FROM THE RECTOR: ALICE VAIL MANNING, 1947–2016
Alice Manning died unexpectedly last Saturday morning at her home. She was only 68 years old. She had pulmonary disease, but it was not considered life-threatening. She had shared an apartment with her distant cousin Linda Bridges since Linda came to the city in 1970. They became close friends—in Linda’s words, “quasi-sisters.” Alice will be mourned and missed by many. Her funeral will be Monday, June 6, here at 10:00 AM. Her body has been cremated, and her ashes will be reposed in the Vault in the Lady Chapel at the conclusion of the service of the Burial of the Dead.
I’m not sure when I first met Alice, but I suspect it may well have been the first month I was in New York. I’m almost certain that the photographs that were taken at my first celebration as rector on February 2, 1999, were taken by Alice. She was an excellent photographer and until recently could be called on to take photographs at Masses. She had the eye, the gift.
I do remember that for many years she attended Grace Church, White Plains, where she had been a member since childhood. She was a life-long, committed Episcopal Christian. She was also a trained singer—and enjoyed music at Saint Mary’s.
Some readers will know that Linda Bridges was baptized at Saint Mary’s in 1995 by the then rector of Saint Mary’s, Father Edgar Wells. She would go on to serve as a member of the board of trustees. Her fellow trustees asked her to serve as chair of the search committee for Father Wells’s successor. I spoke with Linda by telephone during the summer of 1998. I met her in the rectory of Trinity Church, Michigan City, in September of that year. Over the years in New York she and Alice have been guests at the rectory for dinner—not often but enough so that I knew what Alice liked to drink before dinner. Remembering those dinners brings a smile to my face. In recent years, Alice has attended Saint Mary’s regularly but never moved her membership—not unusual for life-long Episcopalians.
My calendar reminded me this morning that Father Jay Smith was ordained deacon on June 10, 1989. I was ordained deacon on June 11, 1983. I began work at the end of June. In my first three weeks in the parish, I buried three people. They were all graveside services; the parish was still using the 1928 Prayer Book. After the third one, I drew up instructions for my own burial—revised many times. (And I know I probably need to look at them again.) The memory of officiating at the burial of people I did not know at all still moves my soul to wonder at the mercy, the mystery, and the greatness of God. Officiating at funerals for people I know is never easy, but no work is more important.
It was for one of those funerals that one of the senior priests on the parish staff suggested that I include a collect from the Visitation of the Sick—one that is now among the additional prayers for the burial service. In previous American Prayer Books it was labeled, “A Prayer which may be said by the Minister in behalf of all present at the Visitation [of the Sick]”:
O GOD, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered; Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness, all our days: that, when we shall have served thee in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic Church; in the confidence of a certain faith; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope; in favour with thee our God, and in perfect charity with the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The prayer was prepared for the 1789 Prayer Book, based on another prayer in Holy Dying by Jeremy Taylor (1613–67). It’s especially appropriate for a member of our Episcopal Church who loved and was loyal to her church all the days of her life. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Linda, David, Julie, Emil, Margaret, Sandy, Walter, Sharon, Penny, Carol, Eileen, Donald, Sam, Heidi, Catherine, Sally, Burton, Toussaint, Dennis, Arpene, Takeem, Sidney, deacon, Paulette, priest, Gaylord, priest, Harry, priest, and Louis, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and Nicholas; and for the repose of the souls of Alice Manning, Santiago Puigbo, Sr., Jerry Hamil, and Bruce, priest. . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 5: 1899 Josephine Hicks; Francesca Ethel Merritt Van Brauer; 1949 John David Parrish.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Santiago Puigbo, the father of parishioner Santiago Puigbo, Jr., died in Santo Domingo on Wednesday, May 18. Jerry Hamil, the twin brother of parishioner Larry Hamil, died on Friday, May 20, in Clarion, Pennsylvania. Alice Vail Manning, longtime friend of Saint Mary’s, died at home on Saturday, May 28. The Reverend Bruce Willard Forbes, who served as assistant priest at Saint Bartholomew’s Church, New York City, from 1964 into retirement, died at home on Tuesday, May 31. He was ninety-four years old. A service is planned for September. Please keep Santiago, Jerry, Alice, and Bruce, priest, 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 . . . On Monday, June 6, the Burial of the Dead will be celebrated at 10:00 AM for Alice Vail Manning. A reception will take place in Saint Joseph’s Hall following the liturgy . . . On Wednesdays, the daily 12:10 PM Eucharist is a Sung Mass; on Thursdays the daily 12:10 Eucharist is a Mass with Healing Service . . . Saturday, June 11, Saint Barnabas the Apostle, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Art Exhibit Opening: Friday, June 9, 7:00–9:00 PM, Saint Joseph’s Hall, “Underwater Emotions,” by Lola de Miguel . . . Altar Flowers are needed for the Sundays of July and August. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . James Ross Smith was ordained deacon on June 10, 1989, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine; Stephen Shea Gerth, Jr., was ordained deacon on June 11, 1983, at Saint James Cathedral, Chicago . . . Attendance: Corpus Christi 186; Visitation 71.
