The Angelus

Volume 5, Number 11

Looking to Lent: Stations

This year we will be having Stations of the Cross every Friday night of Lent.  The service is from The Book of Occasional Services of the Episcopal Church.  The service itself consists of fourteen meditations related to the traditional events between Jesus’ condemnation before Pilate and the burial of his body in the tomb.  The words of the service are said.  Short verses of Stabat Mater are sung as the congregation moves between stations.  One hymn is sung at the end.  Because of the design of our church it is possible for the congregation and the clergy to process from station to station.

The Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, bishop of New York, will be with us as officiant on Friday, March 7.  The parish clergy will be the officiants the other four weeks.  The service itself follows the usual Friday evening Mass and takes no more than forty-five minutes.  As a preparation for Holy Week and as prayer, I have always found it very helpful.

I want to ask as many of our parish community who can to be here for Stations this year, especially on the first Friday of Lent when Bishop Sisk will be with us.  It is extremely generous of him to make time to be with us this way.  Frankly, I hope a lot of fellow midtown Episcopalians may join us because of his presence.  It is traditional for the people to gather with their bishop during Lent to prepare for Easter.  Again, it is so gracious of Bishop Sisk to be with us (on the eve of Ordinations in the Cathedral, not to mention his Sunday commitments.)

There are many reasons to like the form of Stations found in The Book of Occasional Services.  Most of all, the meditations given for each station is entirely from Scripture.  The service is simply very well done.  I hope you will be here.  Please feel free to bring others!  Stephen Gerth


PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Bart and Susan who are hospitalized and for Nora, Kiyushi, Velma June, Kenneth, Jack, Thomas, Sarah, Grover, Annie, Patricia, Paul, Robert, Eileen, Gloria, Jerri, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick, Charles, priest, and Paul, bishop, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Timothy, Patrick, Edward, Keith, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . February 15: 1967 Nina Gay Dolan; 1973: Dorothy McCormack; 1978: Carrington Raymond.


LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: 2 Kings 4:8-37, Psalm 142, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, February 8 by Father Weiler and on Saturday, February 15, by Father Smith.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Altar flowers are needed for Sunday, February 16, and Sunday, March 2.  Please call the parish office if you are interested in providing flowers.  A donation of $100 provides arrangements for the high altar and the Shrine of the Sacred Heart . . . Plans are underway for the March 20-23 Lenten Retreat at Mount Saviour Monastery.  If you would like to reserve your spot, help to plan the way that time will be spent on the retreat, or would simply like more information, please speak to Penny Byham or e-mail her at . . . The Rector returns to the parish office on Wednesday, February 12 . . . Attendance last Sunday 378.


IT’S ALMOST OFFICIAL . . . Pending final approval by the Standing Committee of the Diocese, John Beddingfield will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, March 8 at 10:30 AM at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  It is the custom of this diocese to ordain all transitional deacons together at the cathedral, so John and four others will be ordained together that morning.  He will serve as a deacon for six months and then, God willing, will be ordained a priest.  Sunday, March 9 will be John’s first Solemn Mass at Saint Mary’s serving as deacon.  While John is expected eventually to find work in a parish other than his sponsoring parish, he will continue to serve at Saint Mary’s until such a position is found.


CONGRATULATIONS, MR. VERGER . . . David Jette is a faithful member of Saint Mary’s, who is usually unable to be with us on Sunday mornings because of his work.  He is the head verger at Trinity Church, Wall Street.  In addition, he also serves as president of the national Vergers’ Guild of the Episcopal Church.  As David explains, “The work of the verger is a lay ministry of the church, often exercised behind the scenes in support to all of those, ordained and lay, who participate in worship and liturgy.”  The verger at many churches does much of the work at the Mass that is done at Saint Mary’s by the masters of ceremonies.  David has been invited to participate (no doubt he will be working!) in the February 27 enthronement of the Most Reverend Rowan Williams as archbishop of Canterbury.  Blessings to you, David, as you travel and represent us all in this important event.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: AVE OCTOBER 1951 . . . We are exceedingly grateful for two gifts which are offered for the glory of God and the enhancing of His worship.  The first is a processional crucifix, carved of wood, richly polychromed and bearing the figure of Jesus Christ as Great High Priest.  This crucifix, executed under the direction of Mr. Leslie H. Nobbs, will be carried at High Mass Processions, beginning with the Feast of Christ the King.  Very appropriately it is a gift made possible by the sacrificial savings of one of St. Mary’s faithful parishioners who would thus express thanks to Almighty God for His innumerable blessings and for the saintly example of Sister Felicitas, C.S.M., of blessed memory . . . The second gift is an exquisitely beautiful set of High Mass vestments, worked from gold cloth with red orphreys richly adorned with appropriate symbols.  Included in the gift is a resplendent gold altar frontal.  These vestments will be used for the first time on the Feast of Dedication, October the seventh.


NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This week at the Sung Mass, played by assistant organist Robert McDermitt, the prelude will be Prelude in G by William H. Harris (1883-1973) and the postlude will be Prelude on ‘Hyfrydol’ by Healey Willan (1880-19680).  At the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be Ricercar del quinto tono by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594).  The postlude will be Improvisation sur le “Te Deum” which was actually a live improvisation by Charles Tournemire (1870-1939), and was painstakingly reconstructed on paper, from Tournemire’s recording, by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa sine nomine (“Mass without a name”) by Palestrina, and the motet, also by Palestrina, is Exsultate Deo.  We continue our organ recital series before Solemn Evensong & Benediction.  This week, we welcome Mr. Thomas Lee Bailey, of Saint Paul’s Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, who will play works of Schlick, Reger and Muffat. 


WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP . . . This group continues its discussion and exploration of the spiritual practice known as lectio divina, the practice of meditatively and prayerfully reading scripture.  The group meets on Tuesday, February 11, after Mass around 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study.  Latecomers should enter through the Parish House door and press the doorbell for Saint Benedict’s Study.


NEWS FROM OUR NEIGHBORS UPSTAIRS . . . The Storm Theatre is offering two great plays that may be of particular interest to Saint Marians:  an adaptation of Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory and Shakespeare’s classic, The Tempest.  These two plays, written centuries apart, differ in countless ways, yet they both explore the nature of redemption.  In The Tempest, as Prospero overcomes his anger and his desire for revenge, his ability to forgive restores all that he had once lost.  So to, the “whiskey priest” in The Power and the Glory who, through the grace of God and courage in the face of many trials, finally fulfills the divine calling to which he had previously so miserably failed.  Performances for The Tempest are from February 5 through March 1 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings at 7:30 PM and on Saturday at 2:00 PM.  The Power and the Glory will play February 9 through March 2 on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings at 7:30 PM with a matinee on Sunday at 2:00 PM.  Tickets for each performance are $15.00 and can be obtained by calling TicketWeb at 1-866-468-7619 or online at  For more information about these productions and the Storm Theatre, see


The Calendar of the Week

Sunday    The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Monday                     Weekday

Tuesday                     Weekday

Wednesday               Weekday

Thursday                   Absalom Jones, priest

Friday                        Cyril, monk, & Methodius, bishop; missionaries              Abstinence

Saturday                   Thomas Bray, priest & missionary


The Parish Clergy

The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,

The Reverend Matthew Weiler, curate, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assistant,

The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priest, The Reverend Robert Rhodes, assisting deacon,

The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.