The holy season of Lent has burst upon us! And, no doubt you will notice all the liturgical changes which accompany this season. By holy tradition stretching back centuries, statues and crosses are veiled during this season and purple vestments are worn. Purple is the color of waiting and preparation. This is the most dramatic change you will see in the church (with thanks to the Pat Faw, Sandy Miller, and their team who did all the hard word after mass last Sunday).
Another standard liturgical change is the suppression of the A-word, that is, “A*****ia.” It is replaced during the mass by the Lenten Prose, the music for which will be printed in the bulletin. By tradition, one is not even supposed to use the A-word in everyday conversation during Lent nor even write it. But we are Episcopalians and creatures of habit, so I have established an A-basket in the sacristy, like a swear jar, into which people have to put $5 every time they “accidentally” say the A-word during Lent (I already have a list of transgressors from the Ash Wednesday services) and I am not above tricking people into saying it. The proceeds will go to the purchase item for the Sunday School’s Food Drive (details below).
Several other St. Paul’s traditions come into effect as well during this time. We switch to a simplified plainsong mass setting, we will add the Prayer of Humble Access (BCP, p. 337) just before Communion, and this Sunday, Lent I, we will begin mass with The Great Litany in procession. I have also asked Nathan to gradually reduce the volume and character of the preludes and postludes over the course of the season and to eliminate all “extra” organ music altogether. This will bring a considerable amount of silence into the service.
Two liturgical elements that were introduced last Lent are returning again this year. First, mass will begin mass with the Penitential Order (BCP, p. 319) beginning on Lent II, March 17, which includes the recitation of The Ten Commandments; and, secondly, we are again adding the traditional response to the Invitation to Communion. Since I arrived at St. Paul’s, as many of you have noticed and commented upon, I have used the traditional words “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sins of the world” as the Invitation to Communion. These are the words spoken by John the Baptist as he sees Our Lord approaching him for Baptism (John 1:29). For Lent, we are adding the traditional congregational response: “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my soul shall be healed.” This is an adaption of the words spoken by the Centurion in the healing story as told in Matthew. The Centurion, a Gentile, comes to Jesus and asks him to heal his servant, who is sick and dying. When Jesus offers to come to the Centurion’s house, he replies, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8). We, like the servant, are all in need of healing of one kind or another, and at that moment in the mass, we are about to partake of the Lord’s Body, taking him “under our roof.” These words of humility and faith have rung true for many centuries for Christians all over the world. This response, which will be printed in the bulletin, is said three times, each time accompanied by tapping your chest above your heart with your closed hand as a sign of penitence and supplication.
See you at Mass,
STAR TREK PRIZE
In my sermon last Sunday, I quoted Spock from Star Trek and offered reward to anyone who could name the episode. The Trekkie cockles of my heart were warmed when Tony Gini came up to me at Coffee Hour and not only named the episode, but also quoted the next line of Spock’s dialogue! Trekkies everywhere unite and rejoice! Tony’s reward is brunch as my guest, at which we will wax lovingly poetic about all things Star Trek.
ADULT CHRSTIAN EDUCATION: LENTEN DISCUSSION FORUM—Christians and Politics
Beginning Sunday, March 10, 1:00, in the Library
Much energy was generated in the parish survey and at the parish summit and Annual Meeting about politics and the church, so it seems an appropriate topic for a Lenten Class. How do Christians enact their fact in a political world? This will not be a lecture-style class, but rather moderated discussion. Everyone and all political viewpoints are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Don’t forget to play!
What better way to explore the mystery of our faith than a head-to-head popularity contest? Lent Madness is an engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints. Following an elimination bracket format, a group of 32 saints have been selected, and each week participants vote for their favorite saint in a one-on-one match up. For example, one week might have "St. Francis vs. St. Antony” or “St. Joseph vs. St. Benedict.” Every week the votes are tallied and the winning saint proceeds to the next round until a single saint is left. The “official “voting will be done on the Lent Madness Facebook page, and we will be putting up a poster in the Parish hall to track the progress over the Lent Period. You can participate by just checking out the board as it’s updated every week, or you can really commit and buy an official Lent Madness Scorecard booklet for $5 (all proceeds go to St. Paul’s). The scorecard booklet contains bios of the saints and a personal scorecard. For the really enthusiastic, you can predict the outcomes of all the match ups beforehand and compare your picks with the actual results. Lent Madness is published by Forward Movement, a publisher of books associated with the Episcopal Church. You can visit Lentmadness.org and forwardmovement.org to learn even more.
