FROM THE RECTOR: LINDA KAY BRIDGES, 1949-2017

 

Linda Bridges died on Saturday evening, March 25, 2017, at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, New York. She was sixty-seven years old. She had been a member of Saint Mary's since her baptism here on July 30, 1995. She was confirmed here at the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday, April 6, 1996, by the Right Reverend Walter Dennis, suffragan bishop of the diocese of New York. Her funeral will be at Saint Mary's on Monday in Holy Week, April 10, at 10:00 AM. Her ashes will be reposed in the Vault in the Lady Chapel at the end of the Mass. May her soul rest in peace.

 

The Rector was celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass on the Eve of the Annunciation. 

Some of my earliest memories of Saint Mary's are of Linda. In June 1998 I took a telephone call from her. She was then a member of Saint Mary's board of trustees and "chairman"-not "chair," she insisted-of the committee searching for a new rector following the retirement of Father Edgar Wells. She told me that my name had been given to the committee and that she was calling to tell me she wanted to send materials about the parish to me. She hoped that I would want to be considered. There was a telephone interview with Linda and two others in late July. She and two members of the search committee visited Trinity Church, Michigan City, Indiana, in September. I was invited to New York to meet the search committee and the board. I arrived on Wednesday, November 18. That night I had dinner with Linda and Gerald McKelvey, acting president of the board. I did not realize it at the time, but by the end of dinner Linda and Gerald thought they had found their next rector. Linda's ministry has played a significant role in my life and in my own ministry.

 

I have always been more than a little in awe of Linda. If memory serves, when I met her she was managing editor of National Review. She had worked closely with the magazine's famous founder, William F. Buckley, Jr., since graduation from college. The online remembrances of her colleagues at National Review-search online for "Linda Bridges National Review"; four appreciations from colleagues come up-make me appreciate how fortunate so many of us at Saint Mary's were to know her. She was the last editor of the parish monthly magazine, AVE. She encouraged me in the transition to this weekly newsletter. She was a gentle editor of my writing from time to time.

 

Deacon Matt Jacobson led the Prayers of the People.

She and her late roommate (and third cousin) Alice Manning were guests in the rectory. They shared a love of music, good food and wine, and good scotch-and good church as well. They were among many Saint Marians one could run into at the greenmarket in Union Square on Saturdays. I regret I never had the chance to see them ski. I like to imagine Linda hurtling fiercely down a slope.

 

Linda did not know, when Alice died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 28, 2016, that she herself had cancer. At the time, many of us were worried about her. At the end of July, I asked for contact information for her-and she gave it to me. ("I want to know whom to call if you are sick at church and can't speak for yourself.") That information would prove invaluable in the weeks and months to come.

 

Father Smith called on her at her home on Monday, August 29. She was clearly in distress. He called EMS. She was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. With a great deal of support from Jack Fowler, who has just retired as publisher of National Review, several members of the parish stepped in to take care of her until her family could take over. In September, she was diagnosed with an advanced esophageal cancer. She was never able to return to her home on East Seventy-second Street.

 

Father Smith was concelebrant. 

Tuesday before she died, Father Jay Smith visited her at Calvary. She was anointed and received Communion. He also prayed for her the Ministration at the Time of Death. While at a nursing home in Mamaroneck and at Calvary she was visited by family, friends, and fellow parishioners. It seemed to many of us that she received good care in the places where she resided during the last months of her life.

 

Linda was baptized at the age of forty-six. Once the Holy Spirit had led her to the Episcopal Church, she was very loyal to its doctrine and its worship. She loved the memory of her baptism-the cool, cleansing water on a hot summer Sunday morning. She loved the great services of Holy Week-and the Watch Before the Blessed Sacrament. She was an Easter Christian. She died with great faith in the life of the world to come. We will miss her. We are grateful for all that she did for Saint Mary's, its people, and its clergy. -Stephen Gerth

 

Mother and child in the sacristy between Masses on the Fourth Sunday in Lent. 

OUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FORRick, Michael, Primi, Jerry, Kevin, Geneva, Elsa, Grady, Kelly, May, Robert, Nicole, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, Donald, Dennis; Sidney, DEACON; Horace, Hamilton, Ross, Peter, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, PRIESTS; all those preparing for baptism at Easter, especially Rami, James, and Jordan; all victims of war, poverty, famine, and disaster; the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark; and for the repose of the soul of Linda Kay Bridges. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 2: 1873 Mary Christie; 1938 Dewey Thomas Mooney; 1946 Anna K. Hubbell; 1951 Pauline Link; 1960 Marion Pratt Fouquet; 1960 Constance Hopkins; 1963 Marie Gihon.

 

THE ORDINARY WEEKDAYS OF LENT are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. The Fridays of Lent are traditionally observed also by abstaining from flesh meats. Abstinence is not observed on the five Sundays in Lent.

 

FRIDAYS IN LENT . . . On Friday, April 7, at 6:30, we will walk Stations of the Cross for the last time during this season of Lent. We invite you to join us.

 

STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN. . . Our pledge campaign continues, since we have not yet reached our goal for 2017. Here are some statistics: $384,606.00 has been pledged since the beginning of the campaign last October. This is 91% of our pledge goal for 2017. Seventy-one percent (71%) of those who pledged in 2016 have already made a pledge for 2017. We continue to encourage all Saint Marians prayerfully to consider how they can offer their time, talent, and treasure to God here at Saint Mary's during the coming year. We hope to reach our goal of $425,000.00 by June 1, 2017. Please help us to reach that goal. We need your help. To make a pledge for 2017, please fill out a pledge card and mail it to 145 West Forty-sixth Street, New York, NY 10036; place your pledge card in the collection basket at Mass; or make a pledge online. We are grateful to all those who continue to support the parish so generously.

 

Grace Mudd was thurifer
for the Solemn Mass on the Fourth Sunday in Lent.
 

ACOLYTE REHEARSALS. . . Saturday, April 8, 10:00 AM, Rehearsal for Palm Sunday Liturgies . . . Sunday, April 9, 1:15 PM, Rehearsal for Maundy Thursday. Lunch will be provided.

 

THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . April 1-2, 2017, Fifth Sunday in Lent, Saturday Evening: Vigil Mass 5:20 PM; Sunday Morning: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Adult Forum 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM. An opportunity for fellowship follows each of the Masses and Evensong . . . Wednesday, April 5, 12:10 PM Sung Mass; 6:30 PM Wednesday Night Bible Study Class . . . Thursday, April 6, 12:10 PM, Said Mass with Healing Service . . . Friday, April 7, 6:00 PM Evening Prayer and 6:30 PM Stations of the Cross.

 

AROUND THE PARISH . . . A Sung Mass of the Resurrection for parishioner Linda Kay Bridges will be celebrated on Monday, April 10, at 10:00 AM. A reception will follow in Saint Joseph's Hall . . . Looking for Volunteers: On Saturday, April 8, following the acolyte rehearsal, at around 11:00 AM, the Flower Guild will be preparing palms for Palm Sunday. Volunteers are needed and are most welcome. Volunteers are also needed during Holy Week to help prepare for Easter. Please contact Marie Rosseels for more information. Help is needed especially Wednesday through Saturday, April 12-15 . . . The Homeless Ministry's Drop-in Day, originally planned for early February, has been re-scheduled. The event will now take place on Friday, April 28, 2:00-5:00 PM. We hope to provide items from our clothes closet to those in need. A social worker who works with our outreach partner at Breaking Ground will be here in order to provide information about services available to the homeless here in New York. For more information, please speak to Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., or Clint Best . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 150.

 

Incense is prepared before the proclamation of the Gospel.

MUSIC NOTES . . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is the Mass for Four Voices of William Byrd (1543-1623). Byrd composed settings of the Latin Mass for three, four, and five voices. The Mass for Four Voices dates from about 1592, and was probably the first of the three to be composed. The whole business of Latin Masses in post-Reformation England needed to be a somewhat clandestine matter to protect those involved from the possibility of arrest. This being the case, Byrd's part books were undated and without title page or preface, nor was the printer (Thomas East) identified. Fortunately, Byrd's settings survived the period in which their performance -if not their very existence-was illegal, and they are now rightly regarded as great treasures of Western music. Although composed with the Continental Tridentine liturgy in mind, Byrd's Mass for Four Voices was also influenced by the pre-Reformation Mean Mass of John Taverner (c. 1490-1545), particularly in the opening of the Sanctus. The older Taverner setting had already served as a model for settings by English masters Christopher Tye (c. 1505-c. 1573), John Sheppard (c. 1515-1558) and Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Byrd's four-voice Agnus Dei ends with an uncharacteristically expressive Dona nobis pacem. The fourteenth-century Eucharistic hymn Ave verum corpus is attributed to Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362). As a meditation on the presence of Christ in the sacrament and the relationship between suffering and redemption, this text has been sung consistently for centuries in various Eucharistic contexts and set to music by the leading composers of sacred music. -David Hurd 

