ANNOUNCEMENT: SMOKELESS NO MORE
All of the new fixtures are not in, but on Sunday, March 12, 2017, incense will return. The smoke room has been out of commission since a very small fire on Sunday, January 22, 2017. Great thanks go to architect and parishioner José Vidal and to office manager Chris Howatt for getting the job done.
FROM THE RECTOR: GOVERNANCE
On Friday, February 24, the Feast of Saint Matthias the Apostle, Robin Landis was officiating at Morning Prayer. When he read the collect of the day, one phrase didn't sound quite right to me. We were praying that the church "would always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors" (The Book of Common Prayer , 239). So, I went to the 1928 Prayer Book and found find this:
O Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being alway preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (pages 233-34)
The traditional language collect in the 1979 book omits the words "the traitor" before Judas andrefers to the "Twelve" instead of "twelve Apostles," but retains the phrase "ordered and guided" (page 188). It's the word "governed" in the contemporary collect that, with respect, misses the mark. It wasn't there before. Governance of the Episcopal Church is not the prerogative of its bishops and priests. Governance in our church is shared by the bishops, the clergy, and the laity through the acts of its General Convention and the acts of the conventions of each of our dioceses.
Following earlier American Prayer Books, in the 1928 Prayer Book deacons and priests were asked at their ordinations, "Will you reverently obey your Bishop, and other chief Ministers, who, according to the Canons of the Church, may have the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions?" (page 533, 543). Fair enough. The canons of the church have always prescribed the authority of a bishop.
In 1928 the service for the ordination of a bishop spoke of a bishop serving "in this Office to the glory of [God's] Name, and the edifying and well-governing of [God's] Church (page 553) and of a bishop being admitted to the "governance of the church" (page 554). The 1979 rite asks a bishop-elect, "Will you share with your fellow bishops in the government of the whole Church" (page 518). The 1979 rite acknowledges the traditional role of priests, "will you sustain your fellow presbyters and take counsel with them" (page 518); but nowhere does the rite mention the role of the laity in governance-although the laity have always had a prominent role in the governance of the Episcopal Church since its organization after the American Revolution.
There are two places in the 1979 Prayer Book where the laity's role in governance is recognized. One is in the Catechism: "The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church . . . and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church" (page 855). The other is a prayer we use regularly at Morning Prayer that locates governance as a work of the Holy Spirit:
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (page 100)
All of that said, when I think of the word "govern" in relationship to faith, I usually think of Psalm 8. It begins and ends with these words, "O Lord our Governor, how exalted is your name in all the world!" -Stephen Gerth
OUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Eleanor, Gloria, Patricia, Primi, Linda, Jerry, Kevin, Emanuel, Geneva, Elsa, Grady, Kelly, Alexander, Rocco, May, Robert, Nicole, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, Sam, Donald, Dennis; Rafael, religious; Sidney, deacon; Horace, Hamilton, Peter, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, priests; all those preparing to be baptized at Easter, especially, Rami, James, and Jordan; all victims of war, poverty, famine, and disaster; and the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 12: 1872 Grace Isabel Meeks; 1905 Warren L. Salmon; 1961 Alma Duffey Steele; 1961 Dorothy Blaine; 1962 Kenneth Lawrence Seaman; 1967 Barbara Ann Opallo.
THE OPEN DOORS CAMPAIGN WEBSITE is now up and running. You can access it here. More to come about the next phase of our campaign. Thanks are due to many, but especially to Sr. Monica Clare! -S.G.
THE ORDINARY WEEKDAYS OF LENT are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. The Fridays of Lent are traditionally observed also by abstaining from flesh meats. In addition to the five Sundays in Lent, Monday, March 20, is the Feast of Saint Joseph (transferred) and Saturday, March 25, is the Feast of the Annunciation. Abstinence is not observed on these days.
FRIDAYS IN LENT . . . Stations of the Cross are prayed on Fridays in Lent beginning March 3 at 6:30 PM. Stations will not be prayed on Friday, March 24, when we will be celebrating the Annunciation on its eve at 6:00 PM.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM this Sunday, March 12. Clocks move forward one hour . . . Sunday, March 12, 10:00 AM, Adult Forum: Acts of the Apostles, Arch Room, Mission House, Second Floor . . . Wednesday, March 15, 6:30 PM, in the Nursery, Wednesday Night Bible Study Class . . . Friday, March 17, 6:30 PM, Stations of the Cross . . . Saturday, March 18, 9:30 AM-3:00 PM, Lenten Quiet Day, led by Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B. (See below for more detail.) . . . Monday, March 20, Saint Joseph (transferred), Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Parishioner Eleanor Pritchard, who has been living on Bainbridge Island, Washington, for several years now, is gravely ill and is now in hospice care near her home. Brother Rafael Campbell Dixon, OHC, has been in hospice care at his order's monastery in West Park, New York, for some months now. He recently moved to a care facility near the monastery. Parishioner Linda Bridges is now in hospice care at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. She is able to receive visitors. Please keep Eleanor, Linda, and Brother Rafael in your prayers . . . Parishioner Kenny Isler will be with us Monday, March 13, through Thursday, March 16. He will be mixing a new batch of incense while he is here. Kenny now lives in Arizona, but returns to New York every fifteen to eighteen months or so in order to mix the distinctive Saint Mary's blend of incense. It is a very generous thing for Kenny to come back East, and we are very grateful to him for taking the time to do so and for sharing his creativity and expertise with us . . . A new door has opened for our bookkeeper, John McHale. The Rector received his notice with great regret that Wednesday, March 15, 2017, will be his last day with us. We give thanks for his work while he is with us and wish him the very best in his new position. The job opening has been posted here. We are still receiving applications . . . The Rector will be way from the parish from Monday, March 13, through Sunday, March 20 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 200.
