There are quite a few parishes with daily services of Morning Prayer, the Holy Eucharist and Evening Prayer. One of the characteristics of Anglo-catholic parishes has been that the members of the clergy of the parish ordinarily worship together at these services along with at least some other members of the parish community.
When I was first ordained, the parish where I served had the full round of services; but the clergy did not attend them as a group. In the two years I was at that parish only once did four of the five full-time members of the clergy pray one weekday Office together. (It was Morning Prayer on an Ash Wednesday.) I remember it clearly because it was never the usual practice. I suspect it had something to do not just with churchmanship. The other members of the clergy prayed the Daily Office. I suspect they had not been formed to experience the Office primarily as an act of corporate worship.
I went to seminary at Nashotah House. Members of the faculty and all of the students had assigned seats in the chapel and we were expected to be present Sunday evening through Friday evening for Morning Prayer, Mass and Evensong. Before I went to Nashotah my rector had insisted that I start to pray the Office daily, morning and evening. When I got to seminary I was ready for communal prayer. I have prayed the Office by myself too many times to count over the years; but my primary formative experience of the Daily Office was at the Chapel of Saint Mary the Virgin at Nashotah House. It was community prayer, influenced by the English collegiate and cathedral tradition and, perhaps more importantly, the revival of monastic religious witness and life in the wake of the Oxford Movement.
Among the reasons I was very happy as a curate at Saint Luke's Church, Baton Rouge, was the corporate character of the daily services of the parish and the participation of the clergy in them. It made a difference that we were together for prayer. It made a difference that some lay members of the parish were regulars too. And it made a difference that the parish community knew their parish church was open for prayer every day.
Corporate prayer at Nashotah House in the early 1980s was predictable. It largely reflected the very best liturgical scholarship. Most of the members of the faculty had been there for a while and came out of the Anglo-catholic wing of the Church. They had worked through the evolution of the new Prayer Book together. They had been praying the full round of Offices and Masses as a community for years. New students easily entered into the ongoing prayer life of the seminary.
Liturgy at Nashotah wasn't done by committee either. The chapel was not a laboratory for students to plan services. The Church had a great tradition. The Church knew how to pray. The Church had
given responsibility for the transmission of the tradition to certain members of the community. The rest of us had the opportunity to participate. The classroom was for learning. The chapel was for worship. Learning of course happened there. But the services were not planned to educate but to be the best offering of praise the community could make.
The liturgy of the Church, like life, is continually evolving in its particulars. For the most part the worship of the Church evolves intelligently and faithfully. This doesn't always happen. Sometimes people do goofy things with good intentions. But goofy things don't tend to last. They don't satisfy.
I want you to know how much I value the discipline of our common life. It's important to me that the curate and I and others pray together morning and evening through the week. The generous participation of Father Wolsoncroft and Canon Garrison in our common life is also crucial.
Daily services aren't just for the clergy. But I think I serve the community and the tradition by joyfully embracing the role of providing leadership for daily Offices and Masses. This is the kind of leadership that has characterized my predecessors. I know that for me personally dry periods and difficult periods will come. But my adult life has been shaped by this discipline of prayer. I suspect, given the witness of history, that it will continue to sustain me and the communities of which I am a part. Stephen Gerth
PARISH PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty in Kosovo and for Walter, Dennis, Eileen, Maxine, Barbara, Edward, Mary Ann, Margaret, Scot, Shirley, Mark, Dorothy, Warren, Karen, Victoria, Frank, Florinda, Myrian, Charmaine, Rodney, priest, and Simon, priest, and for the repose of the souls of Brenda and Charles, bishop . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 21: 1963 Frederick Webb Ross; July 22: 1960: Mary Waters.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Wisdom 12:13,16-19, Psalm 86:11-17, Romans 8:18-25, Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 . . . 9:00 Celebrant & Preacher Father Shin, 10:00 Celebrant & Preacher Father Shin, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher The Rector . . . On Saturday, July 17, the Rector will hear confessions. On Saturday, July 24, Father Shin will hear confessions.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . The Right Reverend Charles Francis Boynton, who served as suffragan bishop of the Diocese of New York from 1951 until 1969, died on Saturday, July 3. Pray for Charles, bishop, and for all who mourn . . . Brenda Moore, wife of the Right Reverend Paul Moore, died on Sunday evening, July 11. Pray for her, for Paul, bishop, and for all who mourn.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Walter Morton was in the parish office this morning. He is doing very, very well as he recovers from coronary bypass surgery and eye surgery (the reason he originally went into the hospital). Eileen Sorensen hasn't been in the office yet but she continues to recover and is able to get out to see the doctors! Those in the parish office enjoy her telephone calls. She is so cheerful! Please keep Eileen and Walter in your prayers . . . Kevin Farley continues to help in the parish office in Eileen's absence for which the Rector and other members of the parish staff are most thankful . . . As we go to press, Michael Reid will be singing on Wednesday, July 14, in Central Park Summerstage in Verdi's "Les Vêpres Siciliennes" . . . Ken Cowan will play the opening recital for the National Convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Hamilton, Ontario on July 19. We are proud! . . . Chris Babcock will be back this Sunday. And Deborah Feldman will be singing music of Fauré . . . We are delighted that the Reverend Paulette Schiff and her husband, Walter Schiff, will be able to be with us on July 25th. Mother Schiff served until very recently at Saint Mary's as an assisting priest. She and her husband live in Philadelphia and it really is not practical for her to assist on a regularly basis. Mother will be at coffee hour and many will appreciate the opportunity to thank her for her ministry here . . . The Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene is Thursday, July 22. Mass will be offered on the usual schedule . . . Father Shin's Wednesday evening study group continues to meet following Evening Prayer. The group is looking at Saint Matthew's Gospel. You are welcome to join them . . . Attendance last Sunday: 143.
AT THE JULY 12 MEETING OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES . . . The Board (1) met with one of our teams of money managers, Arthur Goldberg and Beth Nash of Independence Assets Management; (2) acknowledged receipt of the annual diocesan budget and of our diocesan assessment; (3) was updated on discussions with SafeSpace concerning renovations to the Mission House; (4) welcomed Father Shin; (5) authorized expenditures to overhaul the phone system and purchase new air conditioners for the curate's apartment, and authorized the expenditure of the money raised specifically to revamp the nursery; (6) learned that 28 people have joined or are in the process of joining the parish since February; and (7) formed a committee to report on the ongoing maintenance of the organ. (Note the monthly financial summary for June 30, 1999 will appear in next week's Angelus.)
On Sunday, July 11, the Flowers at the Altar
were given to the Glory of God
and in loving memory of Blanche Watts Preene
by Janet Tidwell.
On Sunday, July 18, the Flowers at the Altar
are given to the Glory of God
and in loving memory of Mildred and Lawrence Larsen
by Barbara Klett.
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 Ninth Week after Pentecost
Monday Macrina, monastic
Thursday Saint Mary Magdalene
Saturday Thomas a Kempis, priest
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend Allen Shin, curate,
The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.