FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR: AAM CONFERENCE IN THE UK
The Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) was born out of a gathering of three prominent American cathedral musicians in 1965 who founded the American Cathedral Organists and Choirmasters Association (ACOCA), modeled on the existing Association of English Cathedral Organists. Annual meetings followed. By 1973 it had become apparent that an American association of Anglican musicians, not limited to musicians serving in cathedrals, was desirable. The new name (AAM) was officially adopted the following year. Signaling a broadening of focus to include the larger Anglican Communion, the AAM Annual Conference in 1978 was hosted at the headquarters of the Royal School of Church Music, Addington Palace, Croydon, England.
From early on, an informal relationship existed between AAM and the Joint Commission on Church Music--later the Standing Commission on Church Music (SCCM)--and this relationship intensified as the revisions of both the Book of Common Prayer 1979 and The Hymnal 1982progressed to the present editions that we use today. My first experience with AAM was its 1979 Annual Conference here in New York, when the process of hymnal revision was in high gear. It was a remarkable several days of worship, hymn singing, sacred concerts, lectures, and fellowship with musician and clergy colleagues from across the country. I was tasked with the musical design and production for the conference's closing Eucharist, which was celebrated in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at The General Theological Seminary, where I served on the faculty.
Subsequent annual AAM conferences were hosted in a variety of North American cities, including a conference in Toronto in 1983. The 1987 conference, however, returned to the UK for the first time since 1978. Since then, once a decade, annual conferences have been based in England: 1997 in London and Oxford, 2007 in Durham, and 2017 in Winchester.
I have recently returned from the 2017 Winchester conference. On Monday, July 11, after a brief orientation and plenary session at the United Church Winchester, the opening Eucharist was celebrated in the choir of Winchester Cathedral with our chaplain, the Right Reverend Keith Whitmore, presiding, and Andrew Lumsden, cathedral organist and music director, at the organ. The first day sped on with a visit to Chichester Cathedral concluding with Evensong. Featured events of our second day were an open rehearsal of the Winchester Cathedral Choir followed by Evensong. In the evening Andrew Lumsden presented a fine organ recital. The third day featured a visit to Salisbury Cathedral, where so much Anglican liturgical practice finds its roots. Again, our day included a splendid Evensong sung by the choristers of the cathedral. The fourth day concentrated on Winchester Cathedral, the building and its history, and again, it included Evensong sung by the choristers. In the evening we were treated to a popular music entertainment by a local group of young performers. The following day was the Festival of Saint Swithun, a major celebration in Winchester, capped by the Friends' Festival Evensong in the cathedral, complete with a wonderful procession to Saint Swithun's shrine in the retrochoir behind the high altar. On Sunday we attended the sung parish Eucharist at the twelfth-century Romsey Abbey, where we were welcomed by a vital congregation and much fine choral music. Later that day we sang Evensong at St. Cross in Winchester, during which new officers of the association were inducted. The conference concluded with a banquet at which noted composer John Rutter was the speaker. Several AAM members then continued on an extension for a few days during which we visited cathedrals at Wells, St. David, Brecon, and Gloucester, as well as the parish church of Saint Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.
The AAM 2017 Winchester conference was a stimulating immersion in the architectural and musical culture of the past millennium of the Church in England and Wales. --David Hurd
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR
Brian, Michael, Gloria, Dick, Cheryl, Joann, David, Sandy, Kristal, Dorothea, Jerry, Olutoyin, Lenore, Mary, Eugenia, Mary, Cookie, Irene, Brian, Karen, Ivy, Peggy, Vera, Cathy, Grady, Mike, May, Marahl, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, Dennis, and George; for Horace, Mitties, Anne, David, Ross, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, PRIESTS; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark; and for the repose of the souls of Bobby S. Webster and Patricia Robison Martin . . .
GRANT THEM PEACE . . .
August 13: 1964 Gwendolyn Beale Eyland.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . .
Bobby S. Webster, the brother of Philip J. Webster, died on July 26, 2017, at the age of seventy-five, after a long illness. Born in the Caribbean dual-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, he eventually came to the United States and lived in Brooklyn for many years. His funeral took place on Wednesday, August 9, at 11:00 AM, at the Church Service Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY . . . Patricia Robison Martin, the aunt of parishioner Mary Robison, died on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, in Cocoa, Florida. Please keep Bobby and Patricia, Philip and Mary, and their family and friends, in your prayers.
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, August 11 and 18, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor. Please enter at 145 West Forty-sixth Street, just west of the main doors to the church, and press buzzer 1 in the vestibule. Then climb up one flight of stairs, make a U-turn, and climb up another small flight of stairs. The Atrium will be on your left . . . Tuesday, August 15, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sung Matins 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.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Father Edgar Wells, rector emeritus, attended the noon Mass on Thursday. As always, it was good to see him. Prayers were offered at Mass for Father Wells, who celebrated the fifty-seventh anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Wednesday, August 9 . . . Sister Monica Clare will be away from the parish on vacation until Sunday, August 13. She returns to the office on Monday, August 14. She will also be away from the parish Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21. During that time she will be at the convent in Mendham, NJ, helping out with the Community of Saint John Baptist's August Search Program "for those seeking God's call in their lives, a live-in with the sisters to experience the religious life" . . . Attendance last Sunday: 182.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Our pledge campaign continues, even as we make preparations for the 2017-2018 Campaign. Here are some statistics: 74.8% of those who pledged for 2016 have pledged for 2017. $394,436.00 of our goal of $425,000.00 has been pledged to date. This means we are still 7% below our goal. We continue to need your help! In order 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. You may also make a pledge online.
