FROM DAVID HURD: TWO CONFERENCES
The months of June and July are always filled with conferences and conventions of various organizations of organists and church musicians. I was privileged to be invited to serve on the faculty of the 2017 Worship and Music Conference that took place during the weeks of 18 June and 25 June. These conferences, sponsored by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM), have been an annual feature at the picturesque Montreat Conference Center near Ashville, North Carolina, for several decades.
Each year's conference is meticulously designed over a three-year period of time by a conference-planning team in collaboration with an extensive chosen faculty. This year's conference director was David Eicher, staff associate in the music department of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and editor of the current Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God (2013).
The conferences are anchored by six major worship services. John Wurster, pastor, St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, preached at each of these services. The unifying theme for the sermons was "God with us" in the incarnation, in baptism, on the road to Emmaus, in Eucharist, and to the close of the age. Erika Rembert Smith, pastor, Washington Shores Presbyterian Church, Orlando, Florida, presided as liturgist at each service. My title was "Service Organist," the same title I had held in 1994 when I was last at Montreat. I was responsible for playing the organ and coordinating as needed with many other musicians who collaborated in the services.
The services were held in Anderson Auditorium, a large round stone building that seats 1,500 people. Each day there was a faculty panel discussion on which I served, along with the preacher, liturgist, and visual artist. The conference attendance was about 800 conferees in Week 1 and 900 in Week 2. Each day of the conference included rehearsals of several choral ensembles. Adult Choir and Chamber Choir, Senior High Choir and Chamber Choir, Middler Choir, and Children's Choir were conducted by four distinguished directors. Handbell playing figured largely in the daily schedule as well, with several classes and ensembles from children's beginning to advanced adult. Daily Bible study, preaching workshops, classes in religious visual arts, liturgical drama, music composition, drumming, organ performance, and service playing were taught. Instrumental ensembles were also directed by faculty.
Dr. Martin Jean, director of the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, delivered the annual series of church music lectures in honor of the theologian and hymnologist Erik Routley (1917-1982) and presented a hymn festival for which I supplied musical direction. Many conferees return year after year for the Montreat worship and music conferences and find refreshment and inspiration in the worship and instruction offered. The schedule for the faculty was very demanding, but the experience was also very rewarding.
The annual conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) is normally hosted in different North American cities year by year. It has become customary that in years ending with seven the conference is in England. Accordingly, the 2017 conference of the AAM will be based at Winchester beginning on 10 July. I look forward to being in attendance. -David Hurd
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Olutoyin, Howard, Pearl, Brian, Michael, Eugenia, David, Sandy, Mary, Adam, Caryn, Cookie, Irene, Brian, Karen, Ivy, Pat, Peggy, Vera, Cathy, Grady, Mike, May, Marahl, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, Dennis, and George; for Horace, Mitties, Ross, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all victims of war, famine, poverty, violence, and disaster; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 9: 1897 Mary Minturn Trask; 1905 William Reutcliffe; 1991 Blanch Evelyn Preene.
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 . . . The church is open and the regular services of the Episcopal Church are offered daily . . . Friday, July 14, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor.
A NOTE ABOUT MOTHER MITTIES DECHAMPLAIN . . . "This week, Mother Mitties returned to Mary Manning Walsh Home and is doing better, after a procedure aimed at strengthening her recovery. She is alert enough to receive and welcomes visitors. You can usually find her either in her room, 1107, or in the gym on the 14th floor, where she has physical and occupational therapy, and you are welcome to greet her in either place. When you visit, introduce yourself and remind her how she knows you, speak with her naturally, laugh with her, encourage her, help her with practical matters like drinking a sip of water. Mother Mitties wishes to express to you her deep gratitude for your prayers; cards, letters, and photographs; flowers and other gifts; and visits." -The Reverend Canon K. Jeanne Person, canon for pastoral care, The Diocese of New York
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Our thanks continue for the efforts of the Times Square Alliance and Breaking Ground for their work with the persons who are at present sleeping overnight between the 47th Street door of the church and the rectory stoop . . . We are delighted that the Right Reverend Mary D. Glasspool, assistant bishop of the diocese of New York, will be celebrant and preacher for the Solemn Mass on the Eve of the Epiphany, Friday, January 5, 6:00 PM . . . Many thanks to Rick Austill (flowers) and Jason Mudd (procession) for photographs for this week's Angelus . . .Office Manager Christopher Howatt is on vacation this week. He returns to the parish office on Monday, July 17. Many thanks to Clint Best for his assistance in the parish office while Chris is away . . . Sister Monica Clare is away. She returns on Monday, July 17 . . . Father Jay Smith is on vacation. He returns to the parish office on Tuesday, July 25 . . . Attendance last Sunday: 159.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The cantor this Sunday, July 9, is soprano Sharon Harms. During the ministration of Communion, she will sing Vidit suum from the Stabat Mater by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). Vidit suum is the sixth of the twelve movements of Poulenc's Stabat Mater, and one of three which includes solo soprano along with chorus and orchestra. Stabat Mater is a thirteenth-century hymn portraying Mary's suffering during her son Jesus' crucifixion. Sometimes a liturgical sequence, or sung in processions on certain Marian feasts, or during Stations of the Cross, Stabat Mater has been set chorally over the centuries by distinguished composers from the sixteenth century, by Palestrina to the twentieth century by Arvo Pärt, and beyond. French pianist and composer Poulenc composed his Stabat Mater in 1950 in response to the death of his friend, artist Christian Bérard. It was premiered at the Strasbourg Music Festival in 1951 and was well-received across Europe and in the United States.
The organ voluntaries this morning are also of French origin. Marcel Dupré, their composer, was a pupil of Louis Vierne and Charles-Marie Widor at the Paris Conservatory. He finally succeeded Widor as organist of the Church of Saint Sulpice, Paris, in 1934, by which time he had also been named professor of organ at the conservatory. In his long and brilliant career, Dupré distinguished himself internationally as a concert organist, improvisateur, teacher, scholar, composer and church musician. The pieces played for the Prelude and Postlude are both founded on Antiphons taken from the Song of Solomon, 7:6 and 1:12 respectively. These are two of the Fifteen Pieces of his Opus 18, premiered by Dupré on December 9, 1920, in a performance with choir in his English debut recital at the Royal Albert Hall. -D.H.
DONATIONS FOR ALTAR FLOWERS. . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for the following Sundays and holy days: July 9 and 23, August 6 (Transfiguration), August 20 and 27, and all the Sundays in September. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office at 212-869-5830 or by e-mail. We are grateful to all those who support the ministry of the Flower Guild so faithfully.
FOR SHOPPERS AT AMAZON PRIME . . . Amazon's third-annual Prime Day is on Tuesday, July 11, and will feature more than 100,000 deals exclusively for Prime members, making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Remind your supporters to shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate to Society of the Free Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Use the following message and link below in email, social media and on your website to tell your employees, donors and volunteers about how to get amazing deals on Prime Day and generate donations. Also, copy and share the image in this email. When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, Amazon donates to Society of the Free Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Shop for great deals at smile.amazon.com/ch/13-1624187.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Saturday, July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Tuesday, July 25, Saint James the Apostle, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Sunday, August 6, The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mass 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM . . . Tuesday, August 15, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM, Reception 7:30 PM.