Author Topic: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!  (Read 1121 times)

D. Engebretson

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A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« on: October 31, 2018, 09:51:20 AM »
On the eve of All Hallows (All Saints) it seems a good time to remember, especially in the midst of the tragic deaths of our time, that true and eternal life is ours in the risen Christ and life awaits us in full after death and in the final resurrection on the Last Day.  At this time we remember the saints who have gone before us, witnessing for the truth in our Lord Jesus, many becoming martyrs for the faith.  On Nov. 2 we also commemorate all the faithful departed, recalling the promise of life for all who die in Christ.  Faith now looks with eager anticipation to the day when Christ returns in glory and the dead are raised to immortality and incorruptibility.  E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come!

Today in our western American culture it is Halloween, a day whose name betrays the much longer heritage of Hallow's Eve.  On the eve of this most holy day may our thoughts be turned once again to life as given by God through His Son, and in those meditative thoughts may we again have renewed hope and peace!

A blessed All Hallows' Eve to all on this humble forum!
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Benke

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 10:09:22 AM »
Thanks so much, Don!

I had the early morning opportunity to bring the message at our middle/high school in Queens today.   I made a determination to lead with Halloween and the kids' experience with trick/treating and work my way back into the True Treat through some of the Tricks that keep/have kept souls from understanding their worth in Christ.  The students definitely were not sleeping through it, but the end point was the same one you bring to our forum.

Dave Benke

Weedon

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2018, 02:56:53 PM »
Buried in LSB Agenda, pp. 151ff., Resources for the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (which may be used on the anniversary of a person’s death), owing not a little bit to the old Requiem Mass:

Collect: Almighty God, in whose glorious presence live all who depart in the Lord, we give You hearty thanks for Your loving-kindness to all Your servants who have finished their course in faith and now rest from their labors. We humbly implore Your mercy that we, together with all who have departed in the saving faith, may have our perfect consummation and bliss in body and soul in Your eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Preface: It is truly good, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whom the hope of the blessed resurrection shines forth so that those who mourn may be consoled with the promise of eternal life. In You, O Lord, life is transformed and not taken away so that this earthly body is prepared for an eternal home in heaven. Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying...
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 03:00:47 PM by Weedon »

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2018, 04:32:02 PM »
In my former life I always held a service of Vespers on the Eve of All Hallows using the augmented form with Lessons and additional Psalms found in the Book of Occasional Service of the Book of Common Prayer.

The Eve of All Hallows has much less meaning to me now, on the 31st of October, because of the "Saturday of Souls" Divine Liturgies served on the two Saturdays preceding Great Lent, the first Saturday in Great Lent, and the Saturday before Pentecost.   The latter two have been accurately described as a "Funeral or Memorial Service for the world".
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

D. Engebretson

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 11:28:00 AM »
In my morning devotions I still use ALPB's For All the Saints, and for the readings assigned for this day of All Saints I read some incredible words from the late Pastor Berthold Von Schenk (1895-1974), of whom many here are far more acquainted than I.  As I read them I realized I had heard this before while a student of Dr. Arthur Just at CTS-FW.  In searching for a little more background on Von Schenk I actually found an article in the CTQ of CTS-FW (http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/SauerBertholdVonSchenk74-1,2.pdf ). As a product of the liturgical renewal that was coming in at Ft. Wayne in the 80's, in was interesting to read about one who was far ahead of this renewal decades prior.  In meditation on this sacred day of holy remembrance, here are his words on how we should find comfort in the loss of our loved ones (of which only a portion of the longer quote is included; see For All the Saints, Vol. IV, page 1376):

In talking about coming to the altar for the Sacrament:
“We must come to a sense of the continuing presence of our loved ones, and we can do this if we realize the presence of our Living Lord.  As we seek and find our Risen Lord we shall find our dear departed.  They are with Him, and we find the reality of their continued life through Him.  The saints are part of the Church.  We worship with them.  They worship the Risen Christ face to face, which we worship the same Risen Christ under the veil of bread and wine at the Altar.  At the Communion we are linked with Heaven, with the Communion of Saints, with our loved ones.  Here at the Altar, focused to a point, we find our communion with the dead; for the Altar is the closest meeting place between us and our Lord.  That place must be the place of closest meeting with our dead who are in His keeping…”

This is from his book Presence, which I have noted I should now find and read some time soon.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Weedon

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 02:25:51 PM »

Eileen Smith

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 03:19:54 PM »
In my morning devotions I still use ALPB's For All the Saints, and for the readings assigned for this day of All Saints I read some incredible words from the late Pastor Berthold Von Schenk (1895-1974), of whom many here are far more acquainted than I.  As I read them I realized I had heard this before while a student of Dr. Arthur Just at CTS-FW.  In searching for a little more background on Von Schenk I actually found an article in the CTQ of CTS-FW (http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/SauerBertholdVonSchenk74-1,2.pdf ). As a product of the liturgical renewal that was coming in at Ft. Wayne in the 80's, in was interesting to read about one who was far ahead of this renewal decades prior.  In meditation on this sacred day of holy remembrance, here are his words on how we should find comfort in the loss of our loved ones (of which only a portion of the longer quote is included; see For All the Saints, Vol. IV, page 1376):

