The Angelus

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 39

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 39

FROM THE RECTOR: SUMMER PASTORAL PROJECT

Last summer, after the death of her roommate (and third cousin!) Alice Manning, I asked Linda Bridges for contact information. By the end of August, Linda herself was seriously ill. Many will remember that she died on March 25, 2017, and was buried, in the church in which she was baptized, on Monday in Holy Week, April 20, 2017. It made all the difference in the world that I had pestered her for contact information in case she took ill and could not tell us whom to call. Very aware that many of our most committed and regular members and friends are, like Father Smith and me, getting older, we resolved that during the summer of 2017, we would offer to collect contact information for the local congregation.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 38

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 38

FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR: AAM CONFERENCE IN THE UK

The Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) was born out of a gathering of three prominent American cathedral musicians in 1965 who founded the American Cathedral Organists and Choirmasters Association (ACOCA), modeled on the existing Association of English Cathedral Organists. Annual meetings followed. By 1973 it had become apparent that an American association of Anglican musicians, not limited to musicians serving in cathedrals, was desirable. The new name (AAM) was officially adopted the following year. Signaling a broadening of focus to include the larger Anglican Communion, the AAM Annual Conference in 1978 was hosted at the headquarters of the Royal School of Church Music, Addington Palace, Croydon, England.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 37

FROM THE RECTOR: LOSING MATTHEW'S VOICE

For the last three Sundays the appointed gospel lessons have been from the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. Roman Catholics on these Sundays, if their pastor so chose, had the opportunity to hear almost all of this chapter and in the order in which Matthew wrote it. We Episcopalians did not-the gospel lessons for the 2006 Lectionary are the same as the lessons for these Sundays in the 1979 Lectionary.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 36

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 36

FROM THE RECTOR: DINAH AND OTHER STORIES

In the lectionary for weekday Eucharists, selections from Genesis were read this year early in Epiphany Season and were picked up and continued in the sixth week after Pentecost. Although there are other options for weekday Eucharists, we use this lectionary because it's essentially the only one available to us. It is really the Roman Catholic Church's daily Mass lectionary. Their theological agenda shows up in the selections a little too often for me, but that is a subject for another time.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 35

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 35

FROM THE RECTOR: OPENINGS

One famous opening line is from a novel by L. P. Hartley (1895-1972): "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" (The Go-Between [1953]). It's a great line, but not entirely true. I think William Faulkner is closer to the truth in his novel Requiem for a Nun (1951) when the defense lawyer remarks, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Right now I'm reading Anne Somerset's book Elizabeth I (1991, iPhone edition). Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland, has lost her life, but the Spanish Armada has not set sail. Faulkner's words are apt.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 34

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 34

  

FROM THE RECTOR: RITUAL STUDIES

A footnote reference led me to a book edited by Paul Bradshaw and John Melloh, Foundations in Ritual Studies: A Reader for Students of Christian Worship (2007). I've glanced briefly at all of the articles-and all but two of them made me feel as if I were back in the graduate school grind I knew for a few years before seminary. That said, I'm going to try to read all of the essays because of the editors' selection of the first two, "An Open Letter" by Romano Guardini (1885-1968), and "Ritual" by Mark Searle (1941-1992), who taught at Notre Dame and gave a lecture on "Guardini and the Liturgical Act" to a course for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Notre Dame that I didn't hear in person, but which I have on a cassette. He was a remarkable scholar.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 33

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 33

FROM DAVID HURD: TWO CONFERENCES

The months of June and July are always filled with conferences and conventions of variousorganizations of organists and church musicians. I was privileged to be invited to serve on the faculty of the 2017 Worship and Music Conference that took place during the weeks of 18 June and 25 June. These conferences, sponsored by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM), have been an annual feature at the picturesque Montreat Conference Center near Ashville, North Carolina, for several decades.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 32

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 32

FROM THE RECTOR: HIS ABSENCE AND OUR JOURNEY

A footnote (and the wonders of the Internet) led me to read an article that I don't think I had seen before, "The Real Absence: A Note on the Eucharist" by Canon Donald Gray, a retired and distinguished senior priest of the Church of England (Worship 44 [January 1970, 20-26]). Concerning Christ's eucharistic presence he writes, "The real presence is accompanied by a real absence which summons the people of God into the future and to definitive presence in the ultimate future" (page 26). Gray suggests that our worship is more shaped by our faith in the final destiny of individuals and of humankind than by our past.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 31

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 31

FROM THE RECTOR: TWO APOSTLES

This year the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles, falls on Thursday, June 29. Evening Prayer on the Eve, Wednesday, June 28, will be for this feast. On Thursday, in addition to Morning Prayer and the regular noonday services, Noonday Office and Mass, there will be a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM in place of Evening Prayer. "In by six and out before seven" is my own slogan, as it were, for our "Evening Sung Masses." There's singing and incense, but not everything is sung that would be sung at Solemn Mass.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 30

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 30

FROM THE RECTOR: EATING AND SEEING
 
When I first started attending the Episcopal Church during my college years, my soul was captured by the beauty of the Prayer Book and with the reverence with which the words were prayed. Having been brought up Southern Baptist, I found that the prayers of the book and the place of the Eucharist in the life of the Episcopal Church offered a broader spirituality than I had known. When I think back about the journey of my adult Christian life, the Sunday Eucharist is at its heart. I think that would be true even if I were not a priest.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 29