 

At the Great Thanksgiving 

ADULT EDUCATION. . . On Sundays in Lent, at 10:00 AM, Father Pete Powell continues his class on the Acts of the Apostles . . . During Eastertide, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will present a series of classes entitled "Rising / Rose / Risen: Readings on Resurrection from Scripture into Poetry" . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on Wednesday, April 5, at 6:30 PM in the Nursery. The class will not meet during Holy Week (April 12), nor during Easter Week (April 19). Newcomers are especially welcome; no prior study or attendance is needed.

 

READING FOR LENT, HOLY WEEK & EASTER . . . Several books have recently come to our attention that Saint Marians might find interesting and useful: Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2016), by the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (The Archbishop's Lent Book for 2017); Without Shame or Fear: From Adam to Christ, by the Right Reverend A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of New Hampshire (Church Publishing, 2017); The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (Eerdmans, 2017)by the Reverend Fleming Rutledge. Mother Rutledge has served at several parishes in the diocese of New York. She was senior associate at Grace Church, Broadway, between 1993 and 1995; The Sign and the Sacrifice: The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016), by the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

COMMUNITY OF SAINT JOHN BAPTIST . . . The Third Annual "Nun Better Golf Outing" at the Spring Brook Country Club will take place on Monday, May 8, 2017. The event is designed to raise funds to support the community's various ministries and its convent buildings in Mendham, New Jersey. For more information, please speak to Sister Monica Clare.

 

The Rector greets the congregation during Solemn Evensong & Benediction.

HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE . . . Saturday, April 8,Eve of Palm Sunday, Liturgy of the Palms and Sung Mass 5:00 PM . . . Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday, Liturgy of the Palms and Sung Mass 9:00 AM; Liturgy of the Palms, Procession to Times Square and Solemn Mass 11:00 AM. Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12, Sung Matins at 8:30 AM & Evensong at 6:00 PM . . . April 13, Maundy Thursday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, The Holy Eucharist 6:00 PM. The Watch before the Blessed Sacrament . . . April 14, Good Friday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, The Good Friday Liturgy, 12:30 PM & 6:00 PM. Confessions will be heard by the parish clergy after both liturgies . . . Saturday, April 15, Easter Eve, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, the Great Vigil of Easter 7:00 PM, Reception in Saint Joseph's Hall, around 10:00 PM . . . Sunday, April 16, The Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Said Mass with Hymns 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Organ Recital 4:30 PM, Solemn Paschal Evensong 5:00 PM.

 

LOOKING AHEAD . . . Fridays in Lent, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM and Stations of the Cross 6:30 PM . . . Tuesday, April 25, Saint Mark, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, May 1, Saint Philip and Saint James, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Wednesday, May 24, Eve of Ascension Day, Solemn Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 25, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 M.

ocession. We buy an undecorated candle; this year’s was taller than in recent years. It seemed exactly right. It was for me one moment of a really wonderful and happy Holy Week.

 

Some readers may not know that our baptistry is a relatively small space near the open area between the chancel and the pews in the nave. Saint Mary’s was built at a time when the Eucharist was the heart of the parish’s spiritual life. You can see the altar and the pulpit from every seat in the church. There is a lot of room in the chancel for the ceremonies of the Mass.

 

When we celebrate baptism, as the litany of saints and the prayers for the candidates are chanted, a minister or server carrying the paschal candle leads the clergy and congregation from the chancel steps to the font. People leave their pews and crowd into the area between the pews and the chancel. Many will also go up into the chancel in order to see. The choir comes downstairs from the gallery too.

 

During the procession back from the font, the choir sings Psalm 23 to a beautiful Anglican chant with a congregational refrain, “You anoint my head with oil, and my cup is running over.” We had heard the same psalm five days earlier at the funeral of Jim Dennis, nine days earlier at the funeral of Gerald McKelvey. For this Christian community this year, the Great Vigil was our third, not our first, Mass of Easter. Our faith makes a large claim: we believe in the resurrection of the dead. Our faith is always inviting us to a larger sense of Easter.