In talking about coming to the altar for the Sacrament:
“We must come to a sense of the continuing presence of our loved ones, and we can do this if we realize the presence of our Living Lord.  As we seek and find our Risen Lord we shall find our dear departed.  They are with Him, and we find the reality of their continued life through Him.  The saints are part of the Church.  We worship with them.  They worship the Risen Christ face to face, which we worship the same Risen Christ under the veil of bread and wine at the Altar.  At the Communion we are linked with Heaven, with the Communion of Saints, with our loved ones.  Here at the Altar, focused to a point, we find our communion with the dead; for the Altar is the closest meeting place between us and our Lord.  That place must be the place of closest meeting with our dead who are in His keeping…”

This is from his book Presence, which I have noted I should now find and read some time soon.

As one who knew Dr. von Schenk as a student in elementary and high school I can recall when the mother of one of my classmates died.  He spoke these words in his sermon, reminding the family and all of us that each time we come to the Lord's Supper we are united as the saints of every time and place.  It's been quite some time since my days at Our Saviour but I still remember these words each time I receive the Sacrament.

John_Hannah

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 03:24:30 PM »
Paul Sauer (Pastor) and I (Assoc.) are honored to succeed Berthold on Schenk at Our Saviour Lutheran, Bronx. Paul edited The Prsence and the CTQ article; he is also the Executive Director of the ALPB. We are indebted to him for many treasures. Eileen Smith is an alumna of Our Saviour; I think she knew Pr. von Schenk. (I was writing at the same time as she.)

He was ridiculed by many back then. Now most American Lutherans have adopted his liturgical practices.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 04:13:05 PM »
Pr. von Schenk.... was ridiculed by many back then. Now most American Lutherans have adopted his liturgical practices.

On earth their work was not thought wise
But see them now in Heaven's eyes....


LBW # 314 Who is this Host arrayed in white? stanza 2
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

Weedon

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 04:27:32 PM »
Another saintly Von Schenk gem:

It was a sad loss to the church, a grave mistake, when a few stupid people pushed the saints out of the picture. It was a sad mistake when they took them out of the life of the church, but it was even a greater mistake to place them into the niche of supernatural people. What has the church substituted for saints and their glorious triumphant lives? Perhaps respectability, which is not holiness. It usually only means that you have not been found out. And that is exactly what we too often have in our churches - deadly, cold, stiff, starchy respectability, people who have lived sheltered lives, with no need, no poverty. The reason why some of them have not been bad is because they did not have much of an opportunity to be bad, and perhaps no courage to step out of their routine. And that is what a lot of people call religion.  Respectability can never be genuine religion.  Because it has often been substituted for true sanctity, it has not infrequently taken the life out of the Church.

In place of that smug, cold, soulless respectability we must put the passionate love, first for Jesus, and then for sinners for Jesus' sake.  We must have a reckless, supernatural, sacrificial love, supernatural in its vision; supernatural in its power to transform our lives; supernatural in its power to heal the souls of men. Let us get off that pedestal of respectability and fall on our knees and learn to be saints!

No wonder that we have lost our savor.  And if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall the church be salted?  We need saints.  If it helps to have their statues around, let us have them.  We have pictures of our loved ones in our homes.  Why not the saints?  Thus being reminded of them we can realize that men and women, of flesh and blood, have actually lived and have been saints.  And then we shall begin to believe once more that what men and women have been and have done for Christ, men and women can be, and can do, today.  We can bring the saints to earth again when we realize that the glory, which they now have, began here on earth; their supernatural love began while they lived on earth as men and women. 

"Who are these arrayed in white?"  The answer is given by John:  "These are the saints who have come forth out of great tribulation."  The one essential condition in the life of every saint which made it possible for life in heaven to begin on earth was the one thing which we seek so madly to avoid, the one universal fact which faces every single soul on earth - suffering.  These are the saints.  Not a few angel-faced, spineless people.  They were human, of flesh and blood.  Very human at times, beaten, wounded, scarred, for saints always bear the stigmata of their Lord.  When they were persecuted, what did they do?  They returned love, invincible, divine love, purified of self, and in union with their crucified Lord they received their foretaste of heaven.  This is the mystery of the Cross.  These saints got their divine love on Calvary.  That is where you and I must get it.
(*The Presence* pp. 124, 125)

John_Hannah

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Re: A Blessed All Hallows Day to All!
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2018, 04:57:39 PM »
Pr. von Schenk.... was ridiculed by many back then. Now most American Lutherans have adopted his liturgical practices.

On earth their work was not thought wise
But see them now in Heaven's eyes....


LBW # 314 Who is this Host arrayed in white? stanza 2

 ;D
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS