FROM THE RECTOR: SACRED, SECULAR, AND RELIGIOUS
Let me begin with the very happy news that on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., was elected by her community to make her vow of final profession as a sister of the Community of St. John Baptist. Her commitment to the religious life is a witness of God's continuing work through the church. Bishop Allen Shin, who serves as episcopal visitor of her order, will receive her vows at a service at their convent in Mendham, New Jersey, on Friday, June 8, 2018, at 10:30 AM. All are invited.
Next item: The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will take place on Sunday, May 6, following the Solemn Mass and May Crowning. At the meeting, nominations for delegates to Diocesan Convention to be held on Friday, November 9, and Saturday, November 10, at the Crown Plaza White Plains-Downtown, in White Plains, New York, will be received for election by the Board of Trustees. The annual meeting receives reports from the many groups and leaders of the congregation, and from the sisters, the parish musician, and the staff clergy of the congregation. For me, these meetings are a time when I can thank the congregation, its leaders, and its staff for the wonderful love they show and the work they do. The meetings usually last about thirty minutes. There are opportunities for members to speak to trustees and members of the staff immediately following the meeting.
Another item: For the first time, Saint Mary's will be participating in the New York Landmarks Conservancy Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, 2018. This year's theme is "Sacred Sounds and Settings." Houses of worship will focus on music and artistic performance. Marie Rosseels, Mary Robison, MaryJane Boland, Clint Best, and Ric Miranda will be providing tours (see the schedule below). Dr. David Hurd will be demonstrating the organ on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Solemn Evensong & Benediction will be at its usual time on Sunday at 5:00 PM. Our building, its decoration, and its use have played an important role in the life of the Episcopal Church. Members and friends of the congregation are especially invited to attend.
Now, some sad news: Sister Eleanor Francis, C.S.J.B, superior of the Community of St. John Baptist, has decided to close the community's branch house here at Saint Mary's. Sometime this summer, Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B., and Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., will return to the convent in Mendham. It is, of course, Sister Eleanor Francis's duty to think about the community as a whole and to assign sisters where they are most needed for the community's ministry, and that is what she is doing. I speak on behalf of all of our clergy, the parish's trustees, and many others that we are unanimous in our regret, indeed our sadness, that this decision has had to be made. The sisters have become an important part of our common life, and it will take time for us to come to terms with their departure. As I write, the date for the move back to Mendham has not been set. Of course we will want to make sure that we have time to celebrate the work and witness of Sister Laura Katharine, Sister Monica Clare, and Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., before the resident sisters leave. Sister Deborah Francis, now assistant superior of the order, opened the house here at Saint Mary's on March 15, 2007, along with Sister Laura Katharine. These three sisters, who have become our sisters in Christ, will be very much in our prayers as they all make this transition.
The Mission House was built to house a women's religious order for ministry to "women and girls" in our neighborhood, then known as Longacre Square. Father Donald Garfield, rector from 1964 until 1978, announced to the parish in the October 1966 issue of our then monthly newsletter
AVE that the Sisters of the Holy Nativity had returned to their convent in Wisconsin in the summer of 1966. At that point, the sisters had been in residence at Saint Mary's for almost seventy years, from 1899 to 1907 and from 1910 until their departure in 1966. Before then, Father Garfield noted, the Sisters of the Visitation had been at Saint Mary's from 1882 until 1899.
