Tag Archives: The Litany

Our Savior Parrish News, March, 2022


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
March, 2022


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The beginning of this month brings the beginning of the holy season of Lent. On Ash Wednesday there will as usual be Divine Service with the imposition of ashes. The ashes are an expression of sorrow for sin and are a sign of our mortality: “You are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

Lenten Vespers will be held at 7:30 PM every Wednesday until Holy Week. This year the meditations will be based on the Passion of our Lord according to Saint Luke:

March 9 – Christ in Gethsemane
March 16 – Christ before Caiaphas
March 23 – Christ before Herod
March 30 – Christ before Pilate
April 6 – The Way to Calvary

We will as always use the Order of Vespers which is the Church’s liturgy for daily evening prayer. And we will pray the Litany, a prayer which comes to us from the ancient Church, and of which Dr. Luther said that it is “next to the holy Lord’s Prayer the very best that has come to earth.” It was in view of the looming threat to Europe of invasion by the Turks in the year 1529 that he translated the Litany into German and urged its use in churches. It has been said that in praying the Litany we can turn to the whole world, Christian and otherwise, and say, “This is how we pray, this is how we are taught to think of life and death, of God and man.” In a word, the Litany is one of the treasures of the Church. And how timely are its petitions: “From pestilence and famine, from war and bloodshed, good Lord, deliver us”!

We will be having our soup suppers on the last four Wednesdays in Lent: March 16, 23, 30, and April 6. At these suppers we always have an offering which is used to provide gifts for needy neighbors at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 13th. Be sure to put your clocks forward one hour.

Order envelopes for Easter Lilies are on the table in the back of the church. As with many items, the price has gone up to $15 for each plant. Remember to fill out the form to honor a loved one and return to Judy Volkman by April 10th, Palm Sunday.

Pastor Gary Fisher’s family recently informed me that they still intend to have a memorial service for him this spring. I am happy to be able to report that the work on the restoration of the bells is nearing completion. Be sure to read the Historic Preservation Update concerning the waterproofing of the undercroft at the end of this newsletter. The Church Council continues to address these problems.

Please continue to remember in prayer 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. During a recent visit with Maggie Doswell, she told me how grateful she is that members of Our Saviour keep in touch with her. She remains at Cadia HealthCare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell was recently hospitalized but has now returned to Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

I continue to bring Holy Communion to members who are unable to come to church. If you want me to visit and bring you the Sacrament, never hesitate to call me at (410) 554–9994 or to email me at charlesmcclean42@gmail.com. If you are in need of transportation to church, do not hesitate to contact me; I will be glad to make arrangements for that purpose.

We naturally pray for our families and friends and for our fellow members at Our Saviour. It goes without saying that we also continue to pray for those who govern our city, our state, our nation, and indeed all the nations of the world. It was Saint Paul who wrote, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (I Timothy 2:1,2). We of course do just that in the general prayer of the Church at every Divine Service, but we must be faithful intercessors also in our own personal prayers throughout the week. If you find yourself at a loss for words, not knowing what to pray for, you might consider a suggestion once given me by an older and wiser friend. She urged me in such circumstances to pray repeatedly, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

Let us make good use of the Lenten season that now begins! God does not need Lent. We poor mortal sinners do.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean


Waterproofing the undercroft: Rainwater in the undercroft has been a problem for many years; thus a French drain system was installed in the undercroft last week. During the installation the kitchen cabinets were removed; as they were too water damaged to be reinstalled, we are looking into installing new cabinets/countertops. The contractor has also given us quotes to replace the tile floor in the undercroft and paint the walls.

—Mary Techau


Our own Pastor McClean is turning 80 on March 26. In honor of this event, Our Saviour is having a celebration for him on March 27. We will have a guest preacher for Divine Service that day (11:00 AM), the Rev. Brian Westgate of Redeemer Church in Oakmont, PA. Pastor Westgate has served each year as the organist for the St. Mark’s Conference. We will also have a brunch immediately following the service. If you are able to attend, please either call the church office ((410) 235–9553) and leave a message or sign up on the sheet on the piano by March 15 so we can properly prepare for the amount of food that we will need.

