ONE HUNDRED FIFTY YEARS, continued
War and Influenza
merica entered the First World War in 1917, a factor that contributed to the sensitive and difficult nature of the language problem. Germany was now the enemy; it was to be expected that German speaking Americans would now be looked upon with suspicion, if not outright derision. Meanwhile, the chronicler explains, “because of some unguarded statements the feeling against our congregation ran high in some places.” But “God in His mercy prevented” the congregation from splitting over the language issue, and soon the congregation would begin holding services every Sunday in English and in German, a practice that continued at least until 1937, her 75th anniversary year.
But in 1918, a new crisis engulfed Kewanee and countless other cities, as the Spanish Flu pandemic reached the shores of America. A likely reservoir for influenza is thought to have been the entrance to United States Government War Exhibition in Chicago, which opened in September, and one quarter of a million people were in attendance. Chicago was the nation’s largest rail hub at the time. As was the case across Illinois, Kewanee’s first announced victims were servicemen who were still away from home, but soon the ravages of the disease were felt by families here and across the nation. By the end of October, over 40,000 new cases were reported in Chicago in one week alone. In the same month Kewanee noted its first local death of an influenza victim.
Articles appearing in the Kewanee Star Courier appear to have been written with the aim of quelling people’s fears. Weekly stories would announce the reported decline of new cases, or of good news on the flu front. An often-reprinted article entitled “Spanish Influenza—What It Is and How It Should Be Treated,” confidently averred that it is “nothing new . . . simply the old ‘grippe’” of 1889-90, and insisted that there was “no occasion for panic.”
When the war ended on November 11th—the day that would go down in history as Armistice Day, later to be called Veterans’ Day—the newspaper declared that the city received the news with “unbridled joy.” At year’s end a half-page drawing chronicled the year’s mostly significant events, and most of it was devoted to excitement about the war’s drawing to a close, while allowing only a small corner to note that “Uncle Sam got the flu.”
But obituaries didn’t lie, and since the middle of October there had been a steady stream of reports of new local victims who had died of “the flu and pneumonia.” And since it was customary in those days to print obituaries on the front page of the paper, their daily appearance seemed almost to mock the newspaper’s valiant if pitiful attempts to maintain a bright outlook.
One of the particularly odious facets of a plague—and this pandemic certainly qualified as a plague—is that spiritual care became difficult to obtain in a time when it was most sorely needed. The churches sought to reopen before year’s end, but were unable to do so, except for the funerals, which of necessity were held away from the church, and at which attendance was kept to an absolute minimum.
Usually the victims of influenza would die within a single week of their contraction of the disease. Delirium was not uncommon. People everywhere were getting sick. The city of Chicago ran out of hearses. Morgues were stacked to the ceiling with bodies.
The Vicks drug company announced that it was rapidly running out of Vaporub. By the end of the month city officials had ordered the closing of all public places, and local churches agreed to cooperate. St. Pauls closed its doors with an announcement that arrangements could be made with Pastor Mayer for private catechetical instruction.
The pandemic didn’t actually abate until the late spring and summer of 1919. Researchers estimate that between 30 and 50 million people died worldwide, with an estimated 675,000 Americans being among the dead.
St. Paul’s was able to open its doors sometime early in 1919, and soon the horrendous chapter of the prior year had thankfully come to an end, and, as was the case in all of mankind’s previous plagues, an awareness began to settle in that it was not yet the end of the world. The roaring ’20s were about to begin, and the nation would prosper again, for ten years until the next major crisis struck: the Great Depression.
-to be continued.
Holy Week and Easter
April 1 – 8
Palm Sunday, April 1st: 9 am
(no Mass Saturday night)
Holy Monday Mass 7 pm
Holy Tuesday Mass 7 pm
Holy Wednesday Mass 7 pm
Maundy Thursday Mass 7 pm
Good Friday Solemn Liturgy and Mass 7 pm
Holy Saturday , April 7th
Great Vigil of Easter 7 pm
Easter Day, April 8th: Sunrise Mass 7 am
(Easter breakfast 8:30 am)
NO late Mass on Easter!
Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell
4/1/1988 William and Beth Dolieslager
4/13/2002 Steve and Sheri Kraklow
4/3 Adam Shreck
4/19 Luke Wells
4/22 Grant Andreson
First Tuesday cancelled
Due to the fact that Holy Week is the first week of April, we have chosen to cancel first Monday events for April, including Altar Guild, Vespers, and Elders.
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.
in our parish:
John Hart [major cancer surgery this month]
and all of our shut-ins
David Dakin [re Harris]
Anna Rutowicz [re Harris]
Sara Bidni, mother of Svetlana Meeker
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter, cancer]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknell]
Pam Mansnarus [Ricknell]
Pastor Glenn Niemann [who has cancer]
Christian Johnson [re Kemerlings]
Madison Lindsay [re Andersons]
Richard Day [Kris Harden’s father]
Tom Fornoff [Jean Russell’s brother-in-law, hosp.]
Edna Day [Chris Harden’s stepmother, hip surgery]
Robbie Niernyck [accident victim, re Harlow]
Susan Wahlmann [re Harris]
Mike Holbrook, who has cancer [re Thompson]
Nina [nine-a] Hartz [Sharon’s mother]
Rev. Don Chambers [Manito]
Ginny Humble [Harris]
Don Walker [Jewneil’s husband]
One of our HeadStart children [leukemia]
Bill Thompson’s mother
Karla Newman [Kemerling]
Rev. Klemet Preus [of Minnesota, cancer]
in the military:
Brent Matthews [re Fisher]
Michael and Melinda Fisa [re Kemerling]
Michelle Steuber [re Fisher]
Donny Appleman [re Ricknell]
Thomas Kim [re Shreck]
Jaclyn Harden Alvarez
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.
Altar Guild Notes
· Parament color is VIOLET Palm Sunday through Holy Wednesday.
· Parament color is WHITE for Maundy Thursday Mass, and the stripping of the altar takes place immediately after the Nunc Dimittis.
· Fair linen and corporal only for Good Friday, and two wooden candle holders. A cloth to catch wax drippings should be placed betneath the candle holders. The wooden missal stand is also used.
· All preparations for Easter are made prior to the Easter Vigil, including WHITE paraments, which stay in place throughout the rest of the month, excepting Wednesday, April 25th (St. Mark) for which the color is RED.
Next meeting is Tuesday, May 8th. NOTE: this is the second Tuesday of May.
Our Shut ins
Mary Hamilton at home; Mark Baker and Anna Baker at Roseview Nursing Home in Moline; Ruth Snider at Hillcrest Home; Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care. Elva Garrison at Abingdon Nursing Home.
Vigil of Easter April 7th
Remember, the Vigil of Easter marks the high point of the Church Year, the ceremonies surrounding the dramatic transition from Lent to Easter, from penitence to rejoicing, from death to life.
Members are encouraged to plan accordingly. The Vigil will be held on Saturday, April 7th. We start outside, gathered around a newly kindled fire, to light the Paschal candle. Then we process into the darkened church and continue with the Service of Light, a moving ceremony heralding the resurrection of our Lord. Next is the Service of Readings, a time for reflection, followed by the Service of Baptismal Remembrance, and finally, the Holy Communion, when the lights are turned up and we welcome Easter amid singing and alleluias. See you there!
The New Testament in His Blood
This series contains brief liturgical explanations which appear in Pastor Eckardt’s book The New Testament in His Blood (Gottesdienst, 2010).