ADULT EDUCATION . . . Inquirers' Class: Deacon Matthew Jacobson will be teaching a series of classes this fall for those preparing for Baptism, Confirmation, or Reception and for all those who are interested in learning, or reviewing, some of the basics of the Christian faith and the history, theology, and spirituality of the Episcopal Church. All are welcome. If you are interested, please contact Father Jay Smith.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The cantor at the Solemn Mass on Sunday is soprano Heather Meyer, who will sing Samuel Barber's "The Heavenly Banquet" from Hermit Songs during the administration of Communion. Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Samuel Barber (1910-1981) remains one of the most revered twentieth-century American composers. His Hermit Songs, Op. 29, was premiered in 1953 at the Library of Congress, sung by soprano Leontyne Price, with the composer at the piano. Barber's Hermit Songs is a cycle of ten settings of anonymous poems written by Irish monks and scholars from the eighth to the thirteenth centuries. "The Heavenly Banquet" is the fourth song of the cycle. Its text is attributed to Saint Brigid of Kildare who, according to Samuel Barber's score, shares the patronage of Ireland with Saint Patrick. She is also known to practicing Catholics as the patron saint of beer. The translation of the original text is by Seán Ó Faoláin (1900-1991).
Sunday's organ voluntaries are two of the eight "Little" Preludes and Fugues, a set of concise organ pieces traditionally attributed to J. S. Bach (1685-1750). More recent scholarship suggests that they might actually have been composed by a Bach pupil, very likely Johann Tobias Krebs (1690-1762), or his son, Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780). The uncertainty of the origin of these works notwithstanding, these eight Preludes and Fugues have figured largely in the instruction of generations of organists and are very suitable as voluntaries in liturgical settings. BWV 555 in E minor, played for the Prelude, is a rather introspective, if not conservative, piece, while BWV 557 in the relative major key of G, played for the Postlude, is a more extroverted work in the spirit of the keyboard toccatas of its time. -David Hurd
HOMELESS MINISTRY . . .The next Homeless Ministry Drop-in Day will take place on Friday, August 18. For more information, or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Marie Rosseels. We are looking for donations of basic lightly used or new clothing items of all sizes for both men and women-packs of new underwear and socks; T-shirts and blouses; jeans, chinos, and khakis; washcloths; toothbrushes; and individually packaged hand wipes or towelettes. Donations can be left in the parish kitchen (if you are able, tell Father Smith, Sister Monica Clare, or Clint Best that you have left items there for the Clothes Closet). We are grateful to all those who continue to support this ministry . . . We also continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers' table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church . . . Father Jay Smith's Book Sale has resumed in Saint Joseph's Hall on Sunday mornings. All proceeds are used to benefit those in need.
DONATIONS FOR ALTAR FLOWERS . . .We are very thankful that flowers have been given for all of the Sundays in August. Thank you to those who are able to support this ministry! The flowers are seen by hundreds of people every week. Donations for flowers are needed for September 10 and 24; October 15, 22, and 29; November 1, All Saints' Day; and November 5, 12, and 19. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office at 212-869-5830 or by e-mail.
Bookkeeper Kristie Raynor in the Parish Office
LOOKING AHEAD . . .Monday, September 4, Labor Day, Federal Holiday Schedule . . . Friday, September 8, The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mass 12:10 PM and Sung Mass 6:00 PM (the Reverend Dr. James C. Pace, celebrant and preacher) . . . Saturday, September 9, 10:30 AM, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Ordination of Matthew Jacobson to the Priesthood . . . Sunday, September 10, 10:00 AM, Father Matthew Jacobson's First Mass . . . Thursday, September 14, Holy Cross Day, Mass 12:10 PM and Sung Mass 6:00 PM (the Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, celebrant and preacher) . . . Thursday, September 21, Saint Matthew the Evangelist, Mass and Healing Service 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Friday, September 29, Saint Michael and All Angels, Mass 12:10 PM and Sung Mass 6:00 PM (the Reverend Matthew Jacobson, celebrant and preacher)
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Metropolitan Museum until October 15: Cristóbal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque. From the museum website, "Cristóbal de Villalpando (c. 1649-1714) emerged in the 1680s not only as the leading painter in Mexico, but also as one of the most innovative and accomplished artists in the entire Spanish world. This exhibition features his earliest masterpiece, a monumental painting showing two scenes--Moses and the Brazen Serpentand the Transfiguration of Jesus--in an unprecedented juxtaposition of these Old and New Testament subjects. Painted in 1683 for a chapel in Puebla Cathedral and newly conserved, the twenty-eight-foot-tall painting has never before been exhibited outside its place of origin in Puebla, Mexico. Ten additional works are shown that demonstrate Villalpando's engagement with concepts of invention and professional identity, his ability to convey complex subject matter, and his capacity to envision the divine. Highlights include his recently discovered Adoration of the Magi, on loan from Fordham University, and The Holy Name of Mary, from the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.