Tag Archives: Pre-Lent

Our Saviour Parish News, January, 2024


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
January, 2024

New Year’s Day: The Circumcision and Name of Jesus –
Divine Service, 10:00 A.M.
Eve Of The Epiphany Of Our Lord, Friday, January 5th
Divine Service, 7:30 P.M.
Epiphany Choral Vespers in celebration of the new organ console, Sunday, January 21, at 4:00 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although the world more or less ends its celebration of Christmas on Christmas Day, the Church continues to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas which conclude on January 5th, “Twelfth Night,” the Eve of the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord. Epiphany has often been called the “Christmas of the Gentiles” because the wise men were the first Gentiles to worship the Christ Child and offer Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. As the poet Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (A.D. 348-413) says in his Epiphany hymn:

Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh his sepulcher foreshows.

As the magi offered frankincense to the Savior, so we will offer incense – pure frankincense – at our Epiphany celebration; and we will sing those familiar carols which speak of the journey of the wise men and of their gifts: The First Nowell, What Child is This, and We Three Kings of Orient Are. The celebration of the Epiphany of our Lord is a joyful way to bring our annual celebration of Christ’s coming into this world to its happy conclusion.

The Rev. Philip Jaseph will be installed as the ninth  pastor of  Martini Church at Hanover and Henrietta Streets on Saturday, January 6th at 10:00 A.M. Please let me know if you plan on staying for the reception that follows. Call me at (410)554-9994 or email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

On Sunday, January 21st, at 4:00 P.M. there will be a Choral Vespers in celebration of our new organ console which on October 22 was dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Joseph Silver. Mr. Silver served faithfully as president of Our Saviour congregation for a number of years and held other offices in the church as well as serving as our sexton. The Choral Vespers will celebrate the Epiphany season in which we celebrate Christ’s manifestation of His deity in the guiding star and the worship of the magi, in His baptism and in His changing of water into wine at the marriage in Cana,  and in His glorious transfiguration. Our guest organist for this service is Cameron Kuzepski who is the principal organist at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen here in Baltimore. He studied organ and piano at the Peabody Conservatory, attended the Juilliard School of music’s pre-college division, has studied orchestral conducting in Bulgaria with the International Musicians Academy and the Vidin Sinfonietta, and participated in an internship with the Netherlands Bach Society in Utrecht, Holland. Do plan on attending this Choral Vespers and invite your friends! A reception will follow the service.

The January Voters Meeting will be held following Divine Service on January 28th. Every member of Our Saviour, eighteen and older, is eligible to participate in this congregational meeting.

Because Easter is early this year (March 31st)  the Christmas Cycle of the Church Year – Advent, Christmas, Epiphany – ends with the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Sunday, January 21st, and the Easter Cycle – Pre-Lent, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost – begins with Septuagesima Sunday on January 28th. The Latin names of the three pre-Lenten Sundays – Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima – tell us that it is approximately 70, 60, and 50 days until Easter. This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th – which is also Saint Valentine’s Day!

Please do not forget our on-going support of the GEDCO Food Pantry and of the Helping Up Mission. The need remains so great!

Thanks to the generosity of our members we were able to provide thirteen $40 Aldi gift certificates to needy families connected with the Waverly School at Thanksgiving and thirteen $100 gift certificates at Christmas.

Sherry James, the daughter of Eugene James, has been hospitalized since before Christmas Day. Remember her in your prayers, also Bridget Bauman, James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Timothy Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Steve and Joyce Eaves, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Marian Rollins, Elaine Schwab, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson, Marvalisa Sierra, Jonathan and Steven Gibson. Helen Gray remains at Keswick Multi-Care Center, 700 W. 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 700 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I am writing these lines on December 28th which in the calendar of the Church Year is the Holy Innocents Day when we remember the infants slaughtered by King Herod in his vain attempt to destroy the infant Savior. How sad it is that the slaughter of innocent children continues in our own day! It goes without saying that as disciples of Him who is the Prince of Peace we Christians will pray fervently for peace throughout the world, especially in Ukraine and in the Holy Land. Every life is precious to Him who is the Maker and Redeemer of the whole world. And so let us turn to Him who “makes wars cease to the end of the earth” (Psalm 46:9). The late Rev. Dr. Alfred Fuerbringer, who for many years was like his father Ludwig the president of our Synod’s Saint Louis Seminary, noted that during the First World War the congregation of Trinity Church in Saint Louis – the “mother church” of our Synod – at the end of every service sang the ancient prayer for peace which Dr. Luther had translated and which now is found in our hymnal (777. 778):

Grant peace, we pray, in mercy, Lord; Peace in our time, O send us!
For there is none on earth but You, none other to defend us.
You only, Lord, can fight for us. Amen.

