MAUNDY THURSDAY – DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 P.M.
GOOD FRIDAY – THE LITURGY, 7:30 P.M.
EASTER EVE – THE EASTER VIGIL, 7:30 P.M.
EASTER DAY – FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 P.M.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Once again we stand at the threshold of the yearly celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. Because the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus are the foundation of all our life and hope, this is the very heart of the Christian Year. To participate in the celebration of those mighty acts whereby God in His great love has given us life and immortality is a great privilege and blessing. In addition to the services here at Our Saviour there is also a Tre Ore Good Friday Service from 12:00 noon until 3:00 P.M. at Bethlehem Church, 4815 Hamilton Avenue. It goes without saying that every Christian will wish to be in the Lord’s House on Easter Day so that with repentant and faithful hearts we may receive the body and blood of the risen Lord in the holy Sacrament. With joy we exchange the Easter greeting, “Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!”
But the Church does not celebrate the resurrection for just one day. The celebration continues for the forty days until Ascension Day when our Lord withdrew His visible presence from us and after ten days sent the Holy Spirit to be with His Church for ever. The Paschal – Easter – Candle burns at all services and we continue to sing Easter hymns. The Paschal Candle is a symbol of the risen Lord whose light dispels all darkness. The five red wax nails in the Candle remind us of the scars of nails and spear still to be seen in the body of the risen Savior. The Paschal Candle burns at all services until on Ascension Day it is extinguished following the reading of the Gospel telling of Jesus’ ascension. For the rest of the year the Paschal Candle stands near the baptismal font and is lit for baptisms since baptism is participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-11) It stands by the casket at funerals as a symbol of the hope of the resurrection. Our own Paschal candlestick is beautifully hand carved and is a gift from Pastor and Mrs. Stiemke.
There can be no greater sadness in this life than the death of one we have loved. And so we extend our Christian sympathy to those who mourn the death of Marion Purviance, the mother of Gabe Purviance and wife of Philip, and to Eugene James who mourns the death of his brother Kenneth. Marion’s funeral service was held in church on March 3rd, Kenneth James’s funeral on March 23rd. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon them and may our heavenly Father comfort all who mourn their departure.
On Sunday, April 8th, the sacristy will be rededicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of James Gray who for so many years faithfully cared for the altar of our Church. This will take place at the end of the Divine Service and lunch will follow.
On Sunday, April 22nd, I will be preaching at Martini Church, the Church I grew up in and where I was baptized, confirmed and ordained. Martini is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Chaplain Graham Glover will be the celebrant and preacher here at Our Saviour.
The annual Saint Mark’s Conference takes place on April 23/24. Everyone is welcome to attend. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Eucharist and Church Fellowship.” Information about the Conference can be found at our Church website: oursaviourbaltimore.org/conference
On the first Sunday in May we will begin using our Synod’s new hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. The January Voters Meeting unanimously decided to introduce this book of worship. We have received some very generous gifts toward the cost of these new books but you can still give a hymnal in memory of departed loved ones. The cost of one book is $30.00. Be sure to mark the check for this purpose. The book includes much that is best in the two hymnals we have been using: The Lutheran Hymnal (the “red book”) published in 1941 and Lutheran Worship (the “blue book”) published in 1982. There are also new hymns which will enrich our worship.
Because Confirmation will take place on the third Sunday in May, the spring Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on Sunday, May 6th. Members of Our Savior 18 years and older are eligible to participate.
Dominick and Elijah Carmichael-Myrie and Ted Jones are completing confirmation instruction and will be confirmed on the Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 20th. Pray for these fine young men as they approach their confirmation.
I wish you a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter.
Affectionately in our Lord,
Although the last Soup Supper during Lent was cancelled because of snow, a total of 75 people enjoyed the various dinners by our volunteer cooks. Bernie Knox, Judy Volkman, the Ushers, Quilla Downs, and Mary Techau served up delicious meals. And Helen Gray and her band of cooks stood ready but the weather didn’t allow them to share their goodies! A total of $309.65 was received from the free-will offering and will be used to purchase turkeys and other food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. Many thanks to all who gave of their talents.
– Judy Volkman