Saint Mary's was founded as part of the Anglo-Catholic movement that fostered the revival of religious life in the Anglican Communion. I hope very much that it may be possible for another Episcopal religious order to feel called to the ministry of an urban Anglo-Catholic parish like Saint Mary's. We will continue to pray for the sisters of the Community of St. John Baptist, and we look forward to the new directions in which God is leading them. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Dick, Angie, Maxine, Alex, Mary, Dora, Marilouise, Sam, Stephanie, Dennis, Bob, Abe, Randy, Barbara, Burt, Mike, Kathleen, Melissa, Kyle, Greta, Jerry, Karen, Eugenia, May, Heidi, Ridhima, Takeem, David, and Sandy; for Yamily, Horace, Mitties, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the soul of Roger Jayne.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Roger Jayne, the father of parishioner Thomas Jayne, died on Monday, April 23, 2018. He was ninety-eight years old. The Burial of the Dead will be offered on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at his parish, Saint Bede's Church, Los Angeles, California. Please remember Roger, Thomas, and all who mourn in your prayers.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 6: 1879 James Paul; 1889 Hester Ashbury, Alice Traubman; 1921 William Henry Sutton; 1924 Henry William Lein; 1938 Charlotte Dobbin; 1991 Elmer Lee; 2005 Richard Anthony Fuller.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
ASCENSION DAY, one of the seven principal feasts of the church year, is celebrated forty days after Easter Day, this year on Thursday, May 10. Our celebration begins with Solemn Evensong on Ascension Eve, Wednesday, May 9, at 6:00 PM. A quartet from the parish choir will be present to sing the canticles and a motet. On Thursday, Morning Prayer will be sung at 8:30 AM. At 12:00 PM the Noonday Office will be prayed. At 12:10 PM Father Jay Smith will be celebrant and preacher for Sung Mass. At 5:30 PM Dr. Jennifer Pascual, director of music at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, will play an organ recital. The rector will be celebrant and preacher for the 6:00 PM Solemn Mass, at which the full parish choir will sing. A reception will follow in Saint Joseph's Hall. Please join us for worship and fellowship!
AIDS WALK 2018 . . . After a brilliant start, Saint Mary's team progress has slowed a little, and we have $10,270.00 left to raise in order to get to our goal of $55,000 to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS. This is our fourteenth year of walking, and we are so proud of the support we've received from parishioners and friends of Saint Mary's. Won't you please join our team and raise money with us, or simply make a donation to the determined Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team. Already, 141 contributions have been made to our team. When you join or contribute by clicking here, you can view our very fine and inspiring video in which the members of the Saint Mary's Team talk about why they walk and why they are committed to this effort. You can also direct your questions to Father Jay Smith or to co-leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN: WE NEED YOUR HELP! . . Our Campaign continues. There is still time to make a pledge for 2018! In order to make a pledge, 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 and its ministries so generously.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Sunday, May 6, Sixth Sunday of Easter, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass and May Crowning 11:00 AM, Annual Meeting of the Congregation 12:45 PM, Solemn Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, May 9, Eve of Ascension Day, Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 10, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Office 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Friday, May 11, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . On Sunday, April 22, David Hurd, organist and music director, was at the Church of All Saints, Austin, Texas, for the full choral world premiere of his Holy Apostles Mass. Dr. Hurd played the organ during the Mass, and All Souls' music director, Gregory Eaton, director of music at All Saints, conducted the choir and the chamber orchestra . . . Giselle Harrington was baptized here some twenty-five years ago. She grew up in New England, but returned to New York not long ago to study in the Master of Fine Arts program in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). She lives in Queens and worships at Saint Mary's. She recently completed her thesis project, and her work is being shown until May 17 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West Twenty-sixth Street, Fifteenth Floor, New York, NY . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 189.