Let me conclude this letter by thanking you for your Christmas cards and gifts and by reminding you of the blessing and privilege that is ours as Christians: that every Lord’s Day the God of great mercy is present for us through the preaching of His holy Word and in the Sacrament of our Lord’s true body and blood. The Lord of Mercy graciously invites you. How will you respond?

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean

Our Saviour Parrish News, February, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
February, 2022


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This coming Sunday, February 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord which is both the last Sunday after Epiphany and the last Sunday of the Christmas cycle of the Church Year, which consists of the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. At the Divine Service on the morning of Christmas Day we always hear the wonderful prologue of Saint John’s Gospel (John 1:1–14) which ends with these words: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The transfiguration was that moment in the Savior’s life when the apostles Peter, James, and John beheld the glory Christ had with the Father from all eternity, the presence with Him of Moses and Elijah showing that He is the One to whom all the prophets bore witness (Acts 10:43). In the reading of both the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures in the Divine Service, the prophets and apostles continue to bear witness to Him who then comes to us in His glorified Body and Blood. On the mountain of transfiguration Saint Peter cried out, “Lord, it is good that we are here!” (Matthew 17:4)—and so can we when on the Lord’s Day we hear His holy Word and receive Him in the holy Sacrament!

By now you will have heard of the passing of our dear brother in Christ, Joseph Silver, who fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, January 5. His funeral was held in church on Friday, January 14. The burial took place at the Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery on Wednesday, January 19. He was much loved and loving. He loved this church, serving here in several capacities. He served on the Church Council, was President of the congregation, and served as a Reader and as Sexton. As long as he was able to do so, he was present in the Lord’s house every Lord’s Day. He was in so many ways an example to us all. May the Light perpetual shine upon him and may our heavenly Father comfort his dear wife Julia, his family, and all who mourn his departure with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. Copies of the Obituary folder are still available at church and provide a wonderful picture of his life.

The COVID pandemic continues to be with us. I wish to thank Paul Techau for leading the service on Sunday, January 16, when I was confined to my home with COVID. I am very grateful that my symptoms were quite mild which no doubt had something to do with the fact that I had received all three vaccinations. A number of our members and friends have gotten this virus but—to the best of my knowledge—for more than a year now no one has been hospitalized. For that we clearly must be grateful! We continue in prayer for everyone affected, for all our medical personnel and for those who are searching for effective medications and preventive measures. None of this is easy.

Lessons in patience continue. Be sure to read the Historic Preservation Update at the end of this newsletter. We continue to owe Mary Techau a tremendous debt of gratitude for her tireless efforts to make all of this happen. Thank you, Mary!

We have recently received several generous gifts from friends of Our Saviour, and for that too we are most grateful.

A date has yet to be set for the memorial service for Pastor Gary Fisher.

We continue to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Julia Silver, Lawrence Smallwood, Wally Techau, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell continues to recover at the Cadia Health Care, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 20782. Louis Bell is at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. In addition to remembering them in prayer, sending cards is a good way to express our love and concern.

I continue to bring the Holy Sacrament to those who are unable to be present in church. Believe me when I say that I am always glad to visit members confined to their homes and bring Holy Communion to them. You need only call me at (410) 554–9994 or e-mail me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com.

The last three Sundays in February are the Sundays of Pre Lent, when the Church prepares for the Lenten season which this year begins on March 2nd. We will as usual have the Wednesday Lenten Vespers. Depending on circumstances, we may also have our Lenten soup suppers as well.

Please remember me in your prayers; you are in mine.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Bell Update: New “bell strikers” have been mounted for each of the 18 bells and some electrical work has been completed. We are working with McShane and an electrician to complete the work. The process is taking longer than anticipated but we know we will have the bells working again.

Water in the undercroft: We have secured a bid to install a “French-drain” system in the undercroft using the money we received from the state. A contractor has been hired and we hope the work will be completed over the next few months.

