Grace Episcopal Church
29 March 2012
Today is the feast of Bl. John Keble. Last week we noted, in reflecting on the role of Bl. James DeKoven in bringing a sacramental focus to worship in parts of The Episcopal Church, how very much this parish lives as a direct heir of DeKoven’s ministry and churchmanship. This inheritance extends far back, indeed, but the beginning of the so-called Oxford Movement is conventionally defined by historians to be the preaching by John Keble (long “e”) of his “Assizes Sermon” on 14 July 1833. Keble preached to the assembled judiciary of Oxford at the opening of the term of court (the assizes) a sermon entitle “National Apostasy,” in which he denounced how in the England of his day the Church had come to be treated as (and generally act like) a societal institution, rather than as the Body of Christ and the prophetic voice of God.
There are many today who argue that the Church is often not faithful to her calling and identity, and much of what Keble had to say still rings true, but Keble can also be considered to be the patron of those who seek to serve God despite a popular move to accommodate to the world, for Keble famously stated words to the effect, “Though the Church may be unfaithful throughout the land, yet shall she remain faithful in this place.”
Consider your own faith, and how your faith is lived in this Body. Each one of us can point to developments in the Church (as well as the world!) with which we disagree. Each one of us can imagine the Church taking a direction that has or would make us uncomfortable. But we live into our calling to be Christ-centered (as opposed to being focused on any issue or seeking to advance any agenda) in knowing that we shall remain faithful here.
I do not have any particular issue of theology or Church praxis in mind in writing about how we are called to remain faithful. I am not seeking to criticize what others do or do not do in the Church at large (although I believe that there are things worthy of criticism and change). Rather, my point is that our call to remain faithful does not change on the basis of what anyone else does or does not do, or in what they do or do not confess to be truth. And that’s where Christ-centeredness is so important. In physics a force can be referred to as centrifugal (directed away from the center, which we are familiar with from the old game “crack the whip”) or centripetal (directed to the center, as in the force of gravity on earth). When Christ is our center and our focus, the energy we expend in living into our Christian vocation is centripetal. Agendas and issue-orientation are centrifugal, but we are called to focus on Christ, and by doing this to ourselves be a centripetal force which draws others to focus on Christ and new life in Christ.
Remain faithful. Live your faith in Jesus, and draw all others to the same.
Thanksgivings: Thanksgivings are offered to Ben Dobey and the Gaudete Brass Quintet for a splendid concert offering this past Sunday, and to Bernie Markevitch for providing a wonderful reception after the concert..
Please take the opportunity to notify the office of any member or friend of the parish to whom we owe thanks, in order that we can publicize this in the weekly newsletter.
Vacation Bible School: VBS will not happen unless we identify a coördinator within the next two weeks. The dates we are exploring for VBS are 11 through 15 June or 25 through 29 June, but VBS will not happen unless we identify a coordinator from this parish. We are exploring a cooperative program with our covenant partners, St. Dominic R.C. Church and St. Peter Lutheran Church, but they only way we can go forward is to identify a person willing to plan and coördinate the effort. If you are willing to do this, please contact the office. a.s.a.p.
Music this week:
Music for Palm Sunday
Blessing of the Palms: Hosanna in the highest Dobey
Processional Hymns: “All glory, laud and honor” and “Ride on, ride on in majesty”
Psalm 22:1-11(responsorial) Chant: Dobey
Tract: Psalm 22:20-26 Plainsong
Offertory Hymn 162 “The royal banners forward go”
Communion Motet Daughters of Zion Mendelssohn
Comm. Hymn 168 “O sacred head now wounded”
Postlude Chor. Prelude on “O sacred head, now wounded” Brahms
Prelude Prelude on ‘Sacramentum Unitatis’ Sowerby
Opening Hymn “Zion, praise thy Savior, singing” (Lauda Sion)
Gloria in excelsis Gregorian Mass X adapt. Wildman
At the Foot Washing: Ubi caritas Durufle
God is love, and where true love is Proulx
Offertory Hymn 315 “Thou, who at thy first Eucharist didst pray”
Communion Motet Ave verum Plainsong
Comm. Hymn 204 “Humbly I adore thee”
Procession to the Altar of Repose:
Hymn 329 “Now, my tongue the mystery telling”
Sung Passion Gospel Plainsong
Veneration of the Cross:
The Reproaches Vittoria
Crux fidelis John of the Cross
Offertory Christus vincit (Christ has conquered) Noyon
Communion Motet Most glorious Lord of Life Harris
Comm. Hymn 305 “Come, risen Lord”
Closing Hymn 208 “The strife is o’er”
Postlude Grand Choeur Dialogue Gigout
Holy Week Schedule:
April 1 8:00 am Palm Sunday Mass
10:15 am Palm Sunday Solemn Mass
April 2 12:10 pm Mass
April 3 11:00 am Chrism Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Fond du Lac
5:30 pm Mass
April 4 5:30 pm Mass
April 5 6:00 pm Maundy Thursday Solemn Mass with foot washing and vigil
April 6 1:00 pm Good Friday
April 7 9:00 am Holy Saturday Liturgy
April 7 7:00 pm Easter Vigil
April 8 8:00 am Easter Mass
10:15 am Easter Solemn Mass and Gala Reception
§ Easter Vigil Dinner: The first Mass of the Resurrection is on Saturday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. The Easter celebration then continues at Trattoria Stefano, 522 South 8th Street, at 9:30 p.m. The actual cost of the meal is a gift to the parish, so you not only get a delicious meal but you help the coffers of the church by purchasing a ticket for the dinner. Tickets can be bought in the parish office or in the narthex after mass for $50 a person. Everyone is invited, but seats are limited. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the cost of the ticket by speaking to Father Schaffenburg. Monday April 2 is the deadline. Please call the office to reserve your spot and your choice of lamb, fish or pasta for dinner. 452-9659
§ Friday Evenings in Lent: continue with Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm followed by supper and study. We are studying Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
§ Christian Formation: there will be no Christian Formation for adults or children on Easter, April 8th. Christian formation for children will begin on April 15th for all ages. Adult formation will begin April 22nd at 9:00am with a three week offering “History and Exposition of the Creed”.
§ Sacrament of Reconciliation: Lent is a time of self-examination preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered by appointment. Please contact Fr. Schaffenburg, Fr. McQueen or Fr. Okkerse to set up an appointment to make your confession.
§ Maundy Thursday Foot Washing: Everyone will have the opportunity to have their feet washed and to wash someone else’s feet following the example of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. Please wear socks and shoes that are easily removed.
§ Good Friday Offering: Every year since 1922 the church has taken a collection for the Church in the Middle East during Holy Week. This year our loose plate offering on Maundy Thursday will go to support the church efforts in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East. Please be generous as you are able.
§ Vigil before the Altar of Repose: Please sign up to watch and pray for an hour at the Altar of Repose beginning immediately following the Maundy Thursday Mass April 5 and concluding Friday, April 6 as the Good Friday Liturgy begins. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex, more than one person can sign up for any given hour.
§ Easter Gala Reception: We will continue our Easter celebration with a Gala Reception after the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 8th. Please sign up to bring sweets or savories and to help clean up afterwards. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex.
§ First Communion instruction: will begin April 15th for children ages 4-7 who are ready to receive Holy Communion. This is a good refresher for those who already receive and a good introduction for those who may not receive yet. First Communions will take place May 20th during the Bishop’s Visitation.