Renovation Phase III Underway
We began to worship in the gym last in early November as planned, and although we might be ready to move back into the church for Christmas, we know that’s ambitious. But Phase III of our project has begun.
The scaffolding is up in the chancel, and repairing and repainting of plaster on walls and ceiling is underway. This is an exciting time in the history of our church.
Since our gym is now a multipurpose room, we are asking worshipers to remember this when they enter for mass. When you enter the gym for worship you will note the reserved Elements are placed on a ledge behind the altar, with a sanctuary light burning beside them. Please treat the room as a worship area during this time. Remember that congregants are preparing for worship in prayer and meditation; if you must speak, please do so in muted tones. The elements will be carried out at the close. If there is a postlude, please wait unto it is finished, at which point, the room reverts to its former use.
This is less than ideal, of course, but in view of the planning and work that is underway, we expect that this temporary situation will be well worth it.
The place of repose for the reserved elements is temporarily a tabernacle in the narthex, far from the workplace activity.
The color scheme for the chancel has been decided. The canopy ceiling will be a very dark blue called loyal blue, simulating the canopy of a dark sky. We plan to place small white stars here and there within the canopy. The walls of the canopy will be a tan tone roughly midway between the darker tone of the pillars and the divine white of the nave ceiling. This color is called interactive cream. On the back wall above the cross, midway between the top of the cross and the point, will be a white dove highlighted in gold, symbol of the Holy Spirit. The style of this dove is different from the dove that currently is seen higher up, in the balcony. The stripes of gold accenting the walls of the nave will continue throughout the chancel and its canopy.
We also plan to build two new pillars on either side of the back wall, to replace the pillars that had been removed in the 1960s. Atop these pillars will be new capitals, like those atop all the other pillars. The baseboard will be replaced with a baseboard more closely matching the baseboard seen throughout the nave.
We hope to put up twelve shields in the great arch, with symbols of the Twelve Apostles on them. We will test this look with a template before the final installation, to ensure that it looks good. The color of the arch will be the same light blue (called Vast Sky) leading up from the floor to the arch.
The floor of the chancel will not be carpeted. A hard material, probably slate, is to be installed. We plan meanwhile to have a new carpet in the nave.
We hope and expect the members to bear with us and a little inconvenience for a number of weeks, eagerly anticipating a beautifully finished chancel. We plan to have a grand dedication when all is ready, thanking Almighty God for his bounty toward us.
+ Pastor Eckardt
The chancel and its color scheme:
On each shield in the Great Arch is a symbol of one of the 12 Apostles. Each symbol is different, each being the symbol of a particular apostle. The background of the shields is to be blue, symbolizing all the world to whom the Apostles went. White is the color of purity, and is used to convey the death or person of the Apostle, glorified by the grace of God. Gold is the brilliant color signifying the Apostolic Office, and the great effect of the Gospel the Apostles preached.
The dove to be painted on the back wall symbolizes the descending Holy Spirit.
Christian Freedom concerning the Difference between the Liturgical and Secular Customs of Advent
The season of Advent is unquestionably one of preparation. Secularly, there are lots of things which need to be made ready for the great family gatherings at Christmas. Liturgically, the preparations are of a different nature altogether. Thus it happens that we are of necessity bound, as it were, to two different worlds during December. (cont. next page)
(from prev. page) As Advent comes prior to Christmas it has been understood since its first appearance in the church calendars as a period of penitential preparation for the great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. As Easter has its Lenten fast, so Christmas (which is of later origin liturgically) ought to have its fast as well. The fast of Advent is not as profound as Lent, even as the period of preparation is not as long.
(Interestingly, some historians do see evidence that there was once a seven week season of Advent, and a look at the historic propers for the last three weeks of the Trinity season seems to bear this out. It can readily be seen that the overall theme for all seven Sundays before Christmas—those of Advent and those of the end of the church year—is the same, that of the return of Christ in glory.)
The Advent season is not as profound a season of penitence, liturgically speaking, as Lent, due primarily to the fact that Easter is an older feast than Christmas, and that Christmas remains second in order of liturgical significance to Easter.
This is coincidentally a bit helpful when it comes to our points of contact with popular culture.
Inasmuch as fasting is something freely entered, and not by constraint, it is of course a matter of Christian freedom. Yet we do not wish to diminish hereby its importance. Most people do not even know that Advent is historically a season of fasting, although less profound than Lent. The Advent fast is part of the penitential preparations we enter for the coming of Christ—most especially for His coming in glory at the last Day.
But what are we to do, when liturgically we are called to fast, but culturally we are expected—and may even have a strong desire—to participate in one of the remaining notably Christian vestiges of societal norms without damaging consciences which have us wondering whether we are doing something wrong by engaging in Christmas activities before Christmas?
Our culture is inundated with Christmas customs which, secularly speaking, place the ‘celebrations’ of Christmas throughout the season of Advent, a phenomenon quite unlike the season predating Easter. Some like to insist that Christians should have nothing whatever to do with cultural phenomena which are at odds with our liturgical tradition, and so to shun all Christmas celebrations until Christmas Eve is upon us, rather as if we had to reenact the very life of Ebenezer Scrooge, suddenly changing at Christmas.
We prefer, on the contrary, to make careful distinctions. If certain cultural phenomena are not harmful to the Faith, we have no objections. Certainly we ought not cry Bah, humbug! at the decorations of shopping centers during Advent, or Christmas decorations at our homes prior to December 25th.. Yes, it is very worldly. So is the Incarnation, I recall: God became flesh. And as far as the customs surrounding Santa Claus, we will do well to consider that the feast day of St. Nicholas—who was known among other things for the giving of gifts—happens to be December 6.
