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Our life together as members and friends of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu is rich and varied.
Congregational Life at LCH—January, February, and March 2013
Large crowds filled the Nave for both services on Easter morning. Members and visitors shared the joy of familiar hymns and shouts of alleluia.
Between services the children enjoyed a puppet show and then were able hunt for Easter eggs hidden around campus. Those of more mature years enjoyed table fellowship over a sumptuous potluck brunch.
At left, the children at the early service hold up the alleluia scroll that had been hidden away at the beginning of Lent.
The weather was a bit iffy on Saturday evening as preparations were being completed for the Easter Vigil, but when it came time to start the service, we were able to gather in the Hörmann Courtyard for the kindling of the new fire and the lighting of the Pascal Candle.
The service continued with the retelling of salvation history through lessons from the Hebrew Scriptures, the renewal of baptismal vows, the joyous Easter proclamation, holy communion, and the sweet feast as we broke our Lenten fast.
At right, members of the congregation hold their candles that were lit from the flame passed from the Pascal Candle and listen to the Exsultet.
The Triduum continued on Good Friday evening, focussing first on the Passion according to John and then on the Adoration of the Crucified. This year the choir and soloists sang a 2009 setting by Zachary Wadsworth
At left, the Taizé Cross surrounded by lighted candles at the end of the service.
The Triduum, or Three Great Days, celebrates Jesus’s passover from death to life. It begins with Maundy Thursday, which focuses on the Last Supper, when Jesus washed his disciples’s feet and instituted the Eucharist, or Holy Communion.
This year there were two innovations. For the footwashing, members of the congregation could volunteer to wash the feet of another, to have their feet washed, or do both. There were so many volunteers that the choir was able to chant all three appointed antiphons twice. In addition, young children who had prepared for their first communion through instruction with Pastor Angela were presented with certificates of completion before the celebration of communion.
The service ended up with the stripping of the altar, a final anthem, and members of the congregation departing in silence.
The rain may have been appropriate for the somber nature of Holy Week, but for a while on Palm Sunday there was some doubt about whether the traditional procession around the church would have to be cancelled for the 10:30 service. But it let up a bit, and the brass players assured Pastor Jeff that their instruments were waterproof, so everyone gathered in the Hörmann Courtyard for the Blessing of the Palms and the procession. Members of the congregation and the liturgy booklets got a little wet, but everyone made it into the Nave for the rest of the service.
Worship continued with the dramatic reading of the Passion Gospel according to Luke, with members taking different roles and the choir voicing the crowd parts.
One unusual feature this year was the baptism of a young boy. Because the date had great significance to the boy’s family, the congregation welcomed the young man into the family of Christ right before the celebration of Holy Communion.
At left, members young and old join in the Procession with Palms. At least one young member of the congregation was prepared for the rain with his umbrella. Additional photos are available in the Holy Week and Easter 2013 slideshow and on the LCH Facebook page.
Observance of Holy Week continues with worship at 7:30 each evening on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil). Easter Sunday worship is at 8:00 and 10:30 AM. There is an Easter Potluck Brunch at 9:20 AM, along with an Easter Egg Hunt for children.
Again this year, the children of LCH—with help from their parents and Sunday School teachers—presented their annual benefit concert to raise funds for disadvantaged families around the world. Since 2005, the children have worked to raise money for an “ark of animals” ($5,000) through Heifer International, and since 2006 their main fundraising technique has been their benefit concert. Beginning this year, the funds raised will be go to a new organization, the ELCA’s Good Gifts program of the ELCA.
The 2013 concert took place on Saturday afternoon, March 3, and featured a wide range of entertainment in song and dance, on piano and organ, on violin and cello, on the snare drum, and even in a mini magic show.
At right, the F.R.O.G.S. (Families Revering Our God in Song) Choir and Chamber Orchestra sing the grand finale. Additional photos are available in the Children’s Benefit Concert International 2013 Slideshow.
Lent began on February 13 with the Ash Wednesday liturgy. Many were surprised to find the Nave rearranged with the altar in the middle, the choir behind the altar, and sets of pews all around.
Another change was in the music. The organ had been locked up until Easter Vigil, so hymns, psalms, and choir anthems were sung a capella or with handbells.
At left, Deacon Josie Bidgood marks Aaron Gould’s forehead with the sign of the cross during the Imposition of Ashes. Additional photos from Ash Wednesday Liturgy are available on the LCH Facebook page.
With just one week left until the performance, the choirs from LCH and the Cathedral of Saint Andrew joined with the Bach Chamber Orchestra for the first orchestra run through at the cathedral on Saturday morning, February 9.
The English oratorio was developed so that audiences could enjoy operatic music during Lent, when opera performances were forbidden. So it is particularly fitting that this first historically-informed Hawai‘i performance of the oratorio will be presented on the first Saturday of Lent this year.
The performance is schedule for 7:00 PM on Saturday, February 16, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in downtown Honolulu. Tickets are available online or through the LCH Office (941-2566).
At right, sopranos Emily Haswell and Georgine Stark rehearse their duet “The Lord is my strength.”
January 20 was Epiphany II, the week when the Gospel tells of Jesus changing water into wine, so what else could we do but schedule another LCH wine tasting for that afternoon.
A couple dozen members and friends from the congregation journeyed over the Ko‘olau Mountains to Oeno Winemaking in Kailua following the second service for the wine tasting. Of course, they brought along more than a little food for sustenance while tasting about ten different wines.
In the end, the group selected a Piesporter for the new church white wine, and several members chose other wines for their personal cellars. Watch for announcement of a bottling party in March.
At left, J.D. Heidenheimer, Jean Lilley, Nan Wond, Peggy Anderson, and Tami and Gary Brauer sample one of the red wines offered during the wine tasting. Additional photos are available on the LCH Facebook page.
Since Epiphany is one of those major feasts that does not always fall on a Sunday, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. But it is a different story this year. The Wise Men made it to the crèche for all to see, so Pastor Jeff brought the children up for his children’s conversation.
The children got to see the three Wise Men (along with the camel and attendant) and learned about their three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They even got to smell the frankincense in the thurible! And they learned that the most important gift the Wise Men brought was their presence at the birth of Jesus.
At right, Pastor Jeff points out the three Wise Men to the children (along with some parents) assembled around the crèche.
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