Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April 2014

Passiontide, Holy Week, Easter

              We come again to the holiest time of year.  As Lent draws to a close, it draws us deeper into the depths of Jesus’ sorrows. Passiontide begins on Sunday, April 6th, when we hear of Jesus’ exchange with his enemies, who then took up stones to throw at him, but he hid himself, passing through the midst of them.  This mysterious report bespeaks his divinity, and it also reminds us of how wondrous are his ways among us.  So we, in response to hearing it, immediately veil our images.  As soon as this Gospel is read, we pause to veil the images.  Now we enter the last two weeks of Lent, which are a fasting also for the eyes. 
             Next comes Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday.  The Palm Sunday Gospel is actually heard before the Introit, so that the Inroit itself may mimic the triumphal entry of Jesus.  Not only so, but now, having heard the triumphal entry already, we are ready to hear, at the place where the Gospel is read, the first of the passion readings we will be hearing this week, namely, the St. Matthew Passion.  Time slows down here, and it is important for Christians to know the piety of careful listening and attentiveness.
The St. Luke Passion will be heard on Wednesday evening, and the St. John Passion on Good Friday.  These are also important times for reflection.
Indeed every day during Holy Week there will be mass, at 7 pm, to consider some facet of the Passion of our Lord.
Monday and Tuesday will include important readings from St. John’s Gospel, and of course Maundy Thursday will recount what happened in the upper room.
And then, at last, comes the culmination of all, ushered in at the Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday.  Here is another opportunity for reflection and pondering in the heart.  And during the Vigil we mark the end of Lent and the beginning of Eastertide.
Then we return at 7 in the morning on Easter to commemorate the discovery of the Risen One by the women and the disciples.
Note how many opportunities are set before us specifically for meditation.  Do not shrink from these, dear Christians, but embrace them. For, as the book of Proverbs would put it, they are your life.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Schedule for Passiontide to Easter
April 6: Passion Sunday
April 13: Palm Sunday
     (no mass on Saturday the 12th)
April 14: Holy Monday 7 pm
April 15: Holy Tuesday 7 pm
April 16: Holy Wednesday 7 pm
April 17: Maundy Thursday 7 pm
April 18: Good Friday 7 pm
April 19: Vigil of Easter 7 pm

April 20: Easter Sunrise 7 am

April Ushers
Steve Peart, Grant Andresen, Larry Campbell

April Anniversaries

4/13/2002      Steve and Sheri Kraklow

April Birthdays:
4/3      Adam Shreck
4/11    Reggie Eckardt (church mascot J)    
4/19    Luke Wells
4/22    Grant Andreson

Catechesis suspended beginning Holy Week

Saturday morning catechesis concludes on April 12th; a summer catechesis class may be forthcoming; stay tuned.

First Tuesday Vespers, etc.

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

Altar Guild Notes

·        Parament color is VIOLET until Maundy Thursday.
·        Volunteers sought for Saturday, April 5th veiling.
·        Parament color is WHITE for Maundy Thursday.
·        Stripping of the altar during Maundy Thursday mass. This includes the stripping of the frontal.
·        Fair linen placed on bare altar for Good Friday; black veil is used.
·        Paraments WHITE for the Easter Vigil and all the rest of April.
·        Parament color is RED for Wednesday, April 30th, on which we will observe SS Philip and James (May 1)
Our Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home; Anna Baker at home; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home. 

Faithful Departed

Christian burial was accorded Mirilda Greiert on Tuesday, February 25th.

Easter Preparations

1) Volunteers sought to help clean the church especially this month: our regular first Saturday cleaning is spring cleaning time!  So try your very best to clear the schedule for Saturday, April 5th, beginning at 9 am. Big day of preparatory cleaning.

2) If you have not yet signed up for Easter lilies, there’s a sign up sheet at church.  $12.00 is the cost.

3) Easter breakfast preparations are underway.  Carol Eckardt is in charge.  A sign-up sheet is posted in the kitchen.  This is going to be a potluck of sorts.  Everybody brings something. But sign up for something in particular, so we don’t have everyone bringing the same thing. Donations accepted too!

