The St. Paul’s Junior Choir under the direction of Lois Kwantz will be joining the Family Eucharist this Sunday for a wonderful song, “When candles are lighted on Candlemas Day”. I’m printing it here, because it tells the story of Candlemas and why it is the important feast, February 2 of every year. When it falls on Sunday, the Church plans a special candlelit procession and chants some songs as we enter the church.
At our 9:30am Eucharist, we’ll meet at the back of the room, distribute battery-powered candles and say Simeon’s words as this elderly holy man took Jesus in his arms in the Temple at the time his parents dedicated him to God:
“Lord, you are the King over all.
Now let me, your servant, go in peace.
That is what you promised.
My eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared it in the sight of all people.
It is a light to be given to those who aren’t Jews.
It will bring glory to your people Israel.”
(The Adventure Bible, Luke 2:29-32)
Similarly, at the 10:30am Eucharist this Sunday, we will begin worship a little differently. We will chant the introduction to Candlemas and begin a candlelit procession, all holding lighted candles for the first part of the service. The lighting of the candles symbolizes The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, and the hope of light shining in the darkness, and even increased sunshine to usher in Spring time!
Join us this Sunday, Candlemas, especially at the Family Eucharist when we will hear the story sung by the Junior Choir:
1 “When candles are lighted on Candlemas Day
the dark is behind us, and Spring’s on the way.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
The light of Christ, the fullness of grace.
2 The kings have departed, the shepherds have gone,
The child and his parents are left on their own.
3 They go to the temple, obeying the law,
And offer two pigeons, the gift of the poor.
May we give thanks for the light of Christ, the fullness of grace!
Yours in Christ,
Notes on Sunday’s Music
This Sunday’s music is oriented to the celebration of the Presentation, as reflected in the day’s readings. We begin with an organ arrangement of the tune for “How lovely is thy dwelling-place.” The tune’s name is “Brother James’s Air,” composed by James Baine about 1910. Our first hymn at 10:30 is “Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates,” a paraphrase of Psalm 24 written by Georg Weissel in 1642. It is appropriate to remind us Jesus’s coming, first to the temple as a boy, and also to us as we open our hearts to him. At the gradual we sing “Sing we of the blessed mother,” written by George Timms in 1975. It is a simple hymn that calls to mind Mary and her experiences with her son and savior. The familiar tune, by Hubert Parry, is often sung to the text “God is love, let heaven adore him” as well.
At the offertory, the choir sings a setting oriented to the Presentation, “When to the temple Mary went,” by Eccard. It includes the Song of Simeon, also part of our Gospel reading for the day.
At the communion we sing a paraphrase of Psalm 84, “How lovely is thy dwelling-place,” set to the tune “Brother James’s Air.” The psalm is a meditation on the joy of worship and the glory of the temple. “One day in your courts, Lord, is better than a thousand anywhere else”– Amen! Our final hymn, “Rejoice, ye pure in heart,” was written by Edward Plumptre in 1865 for use at a cathedral processional (complete with eleven stanzas — it was a long aisle!). In a sense the text reflects our lives as procession or pilgrimage, with the reminder to rejoice in all things (Philip. 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always: I repeat: rejoice!”). The service concludes with another song of praise for the organ, a fantasy on “Praise to the Lord” (Hymnal 1982 no. 390) written by Carl Friedrich Engelbrecht (d. 1886).
We will also sing “How lovely is thy dwelling-place” and “Rejoice, ye pure in heart” at the 8 o’clock service.
Bob Judd, Music Director
This Sunday’s Announcements
Healing Prayer is offered today at the 8:00 and 10:30 services. If you wish to receive a prayer on your own behalf of another, proceed to the vestibule following communion.
From the Earth Care Commission:
• A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, a full length documentary of the fifty year history of the environmental movement Friday, February 7 at 7 p.m. Chapel of Pilgrim House, First Parish Church, 9 Cleaveland Street. All are heartily invited.
• Help Mainers keep warm and save heating dollars while protecting the environment by reducing CO2 emissions. Frank Mundo, Co-founder and vice president of Window Dressers, a Maine non-profit, is coming to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick to explain their System, which results in the construction and installation of low cost, high quality interior storm windows. Feb 16. 2014, 3 p.m.
