FROM THE RECTOR: LINDA KAY BRIDGES, 1949-2017
Linda Bridges died on Saturday evening, March 25, 2017, at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, New York. She was sixty-seven years old. She had been a member of Saint Mary's since her baptism here on July 30, 1995. She was confirmed here at the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday, April 6, 1996, by the Right Reverend Walter Dennis, suffragan bishop of the diocese of New York. Her funeral will be at Saint Mary's on Monday in Holy Week, April 10, at 10:00 AM. Her ashes will be reposed in the Vault in the Lady Chapel at the end of the Mass. May her soul rest in peace.
Some of my earliest memories of Saint Mary's are of Linda. In June 1998 I took a telephone call from her. She was then a member of Saint Mary's board of trustees and "chairman"-not "chair," she insisted-of the committee searching for a new rector following the retirement of Father Edgar Wells. She told me that my name had been given to the committee and that she was calling to tell me she wanted to send materials about the parish to me. She hoped that I would want to be considered. There was a telephone interview with Linda and two others in late July. She and two members of the search committee visited Trinity Church, Michigan City, Indiana, in September. I was invited to New York to meet the search committee and the board. I arrived on Wednesday, November 18. That night I had dinner with Linda and Gerald McKelvey, acting president of the board. I did not realize it at the time, but by the end of dinner Linda and Gerald thought they had found their next rector. Linda's ministry has played a significant role in my life and in my own ministry.
I have always been more than a little in awe of Linda. If memory serves, when I met her she was managing editor of National Review. She had worked closely with the magazine's famous founder, William F. Buckley, Jr., since graduation from college. The online remembrances of her colleagues at National Review-search online for "Linda Bridges National Review"; four appreciations from colleagues come up-make me appreciate how fortunate so many of us at Saint Mary's were to know her. She was the last editor of the parish monthly magazine, AVE. She encouraged me in the transition to this weekly newsletter. She was a gentle editor of my writing from time to time.
She and her late roommate (and third cousin) Alice Manning were guests in the rectory. They shared a love of music, good food and wine, and good scotch-and good church as well. They were among many Saint Marians one could run into at the greenmarket in Union Square on Saturdays. I regret I never had the chance to see them ski. I like to imagine Linda hurtling fiercely down a slope.
Linda did not know, when Alice died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 28, 2016, that she herself had cancer. At the time, many of us were worried about her. At the end of July, I asked for contact information for her-and she gave it to me. ("I want to know whom to call if you are sick at church and can't speak for yourself.") That information would prove invaluable in the weeks and months to come.
Father Smith called on her at her home on Monday, August 29. She was clearly in distress. He called EMS. She was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. With a great deal of support from Jack Fowler, who has just retired as publisher of National Review, several members of the parish stepped in to take care of her until her family could take over. In September, she was diagnosed with an advanced esophageal cancer. She was never able to return to her home on East Seventy-second Street.
Tuesday before she died, Father Jay Smith visited her at Calvary. She was anointed and received Communion. He also prayed for her the Ministration at the Time of Death. While at a nursing home in Mamaroneck and at Calvary she was visited by family, friends, and fellow parishioners. It seemed to many of us that she received good care in the places where she resided during the last months of her life.
Linda was baptized at the age of forty-six. Once the Holy Spirit had led her to the Episcopal Church, she was very loyal to its doctrine and its worship. She loved the memory of her baptism-the cool, cleansing water on a hot summer Sunday morning. She loved the great services of Holy Week-and the Watch Before the Blessed Sacrament. She was an Easter Christian. She died with great faith in the life of the world to come. We will miss her. We are grateful for all that she did for Saint Mary's, its people, and its clergy. -Stephen Gerth
OUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Rick, Michael, Primi, Jerry, Kevin, Geneva, Elsa, Grady, Kelly, May, Robert, Nicole, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, Donald, Dennis; Sidney, DEACON; Horace, Hamilton, Ross, Peter, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, PRIESTS; all those preparing for baptism at Easter, especially Rami, James, and Jordan; all victims of war, poverty, famine, and disaster; the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark; and for the repose of the soul of Linda Kay Bridges. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 2: 1873 Mary Christie; 1938 Dewey Thomas Mooney; 1946 Anna K. Hubbell; 1951 Pauline Link; 1960 Marion Pratt Fouquet; 1960 Constance Hopkins; 1963 Marie Gihon.
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. Abstinence is not observed on the five Sundays in Lent.
FRIDAYS IN LENT . . . On Friday, April 7, at 6:30, we will walk Stations of the Cross for the last time during this season of Lent. We invite you to join us.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN. . . Our pledge campaign continues, since we have not yet reached our goal for 2017. Here are some statistics: $384,606.00 has been pledged since the beginning of the campaign last October. This is 91% of our pledge goal for 2017. Seventy-one percent (71%) of those who pledged in 2016 have already made a pledge for 2017. We continue to encourage all Saint Marians prayerfully to consider how they can offer their time, talent, and treasure to God here at Saint Mary's during the coming year. We hope to reach our goal of $425,000.00 by June 1, 2017. Please help us to reach that goal. We need your help. 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; place your pledge card in the collection basket at Mass; or make a pledge online. We are grateful to all those who continue to support the parish so generously.
