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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tears and Seeds

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
18 April 2019

We began this most holy week of the year with the procession of palms, welcoming the entry of Our Lord into His earthly home.  But our work week began with the heart-wrenching news and images of the partial destruction of the Cathedral de Notre Dame in Paris, a soon nine centuries old testimony to holiness and to French identity, which has become a part of the patrimony of what was erstwhile defined as Western Civilization. See .
I will confess to shedding not a few tears.  My reaction was akin to that experienced on receiving the news of the loss of a dear friend or a family member.  My personal experience of this cathedral as a place of holiness, as a place of witness, and as lying at the core of whatever we may define (in terms not just of a nation state) as France, resulted in my experiencing real loss in looking upon the burning.  More interestingly, the loss of a such a center of holiness and culture has called forth a response among many with no personal experience of Notre Dame.  The Parisians witnessed gathering, and those offering prayers and hymns, included not only those identified as Christians.  More than 33% of the residents of France identify themselves as having no faith, but something in the spectacle of loss brought people together in ways we got a brief taste of in how we mutually experienced the shock of the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001.
As humans we long for what is permanent, because regardless of what we may say about eternity, our very being testifies to the reality that we are made for eternity.  This testimony results in people of no faith at all continually seeking, “looking for answers”.  This testimony flies in the face of the daily small losses in cultural patrimony we must suffer from those around us who continually claim that all language and culture is no more than a reflection of power structures, and that what we yearn for is in fact somehow “relative”.
If it’s all just “relative” why do we mourn loss?  A shocking loss, like what we have witnessed in the partial destruction of Notre Dame, evokes real response.  As of the date of this writing (24 hrs. after the fire) more than one billion million dollars has been pledged by private donors to rebuild the cathedral.  We respond to a big loss because we are shocked, but in this most holy week, as we participate in the way of the cross, and come to relive that in Jesus’ triumph over the dominion of sin and death we too triumph over loss and destruction, let us re-tune our senses to notice the daily little losses, and to testify against them.
As the cathedral burned a crowd gathered nearby, praying the Rosary in chant.  I tuned in when live coverage allowed me to hear the chanting of the ancient prayer Memorare.  Fresh tears from me, but what seeds planted in those witnessing this!  The offering of hearts in prayer is the most eloquent testimony possible against the nihilism of the world.  May our mourning by transformed into joy in our participation in Christ’s victory!

Grace abounds:  Please thank: 

§  Bob and Anne Hanlon, and Jack Britton and Helen Mullison for the Sunday coffee hours.
§  Bobbie May for janitorial help, and for church decoration.
§  Ben Dobey for planting flowers in the columbarium courtyard.
§  All who helped in the parish cleanup day:  Randie and Austin Barrows, Jack Britton, Sutton Cecil, Bev Evans, Claudia Fischer, Bill and Deb Gagin, Edoh and La Htoo, Bobbie May, Kristin Plucar, Elizabeth Schaffenburg, Stuart Schmidt, Mary Snyder, Tom Wright.

Call for Contributions:  If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.

Music this Week:  Palm Sunday (The Sunday of the Passion)
                              Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey, Music Director

Maundy Thursday

Prelude                           Meditation on ‘Ubi caritas’                              Larry Visser
                                      Prelude on Adoro te devote                          Healy Willan
Entrance Hymn 320         “Hail, Zion praise thy Savior, singing”             St. Thomas
Offertory Hymn 315        “Thou who at thy first Eucharist”                          Song 1
Communion Motet           Ave Verum Corpus                                            Plainsong
Communion Hymn 314    “Humbly I adore thee”                                Adoro devote
Procession to the Altar of Repose        
                                      Now my tongue the mystery telling    St. Thomas Aquinas

Good Friday

Veneration of the Cross   Adoramus te Christe                Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
                                      Behold the Lamb of God                               Healy Willan
Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar    
                                      Sing my tongue , the glorious battle Venantius Fortunatus
Easter Vigil

Offertory Anthem            Fanfare: Dextera Domini                    R. Benjamin Dobey
                                      Christus Vincit             Joseph Noyon, arr. Gerre Hancock
Communion Motet           Most glorious Lord of life                        William H. Harris
Communion Hymn  305   “Come risen Lord and deign to be our guest”      Rosedale
Closing Hymn 208         The strife is o’er”                                                 Victory
Postlude                         The triumph is completed
                                      (from the Christmas Oratorio)                          J. S. Bach
          Michael Winkler
          Scott Winkler

Easter Sunday

Prelude                           Organ Concerto in F Major, op 4 no. 5           G. F. Händel
Entrance Hymn 207         “Jesus Christ is Risen today”                        Easter Hymn
Offertory Anthem            Regina Coeli                                                 W. A.Mozart
Communion Motet           Jesus, Sun of Life                                         G. F. Händel
Communion Hymn 174    “At the Lamb’s high feast we sing”                     Salzburg
Closing Hymn 210           “The day of resurrection”                                 Ellacombe
Postlude                         Toccata from the Fifth Symphony       harles-Marie Widor

The String Quartet:
          Robin Petzold, violin
          Katherine Brooks, violin
          Amanda Koch, viola
          Trischa Loebl, cello

Parish Notices:
§  Maundy Thursday Foot Washing Tonight: The Gospel of John (13:1-17) records that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. Jesus urged the disciples to follow his example of generous and humble service. Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet was a live expression of his teaching that "whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all" (Mk 10:43-44). Everyone will have the opportunity to have their feet washed and to wash someone else’s; please wear socks and shoes that are easily removed.
§  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 on April 18 and concluding Friday, April 19 as the Good Friday Liturgy begins. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex; more than one person may sign up for any given hour.
§  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 Good Friday will go to support the church efforts in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East. Please be generous as you are able.
§  Easter Vigil-The Holy Noise: It is an ancient custom that parishioners bring bells from home to make Holy Noise during the singing of the Gloria in exclesis at the Easter Vigil. This is to symbolize the waking of the dead in Christ because of His resurrection, as well as the proclamation to the entire world that Christ is risen from the dead.
§  Easter Vigil Dinner: The first Mass of the Resurrection is on Saturday, April 20 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 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. There are scholarships for anyone wishing to attend but are challenged by the cost. A final head count has been requested by tomorrow, Monday, April 15.
§  Easter Gala Reception: We will continue our Easter celebration with a Gala Reception after the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 21. A sign-up sheet is on the Narthex table.
§  Annual Bake and Plant Sale: This annual event takes place, in conjunction with St. Luke United Methodist Church Rummage Sale, on Friday, April 26 (11:00–5:00 p.m.) and Saturday, April 27 (9:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.) We need volunteers to provide baked items, staff tables, set-up and take down. Look for a more detailed list and sign-up sheet in the upcoming weeks.
§  Celebratory Save-the-Date: On Sunday April 28, we come together for ONE MASS at 10:15 as Fr. Karl celebrates his final service as the Rector of Grace Church. A reception lunch will be held after Mass, in St. Nicholas Hall, to show our appreciation for the many years of service by Bill May as our Sexton, as well as celebrating the 7 ½ years of service and friendship by Fr. Karl and Elizabeth Schaffenburg. For more information or if you have questions, contact the Parish Office.

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