A DECADE AT SAINT MARY'S
. . . Sr. Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B., and Sr. Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., arrived at Saint Mary's on March 15, 2007, to begin their work in the parish. Religious sisters have been in residence at Saint Mary's for most of its history. Two years ago, Sr. Deborah Francis returned to the convent in Mendham, and Sr. Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., arrived. Their help and commitment to the work in parish ministry has been a great gift. It all started with a chance conversation between the now dean of Newport Cathedral, diocese of Monmouth, Wales, the Very Reverend Lister Tonge and the now bishop suffragan of New York, the Right Reverend Allen K. Shin. Father Tonge was serving as chaplain to the sisters in Mendham; Father Shin was at Keble College, Oxford. Father Tonge knew some of the sisters wanted to return to living and working in a parish setting, a ministry that was part of the heritage of their order. I want to say thank you to God and to their order, and especially to the sisters who are here-and Sr. Deborah Francis-for the witness and their work. Sisters, thank you! -S.G.
CLERGY NOTES. . . The Reverend Dr. Matthew Daniel Jacobson was ordained deacon on Saturday, March 4, at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. He was presented by Mother Kathleen Liles, rector of the Church of Christ and Saint Stephen, Matthew's sponsoring parish; Ms. Gwendolyn Chambrun, a member of Christ and Saint Stephen's; and by Father Jay Smith. Father Gerth and a number of Saint Marians also attended the ordination service. The following day, the First Sunday in Lent, Matthew served as deacon at the Solemn Mass. He will complete his studies for the master of divinity degree at the General Theological Seminary in May. This summer he will begin work as a chaplain resident at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he will be involved in both patient care as well as ongoing research conducted by the Department of Spiritual Care. He will continue to serve as an assisting member of the clergy team here at Saint Mary's. We are looking forward also to his ordination as a priest on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at the cathedral.
LENTEN QUIET DAY. . . On Saturday, March 18, from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., will lead a Quiet Day here at the parish. The day's theme is "Keeping our faith and hope in the midst of fear and despair." Sister Monica will deliver her meditations in the Wedding Chapel. Saint Joseph's Hall, the chapels, and the church will be available for quiet, prayer, reading, and meditation. A light breakfast will be provided at 9:30 AM. The first meditation will begin at 10:00 AM. Noonday Prayer is at 12:00 PM and Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 PM. Lunch follows in Saint Joseph's Hall. Please RSVP to Father Jay Smith if you plan to attend (this helps us plan for lunch). A freewill offering of $10.00 is suggested.
MUSIC NOTES . . . Tomás Luís de Victoria (1548-1611) is considered the most important Spanish composer of Renaissance polyphony. Victoria knew and may have been instructed by Palestrina (1525-1594) who was maestro di cappella of the Seminario Romano in Rome at the time Victoria was studying at the nearby Jesuit Collegio Germanico. During his years in Rome, Victoria held several positions as singer, organist, and choral master, and published many of his compositions. He was ordained priest in 1575 after a three-day diaconate. There are twenty authenticated Mass settings of Victoria in addition to two Requiems. Although the Missa Dominicalis, sung as the Mass setting on Sunday morning, has long been attributed to Victoria, it is considered spurious by some more recent scholars after recognizing elements in the music that appear uncharacteristic of Victoria's style. However, no alternative authorship has been determined. The Missa Dominicalis is an alternatim setting, that is, phrases of text are sung in segments that alternate chant with four-voice polyphony. In addition, the polyphonic segments are rigorous in their use of chant phrases as cantus firmus. The cantus firmus for the Kyrie (and the Gloria, not sung this morning) is Mass XI, Orbis Factor, the plainsong designated for Sundays throughout the year. The cantus firmus for the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei is Mass XVIII, the plainsong designated for Weekdays in Advent and Lent, and at Masses of the Dead.
The whole business of Latin church music in post-Reformation England needed to be a somewhat clandestine matter to protect those involved from the possibility of arrest. Nonetheless, William Byrd (c. 1540-1623), by dint of his musical genius and political savvy, was able to compose and publish richly both for the Protestant English church of his time and for the Catholic liturgy of his conviction. The second volume of Byrd's Cantiones Sacrae, printed by Thomas East in 1591, contained twenty-one motets, concluding with Miserere mei, sung on Sunday during the administration of Communion. This Latin motet in five voices presents the first verse of Psalm 51 expressively in alternating gestures of enhanced homophony and restrained polyphony.
