FROM THE RECTOR: VETERANS DAY 2018
This Sunday is the centennial of the armistice that ended the fighting in Europe during World War I. As the twentieth century began, very few foresaw the many wars that would be fought in the decades to come—or that political revolutions would take far more lives than all of the wars that were fought.
I am not a veteran. My father and his brother were. Their grandfather was on active duty in the Navy during both World Wars. I know that my brother and I belong to one of the only generations of our family that did not serve in the military. During my first year in college, a few of us went to the university newspaper office to watch the draft lottery numbers for those of us born in 1954 come over the wire. We didn’t know it at the time, but the draft ended with those born in 1953. My birthday came up 213 —a number I can still remember.
My respect for the sacrifices that men and women have made in service of our country has only grown across the decades of my life. I was enormously honored to be invited to give the invocation at the ceremony that marked the promotion of a United States Marine Corps colonel to brigadier general at the beginning of July. It was a ceremony that was entirely patriotic —completely non-political. I enjoyed the privilege of hearing generals speak and of having the opportunity to speak with a wide range of men and women who serve and have served. They are very good people.
This Sunday we will remember the particular sacrifice of those who served in what the British call “The Great War” and we call “World War I.” Some would foresee the second war, but it was not wanted except by evil leaders. Traveling in England in 1986, I encountered monuments in every town to those who had been killed in the Great War. I remember noticing that on every monument there were so many entries that shared the same last name. I think the only American war that approached that level of suffering and death was our own Civil War.
Rick Atkinson is the author of many well-regarded books on American military history. I’ve read his three-volume study of the Allies’ liberation of North Africa and Western Europe during the Second World War, The Liberation Trilogy (2007, 2007, 2013). There are passages in all of the books that I skipped over. I didn’t want to read his analysis of the average length of time an infantry rifleman could be left on the front lines before he would be wounded, killed, or suffer a mental collapse. The frailty of humanity at every level played out. Sin and great evil were abroad in the world. Before Hiroshima in the Second World War, there was the use of poison gas in the First World War, initiated by the German Empire and then used by both sides in the aftermath.
On the Sunday before September 11, 2001, our final hymn at the Solemn Mass was “Immortal, invisible, God only wise.” On Friday, September 14, 2001, Holy Cross Day, our final hymn was “A mighty fortress is our God.” Through the Sundays of September and October that fall, our final hymns were always national hymns or hymns that called us to place our faith, hope, and trust in God alone. This Sunday, November 11, if you are at the Solemn Mass, our final hymn will be one whose tune, Jerusalem, you almost certainly know —from the movie Chariots of Fire, if you aren’t British. Father Jay Smith, Dr. David Hurd, and I looked at many hymns to select a hymn that would recognize this anniversary. We chose “O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers and dreams” (The Hymnal 1982, 597). The words are by the Reverend Carl P. Daw, Jr., a priest of the Church. There are many others we could sing, but it seemed right on this day to sing a prayer asking for God’s gift of peace. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Jondan, Michelle, Paul, Frank, MaryHope, José, Eloise, Michael, Donald, Alexandra, James, Karen, Susan, Marilouise, Greg, Timothy, Barbara, Dennis, Abraham, Randy, Burton, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, and Sandy; and Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; and all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the souls of Gregg Carder and Margaret Victor.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Gregg Carder, a member of the Saint Mary’s Choir, died at Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, New York, on Thursday, November 1, after suffering serious injuries in an automobile accident earlier in the week. Gregg, who had a lovely tenor voice, came to us in the mid-2000s. Before joining the parish’s choir, he sang for many years in the Choir of Men & Boys at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. The parish clergy, all of whom take turns ministering Communion to the choir during the Solemn Mass on Sundays, knew Gregg as a kind, serious, and faithful person. Like many of our choristers, Gregg participated in the parish’s common life, joining us for Coffee Hour and holy-day receptions. We will miss him greatly. Funeral and other arrangements are being handled by Scarr Funeral Home, 160 Orange Ave., Suffern, New York 10901 (Phone: 845-357-1137). Please keep Gregg, his partner Brad, his family and friends, Dr. Hurd, and Gregg’s fellow choristers in your prayers . . . Rebecca Victor, the mother of Margaret Victor, died in California last week at the age of eighty-four. Her husband and her five daughters were with her when she died. Margaret is a friend of the parish and a regular member of the Wednesday Night Bible Study Class. Please keep Rebecca, Margaret, their family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 11: 1887 Andrew Charity Garrison; 1895 William Hargraves McFarlan; 1902 Mary Ann Chapin; 1905 Kathleen Rosenbaum; 1911 Anne Baxter; 1912 Greta Kerwin, Mary Curtin; 1975 Elizabeth Brookes; 1980 Ruth Pim; 1982 Edna Pugley.