It is when we speak of what happens during Mass that we prefer to make certain restrictions. These liturgical restrictions are not made to condemn, but to help our true Advent preparations, which after all are not merely looking forward to Christmas, but to the coming of Christ in glory. The only proper preparation for this is Christian penitence, sorrow for sin, confession of sin, and reception of Holy Absolution. Therefore it is laudable to require that the season liturgically ought to be a penitential season (hence the purple color). No Christmas carols are sung at Mass until Christmas itself, even as we also omit certain other parts of the liturgy. But it is not necessary on the other hand to refrain from singing Christmas carols at secular or social gatherings until Christmas; Christians are and ought to be free in such matters.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Caroling and Party Dec. 12
We plan to go caroling on Wednesday, December 12th. Meet at the church at 5 p.m. We will visit some shut-ins, and end up at the church for Mass at 7. Afterwards all are invited to the Eckardts’ annual Christmas Party at their home.
As usual, we will hold three different Christ Masses this year: the first will be on Christmas Eve at 7:00; the second will follow at Midnight; and the third will be Christmas morning at 10:00.
New Year’s Mass:New Year’s Eve mass is 7 pm.
First Tuesday Meetings Dec. 4
On Tuesday, December 5th, Altar Guild meets as usual at 6 pm, and Elders at 7:15 pm. Between them we will hold vespers at 6:45 pm. All members invited.
Mary Hamilton at home; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield Home in Williamsfield; Emilie Ricknell at home; Dick Melchin at Hammond Henry Extended Care in Geneseo; Bea Harris at home; Joyce Long at home.
Special Masses Wednesdays
St. Andrew’s Day (November 30th) will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass on Wednesday the 28th of November.
St. Nicholas’ Day (December 6th ) will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass on Wednesday December 5th.
St. Lucia’s Day (December 13th ) will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass on Wednesday December 12th.
St. Thomas’ Day (December 21st) will be celebrated at our 7 p.m. mass on Wednesday the 19th.
St. Stephen’s Day is December 26th, the day after Christmas; since it is on a Wednesday, we will observe it at our midweek mass.
Members are invited to make an extra effort to attend these services as part of your Advent preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas, at the End of the World, and at the Altar.
Decorating During Advent
As is our custom, we decorate little by little during Advent, until finally all is complete for Christmas. This year, due to our renovation, we will be decorating the gym where our worship is being held. Since there is a chance we will have the church ready for Christmas, we may be moving the decorations there. Help put up the tree Saturday, Dec. 1st!
12/13 Jim and Carol Watson
Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells, Jim Hornback in reserve.
12/11 Kris Harden
12/13 Michael Eckardt
12/23 James Armstrong
The Bell Tolls
On the last Sunday of the year, we customarily toll the bell at prayers for each member of our parish who has died during the year. We remember this year one member who fell asleep in Christ:
Epiphany Seminar and Celebration, Saturday, January 5th, 2019
A day of reflection is planned for Epiphany Day, Saturday, January 6th, 2018. To open the seminar we will have mass at 9:00 in the morning. A seminar will follow. Here is the schedule:
9:00 a.m. Mass: the twelfth day of Chistmas
10:00 a.m. - noon Seminar (day of reflection):
The eighteenth retreat in the Theological Reflection series is entitled,
“THE OTHER EMMAUS DISCIPLE”
Who is the other disciple on the Emmaus Road (St. Luke 24)? Only one of them is named: Cleopas. There has been a long debate over the other’s identity. This seminar lays out an argument he must be Peter. But does the Evangelist’s report seem ambiguous? This will all be discussed and addressed.
In Our Prayers
Our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following. Anyone wishing to update the list by addition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.
in our parish:
Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Mary Hamilton, Emmy Wear, Sue Murphy, Don Murphy, Joyce Long, Dick Melchin , DeAnne Anderson , Bea Harris, Allan Kraklow
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Katy Rutovicz [granddaughter of Harrises]
Jodi Rutowicz [daughter of Harrises]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Dick Heiden [Carol Eckardt’s father]
Pastor Kenneth Wegener
Elizabeth Godke, Sharon Field’s mother
Brandt and Oneda Hendrickson [Ricknells’ relatives]
Teresa Robertson [Carol Eckardt’s niece]
Helen Woods [Sue Murphy’s sister]
Janice Hart [Judy Thompson’s sister]
Ken Hart [Judy Thompson’s brother-in-law]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknells’ grandson]
Dennis Hoag, [Adam Shreck’s father-in-law]
Greyson Dana Gilbert [McReynolds]
Shawn Golden [Jim Watson’s son-in-law, heart trouble]
in the military:
Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells]
Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts]
Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin]
Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]
Traven Wetzel [at request of Kris Harden]
Eli Wetzel [at request of Kris Harden]
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
any unborn children in danger of abortion; victims of California wildfires; those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and elsewhere
Altar Guild Notes
Advent does not begin until the first weekend in December. The four Advent Sundays’ color is violet. If roses are obtained, they may be placed on the Third Sunday in Advent, December 16th.
For midweek masses, the color varies:
November 28th: red, for St. Andrew
December 5th: white, for St. Nicholas.
December 12th: red, for St. Lucia.
December 19st: red, for St. Thomas
For Christmas Eve, the first Mass is at 7 p.m., and the color is white. The three Christ Masses will be held as usual, 7 pm Christmas Eve, 12 midnight, and 10 am Christmas Day. Color is white for all three.
St. Stephen’s Day is Wednesday evening, December 27th: Color is red.
The Sunday after Christmas is observed on Sunday morning the 30th. Color is white.
New Year’s Eve mass is held at 7 pm on the 31st. Color is white, and remains white in January.
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443