The Evening Sky
There was a beautiful sunset in New York City on Wednesday, January 9. I didn’t see much of it. I was in midtown. But when I looked down the streets south and west I could see wonderful small clouds colored pink and orange. Even if a million people and I were stuck in the caverns of the city, I knew that if I could get to the Battery or even to the Hudson River, the sky would open up for me. I wasn’t able to stop my mind from thinking of the song from the musical Annie about the sun coming out tomorrow. It wasn’t a Beethoven or Vaughan Williams moment, but it did bring a smile to my heart.
It is January. The days seem short. In the northern part of the northern hemisphere Christians journey through Epiphany with days that don’t seem to be getting longer, but they are. It is not easy to be a human being or a Christian, but the challenges of life and of living are never the full story. The reality of living always points to God’s great gift of life and his love for humankind and human history. He never leaves us in darkness. He plans for us life and light and love. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Charles, Alex, Marion, Harold, Olga, Eleanor, John, Peter, Michael, Kenneth, Ursula, Tessie, Jennifer, John, Maureen, Marie, Jake, Rick, Edgar, Joanne, Anthony, priest, Arthur, priest, and Charles, priest, for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned and David, for Gene, priest, as he begins a new ministry and for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 13: 1994 Thomas E. Holz; January 15:1983 Faith Cleveland Booth; January 17: 1967 Letitia De Souza; 1998: John Zippler Headley.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . We’ve just received word that Elizabeth Sherwood, an old and faithful worshipper at Saint Mary’s who had retired to England, died on January 7. She worked for many years in the parish finance office. Please pray for her and for all who mourn.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 42:1-9, Psalm 89:20-29, Acts 10:34-38, Matthew 3:13-17 . . . The Right Reverend C. Christopher Epting, ecumenical officer of the Episcopal Church, will be celebrant and preacher for the Solemn Mass of Christian Initiation on Sunday, January 13. Confessions will be heard on Saturday, January 12, by Father Weiler and on Saturday, January 19, by Canon Garrison.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday will be Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam (“Christ our Lord to the Jordan came”) by Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) and the postlude will be Präludium in d-moll, also by Pachelbel. Pachelbel is known primarily for his Canon in D, but he is one of the most important and prolific composers of the German Baroque period before J. S. Bach. Many of his works are for organ, and they likely had an influence on Bach’s style. The Mass setting is Missa super ‘Un gay bergier’ by Jacob Handl (1550-1591) and the motet at Communion is Euge caeli by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585).
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Seventy-six were present for our first Evensong & Benediction of the year. Many thanks to all who helped and made this possible! Solemn Evensong & Benediction will be held every Sunday through the end of May (with the exception of Sunday, March 3, when the Dessoff Choirs present a concert of English Sacred Music at Saint Mary’s – an announcement about this is in this Angelus). Plans for our summer schedule are still being made . . . Sean Cassidy is scheduled to have radiological treatment at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center on Wednesday, January 16. Please keep him in your prayers . . . Reminder: Reservations for lunch following the Annual Mass of the Society of King Charles the Martyr are due by January 13 to Dr. Mark Wuonola, 291 Bacon Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02451. The Mass will be held this year at the Church of the Transfiguration, One East 29th Street, on Saturday, January 26, at 11:00 AM. The preacher is the Rev. Canon J. Robert Wright . . . Father Gene Paradise has begun a new ministry as associate for pastoral care to the elderly at Saint Luke’s Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Father was a member of Saint Mary’s before ordination and remains a great friend of our community . . . The Bookstore is now open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM in addition to Sundays after the Solemn Mass. (Many thanks to Rosanne Valeri and Rosanne Talbird!) . . . Annual Meeting reports should be sent to the parish secretary, Eileen Sorensen, by Friday, January 18 . . . Attendance Last Sunday 263.
2002 STEWARDSHIP . . . The parish office is finally in a position to begin a serious effort to complete the 2002 Stewardship Campaign. At Saint Mary’s worship takes precedence and it has been a very busy and productive season! To date seventy-eight pledges have been received that total $178,446.00. Last year, these same seventy-eight pledges totaled $153,232.00. We have not yet heard from forty-three pledges from 2001. Follow-up letters to them and to members and friends of Saint Mary’s have been mailed.
NEW WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERIES: Toward Baptism in the Old Testament . . . For four Wednesday nights beginning this Wednesday, January 16, the Reverend Richard Corney, professor emeritus of Old Testament at the General Theological Seminary, will lead a study of the Old Testament lessons which are read at the Great Vigil of Easter. He will focus on how these passages are used in Judaism and in the Christian context of the Easter Vigil. The class meets at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study.
SATURDAY AT SAINT MARY’S: Getting to know The Book of Common Prayer . . . On Saturday, January 19, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, John Beddingfield leads a practical, “hands-on” seminar on how to use The Book of Common Prayer in personal and corporate devotion. The group will look at ways of praying the Daily Office, how the book is organized and how it can be a spiritual help. The seminar meets in Saint Benedict’s Study. The next Saturday at Saint Mary’s will be on February 23 with Father Weiler leading a seminar on The Lord’s Prayer.
GROUND ZERO OVERNIGHT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED . . . Beginning on Wednesday night, January 23, at 8:00 PM and continuing until 8:00 AM on Thursday morning, January 24, twelve volunteers are needed from Saint Mary’s for overnight duty at Saint Paul’s Chapel. Children and teenagers are not permitted. Volunteers must be in good health and able to lift 30 pounds or more. Volunteers will need appropriate clothing (and will almost always be on their feet during the entire shift). And, above all, volunteers need to be flexible about responding to duties and requests as the needs of the workers and the situation at Ground Zero changes constantly. Sign-up sheets will be available on Sunday in Saint Joseph’s Hall.
MARCH 3 AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Dessoff Choirs will present a concert of English Sacred Music on Sunday, March 3, at 3:00 PM. Dessoff Choirs’ Music Director will conduct his own edition of the Thomas Tallis motet Spem in alium. This is a forty voice (yes, forty separate vocal parts) will be sung in English and Latin. The afternoon also includes Herbert Howells’ Requiem and Antiphon. And finally, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G Minor. Mark your calendars!
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Baptism of Our Lord
Thursday Saint Anthony of Egypt
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Matthew Weiler, curate, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assistant,
The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa,
The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.