Wednesday, May 25, 2011

June 2011

Pentecost and Its Vigil

The three high Feasts of the church year correspond to the three Persons of the Holy Trinity: Christmas, when the Father revealed His Son in the flesh; Easter, when the Son rose from the grave, and Pentecost, when the Spirit was sent forth into all the world.

Unlike Christmas and Easter, Pentecost is not preceded by a season of penitence and fasting. There is a subtle significance in this fact. Pentecost comes directly after Eastertide, not only because historically the Day of Pentecost came fifty days after the resurrection, but because Pentecost really amounts to a continuation of Easter joy. Whereas the transition from Lent to Easter was dramatic and sharp—moving from the depths of the Triduum Sacram (the holy three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) to the sudden heights of resurrection joy, highlighted profoundly at the great Easter Vigil—the transition from Eastertide to Pentecost is not so. We move from one season of joy to another, just as there was no sorrow in the disciples’ hearts when Jesus ascended into heaven on the 40th day after Easter and until Pentecost ten days later (“And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,” St. Luke 24:51-52).

In short, then, Pentecost marks a continuation of Easter joy until the end of the world, which joy is manifested in the apostolic preaching of the Gospel and the heavenly Feast of the Sacrament. We remember here that the Church has been rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus ever since it happened.

To mark this significant transition from joy to more joy, plan to attend the Pentecost Vigil on Saturday, June 11th at 5:30, and then follow up with the celebration the next day, Pentecost Sunday. The vigil is structured like the Great Easter Vigil, but on a smaller scale. The highlight of it is anticipation, marked first by the Service of Light. The anticipation of Pentecost is rewarded in the Service of the Sacrament (the fourth part of the service), wherein we welcome Whitsuntide, the season of Pentecost.

The next day the celebration continues, and, since it commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to cause the apostles to speak in “other tongues,” that is, all the languages of the people from various parts of the world who were present that day, it reminds us that the Gospel is meant to go out into all the world.

So at St. Paul’s it is our custom, in accordance with long tradition, to read a portion of the Gospel in several languages: Greek, Latin, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and finally English.

So look ahead to the Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Ghost

+ Pastor Eckardt

Ascension Day June 2nd

Since Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday, it is our custom to move our midweek mass for the week of its observance to Thursday. So there is no midweek mass on Wednesday night, June 1st. Instead, members are encouraged to celebrate the Ascension on Thursday the 2nd, at 7 pm. Private Confession will also be available, but on Thursday the 2nd at 6, rather than on Wednesday the 1st (although it is also always available by appointment).

Special Choir Rehearsal

A special choir rehearsal is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8th, at the usual time (after midweek mass) to prepare for Pentecost, which is the following Sunday. Choir members, please make a note of it!

Trinity Sunday June 19th

Our traditional Mass for this First Class Feast, which always comes at the end of the Pentecost Octave, will be preceded by a recitation of the Athanasian Creed.

Church Picnic July 3rd

Mark your calendars! Our annual church picnic, normally scheduled for the last week in June, is scheduled this year for the following Sunday, which is July 3rd, at the shelter house at Northeast Park. We’ll head out there right after church for brats etc. as usual, and a day of frolicking in the sun and some good times together.

Bring your Frisbees, your tennis rackets, your bats and balls, or whatever else you’d like to bring, to have some fun.

June Ushers: Alan Kraklow (chairman), Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells, Bob Bock

June Birthdays:
6/5 Mirilda Greiert
6/5 Linda Rowe
6/15 Jill Powers
6/16 Berniece Harris
6/29 Sara Timberlake

June Anniversaries:
6/17/1967 Robert and Mary Beth Jones
6/18/1960 Sandra and John Verplaetse
6/18/1977 Fr. Burnell and Carol Eckardt
6/18/1966 Don and Sue Murphy
6/19/1977 Dana and Carol McReynolds
6/19/1966 William and Judy Thompson
6/24/1989 Tony and Mindie Fisher
6/27/1954 Monroe and Lucille Kemerling
6/27/1981 Steve and Gail Peart
6/28/1958 Dale and Anna Baker

Shut ins

At home: Mary Hamilton, Mark Baker, Anna Baker, and Ruth Snider. At Kewanee Care: Mirilda Greiert and Lillian Freeburg. At Courtyard Estates: Ila Scaife. At Abingdon Care Center: Elva Garrison.

Thrivent Choice Dollars
If you have a Thrivent insurance policy, you might be eligible to have Thrivent send “choice dollars” our way as a charitable donation to St. Paul’s. To find out, call them at 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and ask if you are eligible through Choice Dollars to designate your charity as St. Paul’s.

Altar Guild Notes

We’ve noticed of wine needed for Sunday mornings is sometimes barely enough. So please note: from now on if you are to set up for Sunday morning, place one full cruet of wine and also a second cruet, filled approximately one quarter full.

Oil candles are to be used again in the candelabra, beginning after Mass on Sunday, June 26th), as we enter Ordinary Time (The Sundays after the Trinity Octave).

Parament colors:

White for May 29th through June 8th (the remainder of Eastertide)

Change to Red after Mass on June 8th, for the Vigil of Pentecost (June 11th), and for Pentecost through the following Wednesday (June 15th)

Change to White after Mass on Tuesday June 14th * for the Trinity Octave (Saturday, June 18th through and including Sunday, June 26th).

The last week in June is a busy one: Change to Green after mass on Sunday the 26th for Mass on Tuesday the 28th, then change to Red for SS Peter and Paul on Wednesday the 29th. Following Mass on Wednesday, change to White for the Visitation on Saturday, July 2nd, and then to Green for Sunday, July 3rd.