VISUAL ARTS PROJECT . . . There is a new exhibition in the Gallery in Saint Joseph's Hall: NYC Inspires: Paintings by Lola de Miguel. Lola showed her work here last year, and the show was very well received. We are happy to be able to welcome her back to Saint Mary's. Her paintings will be on view in the Gallery until March 30. For more information, contact curator José Vidal.
ADULT EDUCATION. . . On Sundays in Lent, March 12, 19, 26, and April 2 and 9, at 10:00 AM, Father Pete Powell will continue his class on the Acts of the Apostles. Father Powell writes, "The Adult Forum in Lent will study volume 2 of Luke, more commonly known as the Acts of the Apostles. Here we find the story of the beginning of the church. Much of what we think we know about Paul we read in Acts. Much of what we think we know about the struggles in the church as it became majority Gentile, we learn from Acts. In other words Acts contains the formative stories about how the church came to be. I have been persuaded that Acts was not written because the end of the world didn't come, but instead was written to provide a unifying story/myth for the early church. We see it used this way in the late second century by Irenaeus. One can argue, successfully, that Jesus never intended to found a church. Acts shows how early Christians survived and ultimately thrived. We will examine the context of Acts and what it has to say about the church today. The church is more directly the child of Acts and the Letters of Paul than the child of the Gospels. However, Paul and Acts have different and sometimes irreconcilable differences on what it means to be the church. Acts was written after the Epistles and in many ways tries to tame Paul. While we read Acts during the Sundays of Eastertide, the content of it is usually overlooked. In these series of Sunday mornings, we'll look closely at texts which undergird Christianity as we know it. We began with Acts 3 on the First Sunday of Lent, March 5. This will be an interesting Lenten discipline for you as together we study the founding documents of Christianity and the Church" . . . During Eastertide, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will present a series of classes entitled "Rising / Rose / Risen: Readings on Resurrection from Scripture into Poetry" . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on Wednesday, March 15, 22, and 29, and April 5, at 6:30 PM. Newcomers are especially welcome; no prior study or attendance is needed.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE . . . Saturday, April 8, Eve of Palm Sunday, Liturgy of the Palms and Sung Mass 5:00 PM . . . Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday, Liturgy of the Palms and Sung Mass 9:00 AM; Liturgy of the Palms, Procession to Times Square and Solemn Mass 11:00 AM. Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12, Sung Matins at 8:30 AM & Evensong at 6:00 PM . . . April 13, Maundy Thursday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, The Holy Eucharist 6:00 PM. The Watch before the Blessed Sacrament . . . April 14, Good Friday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, The Good Friday Liturgy, 12:30 PM & 6:00 PM. Confessions will be heard by the parish clergy after both liturgies . . . Saturday, April 15, Easter Eve, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, The Great Vigil of Easter 7:00 PM . . . Sunday, April 16, The Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Said Mass with Hymns 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Organ Recital 4:30 PM, Solemn Paschal Evensong 5:00 PM.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Fridays in Lent, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM and Stations of the Cross 6:30 PM (except on March 24) . . . Monday, March 20, Saint Joseph (transferred), Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Friday, March 24, Eve of the Annunciation, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Saturday, March 25, The Annunciation, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM and Mass 12:10 PM.
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the David Zwirner Galleries, 525 and 533 West Nineteenth Street, February 23-April 22, 2017, Alice Neel, Uptown, curated by Hilton Als. David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Alice Neel curated by Hilton Als. The [exhibition] includes works that the artist made during her five decades of living and working in upper Manhattan, first in Spanish (East) Harlem, where she moved in 1938, and, later, the Upper West Side just south of Harlem, where she lived from 1962 until her death in 1984 . . . Upcoming Exhibition: May 30-August 20, 2017, The Frick Collection, 1 East Seventieth Street, will present Rembrandt's Abraham Entertaining the Angels (1646). From the Frick's website: "This captivating, small, and luminous oil painting on panel, generously lent from a private collection, has been exhibited only a handful of times in its history and was last on public view ten years ago. This exceptional loan has inspired a tightly focused exhibition in which the painting will appear alongside other depictions by Rembrandt of the Old Testament figure Abraham-a spectacular selection of prints and drawings from American and international collections. Divine Encounter: Rembrandt's Abraham and the Angels will offer a rare opportunity to examine the artist's continuing engagement with the Abraham narrative and thus with the central themes of his work as a history painter: divine intervention, revelation, and prophecy. The exhibition is organized by Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow, and will be accompanied by a scholarly publication and a variety of educational programs.
A NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPHS . . . Many thanks to Brendon Hunter, Jason Mudd, Marie Rosseels, and Zachary Roesemann for contributing photographs this week!