SACRED SITES OPEN HOUSE . . . For the first time, Saint Mary's will be participating in the New York Landmarks Conservancy Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, 2018. This year's theme is "Sacred Sounds and Settings." Houses of worship will focus on music and artistic performance. The schedule here at Saint Mary's is as follows:
Saturday, May 5
1:00 PM: Organ Demonstration by Dr. David Hurd, organist and music director
3:00 PM: Organ Demonstration by Dr. David Hurd
4:00 PM: Docent-guided tour of the church
Sunday, May 6
8:30 AM: Sung Matins
11:00 AM: Solemn Mass with choir and organ. The Mass setting is Missa Octavi Toni by Orlando di Lasso (c. 1530-1594). The motet will be Exultate Deo by Domenico Scarlatti (1660-1725)
3:00 PM Docent-guided tour of the church
4:00 PM: Organ Demonstration by Dr. David Hurd
5:00 PM: Evensong and Benediction
We are grateful to David Hurd, Marie Rosseels, Chris Howatt, Mary Robison, and Brendon Hunter for encouraging us to participate in the Open House and for making it possible for us to do so.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION . . . On May 13 and 20, at 10:00 AM in Saint Benedict's Study, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will teach a two-part series The Dove Descending: bird, fire, wind, water, cloud, light, and other depictions of the Holy Spirit in readings from scripture and beyond (primarily poetry). This is a two-Sunday survey of symbol and significance, ending on the Day of Pentecost . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class met for the last time on April 25 to discuss the Passion Narrative in the Gospel of Mark. The group will gather on Wednesday, May 23, for its annual end-of-year dinner. Classes will resume in the fall.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The musical setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is Missa Octavi Toni by Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594). Lassus, as he was also known, was one of the most prolific and admired European composers of his time. Born at Mons in the Franco-Flemish province of Hainaut, Lassus was well traveled particularly in northern Italy, but was centered in Munich for much of his adult life. His compositions include about sixty authenticated Mass settings, most of which are elaborate parody works based upon motets, often his own, as well as French chansons and Italian madrigals from such composers as Gombert, Willaert, Resta, Arcadelt, Rore, and Palestrina. Missa Octavi Toni is one of the more succinct of Lassus's Masses. It is in four voices throughout. Much of the Gloria is declaimed syllabically, and the polyphony in other movements is relatively restrained. Lassus shone perhaps with greater compositional distinction in his motets, but his compact Mass settings such as Missa Octavi Toni have demonstrated their liturgical suitability over generations.
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) was born in Palermo and may have been a student of Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) in Rome. He is noted for his operas and chamber cantatas, as well as being the father of composer Domenico Scarlatti, one of the most celebrated Baroque composers of keyboard music. Alessandro Scarlatti's career flourished in Naples where he became maestro di cappella to the viceroy in 1684. Here he composed music for state occasions in addition to several operas. He also spent significant time in Rome where, among other appointments, he served for a while as maestro di cappella at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Scarlatti's motet Exsultate Deo, text from Psalm 81, is one of his most frequently performed sacred works. The choir will sing this motet on Sunday morning from an edition prepared in 1946 by the distinguished organist and composer Ernest White (1901-1980), who was engaged as a musician here at Saint Mary's from 1937 to 1958. White wrote in his introductory note, "It is interesting to compare Scarlatti with Purcell, who was his exact contemporary. Purcell was under Italian influence, and we find in Scarlatti many points of resemblance to him, notably his treatment of harmony-both composers showing a tendency to think polyphonically, though melodiously, and being either indifferent to, or more probably taking a positive pleasure in, the sharp dissonances resulting from their unbending logic."
The organ voluntaries on Sunday are the opening and closing sections of the Toccata in C of J. S. Bach (1685-1750), commonly referred to as Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue. Baroque keyboard toccatas were typically multi-sectional pieces. With Bach's Toccata in C, the form is so enlarged that the principal sections effectively become stand-alone movements. The opening sections, which comprise today's Prelude, include a single-voice flourish on the keyboard, a pedal solo, and a fully developed concerto-style movement. The final section, played for the Postlude, is a spirited fugue with an extended and playful theme in gigue rhythm.
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, May 19, 2018, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra. Music by Bach, Raff, Poulenc, and Rachmaninov. Admission is free. A donation of $15.00 is suggested and much appreciated.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S . . . 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 . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Days on May 23, June 27, and July 11, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days . . . Please contact Sister Monica Clare, if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Sunday, May 20, The Day of Pentecost . . . Sunday, May 27, Trinity Sunday . . . Monday, May 28, Memorial Day . . . Thursday, May 31, The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary . . . Sunday, June 3, Corpus Christi . . . Friday, June 8, 2018, 10:00 AM, Convent of the Community of St. John Baptist, Mendham, New Jersey, Life Profession of Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B.