SAINT MARY’S AIDS WALK TEAM 2016 . . . On Sunday, May 15, the Day of Pentecost, the Saint Mary’s Team participated in AIDS Walk 2016. It was a great day, and the Team has had another very successful year of fundraising for this very important cause: to help those living with HIV and AIDS. As of Friday, May 27, 2016, the Team has raised $54,910.00, putting them ninth in a very long list of teams that participated in the Walk. However, the Saint Mary’s Team would love to be able to beat last year’s total of $56,813.00! You can still make a contribution by clicking on this link. But please don’t delay! Contributions must be received and delivered to GMHC no later than June 10. If you mail a check, please be sure to make the check payable to AIDS Walk New York and put Saint Mary’s Team in the memo line. We are very grateful to all those who have continued to support this important outreach effort so faithfully and so generously. —MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell
MUSIC THIS WEEK . . . The choir season ended last Sunday, on the Feast of Corpus Christi. We are very grateful to all of our talented musicians, who sang so beautifully on Sundays and holy days beginning last fall. We look forward to the choir’s return on the Feast of the Assumption, Sunday, August 15, and then on the first Sunday of October, when the choir season begins once again. During the summer months, the Mass ordinary is sung by the Congregation, led by the music director and a cantor. On Sunday the Mass setting is New Plainsong by David Hurd, who also plays the service at the Solemn Mass. The cantor will be Charlotte Mundy. During the administration of Communion, Ms. Mundy will sing the aria, “Höchster, mache deine Güte,” from Cantata 51, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750).
MARK YOUR CALENDARS . . . Saturday, June 11, Saint Barnabas, Apostle, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Friday, June 24, Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Mass 12:10 PM and Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, June 29, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles, Sung Mass 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM . . . Monday, July 4, Independence Day, Federal holiday schedule: the church opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 2:00 PM. Only the noonday services are offered. The parish offices are closed . . . Friday, July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . In anticipation of the inevitable arrival of colder weather, we are collecting warm clothing (coats, jackets, scarves, hats, and gloves). We are also collecting packets of socks and underwear, jeans and T-shirts (useful all-year round), and dress shirts (useful for job interviews). All of these will be distributed here at the parish to those in need. Please bring donations to the parish kitchen on Sunday or contact Father Jay Smith or Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B. Sister Monica and parishioner Clint Best have been organizing the clothing in recent weeks in order to expedite distribution . . . We continue to collect nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Church, 423 West Forty-sixth Street. —Jay Smith
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . At the Frick: Van Dyck The Anatomy of Portraiture (through June 5) . . . At the Metropolitan Museum: Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World (through July 17) and Turner’s Whaling Pictures, late works by English artist, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) (through August 7) . . . At the Rubin Museum: Nepalese Seasons: Rain and Ritual (through March 27, 2017).