Viva San Giuseppe! Today was the St. Joseph’s Day, and is celebrated worldwide. Beloved of all Christians, The Feast Of St. Joseph or La Festa di San Giuseppe, Lutherans too, honor this feast day as part of the calendar of saints. On Cape Ann, many families gathered together today, with festive foods–St. Joseph’s soup and rolls, prayers and songs. St. Joseph’s rolls are made especially for this day. In one of the households of our congregation, the breadbakers pray over each roll in the name of the Trinity, and then snip the dough to form a cross on the top of the roll.
A few days from now, we’ll be celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation, on March 25th, Mary’s special day, when the Angel Gabriel came to announce the coming of the Savior.
I find it wonderful to be reminded of the parents of Jesus, and the birth of the Savior in the deepest part of Lent, to remember the promises of Christmas, as we head towards the passion. It is moving to think of Joseph and Mary, watching over Jesus, raising him with such care, shedding upon him their love, regard, trust and respect. Jesus was called “beloved” by God at his baptism, but before that, his earthly parents showed him what being beloved meant in their care of him, raising him to be the beautiful Son of God he was.
The Propers for St. Joseph, the lessons and prayers, may be found on the ELCA calendar on our national website: here I’ve listed them below. We call Joseph, the Guardian of Jesus. It’s a high feast day, and the liturgical color is white.
March 19, 2010
2 Samuel 7:4, 8-16
Psalm 89:1-29 (2)
Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a
Prayer of the Day
O God, from the family of your servant David you raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the husband of his blessed mother. Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
We have a building from God, a house not | made with hands,
eternal | in the heavens. (2 Cor. 5:1)
And here are The Propers for March 25 from the lectionary for the Feast of the Annunciation.
Annunciation of Our Lord
March 25, 2010
Psalm 45 (17) or Psalm 40:5-10 (8)
Prayer of the Day
Pour your grace into our hearts, O God, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son, Jesus Christ, announced by an angel, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; for he lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
[Alleluia.] Greetings, O favored one! The | Lord is with you.
The Holy Spirit will | come upon you. [Alleluia.] (Luke 1:28, 35)
Both Joseph and Mary let it be with them according to God’s word. If Lent is about turning deeply to God, these two made extraordinary room for God as no other two people in history have. Their hospitality inwardly and outwardly is worth pondering during this season, as much as it was in Advent. Of all the people who accompanied Jesus as he went to the cross in his Passion, those two no doubt suffered the most, as they watched him go to his death. And of all the people on earth, those two rejoiced the most to see their beloved son again that first Easter morning.