The Winter Gardening Workshop series continues February 9 at 2:00 p.m. with Vegetable Gardening ‘303’ with various experienced local gardeners. Topics covered include: Planting in small spaces, various garden designs, block planting, how best to maximize your garden space. Sponsored by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Tom Settlemire Community Garden. Free and open to the public, held in St. Paul’s Great Hall.
God of the Old Testament/God of the New Testament: Is It the Same God? Have you ever heard people say that they don’t read the Old Testament because they don’t like the angry, judgmental, punishing God depicted there? And yet, as Episcopalians, we claim both the New and Old Testaments to be canonical.It is true that most of the Bible groups we have likely encountered study the New Testament, where we often read about a forgiving, merciful, loving God and a Son who calls us brothers and sisters. Is there, perhaps, a God of the Old Testament and a God of the New Testament? Because we are Christian believers, we have to grapple with what can look like a huge ambiguity. Do we as Christians, as believers in Jesus as God’s only Son and Savior of the world, even need to bother with the Old Testament? Please join the Rev. Ben Barnes for a look at this perplexing issue on Sunday, February 9, 9:30-10:15 in the Great Hall.
Nametags Please wear your nametag. If you need one, a signup sheet is posted in the Great Hall near the kitchen window. Magnetic closures are for those who prefer them but these are not to be used by someone with a pacemaker or other implanted electrical device.
Parenting as a Spiritual Journey, Part 2 Please join Linda Ashe-Ford for a continuing conversation about the spiritual journey you take every day with your young children. This adult group will meet from 10:15 to 11:00 a.m. in the Library on the four Sundays during February. Coffee, tea, and simple snacks will be available for this time of sharing. Whether you were part of this group in the fall or not, all are invited to share thoughts on the challenging job of marking sacred time with those children in their care. Please be part of the conversation.
Small Group Starting Tuesday, February 4. Anne Brautigam will facilitate a four-week small group on Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s Gospel in the Global Village: Seeking God’s Dream of Shalom. Participants will need a copy of the book, so please sign up early (today!) to give yourself time to look through the book. Anne has ordered some copies for you to buy, or you may purchase it on your own. This book takes Bishop Steve Lane’s frontline paradigm to a global level. The challenge to the reader is to be a prophetic voice in proclaiming and working for justice, inclusion, equality, and wholeness for all of God’s creation. In partnering with God in this way, Jefferts Schori believes that this is the only way God’s shalom will reign on earth. Please contact Anne (207-408-5966 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up and to ask questions, or you may call the church office to register. Meeting times are all four Tuesdays in February (2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25) from 4-5:30 p.m. Don’t miss what will be an exciting discussion.
Frontline Film Night: A Matter of Duty (Dealing with PTSD) “A Matter of Duty” – As a part of our Frontline initiative, St. Paul’s, in conjunction with MPBN, is pleased to show the MPBN production “A Matter of Duty.” A Matter of Duty details Kennebec Sheriff Randy Liberty’s personal battle with PTSD and that of several veterans in his charge at the Kennebec County Jail. Liberty’s honesty about his own condition and his efforts to help other veterans vividly depicts the continuing impact of war on the men and women in Maine and elsewhere who have served our country. Date/time: Feb 21, 2014; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Open to the public. Admission free (donations for “Disabled American Veterans” accepted). FMI: (207) 725-5342 or www.mpbn.net.
Sharing and Caring celebrates four years of our support group at St. Paul’s Church. We meet once a month in the library on the first Wednesday of each month to support caregivers and those in grief. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, February 5th at 1:00 p.m. Come join us for our fifth year of sharing and caring. Barbara Blanchard 725-9240.
Offering Envelopes Those who requested offering envelopes can find them in the Great Hall.
Rejoicing Spirits will be training volunteers on Friday, February 7 at 1pm at St. Charles Church library, 132 McKeen Street, Brunswick and again on Sunday, February 16 at 1pm at Good Sheperd Church, Duehring Hall, 330 Maine Street, Brunswick. Please call Arnie Besier (833-5070) to let him know which one you will attend. Our hope is to begin our monthly service on Friday at 3:30pm by mid-March. Call Bunny Fazekas (729-3243) if you have any questions.