FROM THE RECTOR: CELEBRATING THE SAINTS
Most of the great festivals of the church year are associated in my mind with hymns. It really does feel like the morning of the resurrection when, at the end of the Great Vigil of Easter, we sing "Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!" For me, it really is Christmas when the organ begins to introduce our final hymn at the Christmas Eve Masses, "Hark! the herald angels sing." At Epiphany it's "Brightest and best of the sons of the morning"-to the tune Star in the East. For Trinity Sunday it's "I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity." And of course for All Saints' Day, it's "For all the saints." This hymn will be sung at the 12:10 PM Sung Mass and at the 6:00 PM Solemn Mass on Tuesday, November 1, All Saints' Day.
Friday, October 21, 2016 Our celebration of All Saints' Day begins on "All Hallows' Eve," Monday, October 31, with Solemn Evensong-just Evensong, no sermon, no Eucharistic Benediction. The canticles will be the Short Service by Gibbons (1583-1685). The anthem will be Gaudent in coelis by Victoria (1548-1611). The service will begin at 6:00 PM and will conclude at approximately 6:40 PM. The parish's first rector, Thomas McKee Brown (1841-1898) wrote of the parish's founding commitment of "restoring to its proper place and importance the Worship of God-the rendering [of] Adoration to Him as a Congregational and ceremonial act-, (made beautiful, majestic and impressive by all the outward adornments, which are called the Beauty of Holiness, springing from the heart-love, within)" (Read, The Story of St. Mary's , 17). In its own way, the simple service of Solemn Evensong represents this intention as fully as any other celebration of the year.
As is our custom on principal feasts, Morning Prayer will be sung at 8:30 AM- about twenty to twenty-five minutes in length. Noonday Prayer will be offered at 12:00 PM. The 12:10 PM Mass will be a simple Sung Mass. I'm the celebrant and preacher. There will be a short homily. We try to offer this Mass in a suitable time frame (about thirty-five minutes) so that people can get back to work.
The tradition here of offering an organ recital before evening feast-day Solemn Masses began under our rector emeritus, the Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells-and a wonderful tradition it is. On All Saints' Day, Dr. Ryan Jackson, William S. Perper Director of Music & Fine Arts Ministries, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City, will play an organ recital at 5:30 PM. His program includes works by Charles Tournemire (1870-1939), Rachel Laurin (b. 1961), and
César Franck (1822-1890).
The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, is a great friend of our parish community-he's known the parish since he was a teenager. It's always wonderful to have him with us, and especially for the celebration of All Saints'. He will be celebrant and preacher for the Solemn Mass. A reception follows the Eucharist in Saint Joseph's Hall.
The history of the celebration of the saints-in the New Testament sense of all of the people of God-is a rich and complex one. At the English Reformation prayer to and for the departed was removed from the 1552 Prayer Book. It began to return in the wake of the Oxford Movement. In the second edition of Saint Mary's first parish newsletter, The Arrow, for November 1891, All Souls' Day was celebrated with Said Masses at 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, and 9:00 AM, and with a Solemn Mass at 9:30 AM. In addition, after Evening Prayer there was a special litany prayed for he departed. The celebrations change over the years, but we do celebrate all the baptized, the living and the dead, on All Saints' Day. On All Souls' Day and at the requiem Masses offered in the days that follow, we remember by name those whom we knew who are now in the nearer presence of God.
I hope many can be with us for one or more of the services for the saints of God. As I write, I can hardly wait to hear that first great chord of Sine Nomine, the tune Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) composed for the wonderful text "For all the saints" by William Walsham How (1823-1897), a distinguished bishop of the Church of England. Nothing expresses our "heart-love" for those who have died or our faith any better.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Julie, Penny, Carolyn, Linda, Robert, Nicole, Donald, Rebecca, Jimmie, Robin, Guy, Augustina, Sofia, Ridhima, Harish, Geetha, Joanna, Jason, Dolly, Melissa, Jean, Barbara, Sharon, Philip, Juliana, H eidi, Catherine, Donald, Sam, Burton, Arpene, Takeem, Toussaint, Abraham; Sidney, deacon; Horace, Hamilton, Gaylord, Harry, and Louis, priests; all victims of war, poverty, famine, and disaster; and the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and Nicholas . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 30: 1949 Sara Whicher Holden; 1956 Matilde Mathews; 1967 Cicely Hunt; 1990 David A. Hessing.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Stewardship packets were mailed on Tuesday, October 11, and the Campaign is off to a good start. Here are some statistics: $164,475.00 has been pledged so far. This is 39% of our pledge goal for 2017. We hope to achieve three goals b etween now and November 20, Commitment Sunday: (1) 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; (2) to raise $425,000.00 during this year's pledge campaign; and (3) to have all those who made a pledge for 2016 to fulfill that pledge no later than December 31, 2016, and earlier than that if possible. 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; or place your pledge card in the collection basket at Mass; or make a pledge online . We are extraordinarily grateful to all those who made pledges for 2016 and to those who have already made a pledge for 2017. To learn more about stewardship or the Stewardship Campaign, please speak to Father Gerth, or to a member of the Stewardship Committee (MaryJane Boland; Steven Heffner; or Marie Rosseels, chair).