 

Our preacher on Maundy Thursday, the Very Reverend Andrew McGowan, dean, Berkeley Divinity School, spoke about the washing of feet. He drew our attention to 1 Timothy 5:9–10, “Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband; and she must be well attested for her good deeds, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, relieved the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way.”

 

Father McGowan spoke about what New Testament Christians and Christians of the era of late antiquity—roughly AD 250–450—meant by the word “worship.” When Christians of the first centuries heard these same words from the First Letter to Timothy, they would have thought “worship.” McGowan’s sermon—and the introductory chapter of his book, “The Origins of Christian Worship,” Ancient Christian Worship [2014], 1–17)—suggests to me that a larger sense of Easter for us has little to do with a larger paschal candle, but everything to do with how we look on and care for others. This is more than a reminder; it’s the call of our baptismal covenant.

 

At Holy Baptism, after confessing the faith of the Apostles Creed, the presiding minister asks the candidates, “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? . . . Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord? . . . Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? . . . Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? . . . Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” The answer to each question is, “I will, with God’s help” (The Book of Common Prayer [1979], 304–5).

 

When I think of the word “worship,” I think first of the prayers we offer together and the prayers I pray as an individual. I wonder what a New Testament Christian looking at my life would label “worship.” I wonder how my life may change as I become aware of the answers. —Stephen Gerth

 

YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Ben, John, McNeil, Daniel, Mazdak, Trevor, Brayden, Andrew, Barbara, Penny, David, Dennis, Dee, Emily, Abalda, Linda, Eric, Takeem, Arpene, Paulette, priest, and Harry, priest; for the repose of the souls of Nicholas Fugueroa, Louis Ragone, and Moises Ismael Locon Yac; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 12: 1881 Frances Greenfield; 1890 Rebecca Nicholas; 1900 Emma Caroline Haines; 1924 Ellen Gunn; 1929 Robert Kane; 1943 Carlotta Dowing; 1975 Viola Codney.

 

THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study class will meet on April 15, at 6:30 PM, in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Saturday, April 11, confessions are heard by appointment only . . . Saturday, April 18, confessions will be heard by Father Jay Smith

 . . . Friday abstinence is not observed during the Easter Season.

 

AROUND THE PARISH . . . The Annual Meeting of the Parish will take place after the Solemn Mass on Sunday, April 19, in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Drafts of all reports are due in the parish office on Monday, April 13 . . . Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B., has returned to Saint Mary’s from the convent in Mendham, where she had been recuperating from pneumonia. She is feeling much better and will resume her work, on a modified basis, in the coming days. Please keep her in your prayers  . . . Visual Arts Project: Friday, April 17, 6:30 PM, Art Exhibition Opening in Saint Joseph’s Hall; The Work of Bruce Stebner . . . Attendance: Maundy Thursday 144; Good Friday 193; Easter Vigil 104; Easter Day 430.

 

REMEMBERING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE . . . The 100th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide will be held in Times Square on Sunday, April 26, beginning at 1:45 PM. This event will pay tribute to the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred by the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire and to the millions of victims of subsequent genocides worldwide. The Divine Liturgy and Times Square program will begin with church services at 10:00 AM at Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral, Second Avenue at 34th Street. The procession to Times Square will start at 12:00 PM, and the program, which will feature speakers from the political, media, and scholarly fields, will begin at 1:45 p.m. Saint Mary’s parishioner Virginia Davies Taylor, whose family is Armenian, invites interested Saint Marians to walk to the square for the commemoration following our Solemn Mass and Coffee Hour.

