FROM FATHER SMITH:
"LISTEN, AND INCLINE THE EAR OF YOUR HEART"
Last Friday, I traveled to Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York, to attend the ordination of Brother Aidan William Owen, O.H.C., to the priesthood. The bishop of New York was the celebrant that morning. Sister Elizabeth Broyles, C.M.A., preached the sermon.
The ordination took place in the monastery chapel, a space where prayer is offered many times each day, as it has been for many years. Such sacred spaces, I often feel, are inhabited by the memory, and the power, of all that praying. At Holy Cross, it is as if the words of the Eucharist and the psalms--the heart of monastic prayer--hang there patiently in the chapel, just waiting to become audible once again.Read More
On Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, it was cloudy and just a little cool for a late spring day in New York City. Rain had been threatened, but it didn't appear. This year our route for the eucharistic procession was not around Duffy Square-the northern triangle of Times Square-but around a portion of the southern triangle, between Forty-sixth and Forty-fifth streets. About twenty minutes before our Solemn Masses on Palm Sunday and Corpus Christi, the MCRead More
FROM THE RECTOR: NEW STUDY FOR CORPUS CHRISTI
The Reverend Dr. Stephen R. Shaver completed his doctorate in liturgical studies last year at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. This month he begins his first position as a rector at the Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa, California. Our paths have crossed a few times. He was Fr. Louis Weil's last teaching assistant before Weil's retirement from the faculty of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Fr. Shaver has just published the first of a two-part article. Its title is "A Eucharistic Origins Story Part 1: The Breaking of the Loaf" (Worship 92 [May 2018], 204-21). I want to tell you about this first article and to say that I'm looking forward to reading part two.Read More
FROM FATHER SMITH: "BACK HOME" AND "OVER THERE"
When I was growing up Roman Catholic in my small town in Western New York in the middle of the last century, "the missions" were something that took place "over there," a long way from "back home." Only specially qualified people went to serve in the missions. They were mostly white, but we didn't notice that, because we were mostly white, too. Every once in a while a "missionary" would come to the parish on a Sunday to preach. He would talk about his work "over there" and would ask for donations to assist with his faraway labors.Read More
FROM THE RECTOR: PENTECOST BRETHREN
At the end of Luke, Jesus said to his apostles, "Stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49b). In the Acts of the Apostles, on the day called "Pentecost" (from the Greek for "fiftieth"), the people of Jerusalem are celebrating a harvest festival, "the feast of weeks" described in Exodus 23:16, Leviticus 23:15-21, and Deuteronomy 16:9-12. But some are not. "They" (Acts 2:1) are together waiting for Jesus' promised gift, and on the day of the festival the gift arrives (Acts 2:2-13).Read More
FROM THE RECTOR: MITTIES MCDONALD DECHAMPLAIN, priest, 1948-2018
On Friday afternoon, May 8, the Reverend Dr. Mitties DeChamplain attended the noonday services here at Saint Mary's. Father Matt Jacobson, who is a physician and her former student at the General Theological Seminary, was celebrant. Sometime after the Eucharist was over, in her conversation with Matt, it was clear to him that something was wrong, that she was not herself. He called me. I brought Sr. Monica Clare and our bookkeeper, Kristie Raynor, an emergency medical technician, to the sacristy.
FROM THE RECTOR: SACRED, SECULAR, AND RELIGIOUS
Let me begin with the very happy news that on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., was elected by her community to make her vow of final profession as a sister of the Community of St. John Baptist. Her commitment to the religious life is a witness of God's continuing work through the church. Bishop Allen Shin, who serves as episcopal visitor of her order, will receive her vows at a service at their convent in Mendham, New Jersey, on Friday, June 8, 2018, at 10:30 AM. All are invited.Read More
FROM FATHER PACE: THEN & NOW
The High Altar, Sunday, April 22, 2018
Photo by Ricardo Gomez
The Saint Mary's AIDS Walk has been a major outreach effort of this parish for many years. The Team has begun its fundraising efforts in preparation for this year's Walk, which will take place on the Day of Pentecost, May 20, 2018. You may read more about the Walk, the Team, and its efforts below, in the paragraph entitled "AIDS Walk 2018." We invite you to view a video on YouTube, in which Team members speak about their commitment to this effort. We also encourage you to visit the Team's AIDS Walk webpage, where you can join the TeamRead More
FROM THE DEACON: WALK IN THE LIGHT
Tuesday morning in Holy Week, I walked in the front doors of Saint Mary's and headed straight toward the back, a shortcut. Busy preparations for the Thursday and Friday altar of repose were already going on. In the pews, many homeless men and women had settled in for a day of undisturbed rest, guaranteed since the church had already opened. Most were sleeping, coats or blankets wrapped around them in that still-cold early hour. Coming in from the street with its
FROM THE RECTOR:
One memory from my seminary days that almost always brings a smile to my face is remembering that at Morning Prayer or Evensong (depending on the lectionary year), on the Friday of the second week of Easter, the lector for the week, a middler (a student in the second of three years), would have to read Daniel 3:1–18. It’s the first part of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being cast into the fiery furnace. They survive the furnace because of the intervention of their God (Daniel 3:19–30). Smirking—giggling—would begin early.Read More
