3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
Mid-Week Lenten Vespers
Wednesdays, 7:30 PM
Soup Suppers 6:30 PM
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At this year’s Lenten Vespers we are meditating on the Passion of our Lord according to Saint Mark. He was not himself an eyewitness of these events, but from earliest times it has been understood that Mark’s Gospel is based on the teaching of Saint Peter, who was an eyewitness. Typical of the witness of the early church fathers is that of Saint Irenaeus who wrote: “After the death of Peter and Paul, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us the things preached by Peter.” So as we listen to the Gospel according to Saint Mark we are hearing the voice of Saint Peter.
Remember that Lenten Vespers at 7:30 each Wednesday is preceded by a soup supper at 6:30. Donations at the soup suppers will be used to purchase Thanksgiving and Christmas ALDI gift certificates for needy families connected with the Waverly School.
Several weeks ago, in his weekly message to the people of Immanuel Church in Alexandria, Pastor Esget called their attention to two prayers which can be used in our private devotions during Lent. One is the Lenten prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, a theologian and hymn writer who lived during the 4th century:
O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant.
Yes, O Lord and King,
Help me to see my own faults and not judge my neighbor,
For You are blessed unto the ages of ages.
The other is the church’s Collect—the appointed prayer—for Ash Wednesday which was written by Thomas Cranmer in 1549 for the first Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England. This prayer came into use among English-speaking Lutherans here in America in the late 19th century. The service books of our Synod at one time directed its use throughout the season of Lent.
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that Thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Both these prayers are so rich in content that they also provide much food for meditation during the Lenten season.
With Easter little more than a month away, it is time to order the Easter lilies. Each plant costs $16.00. Be sure to include with your check the names of those you wish to honor or remember. The deadline for ordering the lilies is Palm Sunday, April 2. Envelopes are available at church.
At the end of this newsletter you will find the schedule of our Holy Week services. It is not a minute too soon to make plans to attend these services in which we remember and celebrate our Savior’s passion, death and resurrection, the foundation of our faith as Christians. In truth this is the heart of the Christian Year. Is it too much to expect that Christians will join in the services of these great holy days?
Some necessary work will be done on the organ beginning Monday, March 6. That means that we will not be able to use the organ for several weeks. In the meantime we will use the piano, which has recently been tuned. The work will be completed before the beginning of Holy Week.
I am grateful that the pastor’s study has gotten some long needed attention. There has been some water damage which predates my arrival here in May 2013. That has now been repaired and the study given a fresh coat of paint. Jean West put us in touch with Rafael Montoya who has done a splendid job for a very reasonable price.
Let us continue to remember in prayer: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Jean West, Wayne West. Maggie Doswell remains at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782; Yolanda Ford at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Drive, Pikesville, MD 21208; Queenie Hardaway at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207. It is now possible to visit them; cards are always welcome.
Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 12. Remember to set your clocks forward by one hour: “Spring forward, Fall back.”
Please remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry. I am sure we all realize that the need remains very great. And remember to bring personal care items for the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for these works of mercy can be found just inside the door from the parking lot north of the church.
The Sunday morning Bible Class is continuing its study of the First Epistle of Peter. The Christians Peter addressed were suffering because of their faith. Come join us at 9:45 AM! Questions are very welcome.
If you are sick or wish to talk with me or bring you the Sacrament, do not hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lent was anciently the time when candidates were prepared for Holy Baptism at Easter. At your baptism (and again at your confirmation) you promised to be faithful to the triune God by walking in conformity to the will of God, being sustained by faithful use of the means of grace: by listening to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word and by the Holy Sacrament. Ask yourself: Have I been faithful to the promises made at my baptism and confirmation or am I negligent, even indifferent to God’s gracious gifts in His Word and Sacrament? There is also this. As a baptized Christian, you are a member of Christ’s mystical body, the Church, and therefore have an obligation to your fellow members, not least by encouraging them by your presence at Divine Service on the Lord’s Day. When you needlessly absent yourself from the Divine Service, you not only sin against God but also against your fellow Christians. Lent is especially a time for repentance, for new beginnings. Think on these things! Says the psalmist, “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8).
Affectionately in our Lord,
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER 2023
Palm Sunday—Distribution of Palms, Procession and Divine Service; 11:00 AM
Maundy Thursday—Divine Service and Stripping of the Altar; 7:30 PM
Good Friday—Liturgy of Good Friday; 7:30 PM
EASTER EVE—The Easter Vigil and first Eucharist of Easter; 7:30 PM
EASTER DAY—Festival Divine Service; 11:00 AM. Bible Class will not meet.