—Mary Techau



February 14, 2021 AD

Old Testament: Isaiah 35: 3-7
Epistle: I Corinthians 13:1-13
Gospel: Luke 18: 31-43

Click here to listen and subscribe to Pastor McClean’s sermons on iTunes.

Listen to the service:



January 31, 2021 AD

Old Testament: Exodus 17: 1-7
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5
Gospel: Matthew 20: 1-16

Click here to listen and subscribe to Pastor McClean’s sermons on iTunes.

Listen to the service:

Quinquagesima (2016)


February 7, 2016 AD

Old Testament: Isaiah 35:3-7

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Gospel: Luke 18:31-43

Click here to listen and subscribe to Pastor McClean’s sermons on iTunes.

Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Jesus stood still and commanded [the blind beggar] to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, that I may receive my sight.'” – St. Luke 18:40, 41

Although many of us have difficulty with our eyesight from time to time, I doubt that any of us can have any real sense of what it’s like to be blind. But we can perhaps at least imagine the desperation of the blind beggar in today’s Gospel, no doubt reduced to begging by his blindness. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” he cries out and keeps on crying out despite all the efforts of the crowd to silence him. Jesus commands the people to bring him to Him and asks, “What do you want me to do for you?. . .Lord, let me receive my sight!” And Jesus then says, “Receive your sight, your faith has made you well!” In His compassion our Lord restores his sight and he follows Jesus on the way to Jerusalem.

Now that blind beggar’s prayer; “Lord, let me receive my sight” must be your prayer and mine as well. For although we’re not literally blind, we’re blind in a far deeper sense: blind to the love and the will of our Maker. For if we really saw God clearly, our hearts would be continually overflowing with peace and joy. But since they are not, we too need to pray with that blind beggar, “Lord, let me receive my sight!”

The trouble is that, instead of clearly seeing the love and the will of God, we’re distracted: we see all kinds of other things instead. And you have to be careful about what you see!

Now I happen to have a dear friend in another part of the country who’s struggled with depression all his life. But his depression isn’t helped by what he chooses daily to see. Not content with looking at one or two news reports, he tends to keep watching the news all day long! And that, I submit, is enough to depress even the most cheerfully disposed person! And then there are those of us who are tempted to spend our time constantly following the latest scandals and tragedies in the Church and in the world— or even worse, materials not fit for human consumption, let alone for any Christian trying to follow the holy Jesus who said, “Blessed are the pure in heart…” You have to be careful about what you see!

Now we are naïve if we think this is a small matter of no consequence, if we fail to realize that Satan uses all of this to blind and confuse and alienate us from the life of God. For the more careless we are about what we choose to see, the greater the danger of being plunged ever deeper into spiritual confusion and darkness. You have to be careful about what you see!

Lent begins this Wednesday. And what is Lent for if not that time of year when, more than at any other time, we in fact gaze on Jesus? Lent in fact is all about seeing: about seeing ourselves as we are and our Maker as He is.

It’s a time for seeing ourselves as we in fact are: not as we’d like to be, nor yet as we fancy ourselves to be, but as we in painful fact are. Honest and thorough self-examination in the light of God’s Word written should quickly dispel any illusions we might have. For example, just how well do you and I measure up in the light of Saint Paul’s great hymn to love as we heard it in the Epistle for this Sunday?

“Love is patient; love is kind, and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish; not quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs, does not gloat over other people’s sins, but delights in the truth.”

Yes, in self-examination and in confession we see ourselves as we truly are.

But then in the word of pardon spoken by the pastor, whom God has put there to do just that, we see God as He truly is, who knows us better than we know ourselves yet loves us still; we see Jesus the crucified and risen Friend of sinners. And what else is the Sacrament we receive this day but the means whereby we see: see the love which brought the eternal Son of God to the shameful cross to cleanse us through His precious blood and make us His?

You have to be careful about what you see! “Lord, let me receive my sight.” In the wonderful Epistle for this Last Sunday before Lent, Saint Paul says, “Now”— in this life— “we see through a glass darkly, but then”— in heaven— “face to face.” And Saint John says of the redeemed in heaven: “His servants shall worship Him for they shall see His face.” But for now,

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind—
Yea all I need in Thee to find,
     O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

And the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. +Amen.