Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rochester, Pennsylvania
Henry Doktorski, III

November 8, 2015—24th Sunday after Pentecost

Widows are visible everywhere in today’s readings. In First Kings we hear how God fed Elijah and the widow at Zarephath. Psalm 146 proclaims that the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down. Hebrews describes the sacrifice of Christ, and Mark relates the story of a widow’s generosity which reveals the hypocrisy of the scribes.

Sundays And Seasons explains, “Jesus denounces those scribes who pray impressive prayers but devour widows’ houses. He commends the poor widow who in his view gave far more than the major donors. Jesus doesn’t see her simply as an object of compassion or charity. She, like the widow of Zarephath who shares her last bit of food with Elijah, does something of great importance.”

farrellOur Communion Hymn today is Christ, Be Our Light, with text and tune by Bernadette Farrell. The song points out the great importance for Christians to actively support social work for the disadvantaged, such as the poor widow whom Jesus spoke of in today’s Gospel. Farrell wrote, in Christ, Be Our Light, “Longing for food, many are hungry. Longing for water, many still thirst. Make us your bread, broken for others, shared until all are fed.”

Bernadette Farrell was born in 1957 in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Since the 1970s she has become one of Great Britain’s leading Catholic liturgical composers. She is known throughout the world for her challenging song texts (numbering 17) and memorable melodies (numbering 14). Through her texts and music she encourages social justice and action. Christ, Be Our Light was written in 1993. Today Farrell lives in London and is married to the well-known Catholic liturgical music composer (and member of the Board of Directors for Oregon Catholic Press), Owen Alstott. They have one daughter together.

To hear Bernadette Farrell’s Christ, Be Our Light (ELW 715) sung by the Schola Cantorum Sanctorum Angelorum with conductor Andrew Leung and organist Mark Dougherty at Christ the King Chapel of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2, 2014):

To hear the Oregon Catholic Press compact disc recording of Christ, Be Our Light:


1 Kings 17:8-16 (God feeds Elijah and the widow at Zarephath)
Psalm 146 (The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down)
Hebrews 9:24-28 (The once for all sacrifice of Christ)
Mark 12:38-44 (A widow’s generosity reveals the hypocrisy of the scribes)

Music & Hymns
2nd Service, 10:45 a.m.

Gathering: LBW 410: We Give Thee but Thine Own
Hymn of the Day: LBW 406 Take My Life, That I May Be
Offertory: Out of the Depths I Cry (G. F. Handel, arr. Hal H. Hopson)
Communion ELW 715 Christ Be Our Light
Sending: LBW 566 My Country, ‘Tis of Thee


Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version (Zonderfan: 1989)
LBW: Lutheran Book of Worship (Augsburg Publishing House: 1978)
WOV: With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress: 1995)
W&P: Worship & Praise Songbook (Augsburg Fortress: 1999)
ELW: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Augsburg Fortress: 2006)
GIA Publications:


Notes from the Music Director (No. 17)