* No mass on Wednesday, June 15th (Pastor in Wisconsin).

No mass on Saturday, June 25th (Pastor in Wisconsin)

Next meeting: Monday, June 6st, at 6 p.m.

No mass the Last Saturday in June

As is our custom, we have no Saturday evening mass the last Saturday in June (June 25th). Usually this is to encourage everyone to come on Sunday morning the next day and then head out to the park, but this year it’s for a different reason. Pastor and his family will be in Wisconsin that weekend to help his mother celebrate her 90th birthday. Our guest preacher on June 26th will be the Rev. Fr. Chris Hull from Christ Lutheran Church in Normal, Illinois.

Concordia Catechetical Academy

The Concordia Catechetical Academy is holding its annual conference at Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 16 and 17. Pastor will be in attendance, and Mass will not be held the Wednesday evening prior. Anyone interested in details for this fine conference (which many lay people attend) log on at or consult pastor.

First Monday Vespers

The schedule for June 6th:
6 pm Altar Guild meets in Conference Room
6:45 Vespers (open to all)
Following Vespers: Elders meet

The Feast of the Visitation will be observed on Saturday evening, July 2nd. A special service commemorating the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, as recorded in St. Luke 1. This Saturday mass will not contain the same propers as Sunday the next day. Join us!

The Lighter Side

How well catechized are you? Take this quiz to see:

Fill in the blanks

1) Remember ___ by keeping it holy.
2) This commandment was first written in the Book of ___.
3) A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, a Trusty Shield and Weapon; He helps ___; This world’s evil foe . . .
4) I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength ____ or come to Him . . .
5) The Holy Spirit has called me by ___, enlightened me with His gifts . . .
6) The “gifts” by which the Holy Spirit has enlightened me are ___
7) What the Third Commandment teaches us not to despise is ___.
8) On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and sat on the heads of ___.
9) When the Spirit came to them, they began to____ as ___ gave them ___.
10) “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake _____.” (2 Peter 1:16)
Answers are at the end of the Newsletter

Copies of the journal are available in the narthex. Feel free to take one.
Better yet, why not subscribe to the journal sponsored by your own parish. Four times a year, Gottesdienst aims to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the Divine Service and the Holy Gospel in which our Holy and Triune God enlightens us with His gifts, sanctifies, and keeps us in the true faith.
A one year’s subscription is only $15 (four issues); $25 gets you two years. To get yours, click here.

Bottom News Story of the Year:
End of the World Doesn’t Come

Sadly, some folks were taken in by the charlatan radio evangelist Harold Camping, who predicted May 21st would be the Very Last Day. A Quad Cities man is rumored to have sold everything he had to erect warning signs; other similar stories abound.

Naturally, Mr. Camping has adjusted his prophecy. He said the end did come on May 21st, but in a secret way that only a few experienced. The real end will be, he says, exactly five months later, on October 21st.

The truly damaging thing about this false prophet is that his phony predictions are something like those of the boy who cried wolf: people will be lulled into thinking that the end will never come, and that anyone who says there will be a Very Last Day must be just another false prophet. The trouble is, Jesus Himself agrees that there will be a day of judgment. It’s just that we don’t know when it will be.

Martin Luther once famously said that the way to prepare for the End is to plant a tree. The meaning is that only a fool would fail to live his life responsibly and soberly in this world; and meanwhile our preparation is always complete if we have Christ and His Gospel and Sacraments.

Council Meeting Moved

Council members please note: the Council meeting, originally scheduled for the third Wednesday in June, has been moved to the fourth Wednesday in June, so Pastor can be there. This is indicated in the calendar.


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 is the offering collected when it is?

During the Mass, the collection of the offerings takes place while the altar is being prepared for Holy Communion. There is an important connection here between the elements used (the bread and the wine) and the offerings collected. In the early church, the Offertory was a time of movement in the liturgy: it was sung while the bread and wine were brought forth from the congregation as elements being offered to God for use in the Sacrament. According to some traditions, the bread and wine themselves are brought forward by the congregation. In others, they are brought to the altar by a server or subdeacon. By extension, the offerings of money are collected while the altar is being prepared, for the money collected is used to provide for the elements, the altar, the building, the pastor, and indeed everything we need here.

Behold now what Christ does with these offerings: He receives them, and then, by His Word, gives them back to us as His Body and Blood. Here is the great mystery of the altar, that God’s pure grace is operative here, as He takes what we offer Him, feeble, poor, and by no means sufficient to merit any good from Him, and gives it back to us as His own life-giving food. This is just like the great mystery of the Incarnation, wherein Christ received the poor, feeble flesh that the Blessed Virgin gave Him, and united it with His majestic divinity to give us life and salvation.

Care for our Yard
Your trustees and other volunteers have been busy: Tony Fisher fixed the mower; the weed-whacker has been fixed; Otis Anderson, Michael Eckardt, and Joey Eckardt have been weed whacking and mowing; Carol Eckardt planted new flowers in the front. Thanks to all! Anyone who’d like to pitch in to spread the work around a bit, contact Otis.

Sesquicentennial in 2012
The congregation’s 150th anniversary is next year. A new pictorial directory is planned, for which work is to be begun soon. Stay tuned.

Answers to quiz above
1) the Sabbath Day
2) Exodus
3) free from every need that hath us now o’er taken
4) believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord
5) the Gospel
6) preaching and the Sacraments
7) preaching and His [God’s] Word
8) the apostles
9) speak / the Spirit / utterance
10) as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

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

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