FROM THE RECTOR: MORE THAN FRIENDS
In this lectionary year (BCP , 904-06), the gospel appointed for the Eucharist on Easter Day was from Mark; on the third Sunday of Easter it will be from Luke. On the other Sundays in Eastertide the gospel is from John. This "fourth gospel"-so named, I think, because of its order in the New Testament canon, and because it is thought to be the latest of the four gospels-has a distinctive theological point of view on two issues of continuing relevance. Both invite us to think in a different way about our relationship to Jesus Christ and to each other. (One of those issues is the Eucharist-a subject for another day!)Read More
FROM THE RECTOR: RESURRECTION
In the gospels, the words about the Risen Lord were met at first with fear, confusion, and disbelief by all, except in the gospel of Matthew. In Mark, the empty tomb and the word of the resurrection bring fear and silence to the women who have gone to the tomb (Mark 16:1-8). They go inside the tomb. A young man tells them, " 'Do not be amazed . . . He has risen . . . go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' And they went out and fled from the tomb . . . and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid."Read More
FROM THE RECTOR: HOLY WEEK 2018
The Right Reverend Allen K. Shin, bishop suffragan, will be with us as celebrant and preacher for the liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday at 12:30 PM, and the Great Vigil of Easter. But first, some words about the beginning of Holy Week.
In the Prayer Book Calendar, Holy Week begins with "The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday" and concludes on Holy Saturday; the Easter Season begins on Easter Eve (BCP , 31-32). As I write on Friday morning, March 23, it seems likely that we will be able to have a procession through Times Square as part of our Liturgy of the Palms at the Solemn Mass on Sunday. This will be my twentieth Palm Sunday at Saint Mary's-and we've only been rained out once.
FROM THE RECTOR: FEED ON JESUS
My thinking about the worship of Holy Week and Easter has continued to be shaped by a remark Jeffrey Lee made to me shortly after I became rector of Trinity Church, Michigan City, Indiana, in 1988. Jeffrey was then canon to the ordinary in the diocese of Northern Indiana. Since 2008 he has been the bishop of Chicago.Read More
FROM FATHER SMITH: A WITNESSING PRESENCE
For hundreds of years, many Christians believed that it was possible for the biblical text to mean more than one thing and that multiple meanings need not be in conflict. They firmly believed that a passage might have both a literal and a spiritual sense, or, indeed, more than one spiritual sense. As a result, biblical commentary became a complex and creative task. The Song of Songs seemed particularly to invite such readings. Medieval monks were aware
FROM THE RECTOR: CERTAINTY
Until the present Prayer Book was adopted, the last anthem prayed at the beginning of the Burial of the Dead was, "We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (BCP , 324). The first of these combined sentences is from Job 1:21, the second 1 Timothy 6:7. This anthem was replaced in the traditional language rite of the Prayer Book with these words,
FROM DEACON REBECCA WEINER TOMPKINS: ABIDE IN LOVE
In the passage from John's gospel, read at the Eucharist last Wednesday, February 21, the day commemorating John Henry Newman, the nineteenth-century priest and theologian, we hear that "God is love, and those who abide in God abide in love, and God abides in them" (1 John 4:16). It is easy for us believers to hold that in our hearts.
Many members and friends of the parish may remember that on Sunday, December 31, 2017, and on New Year's Day, we worshiped in Saint Joseph's Hall. The valve that controls the heat to the church, but not the rest of the complex, was broken. Relatively mild weather on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meant the church could be used. Bitter cold arrived later in the week. We moved to the hall. The problem was not fixed until Friday, January 5. That said, there were many graces in our worship there.Read More
FROM THE RECTOR: LENT TODAY
In his new book Classical Principles for Modern Design (2018), parishioner Thomas Jayne writes, "I define traditional decorating as contemporary decorating using historic models. We use them not because we lack imagination, but because their core elements have been perfected over two millennia" (page 15). His inspiration is Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman's The Decoration of Houses (1897)-the book that is regarded as "the Bible of interior decoration" (page 7). For us Episcopalians, our indispensable resources for worship are the Bible and The Book of Common Prayer. I think it can be said of them also, that we use them "not because we lack imagination, but because their core elements have been perfected over two millennia." One recalls the words of Jesus in Matthew, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old" (Matthew 13:52). So, if I may put it this way, where is my thinking about Lent today?Read More
I write on the morning of February 1. Yesterday I completed nineteen years of service as rector of this congregation. This morning I find myself thinking about all those who have gone before me in this work, especially my predecessor, the Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, our rector emeritus.Read More