—Paul Techau, Council President

Reminiscere (2016)


February 21, 2016 AD

Old Testament: Genesis 32:22-32

Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

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.

From the Gospel for this the second Sunday in Lent:

“But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help!’ And He answered, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, “O woman great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.” – Saint Matthew 15:25-28

It’s often been said that we Christians learn more from the hymns we sing than from the sermons we hear. Well that’s of course a humbling thought for preachers like me, but I happen to believe it’s true. We Christians learn more from the hymns we sing than from the sermons we hear. So if you remember nothing else of what I say this morning, remember these words of a hymn which I believe wonderfully expresses the teaching of the Gospel for this second Sunday in the Lent. Speaking of the Savior the hymn-writer says:

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
   On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
   All other ground is sinking sand.

“When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace.” And you might well say that in the gospel just read darkness does veil Christ’s lovely face; in fact you might say that we see a stern and unfamiliar Jesus.

After a confrontation with the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees— the religious establishment of Jesus’ day— Jesus leaves the familiar neighborhood of Galilee and withdraws to the Gentile territory of Tyre and Sidon. And there a Canaanite woman, not a Jew but a Gentile, comes and pleads for Jesus’ help. To the Jews this Canaanite woman is a nobody and on top of that has a daughter “severely possessed by a demon.”

And yet this Canaanite woman comes to Jesus, no doubt having heard of Him through the crowds which not only heard Him but also witnessed His healing of those who were sick and troubled. She addresses Him as “Lord,” and “Son of David,” as the long-awaited Messiah and Savior. “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.”

But Jesus doesn’t say anything in response to her plea, and His disciples urge Him to get rid of this nuisance! Jesus says, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the Gentile woman doesn’t give up but comes and kneels at Jesus’ feet saying, “Lord, help me!” And Jesus replies: “It is not fair to take the children’s bread”— meaning the Jews’ bread— “and throw it to the dogs”— meaning the Gentiles, like this Canaanite woman. But the woman still doesn’t give up! “When darkness veils His lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace…” She speaks words of astonishing faith and humility: She replies, “Yes, Lord”— she doesn’t contradict Jesus— “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” As if to say, “Well as a Canaanite and not a Jew, I’m not much, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Such humility. Such faith in Jesus. And Jesus replies, “O woman, great is your faith!” and her daughter was instantly.

So what is Jesus teaching us here?

First of all, we learn that we must expect times in our lives when God seems strange, distant, when He seems to be indifferent to our plight and our cries for help. So it was with this Canaanite woman and such is the experience of every Christian. In such times God is teaching us to trust Him— no matter what! One thinks of the words of the much-afflicted Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

The second thing we learn here is that God never fails to answer our prayers in His time and in His way, even when we seem to be waiting for an answer for months and even years on end. He alone knows what is best for you and for me, and He also knows that at times carefree, happy days can be the greatest danger of all, as we then so often forget Him. And that is why in the ancient Litany, which Dr. Luther held to be the best prayer on earth after the Lord’s Prayer, the Church prays that God would deliver us not only “in all time of our tribulation” but also “in all time of our prosperity.”

Finally, the sufferings we Christians in fact endure are not punishment, because Jesus on the cross bore all the punishment we by our sins have deserved. Yes, we do indeed experience the painful consequences of our sins, but this is not punishment but rather a way in which a merciful Lord permits us to experience sin’s painful consequences so that we may turn from them and live.

“When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace.” Even when the face of Jesus seems stern and strange, it is still always the face once crowned with thorns out of love for you and for me and for every child of Adam’s lost and fallen race. No one could see God’s love in that crucified body, that thorn-crowned face, but there most clearly God’s heart of love is revealed. And there can be no greater proof of His forgiving love than the gift He now gives us at this altar— the truly present body which once hung on Calvary’s cross, and the out-poured blood received under the outward appearances of the consecrated bread and wine. Here truly we taste the goodness of the Lord!

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
   On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
   All other ground is sinking sand.

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