 

MUSIC THIS WEEK . . . Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594) was a Franco-Flemish composer of great influence and amazing productivity. His catalogue of over 2,000 works in nearly every Latin, French, Italian, and German vocal genre known in his time places him among the most prolific and versatile composers of the era. His approximately 530 motets include many religious works and ceremonial pieces. Almost sixty Masses of undoubted attribution survive complete. The Mass setting we hear at the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning is the Missa “Il me suffit.” It is a parody Mass, and in it Lassus quotes the love song “Il me suffit” for melodic inspiration. Lassus was choirmaster at Saint John Lateran in Rome, where he remained only a short time before returning to his homeland and settling in Antwerp. At the ministration of Communion, we hear a motet by another prolific composer, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1524–1594). His motet, Haec dies (“This is the day”), is but one of twenty-five settings of the Gradual for Easter Day that have been uncovered, and more such works are brought to light with great regularity . . . On Sunday at 4:40 PM, Joseph Russell will play the organ recital. Mr. Russell is a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studies with Alan Morrison. His program includes works by César Franck (1822–1890) and Louis Vierne (1870-1937) . . . On Sunday at 5:00 PM, we will welcome a guest choir for Evensong and Benediction. Voyces is a Staten Island–based early music ensemble dedicated to the study and performance of Renaissance and Baroque vocal works. They will sing The Short Service by Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625) and a motet, If ye love me, by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505–1585). —Mark Peterson

 

VISUAL ARTS PROJECT . . . An exhibition of work by Bruce Stebner will open in the Gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall on Friday, April 17, with a reception in Saint Joseph’s Hall at 6:30 PM. Bruce and his husband, Jim, were married here at Saint Mary’s last year. From the press release for the exhibition: “Today, Bruce dedicates his energy to his painting studio, Patois by Stebner. His paintings entice the viewer to savor personal moments recorded with Bruce’s exuberant use of color and energetic brush strokes. Stebner canvases are inspired by the simple beauty the artist finds in his own home and garden as well as those rustic gems he inhabits in France several times a year. His ‘Artistic Adventures’ are designed for those interested in painting or simply traveling France at an artist’s pace. Happy painting en plain air, Stebner equally adores reliving memories at the easel in his studio.” You can see some of Bruce’s work here.

 

THE HISTORY OF SAINT MARY’S . . . On Thursday, March 26, there was a terrible explosion and fire at 121 Second Avenue, near Seventh Street. That building was destroyed as was an adjacent building, 123 Second Avenue. Buildings at 119 and 125 Second Avenue were also affected. A number of people were injured and many were displaced. Two young men died: Moises Ismael Locon Yac, 26, and Nicholas Figueroa, 23. News reports showed images of the buildings before the explosion. Something about them seemed familiar to our parish archivist and historian, Dick Leitsch. After some careful research he realized that the buildings located at 119–125 Second Avenue had reminded him of 149 Second Avenue, which is located about a block and a half away from where the explosion took place. It turns out that in the late nineteenth century 149 Second Avenue was known as the House of the Holy Comforter Free Church Home for Incurables. The Home was run by the Sisters of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Living Church Quarterly dated December 1, 1895, tells us that “this order is duly incorporated for the care of the needy, sick, and fallen; for the education of the young and all other works of mercy and charity in connection with the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York, and wherever else its services may be given. Address: St. Mary’s Mission House, 133 W. Forty-sixth Street, New York.” Father Thomas McKee Brown, founder and first rector of Saint Mary’s, was the Warden of the order. Mr. Beverly Chew, prominent New Yorker and well-known bibliophile, was a member of the board of trustees of Saint Mary’s and also served as treasurer of the Home at 149 Second Avenue. Though our connection to Second Avenue ended long ago, we can pray for Moises and Nicholas, for their families and friends, and for all those affected by the explosion; and we can continue to learn from and be inspired by the history of our forebears in the faith.

James Ross Smith

 

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on April 15 and will begin reading at Isaiah 28 . . . During three Sundays in Eastertide (April 19, 26, and May 3), Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will be leading the class in a discussion of the links between theology and the arts. Her class, “Be not afraid,” the angel said: God’s Ministering Messengers, From Scripture into Poetry, will begin by presenting the range and role of angels in the Bible, proceed to review some chronological artistic responses in the visual arts and literature in general, and then focus on the images and ideas in a selection of poems, from diverse writers, both obvious and unexpected. The reading, examination, and discussion will keep as its start, and subsequent thread, biblical depiction, while surveying the poetic vision and re-vision of that scriptural skein of thought . . . On May 10, Zachary Roesemann will give a presentation on icons and his work as a painter, or writer, of icons. —J.R.S.

 

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Sunday, April 19, 1:00 PM, Annual Meeting of the Parish . . . Saturday, April 25, Saint Mark the Evangelist, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Thursday, May 14, Ascension Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, May 17, AIDS Walk 2015.