ALL SOULS' DAY REMEMBRANCE . . . All Souls' Day packets were mailed to the members and friends of the parish early last week. The packets contained a letter from the rector, a prayer-request form, the schedule of Requiem Masses, and a return envelope. Those wishing to have the names of the departed read during the Prayers of the People at the annual Parish Requiem Masses following All Souls' Day should complete the form and return it to the parish office as soon as possible. Prayers for the Departed will be offered according to the following schedule, by the last name of the person making the intention (for example, the names provided by Ms. Perez will be read at the Masses celebrated on the fourth day-Last names O-Q): 1. Thursday, November 3, Last names A-E; 2. Friday, November 4, Last names F-K; 3. Saturday, November 5, Last names L-N; 4. Monday, November 7, Last names O-Q; 5. Tuesday, November 8, Last names R-Z. Prayer requests may be mailed to the parish office in the return envelope. They may also be sent via email. It is traditional for an offering to accompany the prayer requests. We encourage our members and friends to be generous.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, October 29, 7:30 PM, Concert: Trident Ensemble . . . Sunday, October 30, 2016, The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM, Adult Education 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass with Organ and Choir 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Monday, October 31, Eve of All Saints' Day, Solemn Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, November 1, All Saints' Day, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, November 2, All Souls' Day, 12:10 PM Sung Mass & 6:00 PM Sung Mass and Blessing of the Vault, with Quartet from the Parish Choir. . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org not meet on November 2 . . . On Wednesdays, the daily 12:10 PM Eucharist is a Sung Mass; on Thursdays the daily 12:10 PM Eucharist is a Mass with Healing Service.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . One of Dr. David Hurd's compositions will be premiered by the Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, at their concert on Monday, November 7, at 7:30 PM. From the Lincoln Center website: " We Remember, a program of choral music reflecting on the lives of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Featuring Mozart's Requiem (Franz Beyer's re-orchestration), along with Steven Stucky's Take Him Earth and Whispers, and the premiere of David Hurd's newly orchestrated In Honor of Martin." You can watch a short interview of Dr. Hurd speaking with Malcolm Merriweather, Dessoff Choirs music director, about the composition here. As we go to press, tickets are still available.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We are delighted that the Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, XV Bishop of New York, will be celebrant and preacher for the Great Vigil of Easter in the new year . . . Thank you to all those who came out to celebrate Oktoberfest last Saturday night. Dinner was delicious (thank you to all those who brought dishes and beverages to share!). It was wonderful that so many people pitched in at the evening's end to help our sexton get things ready for Sunday morning. Thank you to all those who helped organize the event, to set up for dinner, and to make the Hall look so lovely. A special word of thanks is due to David Hurd, who traveled back from North Carolina on Saturday in order to lead the Hymn Sing. This was David's first Oktoberfest at the parish and it was wonderful to have him with us . . . Thank you to Michael Devonshire, director of conservation at the architectural firm of Jan Hird Pikorny Associates, Inc., who kindly agreed to write the article for last week's newsletter. It was wonderful to learn about a man whose beautiful work we live with every day. We hope to hear from Mike again in the near future . . . Parishioner Penny Allen will be undergoing a second surgical procedure on Friday, October 28, at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Parishioner Robin Landis recently had surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center following a cycling accident. He and his wife, Sally Landis, returned to New York this week. He will continue his recuperation at home. Parishioner Linda Bridges has moved to the Sarah Neuman campus of the New Jewish Home. Sarah Neuman is located at 845 Palmer Avenue, Mamaroneck, New York (914-864-5621). Before visiting, please call the Sarah Neuman Home to confirm that Linda is there; and please keep Penny, Robin, Sally, and Linda in your prayers . . . Altar Flowers are needed for the following Sundays: November 6, 13, and December 11 (Rose Sunday) . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 226.
A SPECIAL WORD OF THANKS . . . José Vidal continues to enrich our parish life by his volunteer work as curator for exhibitions of the works of local artists in Saint Joseph's Hall. This past week, when I saw him was taking down and packing the unsold works from the "Affordable Latino Art Sale," I couldn't help but ask, "What's next?" I knew something new and great would be coming. Thank you, José, for all of your gifts, for the great amount of time you have dedicated to this ministry, and for bringing a contemporary expression of beauty into our common life. -S.G.
MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY . . . We hope to receive donations for the receptions in Saint Joseph's Hall on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and December 8 (The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary). (Donations for hospitality on Sundays are also always welcome.) On November 8, Bishop Frank Griswold will be with us. On December 8, Bishop Andrew Dietsche will be making his visitation. We would like to be able do something festive on both evenings, if possible. When making donations, please write "Hospitality" in the memo line of your check. Thank you to all those who support this ministry so generously.
