching him well to lay hold
Having fearlessness, courage, and meekness of heart,
In the Lord in whom ever our faith has been bold.
And our Johnny was married, as planned, just last May:
To Alissa his sweetheart, to love and embrace,
As they set out together, where he makes his way
As an Airman First Class at a Midwest air base
And a wedding for Burnie then came late July
To Amanda whose help for him surely is meet,
As they too are now learning too well and just why
It is true that a man and wife in love are sweet.
And for us now the grandchildren are more than one
They are David and Sarah, with hearts all aglow;
And their daddy is Andy, he’s our second son
With his Kristy, their mother, who watches them grow.
That leaves Joey, the fifth, with his classes in view,
And the sixth, Michael Gabriel, angel-named guy:,
While the former’s a sophomore now at Eastern U.,
And the last is a senior at Kewanee High.
So their mother and I, we sat down yesterday
With some old Christmas cards and nostalgic int’rest.
Thinking how the boys, growing and moving away,
Were all once with an innocent childhood so blessed
That the innocence in their eyes, we could behold,
Had still been yet to learn of the hard parts of life
That are troubling, and so well known to the old
Who’ve been tried and have seen many changes and strife.
Nonetheless, all along in their hearts they’ve known Him
Who, like them, was once also an innocent Child,
Who has faced down forever the old Reaper Grim
And who won for his children a place undefiled.
So begone, o thou death, get thee hence! Thou hast lost!
And the spoils of our victory we shall divide,
And in Christ the Lord now and forever we boast,
For in Him we have won, and shall be glorified!
God rest ye merry, this Christmas 2010 and always.
The Eckardt Family.
Choir Rehearsal and Carolling December 29th
On Wednesday, December 29th, there is no mass scheduled, nor any regular activities.
But the choir needs to rehearse in preparation for our choral vespers the following Sunday, so we plan to meet (tentatively) at 5 pm for caroling at the homes of shut-ins, capped off with a Christmas Party, as we have done in the past. We’ll meet at the church at 5 on the 29th.
Un-decorating the Church
The removal of the Christmas decorations is scheduled for Saturday, January 8, at 9 a.m. Volunteers are sought!
at St. Paul’s
Sunday, January 2, 2011
at 7:00 p.m.
Every year, St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church on an event you might not expect to hear in a town our size, especially when you consider the small size of our choir. Our Choral Vespers, besides being a prayer service as vespers always is, is an event of high cultural significance. This is the thirteenth year the parish has held this event for the Kewanee community. Their Mixed Choir is small, but with the splendid acoustical setting under the Gothic arches at St. Paul’s, people have often commented that the choir sounds two or three times larger. The choir is under the direction of the church’s pastor, the Reverend Dr. Burnell Eckardt, who has over thirty years of experience as a choirmaster and composer. St. Paul’s looks forward to this event every year, as a last opportunity in the year to present some lovely traditional Christmas carols in a setting for which those carols were written.
The evening’s music is always augmented by the parish’s wine and cheese reception in the school cafeteria, another annual tradition. There is no admission fee; a freewill offering will be taken. If there is inclement weather, a snow date is scheduled for Monday, January 3rd , at 7 p.m.
The following day our winter retreat continues with our days of theological reflection. Read on . . .
Also Announcing An Epiphany retreat:
“LET A DOUBLE PORTION OF THY SPIRIT BE UPON ME”
The Christology of Elijah and Elisha (I Kings 17 – II Kings 13)
Monday and Tuesday, 3-4 January 2011
Hosted and led by Rev. Burnell Eckardt, Ph.D.,
at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kewanee, Illinois
We are pleased to announce our January Days of Theological Reflection, a retreat on Monday and Tuesday, the 3rd and 4th, from 8:30 – 3:30 (mass each morning is at 9:00), our thirteenth retreat in the series will focus on Elisha and Elijah. Join us!
This series, containing brief liturgical questions and Pastor Eckardt’s answers, began to appear in 1995, as a regular feature in this newsletter. It was then published, about ten years ago, as a Gottesdienst book.
Why does the pastor walk toward the altar during the singing of the Introit?
The word Introit means “entrance,” and is the point at which we enter into the Mass. (The opening hymn and the confession and absolution, which precede the Introit, are preparatory to the Mass, but are not in fact part of the Mass itself.) The service opens with the Introit because here the faithful of God enter by faith into His holy place. This is signified by the movement which the celebrant makes toward the altar while the Introit is sung. The celebrant is the representative of Christ among us, which is why he might appropriately be vested in a chasuble, and since we are all in Christ, as St. Paul says, therefore we are all, iconically speaking, “in the celebrant,” who thus acts not only in the stead of Christ, but in the stead of Christ’s Body, the Church. Therefore when the celebrant approaches the altar, in truth all are approaching the altar. This is a priestly function of the Holy Ministry. The movement is made by one man, but it is a movement of the whole Church. This is fitting, because it serves to remind us that the whole Church is one, united in the one man Jesus Christ. It is also appropriate, therefore, for everyone to make the sign of the holy cross as the celebrant enters the holy place (the chancel), or even, as is the custom of some, to make the sign three times: once, as the celebrant begins his walk, again, as he passes into the chancel, and again, as he arrives, genuflects, and kisses the altar. This is in token that it is because of our baptismal faith that we stand united in one Christ, and enter with Him into the presence of His Father, as signified by the entrance of the celebrant.
