In a wonderful way quite a lot of the work and experience I had as a curate in two congregations in the south and as rector of a parish in the Midwest have prepared me for the work that is coming to me as rector of Saint Mary's. However as a curate I didn't have to field liturgical questions in a serious way and at Trinity Church, Michigan City, months or even a year could pass without someone expressing a particular opinion about some aspect of the liturgy. Things are different at SMV.
I am glad people care about worship. I care about it a lot. In the few months I have been here I have now had the experience too many times to count of someone telling me they like something one day and within twenty-four hours, and often less time, another person saying to me the exact opposite. There's just a little focus on liturgy here.
I haven't experienced solemn liturgy at Saint Mary's yet without a full choir. The ordinary choir season is over. There won't be another Sunday with full choir until August 15. (The Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin falls on Sunday this year and we will observe it that day.) The full choir schedule will resume on the first Sunday in October.
During the summer months Chris Babcock, our music director and organist, and Ken Cowan, our assistant organist, will play on alternating Sundays. An old friend of Saint Mary's music, Daniel Fannon, will be guest organist one Sunday in August. There will be a soloist each Sunday to sing the minor propers and a piece for solo voice during the ministration of communion. Our soloists are members of our choir. It will be nice for each of them to be able to shine for once as individuals and for us to have a chance to greet them in a more individual way after the solemn Mass.
The first month we will be singing the William Mathias setting of "Glory to God in the highest" from The Hymnal and we will be singing a cappella the Richard Proulx English language arrangements of the Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Franz Peter Schubert's "Deutsche Messe." I think the Mathias Gloria is the best of the new Rite II settings in The Hymnal, but my opinion of the others might change after I hear them sung in this church accompanied by this instrument. The Deutsche Messe settings are usually quite wonderful sung a cappella. They are very singable and have the quality of drawing the congregation into silence. It is usually very quiet in the church after one is sung this way, the kind of quiet one knows as holy.
I'm not sure how all of the choreography of solemn Mass works without a full choir; but please, hold off from assuming I've changed something in the service. It may well be that something slips or
something happens on a given Sunday. If I plan any change that is major (or seems major to me) I will let you know about it through this column. In the meantime, I hope you are looking forward to the wonderful progression of the summer.
PARISH PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty in Kosovo, for Dennis who is hospitalized and for Shirley, Mark, Dorothy, Warren, Karen, Victoria, Frank, Florinda, Myrian, Charmaine, Rodney, priest, and Simon, priest.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . .June 8: 1967 Mary E. Longley, 1998 Anthony Guarino; June 9: 1952 Roy Whitson Lay, June 10: 1963 Kenneth Wilmot, 1970 Florence B. Crouch; June 12: 1986 James P. Gregory; June 17: 1972 Charles Henry Genet.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Exodus 19:2-8a, Psalm 100, Romans 5:6-11, Matthew 9:35-10:15 . . . 9:00 Celebrant & Preacher Father Parker, 10:00 Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher, Father Shin . . . On Saturday, June 12, Father Parker will hear confessions. On Saturday, June 19, Father Parker will hear confessions.
FROM THE PARISH REGISTER . . . In the month of May a letter of transfer was sent for Joseph Brennan to Grace Church, New York City. Letters of transfer were received in May for Emory Edwards and Thomas Lisa from Saint Clement's Church, New York City.
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE between Susan Wamsley of New York City and Richard Miranda of New York City. If any of you know just cause why they may not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the second time of asking. S.G.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Dennis Peters had surgery to relieve a cerebral hemorrhage on Tuesday, June 6. Please keep him in your prayers . . . An old friend of the parish, the Right Reverend Harry Shipps, retired bishop of Georgia, stopped by Saint Mary's last week . . . Congratulations to Kenneth Rochester who was graduated from Mount Saint Michael's Academy in Mount Vernon on June 4. Kenneth will be attending Northeastern University in Boston on a full scholarship. Kenneth, your parish community is very proud of your accomplishments . . . The auditors are here! This is always extra work for our parish bookkeeper, Vince Amodei, and for our parish treasurer, Barbara Klett. Your work is appreciated! . . . The kitchen needs a new cocktail trolley. If someone has one which he or she does not use and would like to donate, please speak with George Blackshire . . . The Board of Trustees meets on Monday, June 14, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict's Study. Meetings of the board are open to all members of the parish community . . . Attendance last Sunday: 205.
