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July 2 – Solemn Vespers – 5:30 p.m.

vespers

SOLEMN VESPERS

VISITATION OF MARY TO ELISABETH

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 A+D, 5:30 p.M.

Sing classic Christian choral music—Gregorian Chant, English Chant, and The Lutheran Hymnal (1941)—at the Solemn Vespers service to be held Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at Emmaus Lutheran Church, 2241 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Schedule

5:00 p.m.        Brief chant instruction

5:30 p.m.        Solemn Vespers

 

Would you like to practice the chants before the service? E-mail Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes (brmayes@gmail.com) for service details and audio files of the chants.

 

ABOUT THE FEAST OF THE VISITATION

This major feast commemorates the joyous visit Mary paid to her relative (probably her cousin) Elizabeth, following The Annunciation. Inspired by the amazing news that she was to become the mother of the Christ and in response to the joyous word that her old and previously barren kinswoman was also pregnant, she joined Elizabeth during her sixth month of pregnancy (see Luke 1:39-56).

 

After Mary declared the wondrously good news, Elizabeth replied to the Virgin, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! … Behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (vv. 42, 44). She concluded by giving full credit and glory to God while also commending her young cousin’s hearty faith: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (v. 45).

 

Mary responded with the Magnificat, the beautiful song of praise beginning, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” (vv. 46-55). It’s not clear whether Mary stayed there until after the birth of John or if she left immediately beforehand; Luke merely said that the Virgin “remained with her about three months and returned to her home” (v. 56).

 

And so, as we encounter God sending the Forerunner and the Messiah into the world, we see a study in contrasts. Two women stand before each other. One seemingly too old to bear children now carries the final prophet of the Old Covenant. The other, youthful and as yet unwed — completely unprepared in the eyes of the world — carries the One who brings both the Advent and the Fulfillment of the New Testament. And again we see, in the fullness of time, one age passing away while another age begins — an age that has no end but which lasts unto eternity.

 

The reaction of Jesus’ unborn cousin and the words of his mother also serve as reminders to many Christians about the sanctity of life. Christian pro-lifers point to John’s celebration as clear evidence of the humanity and the consciousness of children who are still in utero. (Explanation from http://aardvarkalley.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-visitation-of-blessed-virgin-mary.html)

 

ABOUT EMMAUS EV. LUTHERANCHURCH, U.A.C.

“Ev.” in the church’s name stands for “Evangelical,” that is, Gospel-centered, centered on the good news of Jesus Christ. Lutherans are the original “evangelicals.” Our congregation is not evangelical protestant, nor evangelical Reformed, nor part of the “EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America.” Yet every Lutheran congregation which treasures the Gospel can proudly bear the title “Evangelical.”

 

“U.A.C.” in the church’s name stands for “Unaltered Augsburg Confession.” The Augsburg Confession has been the foundational statement of faith for Lutherans since 1530. After Luther’s death (1546) and again in the 19th cent., some members of the LutheranChurch wanted to alter the Augsburg Confession to make it more agreeable to the spirit of the age. Congregations such as Emmaus proudly identified themselves as “U.A.C.” to show that their faith was the original faith of the Reformation, which itself was a return to the faith of the apostles and of the early Church. We are a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (www.lcms.org).

 

Enabled by His Spirit, EmmausLutheranChurch proclaims God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ to all people through excellent liturgical worship, bold community outreach, and dedicated, caring service to our neighbor. Learn more at www.emmaus-stl.org .

 

Sunday Bible Class and Sunday School, 9:00

Divine Service (The Lord’s Supper is celebrated each Lord’s Day), 10:30

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