MUSIC NOTES . . . The Mass setting on Sunday morning is by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). Mendelssohn blossomed early as a conductor, composer, and pianist. His initial music studies in Berlin were followed by travel in England, Scotland, Italy, and France before his appointment in 1833 as music director in Düsseldorf. Two years later he became conductor of the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig, where, together with Schumann and others, he founded the Leipzig Conservatorium in 1842. His 1829 Leipzig performance of Bach's Saint Matthew Passion helped decisively to stimulate the nineteenth-century rediscovery of the music of J. S. Bach (1685-1750). His contributions as a composer span the categories of orchestral, choral, stage, chamber, piano, vocal and organ works. His music is said to have set the canons of mid-Victorian musical taste. Mendelssohn's Die Deutsche Liturgie (1846) for eight-voice double choir includes Kyrie (not sung this morning), Gloria (Ehre sei Gott), and his previously composed Sanctus (Heilig, 1844). Agnus Dei (Lamm Gottes) is an adaptation of Mendelssohn's eight-voice motet In der Passionszeit (Herr, gedenke nicht), from Sechs Sprüche, Op. 57, 1844). The motet sung during the administration of Communion is a setting of Psalm 133 for five voices (SATTB) by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612), a student of Andrea Gabrieli in Venice, and one of the first of a succession of German composers to experience in Italy the musical innovations that were shaping what would later be identified as Baroque style. Although he was a Protestant, Hassler's early compositions were for the Roman church. The organ prelude and postlude on Sunday are Felix Mendelssohn's Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Op. 37. Composed in 1837 (Prelude) and 1834 (Fugue), this pairing is the first of three Preludes and Fugues dedicated to Mendelssohn's friend Thomas Attwood, the London organist and composer, and former student of Mozart. The Prelude is marked Vivace and has a stern, assertive nature. One wonders if Mendelssohn drew inspiration from Bach's similarly muscular Prelude, BWV 546, in the same key. Mendelssohn's fugue is marked Con moto and, despite its dark key, it maintains the rhythmic character of a Gigue . -David Hurd
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, October 29, 7:30 PM, Trident Ensemble, "Untold Peace."From the ensemble's website, "Join Trident as we explore works inspired by armed conflict, and reflect on the feelings of remorse, remembrance, supplication, and even joy, that follow in its wake. Light is not light without dark but can peace exist without war?" Doors open at 7:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased online . . . Friday, December 2, 8:00 PM, New York City Master Chorale, "Majesty and Light." Music by Rutter and Lauridsen. Featuring the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Orchestra. Tickets may be purchased online . . . Saturday, December 3, 2016, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra. Annual Benefit Concert. Tickets $10.00. Music by Pärt (Trisagion) and Beethoven (Symphony No. 9). Saint Mary's parishioners Grace Bruni, cello, and Mark Risinger, baritone, will perform at this concert.
ADULT EDUCATION . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class: This year the class, which is led by Father Jay Smith, is reading Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans. The class meets next on November 10, at 6:30 PM, in Saint Joseph's Hall. We will begin our reading that evening at Romans 2:4. The class will not meet on November 2 . . . The Adult Forum continues on Sunday, October 30, at 10:00 AM. Father Jim Pace will give a presentation on Saint Martin de Porres . . . On Sundays at 10:00 AM, during the month of November, Father Pete Powell will be teaching a class on the Acts of the Apostles. Father Powell writes, "During the month of November, and then again during Lent, we will study volume 2 of Luke, more commonly known as the Acts of the Apostles. Here we find the story of the beginning of the church. Much of what we think we know about Paul we read in Acts. Much of what we think we know about the struggles in the church as it became majority Gentile, we learn from Acts. In other words Acts contains the formative stories about how the church came to be when the Parousia, the Second Coming, didn't happen as the Gospels suggested it would. One can argue, successfully, that Jesus never intended to found a church. Acts shows how early Christians survived and ultimately thrived. We will examine the context of Acts and what it has to say about the church today. The church is more directly the child of Acts and the Letters of Paul than the child of the Gospels. However, Paul and Acts have different and sometimes irreconcilable differences on what it means to be the church. Acts was written after the Epistles and in many ways tries to tame Paul. While we read Acts at Mass during the Sundays after Easter the content of it is usually overlooked. In these series of Sunday mornings we'll look closely at texts which undergird Christianity as we know it."
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Sunday, November 6, Daylight Saving Time ends . . . November 3-5, 7-8, Parish Requiem Masses (Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM, except on Saturday, November 5, when only the 12:10 PM Mass is a Requiem Mass) . . . Sunday, November 20, The Last Sunday after Pentecost and Commitment Sunday. Parishioners are invited to place their pledge cards in the collection baskets during the Offertory.
IN THE GALLERIES . . . At the Frick Collection, 1 East Seventieth Street at Fifth Avenue, Cagnacci's "Repentant Magdalene": An Italian Baroque Masterpiece from the Norton Simon Museum, October 25, 2016 to January 22, 2017. The reproductions of this painting on the Frick's website suggest that it is a striking and unusual picture. The blatant sensuality of the depiction of Mary Magdalene suggests that Cagnacci, like most of his artistic predecessors, has chosen to misread the biblical accounts concerning Saint Mary Magdalene. Still, a visit to the Frick is always worthwhile, and this picture might inspire some viewers to go back to the biblical texts (with gratitude to former parishioner Joan Baldridge who taught many Saint Marians how to read the misreadings of Mary Magdalene's story).