ACOLYTE REHEARSALS. . . Saturday, April 8, 10:00 AM, Rehearsal for Palm Sunday Liturgies . . . Sunday, April 9, 1:15 PM, Rehearsal for Maundy Thursday. Lunch will be provided.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . April 1-2, 2017, Fifth Sunday in Lent, Saturday Evening: Vigil Mass 5:20 PM; Sunday Morning: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Adult Forum 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM. An opportunity for fellowship follows each of the Masses and Evensong . . . Wednesday, April 5, 12:10 PM Sung Mass; 6:30 PM Wednesday Night Bible Study Class . . . Thursday, April 6, 12:10 PM, Said Mass with Healing Service . . . Friday, April 7, 6:00 PM Evening Prayer and 6:30 PM Stations of the Cross.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . A Sung Mass of the Resurrection for parishioner Linda Kay Bridges will be celebrated on Monday, April 10, at 10:00 AM. A reception will follow in Saint Joseph's Hall . . . Looking for Volunteers: On Saturday, April 8, following the acolyte rehearsal, at around 11:00 AM, the Flower Guild will be preparing palms for Palm Sunday. Volunteers are needed and are most welcome. Volunteers are also needed during Holy Week to help prepare for Easter. Please contact Marie Rosseels for more information. Help is needed especially Wednesday through Saturday, April 12-15 . . . The Homeless Ministry's Drop-in Day, originally planned for early February, has been re-scheduled. The event will now take place on Friday, April 28, 2:00-5:00 PM. We hope to provide items from our clothes closet to those in need. A social worker who works with our outreach partner at Breaking Ground will be here in order to provide information about services available to the homeless here in New York. For more information, please speak to Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., or Clint Best . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 150.
MUSIC NOTES . . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is the Mass for Four Voices of William Byrd (1543-1623). Byrd composed settings of the Latin Mass for three, four, and five voices. The Mass for Four Voices dates from about 1592, and was probably the first of the three to be composed. The whole business of Latin Masses in post-Reformation England needed to be a somewhat clandestine matter to protect those involved from the possibility of arrest. This being the case, Byrd's part books were undated and without title page or preface, nor was the printer (Thomas East) identified. Fortunately, Byrd's settings survived the period in which their performance -if not their very existence-was illegal, and they are now rightly regarded as great treasures of Western music. Although composed with the Continental Tridentine liturgy in mind, Byrd's Mass for Four Voices was also influenced by the pre-Reformation Mean Mass of John Taverner (c. 1490-1545), particularly in the opening of the Sanctus. The older Taverner setting had already served as a model for settings by English masters Christopher Tye (c. 1505-c. 1573), John Sheppard (c. 1515-1558) and Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Byrd's four-voice Agnus Dei ends with an uncharacteristically expressive Dona nobis pacem. The fourteenth-century Eucharistic hymn Ave verum corpus is attributed to Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362). As a meditation on the presence of Christ in the sacrament and the relationship between suffering and redemption, this text has been sung consistently for centuries in various Eucharistic contexts and set to music by the leading composers of sacred music. -David Hurd
ADULT EDUCATION. . . On Sundays in Lent, at 10:00 AM, Father Pete Powell continues his class on the Acts of the Apostles . . . 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, April 5, at 6:30 PM in the Nursery. The class will not meet during Holy Week (April 12), nor during Easter Week (April 19). Newcomers are especially welcome; no prior study or attendance is needed.
READING FOR LENT, HOLY WEEK & EASTER . . . Several books have recently come to our attention that Saint Marians might find interesting and useful: Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2016), by the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (The Archbishop's Lent Book for 2017); Without Shame or Fear: From Adam to Christ, by the Right Reverend A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of New Hampshire (Church Publishing, 2017); The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (Eerdmans, 2017), by the Reverend Fleming Rutledge. Mother Rutledge has served at several parishes in the diocese of New York. She was senior associate at Grace Church, Broadway, between 1993 and 1995; The Sign and the Sacrifice: The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016), by the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.
COMMUNITY OF SAINT JOHN BAPTIST . . . The Third Annual "Nun Better Golf Outing" at the Spring Brook Country Club will take place on Monday, May 8, 2017. The event is designed to raise funds to support the community's various ministries and its convent buildings in Mendham, New Jersey. For more information, please speak to Sister Monica Clare.
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, Reception in Saint Joseph's Hall, around 10:00 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 . . . Tuesday, April 25, Saint Mark, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, May 1, Saint Philip and Saint James, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Wednesday, May 24, Eve of Ascension Day, Solemn Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 25, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM.