St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm, Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Volume 35 April 2023 No. 4
The Holiest Time of the Year
This article was written for the Kewanee Star Courier this year.
We have come to the holiest time of the year, for the last two weeks of Lent are traditionally called Passiontide, when extra emphasis is placed on the passion, that is, the suffering, of our Lord Jesus. The last of those two weeks, Holy Week, begins with Palm Sunday and each holy day of remembrance, until especially the so-called Holy Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, culminate in the Great Easter Vigil that marks the end of Lent.
This time is rich with reflection on the righteousness and the love of God. The love of God for the world is displayed in that Jesus consented to give His life into death as a sacrifice for the sin of the world. This is what it really means to believe in the love of God: Jesus gave Himself for us and held nothing back from us that He has not given us. For He is also righteous, which is why it was necessary for Him to do this in order to save us. Since He is righteous, God must require obedience from mankind, but mankind has fallen into sin, as Isaiah also says, every one to his own way. Therefore in order for the requirement of God to be fulfilled, Christ by His passion has done what we were unable to do, namely make atonement for our sin. The salvation of the world is therefore now freely available to all, having been accomplished for us by Jesus, in whom alone we have a gracious God. Every Christian may be glad, for this means that the gaining of God’s favor does not depend at all upon us, but only upon Christ our holy substitute. This is the sum and substance of the Gospel, which is why we are pleased to hear it over and over again our entire lives, and by the power embedded in that word of God, to believe it.
Hearing, reflecting, and meditating deeply upon these things is what makes Easter such a glad day for Christians. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is our guarantee that these things are true. It also tells us in no uncertain terms that death is undone, since the penalty that brought death into the world has been paid. Eternal life is seen nowhere more clearly than in the risen Christ standing before His apostles announcing peace to them. How rich is that peace to those who are acutely aware of its cost in the blood of Christ, its value in the divinity of Christ, and its accomplishment in the sacrifice of Christ!
Opposed to a Pride Festival in Kewanee
We learned of the plans for a Pride festival to be held in Kewanee this summer, which of course I find to be a great disappointment. I hope they will reconsider. Kewanee is a traditional small town known for its simple adherence to traditional values, and doesn’t need to be infected with the destructive influences of a godless culture that has overtaken so much of our society. Gay Pride is a divisive and radical movement that is sharply divergent from what countless generations of citizens around the country and throughout the world have unanimously embraced up until very recently. It has confused and deceived young people in particular.
When Christians are maligned for opposing homosexuality, it is often with false claims that we harbor hatred for homosexuals. But we hate no one; in fact, we believe that it is a loving thing to hold fast to Sacred Scripture in opposing all forms of sin, not least our own (including, ironically, “pride”), so that we can begin to grasp what Scripture also teaches about the lovingkindness of our Lord who came to rescue us from all sin by His own sacrifice and resurrection from the dead. A Pride festival in Kewanee would be a very sad and disappointing thing for a great many Kewanee citizens.
Consider contacting the city council to urge them to reconsider this and set the plans aside.
Passion Readings during Holy Week
As is our usual custom, there will be readings of the Passion accounts from St. Matthew on Palm Sunday, St. Luke on Holy Wednesday, and Good Friday. These readings involve the participation of the congregation, which is reminiscent of a common choral practice during Reformation times. The subdeacon reads the narrator’s part, the pastor reads the part of Christ, and the congregation reads the parts of groups or crowds of people. These readings are found in special booklets which are handed out with the bulletins.
Holy Week and Easter Masses
Holy Monday through Good Friday, 7 p.m.
Great Vigil: Saturday, April 16th, 7 p.m.
Easter Sunrise Mass: April 17th, 7 a.m. (Easter breakfast following)
Easter Midweek Mass: Wednesday, April 20th, 7 p.m.
Jewneel Walker at Kewanee Care in Kewanee, Emmy Wear at Williamsfield retirement home.
