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.
In the earliest newsletter we have, The Arrow,from October 1891, Masses with Communion for the congregations were celebrated at 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM. At High Mass, only the celebrant, who had been fasting since midnight, would receive communion. Our professor of systematic and philosophical theology when I was at Nashotah House, James E. Griffiss (1928-2003), was an assisting priest here when Father Garfield became rector. It was from him that I first learned about something called "Solemn High Non-Communicating Mass." Father Griffiss said something like, "Early Mass for Communion; High Mass for worship." There were no sermons at the Said Masses on Sundays; sermons were heard at the High Mass. Some may not know that the rail at the high altar is removable-it was not needed for Solemn Mass except on a very few feast days, and then, early in the day.
The Oxford Movement, after the departure of John Henry Newman (1801-1890) to the Roman Catholic Church in 1845, came to be known as the Anglo-Catholic Movement. The reassertion of the catholic heritage of the Church of England found a ready welcome in many places. As the nineteenth century began, very few Christians in the West would have experience of monthly communion, much less weekly. I'm sure that to many, High Mass without communion for the congregation seemed wrong, but it was not without its following, its devotion, its power to bring people to know the Lord. But I've often wondered why Saint Mary's missed the changes that were taking place in the Anglican Communion in the middle of the last century and in the Roman Catholic Church. One answer may be found in the history of the parish, one in the history of our neighborhood.
On January 1, 1929, the Reverend Dr. Joseph G. H. Barry, third rector of the parish, resigned. The trustees elected the Reverend Dr. Selden P. Delany as rector. He had served here as Dr. Barry's associate rector since 1915. He resigned on June 8, 1930 to enter the Roman Catholic Church and to be ordained in that denomination. The Great Depression was underway, but so were plans for what would become Rockefeller Center. Construction began on May 17, 1930. The IRT Sixth Avenue Elevated Line was closed and taken down in 1938. Longacre Square had become Times Square in 1908. The residential neighborhood the parish was founded to serve disappeared.
Under one of the great and famous rectors of his generation, the Reverend Grieg Taber, rector from 1939 until 1964, the liturgy of this parish church did not change. My liturgics professor, the Reverend Dr. Louis Weil, a 1961 graduate of the General Theological Seminary, remembers attending Easter Vigil on Saturday morning while he was a student. Things would begin to change during the rectorates of my predecessors, the Reverend Donald Lothrop Garfield (1965-1978) and the Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells (1979-1998). So, on what was then Good Shepherd Sunday, now the Fourth Sunday of Easter, then the Second Sunday after Easter, communion was offered to everyone.
Saint Mary’s occupies a special place in the history of the Episcopal Church. I wish there were color photographs of the church in 1930—the decoration was rich, but very different from what we’ve had since the glorious repainting of the interior in 1997. It was brilliant to take the present design from the underside of the tabernacle canopy—one of the first tabernacles in the Episcopal Church. The design says what we know to be true: the principal sign of Christ’s presence among us is his baptized members. On May 2, 1965, it was time for change. More changes would come with the adoption of the new Prayer Book which Father Wells insisted the parish use. He was so right.
OUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Grady, John, Clint, Michael, Charlie, Rick, Patricia, Gloria, Primi, Jerry, May, Robert, Nicole, Heidi, Takeem, Marahl, Barbara, Jean, Dennis, George, Abraham; Sidney, deacon; Horace, Ross, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, priests; all victims of war, persecution, poverty, famine, and disaster; the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark; and the repose of the souls of Seymour Cynamon and Margaret Korda. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 7: 1898 Louis Henry Hoyez; 1911 Edwin Marshall; 1936 George Floyd Crego.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH . . . The Annual Meeting of the Parish will take place on Sunday, May 7, following the Solemn Mass. At the Meeting, nominations of delegates to Diocesan Convention will be received for election by the Board of Trustees.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Sung Mass 12:10 PM and Bible Study Class 6:30 PM. The class meets in the Nursery . . . Thursday, May 11, Thursday in the Fourth Week of Easter, Mass with Healing Service 12:10 PM
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Candle Sale: Sister Laura Katharine tells us that her sale has been doing well. She is going to take a couple of weeks off, but the Sale will return before the beginning of the summer. Expect discounts! We will keep you posted . . . Homeless Ministry: We are very grateful to all those who have been volunteering this week to prepare for Friday's Drop-in Day. Thank you for your help as we look for ways to expand this ministry . . . Many thanks to Jason Mudd, Renée Pecquex, Mary Robison, and Sister Monica Clare for this week's photographs . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 200.
AIDS WALK 2017 . . . On May 21, 2017, the Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team, supportedby their friends and fellow parishioners, will join the 32nd Annual AIDS Walk here in New York. We invite you to join the Team or to make a contribution to the Team. Last year, the Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team, fourteen people strong, ranked Number 9 in fundraising among all teams walking. We raised $55,035 from almost 300 generous contributions. Our goal this year is a very ambitious $60,000 as we walk in solidarity with people living with HIV or AIDS and with those who support and care for them. We invite you to join our Team and raise money with us or simply to make a donation to our very determined Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team. You can join or contribute by clicking here. You can also direct your questions to Father Jay Smith or to Team co-leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell.