When the celebrant has arrived at the altar, he thereby indicates two things. First, that that the faithful are all now standing before God. As the entrance of all the faithful was signified by the procession of the celebrant to the altar during the Introit, so their arrival to stand before God is signified by his arrival. They have entered, as it were, with him, and stand with him. Thus it is appropriate that the first words they utter are a plea for mercy: Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us. Kyrie eleison—Lord have mercy—is the noblest and most venerable of pleas we offer. Not only is it the cry of the ten lepers, of the publican in the temple, of the Canaanite woman, and of blind Bartimaeus; this plea for mercy is also found in the Psalter, in Psalms 4, 6, 9, 25, 27, 30, 31, 44, 51, 56, 57, 67, 86, 102, 119, and 123; and the mercy of God is frequently referenced throughout the Psalter. It is the oldest prayer of the faithful, and is the only prayer which remained in Greek through the centuries of the Latin Mass. It is fittingly the first prayer of the Mass. It probably arose liturgically in the early church as a kind of litany, and was traditionally seen as a nine fold rather than threefold Kyrie. Both the threefold and the nine fold Kyrie implicitly acknowledge Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Kyrie is the most basic, simple, and clear form of prayer. The faithful are without help except from the mercy of God in Christ; thus, they cry to Him as soon as they find themselves in His presence.
The second thing that is indicated by the celebrant’s arrival at the altar is that now, as he stands between the altar (which he is still facing) and the people, is seen as standing between God and the people, rather as Moses once did, and, more importantly, as does Christ whom Moses foreshowed. The primary function of the celebrant at this point is to stand in for Christ; he is himself the central visible element during the saying of the Kyrie by the people.
Although a Kyrie is also sung during the prayer offices (Matins, Vespers, etc.), it does not there contain of necessity this visible ingredient of a man standing between the altar and the people. The Kyrie at Mass is of a markedly higher caliber, as the celebrant becomes a visible demonstration that Christ is the heart of our worship. Our cry for mercy is a confident cry because Christ leads us in this cry. By His own worthiness He intercedes for us who are unworthy; by His merit and sacrifice He becomes the guarantor of mercy
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for us. The presence of the celebrant standing in for Him is a vivid reminder of this truth.
In all sung Masses except during penitential seasons (and even then, on Maundy Thursday), the Gloria in Excelsis follows immediately after the Kyrie in the Mass. As its opening words were first sung by angels, our repetition of them is a dim echo of those majestic voices first heard by the Bethlehem shepherds at the birth of Christ. The elaboration of the angelic song at Mass is a distinctly Roman element (Fortescue, 244), though there is evidence of use of the unadorned text of St. Luke 2:14 in some ancient rites (as recounted in Fortescue, 244n). The elaboration seen in the Gloria highlights the meaning of the word “glory.” For in it we say, “We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory.” But it would be a curious thing to thank God for His glory, unless “His glory” is something more than simply a reference to His majesty or dignity.
Thanks are offered for something given, and thus we may ascertain that the giving of thanks for His glory is meant to highlight the fact that His glory is most especially manifest at the birth of Christ the Savior of the world. This is a clear reflection of the meaning latent in the angels’ song. That is, Glory be to God on high at the birth of Christ is defined as this: and on earth peace, good will toward men. A realignment of thinking is therefore needed if we are inclined to regard glory here in the customary sense, as pertaining to eternal divine attributes of power and infinite splendor. What the angels’ message was, and what the Gloria amplifies, is the truth that what really glorifies God is the salvation of mankind. His chief desire is to be merciful, and therefore since the birth of Christ is the manifestation of His chief desire, His glory consists foremost in this bestowal of mercy. To give thanks for His great glory is to give thanks for His mercy.
For this reason it is also fitting to bow the head whenever the name of Jesus is uttered, first of all in this canticle (which is the first place during the Mass in which it is uttered), and also at every point throughout the Mass where it is heard. Since the heart of God’s glorification is found in Jesus, therefore an implicit acknowledgment of this, and of the profound debt of thanks we owe Him, is conveyed by the bowing of the head whenever Jesus’ name is heard at any point throughout the Mass, whether in its parts, or in the hymns, or in the readings, or even during the sermon. This gesture also indicates a willing desire to learn humility, that is, to place oneself beneath Him who so humbled Himself for us.
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443