4) Easter bonnets!  Ladies, do you have your bonnet ready? Let’s have some fun!

No mass April 12th

As usual, there will be no mass on Saturday evening the day before Palm Sunday.  For the special Palm Sunday mass, all members are asked to come Sunday morning.
Coming Up In May

 The annual Gottesdienst – Chicago event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th.

A one-day conference: “Justification and the Sacrament”  — with special guest speaker Rev. Rolf Preus

At Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
5259 S. Major Ave
ChicagoIL 60638

Also featuring banter and discussion from among our editors:

Rev. Fr. Larry Beane, MDiv; Rev. Fr. Jason Braaten, MDiv; Rev. Fr. Mark Braden, STM; Rev. Fr. Burnell F. Eckardt Jr., STM, PhD; Rev. Fr. D. Richard Stuckwisch Jr., PhD; Rev. Fr. David H. Petersen, Mdiv

Registration: $20 (Payable to Gottesdienst. Email the following info to with “Gottesdienst Chicago” in  the subject line).  You may pay the registration fee when you arrive.


8:30-9:00 am  Registration/Coffee, donuts/
Holy Absolution available
9:00 am  Matins
9:40 am  Welcome
9:45-10:45 am
Justification and the Sacrament,
part one  -- Rev. Preus
11:00 am  Holy Mass
12:15 pm  Lunch (provided)
1:30 – 2:30 pm
Justification and the Sacrament,
part two -- Rev. Preus
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Panel Discussion
Response from the editors
3:30 pm  Vespers
4:00 pm  Gemütlichkeit

Lodging on your own.  
Recommended:  Hampton Inn $169. 6540 S Cicero Ave, Bedford Park, IL. (708) 496-1900 Chicago Marriott Midway $219.  6520 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL. (708) 594-5500 Carlton Inn Midway $109. 4944 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL. (773) Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites $171. 6500 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL. (708) 458-0202. Hilton Garden Inn $239. 6530 S Cicero Ave, Bedford Park, IL. (708) Courtyard $199.6610 S Cicero Ave, Bedford Park, IL. (708) Sleep Inn$159. 6650 S Cicero Ave, Bedford Park, IL. (708) 594-0001 Holiday Inn$180. 6624 S Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL. (708) 563-6490

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:
Ann Baker
Sara Bidni, who has cancer
Emilie Ricknell
Linda Rowe
John Sovanski
Don Murphy
Jean Russell
And our shut-ins.

and also:
Anna Rutowicz [re Harris]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter, cancer]
Caleb Cleaver [rre Ricknells]
Christian Johnson [re Kemerlings]
Madison Lindsay [re Andersons]
Michelle Steuber [re Fisher]
Jill Matchett [re Shrecks]
Anthony Strand, [re Murphys]
Mark Elbus [re Kegebeins]
Edna Day [Chris Harden’s mother-in-law, cancer]
Carolyn Lewis [re Campbells]
Barb Fornoff [re Russells]
Tilly Miller [Jennifer Madsen’s mother]
Lorene Foglesong [friend of the Kraklows]
Pastors Don Chambers, [Manito]
Brian Feicho [E. St. Louis]
Glenn Niemann [Pekin]
Arthur Baisch [cancer]
and Adam Jacobsen  [Mattoon]

in the military:
John Eckardt
Donny Appleman [re Ricknell]
Thomas Kim [re Shreck]
Jaclyn Harden Alvarez
Michael Creech
and Richard Heiden

in trouble:

especially any unborn children in danger of abortion, and those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, North Korea, and elsewhere.

Here are some details Website:

SRI LANKA: Pastor's Family Attacked for Christian Activities

On the evening of February 16th, a mob of approximately 250 villagers led by 11 Buddhist monks stormed a pastor's property in Asgiriya, Kandy district, demanding that worship services at the site cease immediately. The monks belong to the hardline nationalist organization, "Bodu Bala Sena" (BBS), which means "Buddhist Strength Force."
The pastor, in response, explained to the mob that he has the right to religious freedom. However, the mob dragged the pastor and his wife from their home and physically assaulted them. The couple's 18-year-old daughter was also verbally abused.
Afterwards, the General Secretary of the BBS gathered the villagers outside the pastor's house and warned them against such "traitors." He threatened the same treatment for any villager supporting Christian worship.
PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi's Appeal Hearing Postponed
The appeal hearing for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman imprisoned for blasphemy, has been postponed "to a later date." Asia was arrested in 2009 on charges of insulting Mohammed and later sentenced to death. Since then, she has been waiting for her appeal to be heard while being held in isolation at the women's prison in Sheikhupura (Punjab). (For more on Asia's case, click here.)
Initially scheduled for March 17th, Asia's first hearing was cancelled due to the absence of one of the two presiding judges. Under Pakistani law, two judges have to be present in death penalty cases for the entire trial.
The high-profile case remains hugely controversial in Pakistan. The former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was killed by his bodyguard in January of 2011 after showing support for Asia. Then, two months later, Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian, was assassinated after voicing support for Asia and demanding reform of the country's blasphemy laws. Shahbaz's brother is now facing death threats. (For more on these threats, click here.) Late last year, Pakistan's Federal Sharia Court demanded that blasphemy should carry a mandatory death sentence.

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).

Communion (Distribution)
The distribution of the Blessed Sacrament is the primary reason clergymen are sometimes called ministers. They administer the Holy Gifts of God. It is uniformly traditional and preferable that the celebrant administer the Blessed Sacrament to himself, before he communes the congregation. Certain Lutheran orders arose in the Pietistic era of the seventeenth century which forbad self-communion by the celebrant (see Reed 372f for a brief commentary on this controversy), but the instruction of Luther himself on the matter serves to contradict those proscriptions (see Formula Missae, AE 53:30). Moreover, the chief reason self-communion is salutary and ought to be retained is that the celebrant is here not only receiving the Gifts for himself; he is at the same time serving to signify Christ, who partook with His disciples in the other room. There is no valid reason for the historically novel practice of having someone else commune the celebrant, and it is
positively improper that a lay assistant commune him.
    The rise of the historically recent practice of the use of lay assistants at all for the physical distribution of the Sacrament is a most unfortunate development, and is to be discouraged in the strongest terms. Besides being virtually unnecessary in that it scarcely saves time, it is more importantly a practice which belies a failure to understand the very nature and primary function of the pastoral office
    The physical act of giving the Holy Sacrament to the people of God is the central feature of the pastoral office. For although it is also rightly said that preaching is central to the Office, yet the very Christ whose Gospel is preached is Himself given to the people here. The reality of the Gospel is that it is about a Savior who truly came in the flesh and dwelt among us; and this Christ also just as truly gives His Body and Blood to His people in the Supper. In the same way, the Office of the Ministry is a real flesh-and-blood office: real duly ordained men carry out its duties. Therefore although one may also rightly list many other duties that a pastor does, this is the one which
most clearly defines his office, by the very doing of the act. The sheep of Christ’s pasture are fed from the hand of His under-shepherds here.
For this reason, Article XIV of the Augsburg Confession declares that “no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called.” There are those who would say that a pastor who has a lay assistant physically assisting him in the handing out of the Holy Elements is not thereby relinquishing his own duty to oversee the administration of them, but this point of view is problematic, since clearly “administration” here has to do with a physical act, which would seem to entail the physical handing out of the Elements.
    If there should be a second ordained clergyman present to assist in the distribution, it is always proper that the celebrant distribute the Hosts, and that his assistant distribute the Cup. This is because it is the celebrant’s duty, on the one hand, to be the chief and therefore first person to bless each communicant by the administration, and on the other hand, to see that no unworthy communicant receives the Sacrament.
    Although the practice of receiving the Host in the hand may be traced to early church usage, it is nevertheless better that the Host be received directly on the tongue, as it emphasizes the purely receptive character of faith, as well as eliminating any possibility of tiny fragments of the Host remaining on the hand of the communicant after he communes. The celebrant, by contrast, is careful to see that no crumbs are lost in the distribution of the Host, as he holds his thumb and forefinger together except when holding a Host, and, after the distribution, to take the ablutions, that no fragments are lost.

St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
   109 S. Elm Street

   Kewanee, IL 61443

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