Our First Tuesday events are scheduled for the second Tuesday this year, due to Holy Week. We will meet on April 11h: First Tuesday Vespers for all to attend 7:15 pm, and Elders following.
The Triduum Sacrum
The Triduum Sacrum (holy three days) are the deepest point of Lent, giving way all at once to Easter. It starts on Maundy Thursday with mass at 7 p.m. There is no benediction for this service, as it is understood to continue on Good Friday and until the Great Vigil. As soon as the last part of the Maundy Thursday mass is sung (the Benedicamus: V: Bless we the Lord. R: Thanks be to God), the pastor and subdeacon remove their sacramental vestments while the choir sings a psalm. They then strip the altar, pulpit, and lectern of all their paraments, remove the reserved Sacrament, take out the torches, and leave the sanctuary bare. Following the congregational singing of another psalm, all depart in silence. On Good Friday, there is an opportunity to pray the Litany at 12 noon, the hour of crucifixion. Then at 7 pm is the Good Friday Solemn Liturgy with Holy Communion. On Holy Saturday, the third day, the Great Vigil commences at 7 p.m. with a newly lit fire outside (near the kitchen doors), from which the new paschal candle is lit. The congregation follows into the church in procession. The Vigil is in four parts, the first three of which anticipate Easter: the Service of Light, the Service of Readings, the Service of Baptismal Remembrance. And then comes part four, when the lights go up, the pastor wears his white chasuble, and he announces, “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” to which all robustly reply, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” This is an ancient versicle and response dating to the early church. It is still used around the world, in virtually all languages.
4/13/2002 Steve and Sheri Kraklow
In Our Prayers
Our list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists below. To update the lists please inform pastor. in our parish:
Don and Sue Murphy, Linda Rowe, Sharon Hartz, John Sovanski, Sandra VerPlaetse, Bea Harris, Jewneel Walker, and Emmy Wear, Kris Harden, Jim Watson, John Ricknell
and beyond our parish:
Anna, Katie, and Jodi Rutowicz [Harris relations]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Elizabeth Godke [Sharon Field’s mother]
Oneida Hendrickson [Ricknell relative]
Janice Hart [Judy Thompson’s sister]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknells’ grandson]
Tim Newman [Shreck relation]
Theresa Moore [Ricknells’ niece]
Kathy Boeger [re Harrises]
Allison Leezer [relative of the Kraklows]
Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter]
Richard Heiden [Carol Eckardt’s father]
Don Bitting [Judy Thompson’s brother]
Pastor Justin Kane
in the military:
Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells]
Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts]
Eli Wetzel, Traven Wetzel
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
James and Ann Lee Armstrong
Marcus Prentice [son of Felicia Baker]
any unborn children in danger of abortion;
Debra Reeves’s children Rae Beth and Drew Wayne; those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan, India, China, North Korea, and elsewhere.
Jim Hornback, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells
Ladies, remember our hats tradition! Easter is the time to wear your best, and if you are able, set it off with a handsome hat! And by all means, leave them on for the Easter breakfast.
Church Council to Meet Wednesday, April 19th
The monthly meeting of the Council is scheduled, as usual, for the third week of April, which is the 19th, at the usual 5:30 time.
Altar Guild Notes
Extra volunteers needed to help with Easter Breakfast preparations on Holy Saturday, April 8th, beginning at 9 am.
Remember to sign up for items you are bringing for the breakfast. Everybody may bring something, but sign up for something in particular, so we don’t have everyone bringing the same thing.
Easter lilies: find a sign-up sheet in the narthex or on the table in the hall. $15 each.
Choir members, last rehearsals are Wednesday, March 29th and April 5th
Ladies, remember your hats! Invite your families! Let us know you’re coming!
4/3 Adam Shreck
4.14 Emmy Wear
4/19 Luke Wells
4/25 Mason Dooley
Saturday Class Time Moved
The Saturday Bible Class, on the Gospel of St. Matthew, has been moved from its 11:00 time to 12 noon. Join us!
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
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