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the Lord’s crucifixion.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN 2018–2019 . . . Our campaign and pledge drive have begun, and pledge cards are beginning to arrive in the mail. Some statistics may be helpful. We mailed packets to 124 households that pledged last year and to 673 households that have expressed an interest in supporting the parish. We also, for the first time, sent a separate appeal to 157 households that have made donations in the past, but have not made a pledge. We have asked those donors to consider making a regular, periodic sustaining donation to Saint Mary’s. Once again this year, our goal for the campaign is $425,000. As of November 6, we have received $92,150 in pledges from 16 households. We obviously have a ways to go, but this is not a bad beginning. We encourage all the friends and members of the parish to return their pledge cards by the end of November. This will help the Budget Committee in their work. However, if making a commitment by that date is not possible, we will gladly receive pledge cards at any point during the coming year. Our needs are urgent. Our mission is clear. We invite your support.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Friday, November 9, 6:00–8:00 PM, Gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall: The closing reception for the exhibition, entitled “Visio Divina.” For more information about the event and to RSVP, you may visit the Eventbrite website . . . Saturday, November 10, 8:00 PM, Miller Theatre Early Music Series, Cappella Pratensis: “The Josquin Imitation Game.” Music by Josquin des Prez and Ockeghem, Van Ghizeghem, Busnoys, Willaert, and Gombert . . . Sunday, November 11, The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM, Adult Forum 10:00 AM, Mass 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Sunday, November 11, 10:00 AM, Adult Forum, led by Father Peter Powell . . . Monday, November 12, Veterans Day. The church and the church offices are open. Services are offered on the usual schedule. All the twelve-step groups meet in the Mission House . . . Wednesday, November 14, 6:30 PM, Bible Study Class, Saint Benedict’s Study. . . Friday, November 16, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor.
ADVENT QUIET DAY . . . Brother Thomas, SSF, and Brother Damien Joseph, SSF, will lead a Quiet Day on Saturday, December 15, 9:30 AM–3:00 PM. They will deliver three addresses during the course of the day. The day begins with refreshments at 9:30 AM. Mass is celebrated at 12:10 PM. Lunch in Saint Joseph’s Hall follows Mass. There is quiet time in the church, the chapels, and in Saint Joseph’s Hall in between the addresses. All are welcome. A donation of $10.00 to cover the costs of breakfast and lunch is welcome. Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to Father Jay Smith.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . Sundays in November at 10:00 AM, Father Peter Powell will lead the class in a discussion of the Elijah/Elisha cycle in 1 Kings 16:23–2 Kings 13:25 . . . Sunday, December 2 and 9, at 10:00 AM, resident iconographer, Zachary Roesemann leads the class in a discussion of the theology of the Incarnation in light of some of his recent work. The Adult Forum meets in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class meets next on November 14 at 6:30 PM. The class is reading the Letter of James and is led by Father Jay Smith. The class will not meet on November 21, the Eve of Thanksgiving Day.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers on the following dates: All Sundays in January, including the Epiphany on Sunday, January 6, and February 10, 17, 24, and March 3. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 201.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The choral and organ music at the Solemn Mass on Sunday is all of Spanish origin. The Mass setting is Missa Quarti Toni of Tomás Luís de Victoria (1548–1611). Victoria is considered the most important Spanish composer of Renaissance polyphony. Born in Avila, the seventh of eleven children, he began his musical education as a choirboy at Avila Cathedral, and began his classical education at San Gil, a Jesuit school for boys founded in 1554. By 1565, Victoria had entered the Jesuit Collegio Germanico in Rome, where he was later engaged to teach music and eventually named maestro di cappella. Victoria knew and may have been instructed by Palestrina (1525–1594) who was maestro di cappella of the nearby Seminario Romano at that time. 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 of which the Missa Quarti Toni is probably the freest of parody or quotations from other works. Although its title suggests a modal character, the Mass offers a major-minor harmonic palette which is not uncharacteristic of much of Victoria’s music. The setting is for four voices, except the Agnus Dei which expands to five with the two soprano parts singing in canon at the unison.
