VOLUME 19, NUMBER 20
APRIL 9, 2017
FROM THE RECTOR: HOLY WEEK 2017
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 , 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), but his sisters and brothers (John 20:17). Christians move through the worship of Holy Week and Easter Day as members of the body of Christ. That's the challenge of our Christian hope.
As I write on Friday morning, April 7, the weather forecast for Palm Sunday should be perfect for the procession through Times Square during the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. The other services of the Liturgy of the Palms and Mass are the Vigil Mass on Saturday, April 8, at 5:00 PM and the 9:00 AM service on Sunday. Remember: There is no 10:00 AM Mass at Saint Mary's on Palm Sunday.
On Maundy Thursday we gather for the Holy Eucharist at 6:00 PM. The service includes the Washing of Feet-for those who are new to the parish, all are welcome to sit to have their feet washed and then to wash the feet of the next person. Bread and wine are consecrated for the communion of the church on Good Friday. The church will be open all night so that all who wish may spend time in prayer as Jesus did the night before he suffered.
On Good Friday we welcome again the Very Reverend Andrew McGowan, who has been dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University and McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School, to the pulpit of Saint Mary's. Dean McGowan is a liturgical scholar, with a special interest in early Christian Eucharists. He was our preacher for Maundy Thursday in 2015. He will preach at both the 12:30 PM and the 6:00 PM services on Good Friday.
On Easter Eve, we are honored to welcome the Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, XV Bishop of New York, as celebrant and preacher for the Great Vigil of Easter at 7:00 PM. Three teenagers will be baptized. The glorious music of Easter will echo through the church. At about 10:00 PM we will be raising the roof, as it were, with the final hymn, "Jesus Christ is risen today."
On Easter Day we sing at all of the services-at Matins, at the said Masses, at Solemn Mass, and Solemn Paschal Evensong & Benediction. Dr. Timothy Pyper, who was our organist and music director for Holy Week and Easter Day last year, will play a recital at 4:30 PM. May God's Holy Spirit help us to recognize the Risen Christ in our midst, not just in our lives and our worship, but in all people. -Stephen Gerth
OUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR William Henry, Miguel, Joseph, Roberta, Michael, Rick, Patricia, Primi, Jerry, Kevin, Elsa, Grady, Kelly, May, Robert, Nicole, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, Donald, Dennis; Sidney, deacon; Horace, Hamilton, Ross, 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 9: 1881 Mary Eleanor Gregory; 1887 William Chaplin; 1918 George Milton Jacocks; 1929 Sue Elizabeth Hoffman Henderson; 1932 Josephine L. Hanna; 1938 Otis G. Bishop.
THE WEEKDAYS OF HOLY WEEK are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. Good Friday is traditionally a day of fasting and abstinence from flesh meats.
DOING OUR BEST. . . On Thursday afternoon, April 6, we were faced with a homeless person who was not following the very few rules we have for those who seek to rest during the day in our church. The person was verbally abusive and threatening to our staff. He refused to leave the church. For whatever reason, I was moved not to call the police, but to close the church at about 2:30 PM. I apologized to those who had come to rest and to pray. We reopened at 5:30 PM. Except for the person who was disruptive, everyone else who left without exception was understanding of the situation. There were two other incidents of note this week. The problem of homelessness is extremely complex. I'm very thankful for the initiative taken by Father Smith, Sr. Monica Clare, Clint Best, and to our sextons for our ministry in this area. Saint Mary's open doors are fundamental for us. We have posted new signs at the entrances to the church, outlining our rules and expectations. We are determined not to allow these events to derail our ministries, but we are equally committed to preserving the safety of our staff members and of all those who enter our building to pray and rest. -S.G.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Our pledge campaign continues, since we have not yet reached our goal for 2017. 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.
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 and served in the Nursery . . . Thursday, April 13, Rehearsal for Maundy Thursday 5:00 PM . . . Friday, April 14, Rehearsals for Good Friday 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM . . . Saturday, April 15, Rehearsal for the Great Vigil of Easter 4:00 PM.
CANDLE SALE. . . Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B., is the sacristan of the parish. She has been saving candle remnants for some time now in order to prepare for Saint Mary's first Candle Sale. On Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday, following Solemn Mass, sister and a team of volunteers will be displaying their waxen wares in Saint Joseph's Hall. We invite you to purchase a candle-or two, or three-for use in your home. All proceeds will be used to fund repairs in the frontal room, the doors of which are badly in need of attention.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Please see Father Gerth's article above, or the parish website, for a complete schedule of our Holy Week services . . . 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 . . . Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12, Morning Prayer will be sung at 8:30 AM. Evening Prayer will be sung at 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, April 12, 12:10 PM Sung Mass. There is no Bible Study Class during Holy Week or Easter Week..
