SPECIAL WEATHER NOTICE
As we go to press on Friday, January 22, 2016, I want you to know that I plan to send out an announcement at noon tomorrow about the schedule for Sunday. It’s not unusual for weather forecasts to be wrong, but there is a blizzard warning for Saturday and Sunday for New York City and most of the mid-Atlantic region. The MTA expects public transportation to be “services up and running during harsh winter weather conditions.” That said, sidewalks may not be clear; it may not be safe to venture out of one’s home until Monday. Common sense is one of God’s gifts for all of us. Again, I plan to send an announcement at noon tomorrow about Sunday. —Stephen Gerth
FROM THE RECTOR: YEAR OF LUKE
The Prayer Book calls the lectionary for Sundays and greater feasts and fasts, “The Lectionary.” During the current church year (Year C), the gospel lesson most Sundays will be from Luke. John, which has no year to itself, is used in all three years. One of my study goals for 2016 is to try to see whether the lectionary does a better job of conveying Luke’s theological point of view than the structure of Year B does in conveying the theological perspective of Mark. The problem starts, it seems, with Augustine of Hippo (354–430). It grows to dominate because the bishop of Rome begins to think of himself as Peter. It is only in Matthew that Peter receives the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:19). One always does well to remember Peter’s place in John, Acts, and in the letters of Paul.
Augustine wrote, “Mark seems to have followed Matthew as a kind of camp-follower and abridger” (Neill, Interpretation of the New Testament 1861–1961 , n. 107). Matthew is the only gospel that mentions the “ẻkklesía,” later translated as “church.” His gospel dominates the medieval lectionary that survives among Anglicans, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics until the late 1960s. Beginning in 1838 and across the succeeding decades of the nineteenth century, a scholarly consensus emerged that Mark was the first gospel written and that it has “unique historical value” (Ibid., 108). But, I think it is fair to say that this consensus, which still carries the day, is very hard to discern in the lectionary. In the 1979 lectionary, in the year of Mark, Mark’s account of the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:30–44) and Jesus walking on the water (Mark 6:45–52) are read. In the new lectionary, these are omitted, and the same stories from John are read (John 6:1–21).
Another example: in the original 1979 lectionary one had the option of hearing Mark’s account of the healing of an epileptic child. Jesus said to the child’s father, “ ‘All things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ ” (Mark 9:14–29). That option is no longer listed. In Matthew “unbelief” comes up only once and means that Jesus does not do “many mighty works” in the place where he had grown up (Matthew 13:54–58).
So, as we begin the year of Luke, I’m wondering how the lectionary brings the theological intentions of Luke to us. I’ve started a spreadsheet to see what has been omitted from Luke—and to see where similar stories from Mark or Matthew take precedence. Now one good reason to choose a story from Matthew or Luke over Mark would be that Matthew or Luke altered the story to carry his own theological intention. Stay tuned. —S.G.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Julie, Brent, Mary, Rob, Steve, John, Willy, Ernest, Marthe, Julia, Pearl, Noel, Jason, Sylvia, Stephen, Walter, Martha, Sally, Sam, Jean, Quinn, Heidi, Rasheed, Billy, Karen, Catherine, Trevor, Takeem, Arpene, Sidney, deacon, Horace, priest, Paulette, priest, Gaylord, priest, and Harry, priest, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and Nicholas. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 24: 1945 Fred Moese; 1974 Hugh Addison McEdward.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Luis Emilio Reyes, the father of parishioner Luis Reyes, died on Monday, January 18. He was seventy-eight years old. The liturgy for the Burial of the Dead will take place at the Walter B. Cooke Funeral Home on East Eighty-seventh Street on Monday, January 25, at 10:00 AM. The Committal will follow at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx. Father Smith will officiate. Please pray for Luis, our parishioner Luis Reyes, Luis’s wife Gladys, their friends and family, and all who mourn.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Sunday Worship: January 24, the Third Sunday after the Epiphany: Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Monday, January 25, Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle: Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Monday, January 25, 7:00 PM, Board of Trustees Meeting . . . Wednesday Night Bible Study: Class continues on Wednesday, January 27, at 6:30 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall.
SUPERBOWL PARTY 2016 . . . The Annual Super Bowl Party will take place in Saint Joseph’s Hall on Sunday, February 7, beginning at 6:00 PM. This will be Super Bowl LXX, so even if you aren’t a huge football fan, come for the fellowship, the food, and the halftime show! Admission, for those who are able to pay, is $10.00. We also encourage those who attend to bring a dish to share. Beverages will be provided. Please contact Grace Bruni if you are bringing a dish to share.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . A new Debtors Anonymous meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:40 PM in the Arch Room, on the second floor of the Mission House, beginning on January 27. If you would like more information, contact the parish office or speak to a member of the clergy . . . Father Vern Jones is a good friend and longtime supporter of Saint Mary’s. He lives in Emerald Hills, California. We recently received the following message from him: “I celebrated the sixty-third anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood on December 17 and ask you for your prayers. I cherish the memories of my years (1949–1952) at General Theological Seminary when Saint Mary’s was my parish.” At the age of eighty-eight, though officially retired for many years, Father Jones continues to serve local parishes as a supply priest and to volunteer in other ministries as well. We are grateful for his prayers and his support. We invite you to keep Father Jones in your prayers as well . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 224.
FROM THE ORGANIST & MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Of all the great composers whose music we frequently hear, Mozart (1756–1791) is perhaps the one who has accumulated the most apocryphal anecdotes. It is not strictly true, for example, that he composed all of his works “in his head” before setting them down on paper; the process of writing out often brought small deletions and re-thinking. Nevertheless, the extraordinary amount of music that he poured out—and the fact that his musical language and understanding reached maturity so early—invite us to remain awestruck at his prodigious gifts. The Mass ordinary that we hear at the Solemn Mass on Sunday was written when he was only twelve years old, and on his first visit to Vienna. In later years he was to write several more Masses, while in the employ of the disagreeable Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg (1732–1812), but in this early setting we can perceive a number of characteristics that return again and again. These are typical of the Austrian “concerto Mass,” displaying contrasts of fully choral and solo vocal sections, fugato writing for the Cum Sancto Spiritu in the Gloria and a quicker tempo for the pleni sunt coeli in the Sanctus. In his setting of the charming collect that we hear as Sunday’s Communion motet Orlando Gibbons (1582–1625) employs a range of subtle musical inflections to enhance the prayer. The word “dangers” is set to a minor third interval that exacerbates the darkness of the words and at “stretch forth thy right hand” the invocation seems almost literal as the singers stretch out the lengths of their notes. A powerful climax at the repetitions of “to help and defend us” draws the work to a satisfying and moving conclusion. —Simon Whalley
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Saturday, February 20, 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Lenten Quiet Day, led by Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B. We will gather at 9:30 AM for coffee and introductions. The first address is at 10:00 AM. The second address is at 11:00 AM. The noonday services begin at 12:00 PM. Lunch follows at around 1:00 PM. The third address will begin at 2:00 PM. Final prayers and dismissal will take place around 3:00 PM. Opportunities for quiet in the church and Saint Joseph’s Hall will be provided. All are welcome. Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can make plans for lunch. A $10.00 donation for those attending would be welcome.
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Friday, February 5, 2016, 8:00 PM, Riverside Symphony, in collaboration with the New York Virtuoso Singers: Trial and Triumph, Music by Imbrie, Copland, and Handel. A pre-concert presentation about the evening’s program will begin at 7:15 PM. Tickets may be purchased online or call 212-864-4197 . . . Saturday, February 6, 2016, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra, Saint Mary’s resident orchestra. Music by Fauré, Telemann, and Martinů. Admission is free. $10.00 donation is suggested and most welcome.
HOPE COUNT 2016 . . . On Monday night and Tuesday morning, January 25–26, 2016, from 10:00 PM until 4:00 AM, some 3,000 volunteers will help the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to conduct its annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE), a HUD-mandated citywide community volunteer effort to count each chronically homeless person living in public spaces across the five boroughs during the coldest time of the year. A Saint Mary’s Team has been formed to help with the count. If you would like to join the Team, please do the following: go to the Hope Count website to register; when asked, indicate that you are a member of “The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Times Square Team”; when asked to sign up for a training site, choose PS 191–Amsterdam School, 210 West 61st Street, 10023; then contact Father Jay Smith to tell him that you have joined the Team. The HOPE Count is an opportunity to get involved in New York City's effort to reduce chronic street homelessness at a time when the number of homeless people in New York City is on the rise. —Jay Smith
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We are collecting warm clothing (coats, jackets, scarves, hats, and gloves) for distribution here at the parish. Please bring donations to the parish kitchen on Sunday or contact Father Jay Smith . . . We continue to collect nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Church, 423 West Forty-sixth Street . . . The Saint Mary’s Book Sale continues on Sunday mornings. All proceeds are used to serve those in need at Saint Mary’s, in our neighborhood, and beyond . . . Need help finding food or know someone who does? Call 1-800-5-HUNGRY (Why Hunger Hotline, Monday–Friday 9:00 AM–6:00 PM EST) or 1-866-3-HUNGRY (USDA National Hunger Hotline, 8:00 AM–8:00 PM EST). —J.R.S.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Monday, February 1, Eve of Candlemas, Solemn Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, February 2, Candlemas, Sung Mass 12:10 PM & Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, February 3, Saint Blase, Blessing of Throats, 12:40 PM (following the Mass at 12:10 PM) and 6:20 PM (following Evening Prayer) . . . Sunday, February 7, 6:00–9:00 PM, Superbowl Party . . . February 10, Ash Wednesday