Accent on Worship
End times: Part Two
November has been called the “end times” stretch of the liturgical year – culminating with Christ the King Sunday, when we celebrate that God’s realm goes way beyond what we see and experience during life on this earth.
As we began this season with All Saints Sunday, I wrote about our death experiences – and funerals. I wish to add and emphasize something from that line of thought.
I spoke about funerals not only being a way of paying respect to the deceased and their family members, and of the funeral service as the “family meal” – the one we do as church – hosted by Christ. We are all guests (does it make a difference to God if attendees are formally “members” or not?), yet it is the community that gathers regularly here that not only opens the doors and the table to the friends and family of the deceased, we carry the meal.
This is a profound gift to offer someone at a time of deep need. It’s even deeper than leaving flowers at the place of death, or holding neighborhood vigils – which I am far from being critical of – these are very helpful for people. They want/need something to do in the wake of a death. It’s simply that this ritual we know of fulfills something people are looking to do at this raw time beyond having words spoken to them.
I mentioned that we, as people of Mount Olive, should come to funerals if we can whether we know the deceased person and their family or not. Why? We all approach God in this Eucharist. God comes to us all in this Eucharist. We sit at the table WITH Christ, all the deceased saints, and with each other. Our part is in the DOING – we participate in this family meal. We, who are here often, know what to do: standing, sitting, listening, speaking, gesturing – our participation helps invite others who aren’t always here into participation with us. We don’t need to “instruct” – they’ll see what we’re doing and join in.
I have an unusual viewpoint in the balcony. I see those here for the first time reacting to the participation of those around them. Their response is often one that says, “this is important – and not about us” – and they join in without being prompted (scolded/cajoled?) by a presider. This is a different kind of persuasion – one that leaves the choice to participate to them, when they are ready. If they cannot, we carry it for them.
One unique and tremendous gift we at Mount Olive offer is that of vigorous song. It’s hard to sing with a grieving throat. We need to sing for those who grieve. It’s an odd thing for those not often in church to sing – we need to sing for them too. Here we have a love of this powerful and meaningful form of expression – we sing out fully and in variety of ways that one doesn’t hear very often. It invites everyone present to a new place – a place of healing, of letting go, a place of expressing something deeply needing to be expressed.
That is why we should try to be here. If someone needs help pushing a disabled car to the side of the road, people stop and help. This is what our song does. We stop, and help.
Christ the King Sunday helps us remember that the community of Christ is much bigger than what we mortally see. Our “family” is a much broader understanding than we can imagine and experience during our conscious lifetimes.
Who knows? There are probably angels singing BETTER for us more often than we know – on our behalf. For that, we should give thanks. Meanwhile, we can be the singing angels for those in need.
– Cantor Cherwien
Thanksgiving Day, 10:00 a.m.
Bring non-perishable food items to help re-stock local food shelves. Monetary donations are especially welcome (for every $1 donated, food shelf personnel are able to buy about $9 worth of food!)
The entire offering received at the Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day will be given to Sabbathani Community Center and Community Emergency Services. Worshipers are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, which will help to feed the hungry in our community.
November 25, 2012 – Christ the King
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 + Psalm 93
Revelation 1:4b-8 + John 18:33-37
December 2, 2012 – First Sunday of Advent
Jeremiah 33:14-16 + Psalm 25:1-10
I Thessalonians 3:9-13 + Luke 21:25-36
Sunday’s Adult Education
November 25, 9:30 a.m.
“An Introduction to the Gospel of Luke,” part 3 of a 3-part series, presented by Pastor Crippen.
Attention Middle and High Schoolers
There will be no Church School for middle school and high school students on Sunday, November 25. James and Karen will be out of town.
Book Discussion Group
Mount Olive’s Book Discussion group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. For the December 8 meeting they will read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, and for the January session Caleb’s Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks.
Church offices will be closed on Friday, November 23 (the day after Thanksgiving).
Dusting and Polishing Day: December 1
The Altar Guild will host a chancel-cleaning event on Saturday, December 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Bring your favorite duster and polishing rags, and help spiff-up our worship space for the Advent season. Questions? Contact Tim Lindholm at email@example.com.
Our Sexton, William Pratley, recently had surgery and is out for several weeks on medical leave. During his absence, snow removal help is needed!
If you are willing to help clear sidewalks and steps at church when needed, please call the church office and let us know. We own a snow blower and several shovels, so we have the tools needed – all we need is a few folks who are willing to use them.
Sunday, December 2, 4:30 p.m.
Join us for this annual contemplative service of lessons and carols for Advent. Take time to set apart this season as one of preparation. Experience prayer, Word, incense, choral music, candles, and hymnody. Join the procession of those who wait in darkness.
Advent Luncheon for Seniors
Wednesday, December 5
Have you received your invitation in the mail? If so, be sure to RSVP to the church office as soon as possible, of you haven’t already done so.
Are you age 65 or over and did not receive an invitation in the mail? This only means that the church office does not have your correct date of birth – you are invited, too! Simply call the church office to RSVP. Rides will be provided for those who need one. If you need a ride, be sure to mention that when you call.
Rest in Peace
We need to inform you of the death of our sister in Christ, Vernette Schroeder, this past weekend. Vernette was a long-time member of Mount Olive who moved to Paynesville several years ago.
A funeral liturgy will be held at Mount Olive on Thursday, November 29, at 11:00 a.m.
With hope and confidence in our Lord’s victory over death, we hold Vernette and her family in our prayers.
Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on her. May Vernette and all the blessed dead, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.