THANK YOU, NEW YORK ALTAR GUILD! . . . Through the efforts of Board Member Adam Morrow, we applied for and have received a grant of $3,125 toward the restoration of candlesticks made for what was the Saint Francis Altar in Saint Joseph's Hall. Look for more details on the restoration project in next week's Angelus. In the meantime, again, thank you, New York Altar Guild!
DONATIONS FOR ALTAR FLOWERS . . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for the following Sundays and holy days: May 14 and 21, June 4 (Pentecost), June 11 (Trinity Sunday), June 25, June 29 (Saint Peter and Saint Paul), and all the Sundays in July. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office at 212-869-5839 or by e-mail. We are grateful to all those who support the ministry of the Flower Guild so faithfully.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Our pledge campaign continues, since we have not yet reached our goal for 2017. Thus far we have received $384,606.00 in pledges, 91% of our goal of $425,000.00. We hope to reach that goal 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.
HOSPITALITY MINISTRY . . . The Budget Committee and the Board of Trustees expects that we will need to raise around $4,000.00 in 2017 in order to supplement the funds allotted in the budget for hospitality. Our hospitality efforts include Sunday Coffee Hours and Evensong receptions, holy-day receptions, and special events such as Quiet Days, Oktoberfest, the Super Bowl Party, and birthday and anniversary celebrations. Since we welcome so many visitors to the parish, the hospitality ministry is crucial to what we do and who we are. If all our members and friends were to make a regular donation to this ministry, we would easily cover our shortfall. No donation is too small!We are about $500.00 short of what we'd like to raise for 2017. If you make a donation by check, please include the words "Hospitality Ministry" in the memo line. We recently received a donation of several boxes of Walker's Shortbread cookies for use on Sundays at Coffee Hour and at our Evensong receptions. We are grateful to the donor of the cookies and to all those who continue to support our ministry of hospitality.
ADULT EDUCATION . . . The Adult Forum on Sunday, April 30, was cancelled due to illness. We apologize for any inconvenience. However, a make-up class has been scheduled. On Sunday, May 7 and 14, at 10:00 AM, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will continue her series 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 Allan 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 on Wednesday, May 17, when Father Smith is out of town. The class will not meet on May 24, the Eve of Ascension Day, nor on May 31, the Feast of the Visitation. Evening services will replace the class on those days. Class resumes on Wednesday, June 7.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The Fourth Sunday of Easter is often referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday. The assigned collect, gradual psalm (Psalm 23), and the appointed passage from the tenth chapter of Saint John's gospel, all revolve around the metaphor of the Good Shepherd caring for his sheep. "Surrexit pastor bonus" ("The Shepherd has arisen") is the second Matins responsory for Easter Monday. Its text declares and rejoices that the good shepherd, who has laid down his life for his sheep, has indeed risen. Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594), also known as Orlande de Lassus, was one of several composers of his time to set this responsory text, as he did in his 1562 collection of sacred songs for five voices published in Nuremberg. The motet, which will be sung today during the administration of Communion, begins with an upward sweeping phrase sung by the highest three voices. The two lower voices then echo the same. The two soprano parts joyfully weave among one another through the motet, and it concludes with many alleluias. Today's Mass setting is Lassus' parody of his motet, and it carries the same incipit and the same voicing. The Gloria and Sanctus begin with writing very similar to the opening of the motet. This Mass does not include a setting of Agnus Dei. However, another "Surrexit pastor bonus" parody Mass, previously attributed to Lassus but now thought to be the work of Ivo de Vento (c. 1543-1575), does include Agnus Dei. This latter setting of Agnus Dei, in six voices (SSAATB), will be paired with Lassus' Gloria and Sanctus for the liturgy this morning.
Franz Tunder (1614-1667) is believed to have been born in Lübeck, in northern Germany. It is likely that he studied with Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) in Florence. In 1641 he was appointed the main organist at Lübeck's Marienkirche, where he was eventually followed by Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707). Tunder's "Jesus Christus, unser Heiland," played for the prelude this morning, is a triptych of preludes on a Eucharistic chorale. The first verse is in five voices, two of which are played on the pedals; the chorale melody is in the upper pedal voice. The second verse is in four voices with the melody in the tenor register played by the left hand. The third verse, also in four voices, places the melody boldly in the bass voice which is played on the pedals. -David Hurd
LOOKING AHEAD . . .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 . . . Sunday, June 4, Day of Pentecost . . . Sunday, June 11, Trinity Sunday . . . Sunday, June 18, Corpus Christi.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . At the Onassis Cultural Center New York, Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, New York City: A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC - 200 AD. On view through June 24, 2017, exclusively at the Onassis Cultural Center New York, where admission is always free, the exhibition brings together more than 130 masterpieces from some of the world's leading museums-including the Acropolis Museum, Athens; National Archaeological Museum, Athens; Musée du Louvre, Paris; British Museum, London; and Musei Vaticani, Vatican City-to explore the ideas and attitudes of people in classical antiquity toward emotion and the ways in which the emotions were depicted, revealing how some are strikingly familiar to us and some shockingly alien.