The Communion motet on Sunday morning was also composed by Victoria. Its text source is Zechariah 14:5, and its traditional liturgical usage is as the Communion for Friday in the third week of Advent. It is also an antiphon from the Little Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Victoria’s setting is a two-section motet for five voices and was first published in Antwerp in the 1609 anthology Florilegium sacrarum cantionum. The text lux magna (“great light”) in both sections of the motet is emphasized by the alignment of all voices on long notes and by the jubilant cascade of alleluias which follows.
Joséph Jiménez (or José Ximenes), composer of Sunday’s organ prelude, was an organist at Saragossa in 1654. Apart from that fact, thirty-four organ works, and his death date (1672), nothing is known about him. In The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, Willi Apel says that, in the hands of such composers as Jiménez, “the Baroque Tiento evolved into a national type, which cannot be likened to anything else. The peculiarity of the species consists in a wealth of formulae, which may best be called pictorial, for indeed these compositions acquire a picturesque, scenic quality. They represent a kind of drama, a colorful theater, on which certain figures appear, linger for a while, and then make room for others —all without real continuity or unification, but in a loose array whose meaning and attraction lies in its kaleidoscopic changes.” The postlude is also from a Spanish composer, but a century-and-a-half later. Lidón entered the Royal Chapel of Madrid as an altar boy in 1758 and was taught by organist Antonio de Literes. From 1768 he held music directing positions at Orense Cathedral and the Madrid Royal Chapel, successively serving King Charles IV and King Ferdinand VII. From 1805 until his death, he was maestro de la capilla real in Madrid. Where the Tiento by Jiménez demonstrates an improvisational late Renaissance/early Baroque keyboard practice, José Lidon’s Sonata, also on the first tone, presents a clear late Baroque Italianate two-sectioned structure. The first section leads to a dominant cadence and the second returns to the home key. Lidon’s Sonata is intended for harpsichord or organ with a “royal” trumpet. —David Hurd
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Day on Wednesday, November 28, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days. We are in particular need of basic items such as the following: packs of new underwear in various sizes for both men and women; slacks for both men and women, including jeans, chinos, khakis, etc.; packs of new socks, white and black; rainwear; knapsacks; and toiletry articles. Please contact Brother Damien Joseph, SSF, if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation . . . We continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers’ table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church. We are very grateful to all those who continue to support this ministry.
HOLY MEN AND WOMEN . . . On Saturday, November 17, we commemorate Saint Hugh, monk and bishop (d. 1200). Hugh was a French Carthusian monk, who came to England in 1176 to serve as abbot of a new Carthusian monastery, not long after the murder of Saint Thomas Becket (d. 1170). Hugh was made bishop of Lincoln in 1186. He is remembered as a kind man and a good leader, who was not afraid to speak his mind to people in authority, including King Henry II and Henry’s son, Richard the Lion-Heart. Like Becket before him, Hugh fought for the rights of the church. In an intolerant time, he managed to be tolerant. At the time of the Third Crusade, riots against Jews broke out in England, and Hugh faced down the rioters in Lincoln, Stamford, and Northampton. He showed great concern for the sick, the poor, and the defenseless. It is also said that he was fond of animals. In images, Saint Hugh is often portrayed with a swan at his side, because “he had a swan that would feed from his hand, follow him about, and keep guard over his bed, so that no one could approach it without being attacked.” Saint Hugh of Lincoln died on November 16, 1200.
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Miller Theatre Early Music Series, Cappella Pratensis: “The Josquin Imitation Game.” Music by Josquin des Prez and Ockeghem, Van Ghizeghem, Busnoys, Willaert, and Gombert. From the theater website, “Josquin des Prez paid homage to his predecessors through the use of imitation. By the same token, subsequent composers played this game as a deliberate tribute, utilizing the same texts, melodies, and other characteristics of his music. The acclaimed Cappella Pratensis, known for their period interpretations, makes their Miller debut with a program anchored by Josquin masterpieces and exploring some of the great polyphonic works of the period by composers who inspired Josquin and those who were later inspired by him . . . Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 PM, Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival: The Distant Light, Latvian Radio Choir . . . Saturday, December 8, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra, Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Wednesday, November 21, Eve of Thanksgiving Day, Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving Day, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM . . . Sunday, November 25, Last Sunday after Pentecost and Commitment Sunday . . . Sunday, December 2, First Sunday of Advent . . . Friday, December 7, Eve of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, December 12, The Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church, 1895 . . . Sunday, December 16, The Third Sunday of Advent: The O Antiphons begin . . . Friday, December 21, Saint Thomas the Apostle, Mass 12:10 and 6:20 PM.