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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Olive Branch, 3/29/11

Accent on Worship

Postlude to the Postlude

A new rubric has appeared in the bulletin requesting that we not offer applause following the postlude. Some have asked, “Did someone complain?” The answer is no. The rubric and request came from me, and the responses I’ve received about this gives the occasion for a topic to be discussed here. I realize this practice goes a long way back, perhaps stemming from post-liturgy recitals offered by Dr. Manz.

What is the postlude? I regard it as a part of the liturgy. It is the exclamation point of what just happened, of what we journeyed through as a gathering of God’s people. It also serves as transition: from what we just journeyed through into what we do with that experience, illustrated by the procession out. Therefore, I regard the postlude as a part of the liturgy, and not as a post-liturgy recital.

As a part of a liturgy, it takes its place among many things we do and experience – all of them a part of a flow that begins with our walking into the Nave before the liturgy begins, taking our place, and taking on a frame of mind which is God-directed. When all of the components of the liturgy are “well done” – no single component stands out by itself, but takes its place as a completing piece of the puzzle: the whole of the liturgy. That whole focuses on God and not our selves; God coming to us, and us coming to God. The quote I’ve used often here is from Eric Routley: “People should leave the service not saying ‘what great music they have here’ or ‘what great preaching they have here’ but rather, ‘what a great God these people have!’” The evidence of liturgy done well is the depth of meaningfulness by which we all DO the liturgy as a whole. As I’ve said, this is what I suspect to be the most winsome witness of the liturgy, for all of us there!

What makes me squirm a bit with the applause following the postlude is that it feels like a shift in focus from God and the liturgy to a performer (in this case, the organist). Would we clap after the sermon? After the Prayers of the Church? It is true that spontaneous clapping can be an outward expression of an inward glee. This isn’t quite in that category. I understand that there might be a desire to show appreciation. This can still happen in the same manner that one might express appreciation for effective preaching.

I am grateful that most remain to “experience” the postlude – it is not background to our exit and greeting of each other. This feels very respectful - of the liturgy! I am grateful that folks are appreciative and that is expressed to me often in many other ways.

Now here’s the most important point. None us who serve in leadership roles in the liturgy can dictate what you decide or decide not to do. For me, I suggest. I suggest you sing here. Consider singing this hymn this way. Consider looking at this text this way. Hopefully the suggestions are ways that deepen meaningfulness. However, it is you who must decide to enter in to the suggestions. So can this be in the issue of postludial-postludes. (Applause). I merely suggest we re-examine a long held practice.
Perhaps we can have a post-postlude to the postlude conversation!

- Cantor David Cherwien

Sunday’s Adult Education - 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel Lounge

This Sunday, April 3: "The St. John’s Bible: What it is and How it Came to Be.”

Palms and Paschal Garden

Donations for Passion Sunday palms and the Easter paschal garden will be received on Sunday, April 3 and Sunday, April 10. Members of the Worship Committee will be available after each liturgy on those dates to receive your contribution. Checks should be made payable to “Mount Olive Women.”

Sunday Readings

April 3, 2011 – Fourth Sunday in Lent
I Samuel 16:1-13 + Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14 + John 9:1-41

April 10, 2011 – Fifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14 + Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11 + John 11:1-45

“Lord, Teach Us to Pray”
Wednesdays in Lent at Mount Olive

  • Noon: Holy Eucharist, followed by a soup luncheon
  • 6:00 pm: Table Talk (meditation and discussion on The Lord’s Prayer)
  • 7:00 pm: Evening Prayer

Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting Announced

Because of the significant number of agenda items, the April semi-annual meeting of our congregation will be held following the second liturgy on April 10, 2011.

Agenda items include election of Officers and Directors to the Vestry: Adam Krueger-President, Lisa Nordeen-Vice President, Ann Sorenson-Secretary, Paul Sundquist-Treasurer, Paul Schadewald-Global Missions, Dennis Bidwell-Stewardship, Al Bipes-Worship; reports from the Audit, Mount Olive Foundation, and Capital Campaign Committees; Internship program and proposed Constitution and Bylaw amendments; and endorsement of a resolution of the joint Peace with Justice Committees of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Area Synods.

Come and let your voice be heard.

One Maundy Thursday Liturgy

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Triduum, the great Three Days in which the church contemplates, remembers, and celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus. In recent years Mount Olive has had both a noon and an evening liturgy.

Given the importance of the foot washing and the stripping of the altar in that day’s liturgy, and given the Gospel reading’s emphasis on the unity of the church, it seemed that it would be better to have one liturgy rather than two on that day. After several years of discussion, the decision was made this year to have only one liturgy on Maundy Thursday (April 21 this year) at 7:00 p.m.

In talking with several of those who have ordinarily attended the noon liturgy, it is apparent that the biggest obstacle to their being present for the evening liturgy is transportation. Driving at night is difficult for some. We are, therefore, going to work at matching those who will be driving to the Maundy Thursday evening liturgy with those in need of transportation to that liturgy.

If you are able to provide transportation to the Maundy Thursday evening liturgy, or if you are in need of transportation to that liturgy, please contact the church office either by phone (612.827.5919), or by email ( A coordinator will follow up with you once arrangements have been made.

Book Discussion Group

For its meeting on April 9 the book group will discuss the poem Gilgamesh, and for the May 14 meeting, the essay collection Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver.

Holy Week and Easter
at Mount Olive

Sunday, April 17, 2011 – Sunday of the Passion
Holy Eucharist at 8:00 & 10:45 am

Monday-Wednesday, April 18-20, 2011 –
Daily Prayer at Noon (in the side chapel of the Nave, near the columbarium)

Thursday, April 21, 2011 – Maundy Thursday
Holy Eucharist with Washing of Feet at 7 pm

Friday, April 22, 2011 – Good Friday
Stations of the Cross at Noon
Adoration of the Cross at 7 pm

Saturday, April 23, 2011 – Holy Saturday
The Easter Vigil at 8:30 pm

Sunday, April 24, 2011 – The Resurrection of Our Lord
Festival Holy Eucharist at 8:00 & 10:45 am
(Easter carry-in brunch at 9:30 am)

Art Exhibit in Chapel Lounge

In 1998, St. John’s Abbey and University commission- ed renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. The display will invite you to explore this work of art which unites an ancient Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium.

This exhibit is sponsored by Mount Olive Music and Fine Arts, and will be open to the public before and after all church services and events in April.

April 10 Adult Forum: Prayers in a Time of Trouble

Questions about prayer are common, even in the church and especially in times of difficulty. What effect might our prayers have on God? Can our prayers help shape the future? Do our prayers make a difference? Yet, if God is in charge, why pray? We will explore such questions in view of the place of prayer in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. This forum will be presented by Dr. Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, where he has taught for over forty years. He has authored twenty-two books and more than one hundred articles.

New Members/Inquiry Lunch to be Held on Sunday, April 17

Those interested in joining Mount Olive this spring, or just interesting in learning more about membership at Mount Olive, are invited to a luncheon on Sunday, Apr. 17, following the second liturgy. Leaders of Mount Olive will be present to meet and greet folks, and answer questions about Mount Olive. New members will be received on Sunday, May 1, the Second Sunday of Easter. Please talk to Pastor Crippen if you would like to consider joining at this time, or if you simply would like to talk about membership for a future time.

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