AROUND THE PARISH . . . 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 . . . As some members of the parish know, Father Jim Pace has been very busy in recent months preparing for a very busy week at his "day job" as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing. He and his colleagues have been getting ready for a three-day visit this week from members of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the accrediting arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Father Pace informed us this morning that he and his colleagues "have just completed the exit interview with the [CCNE] team these past two hours. We passed all four standards of the self-study document, and there were absolutely no compliance concerns with the fifty-four critical elements. So, all of our programs are now accredited for the next ten years. It's a truly good day for [the College]." Congratulations, Father Pace! . . . Thursday evening Father Gerth attended a meeting of the Society of Catholic Priests at the Church of Saint Edward the Martyr. Bishop Shin made a presentation at the meeting that centered on the late Archbishop Michael Ramsey's book The Christian Priest Today . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 192.
MUSIC NOTES . . . The musical setting of the Sanctus and Agnus Dei at the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning is from Missa in die tribulationis by Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594). Di Lasso, or Lassus, as he was also known, was one of the most prolific and admired European composers of his time. Born at Mons in the Franco-Flemish province of Hainaut, Lassus was well traveled, particularly in northern Italy, but was centered in Munich during much of his adult life. His compositions include about sixty authenticated Mass settings, most of which are elaborate parody works based upon motets, often his own, as well as French chansons, and Italian madrigals from such composers as Gombert, Willaert, Resta, Arcadelt, Rore, and Palestrina. Missa in die tribulationis is based upon a motet of the same name by Jacquet de Mantua (1483-1559), a setting of a Matins Responsory for Palm Sunday with text taken from Psalm 77 and Matthew 28, and is in five voices. Lassus' Mass setting is scored likewise.
The whole business of Latin church music in post-Reformation England needed to be a somewhat clandestine matter to protect those involved from the possibility of arrest. Nonetheless, William Byrd (c. 1540-1623), by dint of his musical genius and political savvy, was able to compose and publish richly both for the Protestant English church of his time and for the Catholic liturgy of his conviction. The first volume of Byrd's Cantiones Sacrae, published in 1589, included his five-voice setting of Civitas sancti tui, which is the second part of the motet Ne irascaris Domine. This second part of Byrd's motet, with text taken from Isaiah 64:10, will be sung during the administration of Communion on Sunday morning. -David Hurd
SAINT MARY'S IN THE NEW YORK TIMES . . . Last Sunday, in the Arts and Leisure section of the Times, a lovely photo of the interior of the church, taken from the gallery during a performance of the Tallis Scholars, was used to illustrate a long article on choral music. The photo, nearly a half-page in the print edition, shows off the church to great advantage. A couple of days later we heard from parishioner Terry Carlson, who now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He, too, had seen the picture and shared his reminiscences. Terry remembers being in the gallery when the picture was taken some years ago by Times photographer Karsten Moran. Terry was able to examine the photo in Mr. Moran's camera view-finder immediately after it was taken and he knew that it was a good one. He was always disappointed that the paper's photo editors had never found a way to use it before now. If you look at the photo, you'll see that the nave is lit brilliantly and that the lighting helps make the photo the striking image that it is. We remain very grateful to Terry Carlson, who, at that time, had taken our rather simple lighting system and created a design, using limited resources, that has made it possible for many arts organizations to perform in the church and for us to worship in a well-lit space. Thank you, Terry!
ADULT EDUCATION . . . On Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday, at 10:00 AM, Father Pete Powell will conclude his class on the Acts of the Apostles. The parish clergy, the members of Father Powell's class, and, indeed, the members of the parish, are grateful to Father Peter for the generous, and continued, gift of his time, knowledge, and expertise as a teacher and his ministry as priest and preacher . . . On Sunday, April 23 and 30, and May 7, in the Adult Forum at 10:00 AM, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will present a series of classes on the theme "Rising / Rose / Risen: Readings on Resurrection from Scripture into Poetry." Deacon Rebecca writes, "Beginning with biblical texts we will follow our theme into poems, by various writers, as diverse as Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath, John Milton, Claude McKay, Vachel Lindsay, Theodore Roethke, Wendell Berry, Emily Dickinson, D.H. Lawrence, Christina Rossetti, and more." . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study 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.
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.
LOOKING AHEAD . . .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 PM . . . Wednesday, May 31, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mass 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 6:00 PM.