CHOIR SEASON THANKS . . . Chris Babcock spends hours no one else knows managing the music at Saint Mary's. Many thanks to him for giving us a great season. Ken Cowan is our brilliant assistant organist whom we are privileged to hear. Our singers are Malcolm Couden, Daniel Ebbers, Twila Ehmcke, Deborah Feldman, Kathleen Hayes, Georgette Hutchins, Herb Kirschner, Nick
Limansky, Juli Morgan, David Negron, Bill Riley and Ed Turner. Saint Mary's is special for so many reasons and among the most remarkable is the love one hears in the sounds of great organ and great voice. It is a love we hear all of the time. Musicians, thank you!
CORPUS CHRISTI KUDOS . . . I started doing announcements at the end of the liturgy when I was a new rector in Michigan City for one liturgical and one practical reason. I've always thought that the end of the liturgy was the least disruptive place for announcements during Mass. The practical reason in Michigan City was to coach the congregation to speak to and to welcome visitors immediately following the Mass. Occasionally there are reasons to do the announcements before Mass and last Sunday it was great fun to be able to welcome the good crowd of folks (and some extra children who were present) to participate in a glorious liturgy on a glorious day. I invited the assembly not to attempt to impose expectations of Northern European order and discipline on Mediterranean devotions. They laughed a little. The Mass was wonderful and the procession through Times Square was just great. A brass quartet accompanied us for the procession while the congregation sang "Amazing grace!" to the delight and wonderment of the crowds in Times Square at midday Sunday. The final voluntary played by Ken Cowan and accompanied by brass drew loud applause and kept a considerable part of the congregation in the church after the Mass concluded. The Reverend Alistair Stewart-Sykes, assistant professor of liturgics at the General Theological Seminary, was able to be with us and assist with the ministration of Holy Communion. It was a fun and holy day. There is something entirely appropriate about being joyful in the Lord and this was a wonderfully joyful and evangelical expression of our life in Christ. S.G.
MORE PERFECT PRAYER . . . Eileen Sorensen, our parish secretary, is now the keeper of the prayer list. If you give us a request for prayers it is helpful if you will jot your name down on the request as well so we can keep track of the names. Sometimes the recovered can be prayed for as sick for months after they have been restored to wholeness and strength. The clergy are absolutely delighted to receive names for the prayer list and to pass them on to Eileen, but ordinarily it is very helpful to them if you can jot the request down instead of telling them orally.
CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD . . . Saint Mary's will be the host for a one-day workshop on the spirituality of the child and implementation of the Catechesis on Saturday, November 6, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The workshop will be led by Rebekah Rojcewicz, one of the leading trainers and spokespersons for this work in the United States. We expect to invite members of Manhattan parishes to the event for sure. We also expect there may be a good number of Roman Catholics here too. The Catechesis has already been started in the Archdiocese of New York and it is an ecumenical work. We realize that Saturday, November 6, will be at the end of a busy week at Saint Mary's. (Monday, November 1, is All Saints' Day. Tuesday, November 2, is All Souls' Day.) But Rebekah can come this day. The morning session will focus on the work of the Catechesis for adults and children in the parish. After lunch the concentration will be on the nuts and bolts of introducing this work in a Christian community. Wherever the Catechesis has been established, it has been for the whole community, not just the children. Frankly, your rector is very excited that we may be able to offer this program in the new year.
Worship at Saint Mary’s
The Holy Eucharist
On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM. Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:15 PM. On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.
The Daily Office
On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:40 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM. Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM. On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.
The Reconciliation of Penitents
Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00. Appointments can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.
The ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
The Calendar of the Fourth Week after Pentecost
Wednesday Saint Columba, Abbot
Thursday Saint Ephrem, Deacon
Friday Saint Barnabas the Apostle
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend William C. Parker, curate, The Reverend Allen Shin, assistant, The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison,
The Reverend Paulette Schiff, The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.