Why do we sing “Lord, have mercy” right after the Introit?
The words “Lord, have mercy” are a translation of the Greek Kyrie eleison, which is why this part of the Mass is called “the Kyrie” (pronounced kee-ree-yay). Since the Introit is the “entrance,” wherein we all enter by faith into the presence of the living God, it is most appropriate for us to utter these words at once: “Lord, have mercy!” If even people as pious as Isaiah (cf. Isa. 6:5) or St. Peter (cf. Luke 5:8) find themselves woefully and miserably out of place in the presence of the holy God, certainly it is right for us to see ourselves in this way, upon first entering into His sacred presence in the Mass. But we also rightly cry at once for mercy, using the very same words as blind Bartimaeus, the ten lepers, and others who were brought to Jesus. We cry for mercy in the sure confidence that we shall receive it, for God is merciful and kind to His people. Our crying out for mercy immediately upon entering the holy place by faith indicates our awareness both of our own unrighteousness, and of the righteousness which He freely gives to us who claim no merit of our own.
Why do we sing the Gloria right after the Kyrie?
During the Mass, we sing “Lord, have mercy” immediately after the Introit, that is, as soon as the pastor has approached the altar for the first time. On Sundays outside of penitential times, the Church has traditionally augmented the Kyrie with the Gloria in Excelsis, which is also called the Greater Gloria. (Traditionally this Gloria is not sung at weekday Masses unless they are Feasts of the First Class or Feasts of Our Lord). This approach is to signify the approach of faith, as the writer to the Hebrews says, “Draw near to God.” As soon as we enter the holy place we cry out for mercy, thereby acknowledging our dire need for mercy in the presence of the holy God. Yet we also know that this God is indeed a merciful God. We do not pray as if to make God merciful by our petitions. Rather, we know He is so. Therefore as soon as we have cried out for mercy, we at once express our confidence in this mercy by singing the song of the angels at the birth of Christ: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” With these words our hearts are again brought to Bethlehem and the One whose holy birth has joined heaven and earth. In Him is our confidence that we shall receive mercy. For He who is heavenly from all eternity is now also become earthly for all eternity, that we who are earthly might become heavenly in Him, for all eternity. Therein we find confidence that God shall indeed be merciful to us.
1/1 Christine Erickson
1/4 Lucille Kemerling
1/13 James Hornback
1/18 Scott Clapper
Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell
Carole Sanders at home; Mary Hamilton at home; Ruth Snider at home; Mark Baker at home, and Anna Baker at home. Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care; Ila Scaiffe at Courtyard Estates; Elva Garrison at Roseville Country Manor in Roseville, IL.
January Anniversaries None
Altar Guild Notes
Altar color for January is white, until the last weekend of the month. This includes Epiphany, observed Wednesday January 5th, and the Baptism of our Lord, observed Wednesday, January 12th. There is no mass on Tuesday January 18th or Wednesday January 19th. The 2011 calendar is posted in the sacristy.
The offering envelopes should be delivered to the mailboxes by January 1.
Annual Voters’ Meeting
Our Voters’ Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 30st, at 7:30 p.m. Council is scheduled for 7:00, just prior to the meeting.
In Our Prayers
In addition to our shut-ins, our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following. Anyone wishing to update the lest by addition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.
Those who are sick:
In our parish:
David Dakin [re Harris]
Anna Rutowicz [re Harris]
Tarah Allen [cancer, friend of Jill Powers]
Kay Nimrick, [friend of Jill Powers with cancer]
Nicole Smith [niece of Jean Russell]
Mildred Russell [re Russell]
Don Loesch [[father of Jude Clapper]
Sara Bidni, mother of Svetlana Meeker
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter, cancer]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknell’s grandson, childhood leukemia]
Pam Mansnarus [Ricknell’s niece, stage four lung cancer]
Those who are in the military:
Brent Matthews [re Fisher]
Michael and Melinda Fisa [re Kemerling]
Michelle Steuber [re Fisher]
Donny Appleman [re Ricknell]
Timmy Giesenhagen [re Powers]
Thomas Kim [re Shreck]
Chaplain Michael Frese
And Jaclyn Harden [Kris’s daughter]
Those who are in trouble:
Unborn children in danger of abortion, the people of Haiti in the midst of a cholera outbreak, Those suffering from persecution, genocide, and imprisonment in Burma, Nigeria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, and elsewhere.