LENTEN FOOD DRIVE
The Sunday School invites you to bring donations for their annual Lenten food drive. Beginning Sunday, March 6. Bins will be available back of the church throughout Lent to receive your donations. As usual, the food will be donated to the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights. The children will deliver the food and stock the shelves on Good Friday. Of particular need are the following foods: peanut butter, tuna fish, Vienna sausage, canned vegetables, apple sauce, pasta, rice and canned soup. Please make sure that the donations are unopened and have not expired. If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with Jean Del Colliano. As always, thank you for your generous donations, and please take the opportunity to thank the Sunday School kids for their dedication and hard work.
EPISCOPAL MINISTRIES OF LONG ISLAND ANNUAL APPEAL
Let us Continue to “Walk in love as Christ Loves Us”
Episcopal Ministries of Long Island responds to Christ’s call to care for our neighbors, as if directly caring for Christ, establishing, nurturing and funding parish-based programs and community partnerships that affirm the dignity of all people. Information about the work of EMLI is available on the back table, as well as envelopes for your donation.
It is traditional for Christians to make their Confessions during Lent. If you have made your Confession before, simply schedule a time with Fr. Wallace. Confession is a spiritually fulfilling Lenten Discipline, drawing you closer to God. For those who have never made their Confession, or have not done so for many years, some instruction is required in order to prepare properly. Please see Fr. Wallace.
ST. PATRICK DAY CELEBRATION
Sunday, March 17
Since St. Patrick’s Day lands on a Sunday this year, we’re celebrating all things Irish at a special Coffee Hour after mass. See JillEllyn Riley and Keith Edwards if you would like to help.
PILGRIMMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND!
January 20th―29th, 2020
St. Paul’s is off to the Holy Land! We announced at the Auction and I spoke about it again in my sermon on Epiphany that we are planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, using Nick Mancino’s company Journey’s Unlimited. Please see the poster in the Parish Hall and the flyers on the back table for details. This is an extraordinary opportunity for experience a life-changing event. Please don’t miss it! Ask Fr. Wallace or Nick Gjeca if you have any questions.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Monday, March 25, The Feast of the Annunciation, 7:00 pm, Low Mass in the Lady Chapel
Saturday, April 13, All-Parish Clean Up Day (Watch for details)
HOLY WEEK SERVICE SCHEDULE
7:30 pm, April 18, Maundy Thursday
12:00 pm (noon), April 19, Good Friday
7:30 pm, April 20, Easter Vigil
11:00 am, April 21, Easter Day
CONTACTING THE SEARCH COMMITTEE
In the course of the Search Committee presentation on the status and process of the rector search at the parish Annual Meeting on January 27, the Committee offered interested parishioners a tool to reach out to it regarding any concerns they might wish to voice related to the search. If you want to provide your suggestions or comments, please contact us at email@example.com.
PRAYERS FOR ST. PAUL’S DURING THE TRANSITION AND RECTOR SEARCH
As you read the Eblast each week, it is a good opportunity to take 30 seconds and offer a prayer for St. Paul’s during its transition and for the members of the Search Committee. Prayers to that effect will be included each week in the Eblast.
For St. Paul’s:
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, we beseech thee, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light,, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Search Committee:
Eternal God, the foundation of all wisdom and the source of all courage: enlighten with your grace the Search Committee of this congregation, and so rule their minds, and guide their counsel that in all things they may seek your glory and promote the mission of your Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THIS COMING SUNDAY: March 10, 2019
The First Sunday in Lent
Appointed Readings and Sermon
The First Reading—Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
The Gospel—Luke 4:1-13
Sermon: Fr. Wallace
Mass Setting: Merbecke
Organ Prelude: Chorale Prelude on “Abridge”—C.S. Lang
Offertory Anthem: Sicut cervus—G. Palestrina
Hymn at Communion: “Lord, who throughout these forty days,” Hymnal, 142
Hymn after the Dismissal: “The glory of these forty days,” Hymnal, 143
Organ Postlude: Valet will ich dir geben—Max Reger
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Clinton & Carroll Streets, Brooklyn.
718-625-4126 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Donate
The Rev. Dr. Sean M. Wallace, Interim
Alex Canovas, Music Director
Nathan Taylor, Organist