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 29

FROM THE RECTOR: GESTURES
 

At Canon Carl Gerdau's funeral at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, I was celebrant at a free-standing altar, facing not a tabernacle as at Saint Mary's, but instead the congregation for the Great Thanksgiving. I think I probably read from the altar book more than I usually need to do-to keep my mind from being distracted. One thing I hadn't thought through was where to place the flagon of wine so that the bread, the cup, and the flagon could all be seen-I fiddled a little with it.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 28

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 28

From The Rector: Carlson Gerdau, Priest, 1933-2017

 The Reverend Canon Carlson Gerdau died on Saturday, May 27. His funeral was held on Wednesday, May 31, at Saint Luke's Lutheran Church, 308 West Forty-sixth Street, the congregation in which Carl was baptized. It is worth noting that, in 2001, after thirty years of theological dialogue, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America entered into "full communion." The generous hospitality of Saint Luke's senior pastor, the Reverend Dr. Paul Schmiege, made it possible for Carl to be buried by the Episcopal Church at Saint Luke's.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 27

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 27

FROM THE RECTOR: SHADES OF DEATH

I was celebrant for the noonday services on Thursday, May 18. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The church doors were open. As the congregation began to pray the

Regina Coeli before the Noonday Office and the Eucharist, we did not know that a driver heading south on Seventh Avenue had a few minutes earlier made a U-turn. He drove his car into a crowd of people to kill and maim. As Mass ended, my phone started to vibrate-my brother and his wife were checking up on me. Those of us at Mass learned why we had heard so many sirens during the services. There was an immediate response to assist the many who were injured and to care for the body of Alyssa Elsman, the eighteen-year-old woman who was killed.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 26

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 26

FROM THE RECTOR: CELEBRATE ASCENSION

Our celebration will begin on Ascension Eve, Wednesday, May 24, with Solemn Evensong at 6:00 PM. On Ascension Day, Thursday, May 25, there will be a Sung Eucharist at 12:10 PM. Dr. David Hurd will play an organ recital at 5:30 PM. And at the 6:00 PM Solemn Mass, we will welcome the Reverend Michael Basden to the pulpit. Father Basden was last in the pulpit at Saint Mary's on Friday, September 14, 2001, for Holy Cross Day. He and his wife, Jill Basden, had arrived at Saint Mary's rectory on Sunday evening, September 9. I and many others will always be grateful for their presence here during that difficult week.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 25

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 25

Earlier this week a small group of us heard the Reverend Caroline Stacey, rector, Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, speak about the work their vestry and congregation have been doing to envision their ministry in their church home in future years. The West Village has long since ceased to be a neighborhood for dockworkers and people working in shipping, but their school, for example, was designed and built to serve that population. Of course, it now serves children of a very different background.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 24

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 24

FROM THE RECTOR: A SPECIAL PLACE

There are two notes in my calendar for May 2. In 2009 Rebecca Weiner Tompkins was ordained deacon. (Happy Anniversary, Rebecca!) In 1965, Father Donald Garfield, seventh rector of Saint Mary's, fundamentally changed the pattern of Sunday worship of the parish. He started offering communion to the congregation at the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. This was new for Saint Mary's.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 23

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 23

FROM THE RECTOR: TRANSLATIONS

Many years ago, in a parish I served before becoming a rector, I complained to a semi-retired senior colleague about a particular, and remarkably disruptive, three-year-old child. Week after week the mother let the child have free run of the church during the Sunday service. (Those who know me know it is the rare child who can disturb me even a little during Mass.) The mother, not the child, was out of control. In the sacristy after Mass I said something to my colleague about looking forward to the child to being a little older. He replied, "There will always be a three-year-old in church."

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 22

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 22

At the Reformation, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) chose the beginning of John's account of Easter morning (John 20:1-10) as the gospel for Easter Day and Mark's account (Mark 16:1-8) as the gospel for a second celebration. John included Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, but Cranmer did not. Cranmer gave the Sunday after Easter Day the beginning of John's account of Jesus' appearance on the evening of Easter Day-Jesus' breathing on the disciples and giving them power to forgive sins-not John's narrative of Jesus's appearance on the Sunday after the Sunday of the Resurrection. (Yes, you are reading this correctly.)

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 21

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 21

From the Rector:  Easter Thinking

As I write on the morning of Good Friday, the church can be said to be empty. It awaits the gathering of the community later today to hear the Word of God, to pray, to venerate the cross, and to receive Holy Communion. Saint Joseph's Hall, by contrast, is sea of flowers. On Saturday these flowers will fill the church with beauty and the rich smell of spring. I've never stopped to count the number of times the liturgy and our music will have the word "Alleluia" on our lips between sunset on Easter Eve and sunset on Easter Day; but it will be a lot.

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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 20

VOLUME 19, NUMBER 20

For Episcopalians, the Lenten Season ends at sunset on the eve of the Sunday of the Passion, commonly called Palm Sunday, and Holy Week begins (The Book of Common Prayer [1979], 31). The history of our church calendar is complex and rich. Many varied and often competing strands of history, theology, and devotion have shaped what has come down to us. Choices have to be made. In spite of the rubric in the Prayer Book that the congregation should take the role of the crowd on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, you and I did not crucify Jesus. You and I are the people who begin as Jesus' disciples, his students (John 13:13). But like the men and women at the supper before the Passover, God's mercy, love, and grace has brought us to become not just Jesus' friends (John 13:15),

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