Festival of Saint Mary Magdalene


Today the LCMS celebrates the Festival of Saint Mary Magdalene.

The Gospels mention Mary of Magdala as one of the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and His disciples. She witnessed His crucifixion and burial, and went to the tomb on Easter Sunday to anoint His body. She was the first recorded witness of the risen Christ and was sent by Him to tell the disciples. Thus, early Christian writings sometimes refer to her as “the apostle to the apostles” (apostle means “one who is sent”).

Confusion sometimes abounds as to whether she is the same person as Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus) or the unnamed woman who anointed Jesus’s feet (Luke 7:36-48). Add in the statement that Jesus cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2) and you get the origins of a tradition that she was a prostitute before she met Jesus.

Following the assumption (possibly quite misguided) that Mary Magdalene truly had been a spectacular sinner whose penitential sorrow was deep and complete — and possibly because John described her as crying at the tomb of Jesus — artists often portray her either as weeping or with red eyes from having wept. This appearance (and a slight corruption in translation) led to the English word “maudlin,” meaning “effusively or tearfully sentimental.” Magdalen College at Oxford and Magdalene College at Cambridge (note the different spellings) — both pronounced “Maudlin” — derive their names from this Saint Mary.

Source: Aardvark Alley: + Saint Mary Magdalene +.

From the hymn “By All Your Saints in Warfare” (LSB 517):

All praise for Mary Magdalene,
Whose wholeness was restored
By You, her faithful master,
Her Savior and her Lord.
On Easter morning early
A word from You sufficed;
For she was first to see You,
Her Lord, the risen Christ.




He is Risen!

From the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 16:

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

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Now all the vault of Heaven resounds



1 Now all the vault of heav’n resounds
In praise of love that still abounds:
“Christ has triumphed!” He is living!”
Sing, choirs of angels, loud and clear!
Repeat their song of glory here:
“Christ has triumphed! Christ has triumphed!”
Alleluia, alleluia, allelulia!

2 Eternal is the gift He brings,
Therefore our heart with rapture sings:
“Christ has triumphed! He is living!”
Now still He comes to give us life
And by His presence stills all strife.
Christ has triumphed! He is living!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

3 O fill us, Lord, with dauntless love;
Set heart and will on things above
That we conquer through Your triumph;
Grant grace sufficient for life’s day
That by our lives we truly say:
“Christ has triumphed! He is living!”
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

4 Adoring praises now we bring
And with the heav’nly blessed sing:
“Christ has triumphed! Alleluia!”
Be to the Father and our Lord,
To Spirit blest, most holy God,
All the glory, never ending!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Hymn 465, Lutheran Service Book

Easter greeting

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

To all readers of Try2Focus and their families.

Have a blessed Easter!  Celebrate the joy of Christ’s victory for us today.  For He is alive!

This morning the family attended the sunrise service at Redeemer.  What a wonderful time it was.  The sanctuary was darkened at the start of the service.  The lights slowly came on during our processional hymn, “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”  The choir sang Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” between verses 3 and 4.  The handbell choir and the choir both sounded spectacular with their musical additions to the service.  The homily was very energetic and moving as it contrasted between the “doom & gloom” we constantly hear every day and the “hope & joy” that we have because of Christ’s triumph over the grave on our behalf.

We had the opportunity to partake in the Lord’s Supper which is always a wonderful thing on Resurrection Sunday.  And I loved the fact that we got to sing one of my favorite hymns “I Know that my Redeemer Lives.”  After the service we went to the 8th grade-sponsored Easter breakfast and enjoyed some great food and fellowship.

Later today we will get together with friends and family.  I’m hopeful everyone will love the ham that we are making because it smells really awesome.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!