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Unique church customs/idiosyncrasies

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Unique church customs/idiosyncrasies Reply with quote

Every church probably has some special customs or attributes for which they are remembered. St. Paul's certainly is no exception. Visitors were always impressed with the volume of the congregation's singing. My wife and I were particularly aware of this at the sesquicentennial celebration back in 1990. The singing almost made the walls of the old church vibrate.

But I was reminded of one particular custom involving the singing of hymns. During one hymn, without any notation in the hymnal or the bulletin, the congregation would be silent and only the choir would sing the verse. I think it was a commonly sung hymn, possibly during the communion service. It caught many visitors by surprise. Prof. Wilbur Rosin related how embarrassed he was when he first attended a St. Paul's service. He continued to sing loudly while everyone around him went silent.

Does anyone remember which hymn that was?
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 397
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject: The Klingeln-beutel Reply with quote

How many or you remember the klingeln-beutel? I recall that, when I was a youngster, the elders would come up the aisles carrying the long poles with red velvet bags on the end and a bell hanging from the bottom of the bag. I was told that the bell was to get people's attention (and possibly wake them up Wink ). At the end of the offering, the elders would deposit the collection in the elders room, stand the klingeln-beutel in the corner, and take their seat in the front row.

I think the klingeln-beutel were used at St. Paul's up until about 1940. Interestingly, you can catch a glimpse of one being used in the St. Peter's Mission Festival video. I've attached a fuzzy clip from that video below.

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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:59 pm    Post subject: The Church Bell Reply with quote

St. Paul’s Church with its towering 150 foot steeple has been a familiar landmark of Concordia for over 100 years. The old bell in the steeple can be heard for a considerable distance around the area. Of course, it was used to announce the start of the Sunday morning church services. But it was also rung during the service. If I remember correctly, that was once as each article of the Creed was recited.

One of the customs that has been followed since the early years is to slowly toll the age of member who has just died. When this occurred, there would be a flurry of telephone activity. People would ring up the central operator to find out who it was. (LaVerne, you should remember this from your days as an operator.) Others on the country party lines would listen in on the discussion. They did not want to wait until the name was announced in the Sunday church service or when it could be read in one of J. J. Bredehoeft’s unique obituaries in the Concordian.

It was used to ring in the New Year. The Walther League would hold a bunco party in the school auditorium. As the time approached, some of the boys would go across the street to ring the bell when the hour arrived. That was the only time I was ever up in the steeple. We would ring the bell as long as we could until one of the chaperones would make us stop.

It would also ring on special occasions. I remember it ringing loudly and long when the end of World War II was announced.
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