By Signs and Words
“Poetry in Motion” is an advertising series in the subway sponsored by Barnes & Noble, Inc. For several weeks now there has been a famous quotation from the end of T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets on many trains I have ridden. I wonder if the person who decided to put it up realized it was a statement of Christian belief:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
The late Roman Catholic liturgical theologian Mark Searle used this quotation at the end of a lecture he gave at Notre Dame in the early 1990’s. I have a copy of a tape of that lecture and I’ve listened to it and quoted it more times than I can remember. He introduced this passage from “Little Gidding” with an observation that liturgical rite is our way of entering into the Body of Christ. Once we have entered the Body of Christ, we have entered into the very life of God.
We were given the gift of life by our parents. The gift of life is given with the loving presence of God. We become aware of this ever-present Presence in many ways across our lives. And it is this Presence that leads us to Christ and to the liturgy. The “unknown remembered gate” of which Eliot spoke is Christian death. The place of God, outside of and beyond all of creation, is so very close to us. Daily the Lord invites us into his life in the Body of Christ, in the liturgy, in the rite. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Gloria, Thomas, George, Sarah, Julia, Grover, Annie, Paul, Robert, Eileen, Gloria, Jerri, Myra, Tessie, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick and Charles, priest. Pray for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 6: 1988 Beatrice Emily Clark; November 7: 1986 Bruce Taylor; November 8: 1992 Edna May Chancy.
I PUBLISH THE BANNS of marriage between Lana Veronica Mullen of New York City and Michael Paul Dougherty of New York City. If any of you knows just cause why they may not be joined in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the third time of asking. S.G.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Micah 3:5-12, Psalm 43, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, 17-20, Matthew 23:1-12 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, November 2 and on Saturday, November 9 by Father Weiler.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Friday, November 1, All Saints’ Day, Robert McCormick will play an organ recital at 5:30, featuring the Bach Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 536, the Mozart Andante in F, and the Rheinberger first organ Sonata. At the Solemn Pontifical Mass, the Mass ordinary is Missa ‘O quam gloriosum’ by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), and the choir will sing motets by Byrd and Victoria. All are encouraged to come the following morning, All Souls’ Day, for Solemn Mass at 11, when the Duruflé Requiem will be sung. This stunning work is based closely upon the plainsong Requiem Mass. This Sunday at the Sung Mass, played by assistant organist Robert McDermitt, the prelude will be Prière à Notre Dame and the postlude will be Menuet Gothique, both from Suite Gothique, Op. 25 by Léon Boëllman (1862-1897). At the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be Légende from Vingt-quatre pièces en style libre, Op. 31, No. 13 by Louis Vierne (1870-1937) and the postlude will be Fuge in g-moll, KV 401 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass for Three Voices by William Byrd (1543-1623). Byrd’s Masses for Four and Five Voices have both been heard in recent years at Saint Mary’s, but it has been some time since this lovely setting for alto, tenor and bass has been sung here. The motet at Communion, also by Byrd, is Gloria tibi, Domine. We continue our organ recital series before Solemn Evensong & Benediction. This week, we welcome Mr. Jonathan Hall, organist and director of music at the Church of the Epiphany, Manhattan, who will play works of Paine, Sowerby and Bach.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Reminder: The alphabetical schedule of weekday Requiem Masses for intentions is arranged according to the last name of the person making the intention. Names will be read at both Masses on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of this week . . . Sunday Evensong is very special at Saint Mary’s. If you haven’t been, please make plans to come and bring a friend. It is on Sunday evenings that we so often hear the comment from visitors, “Wow, only at Saint Mary’s!” . . . We were delighted to have the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend David Stancliffe, as a rectory guest while he was in New York for the conference on Affirming Catholicism. Bishop Stancliffe is chairman of the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England . . . The Women’s Spirituality Group meets again on Tuesday, November 12 at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study. The group is currently studying The Gospel According to Matthew . . . Attendance last Sunday 273.
THANKS FOR READING WITH SAINT MARY’S . . . On Wednesday evening of last week, a small group gathered for dinner and a discussion of the book its members had read (or wished they had read) during the month of October. We know of at least fifteen others who read along with us but were unable to join us for the discussion. The next Reading with Saint Mary’s will take place during December, with the discussion to follow in January.
THE GUILD OF ALL SOULS . . . The Church of the Resurrection, 119 East 74th Street, is the host parish for the Annual Requiem Mass of the Guild. It will be held on Saturday, November 9, at 12:00 PM. The Guild is a devotional society in the Episcopal Church with a special mission to pray for the departed. The Reverend Andrew Sloane, rector of Saint Paul’s Parish, Washington, D.C. and former curate of this parish is the preacher.
2003 ORDO CALENDARS . . . We have received the Saint Mary’s 2003 Ordo Calendar, complete with a small photograph of the 2002 Corpus Christi Procession through Times Square. The cost is $5.00 from the Saint Mary’s Bookstore. Friends living outside New York City may order an Ordo for the cost of $6.00, and it will be mailed.
Spanish Art Exhibit for Twenty and Thirty-Somethings . . . A collection of over 100 of Spain's most noteworthy religious objects, including paintings by Goya and El Greco, has been assembled into an exhibit, “Time To Hope,” at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Among the masterpieces on display are El Greco's Saint Sebastian; Goya's Saint Joseph's Death, and a 15th Century Guttenberg Bible. Saint Mary’s has arranged a special tour of the exhibit for the 20s/30s Group on Saturday, November 16 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. The cost for this guided tour is only $5 per person. In addition to the tour, all twenty and thirty-something members and friends of Saint Mary’s are invited to have brunch beforehand at the curate’s apartment from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. RSVP Father Weiler at 212-869-5830 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Parish Requiem (A-G)
Tuesday Parish Requiem (H-M)
Wednesday Parish Requiem (N-R)
Thursday Willibrord, bishop & martyr
Friday Parish Requiem (S-Z) 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 Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priest, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.