The Angelus

Volume 5, Number 15

Plan on Being Here

This coming weekend, March 7 through March 9, there is a constellation of events that give us a wonderful opportunity to worship and to celebrate.

On Friday evening, March 7, at 7:00 PM, the Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, bishop of New York, will be here to officiate at Stations of the Cross.  It’s a wonderful service.  It takes about forty-five minutes.  It’s the first Friday in Lent.  We hope that there will be a good congregation from our own parish and from other midtown Episcopalians who appreciate this great devotion.  The Stations themselves and the layout of the church make Saint Mary’s a wonderful place for this service.

On Saturday morning, March 8, at 10:30 AM, Bishop Sisk will ordain John Beddingfield and four others to the diaconate at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.  Barbara Klett, Leroy Sharer and I will be his “presenters.”  We expect a large number of our community to be present. can say that all of us who know him eagerly await his ordination.  It will be so right to have him at the altar and to see him in clerical black.

On Sunday morning, March 9, at 11:00 AM, John will serve as deacon of the Mass for the first time.  Be here.  Stay for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation (a light lunch will be served).  Stay for Evensong when our good friend, the Reverend Canon John G.B. Andrew, rector emeritus, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, will be with us to preach.  Canon Andrew is one of the great preachers of our time and it is such an honor for us to have him with us on the First Sunday in Lent.

It seems as if there is never any ordinary time at Saint Mary’s.  And it also seems that sometimes the riches of our common life are overwhelming.  Something new is always happening in Christ’s Body.  The death and resurrection of Jesus is being lived over and over in our common life and in our individual lives.  We are always taking out of the treasure God gives us something old and something new.  Stephen Gerth


PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Adele who is hospitalized and for Bart, Brett, Nora, Kiyushi, Nicole, Jack, Thomas, Sarah, Grover, Annie, Patricia, Paul, Robert, Gloria, Jerri, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick, Charles, priest, and Paul, bishop and Walter, bishop, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Timothy, Patrick, Edward, Keith, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Joseph, Mark, Ned, Timothy, David and John.  Your prayers are also asked for the repose of the soul of Eileen and Kenneth . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 9: 1951 Leonore H. Hibbard; 1965: Carolyn Elizabeth Allen; March 10: 1962 John S. Jarvis Beach; 1989: Marion Campbell, Jr.; March 11: 1994 Virginia Greene; March 12: 1961 Muriel Iola Dorothy Blaine; March 15: 1969 Peter Chan.


IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Eileen Sorensen, our friend and former parish secretary, died on Tuesday, March 4.  She will be buried from her home parish, Our Lady of Angels Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn, on Friday morning, March 7, at 9:30 AM.  Eileen served as our parish secretary for eleven years, retiring in June 2002.  She was beloved by everyone who knew her.  She was last at Saint Mary’s for Mass on the patronal feast.  And she was able to join the parish staff for our Christmas dinner just after the New Year.  She and her smile are missed so very much.  Please pray for Eileen, for her husband, Robert, and for all mourn.  S.G.


LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Genesis 9:8-17, Psalm 25:3-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-13 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, March 8, by Father Weiler, and on Saturday, March 15, by Father Gerth . . .. The faithful are reminded that the weekdays of Lent are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.  The Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence from meats.


NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa ‘Petre ego pro te rogavi’ by Alonso Lobo (c. 1555-1617) and the motet at Communion is Peccantem me quotidie by Philippe de Monte (1521-1603).  Lobo was a student of Francisco Guerrero and later succeeded him as maestro de capilla of Seville Cathedral.  This particular Mass is based upon a motet of Guerrero, and is one of six surviving Mass settings by Lobo.  De Monte was a well-traveled and extremely prolific composer, leaving 30 volumes of madrigals and 34 Mass settings.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on Sunday, March 9, following the 11:00 AM Mass . . . Those wishing to be confirmed or received by the Presiding Bishop at the Easter Vigil should speak with the Rector . . . Many thanks to all who made the services and ministry of this church possible on the First Day of Lent.  As we go to press we are still working on an estimate of persons who came for imposition of ashes.  (By counting the Lenten service cards that were distributed) . . . The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, former assisting priest at Saint Mary’s, will celebrate a Solemn Mass in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  The Mass will be on Monday, March 24, 2003 at 6:00 PM at the Church of the Transfiguration . . . It’s not too late to join those who will be making a retreat at Mount Saviour Monastery from March 20 to 23.  If you would like to reserve your place or find out more about the retreat, speak to Penny Byham or e-mail her at . . . Attendance last Sunday 238, Mass attendance on Ash Wednesday 427.


WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP . . . This group moves into the season of Lent continuing 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, March 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.


FROM THE RECTOR . . . Many readers of this newsletter will not know that just as Father Weiler left town for vacation I was coming down with what would prove to be strep throat.  I was not able to be at church on Sunday, February 23, or on Sunday, March 2.  Father Smith took all of the Sunday Masses and Evensong on February 23 as well as one daily Mass all week.  On Saturday evening, March 1, when it was clear I would be unable to do the Sunday morning Masses, Deacon Rhodes stepped forward to preach at 10:00 AM and Father wrote a second sermon for 11:00 AM - he had already written one sermon for Evensong.  Father, thank you so very much.


I did come down from the rectory on March 2 to hear the Gloria during the Solemn Mass - I love Missa Luba.  I came back again and sat on the steps behind the high altar during the hymn at the preparation, Alleluia! sing to Jesus.  I stayed hidden back there until the end of Mass.  Father Smith stepped behind the high altar to give me Holy Communion.


The liturgy and its music were absolutely fabulous, so perfect for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany.  Great liturgy, of which superior music is an integral part, really is normative at Saint Mary’s.  It was especially good last Sunday, perhaps because we were getting ready to leave the organ behind (except to accompany hymns) during Lent.  When Robert. McCormick took off on an improvisation during Alleluia! sing to Jesus, that organ did indeed “thunder like a mighty flood.”  It would have been impossible for anyone who heard the anthem during the Ministration of Communion not to feel God’s presence in a special way.  The baptism of William Bingham seemed entirely appropriate too.  It is clear what we Christians are about: dying, rising and living in Jesus Christ.  S.G.


The Calendar of the Week

Sunday   The First Sunday in Lent

Monday                     Weekday of Lent

Tuesday                     Weekday of Lent

Wednesday               Weekday of Lent

Thursday                   Weekday of Lent

Friday                         Weekday of Lent                                             Lenten Abstinence

                         Saturday                   Weekday of Lent

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, The Reverend John Beddingfield, assisting deacons,

The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.