Music at Saint Mary’s
There are many reasons to celebrate music at Saint Mary’s this month. It is the seventieth anniversary of our parish organ, an astounding and outstanding instrument. Its design and execution at the beginning of the Great Depression was a central event in the history of our parish and in the history of American music. It is one of the first of what are known as “great American classic organs.” It was an experiment and building it required vision and faith, the kind of vision and faith for which this parish has stood since its birth.
Another reason to celebrate music at Saint Mary’s this month is the quality of our present program. This is in no small part due to the vision and faith of our Board of Trustees. They made the position
months. He is the first full-time musician in the history of the parish. The Trustees have been entirely supportive of the direction Robert has taken the choral and music program. It’s simply great – and he’s just beginning his profession and ministry as a church musician. We all have a wonderful future ahead.
Robert himself is a great joy to all of us. His work supports the worship of the parish in glorious ways. He loves great choral music. He loves to play the organ. And anyone who has heard him also knows he loves to play hymns. His passion for excellence is infectious. Our parish could not have a better musical leader than Robert, who has also brought us an assistant organist, Robert McDermitt, who is another great gift to our parish community. Sunday after Sunday, and feast after feast, I wish it were possible for me to know all of the names of the singers who are here now. They really are very special.
The friends of music at Saint Mary’s, whom we call “The Saint Cecilia Guild,” also make a contribution that is essential to the excellence of our program. Great music brings us to extraordinary places in our lives – and it requires extraordinary gifts to support it. The recent and continuing enhancements to the organ were made possible by these gifts. Saint Cecilia Guild also makes possible our Sunday organ recital series which gives an opportunity for many younger musicians to play this instrument. With the support of Saint Cecilia Guild, we have also begun an organ maintenance endowment.
Mr. Larry Trupiano, of course, is our organ curator and an outstanding friend of our parish. The kind of love and work which he gives this instrument comes from his heart. Only God and the angels know all that he does for us, but I’m sure his name is inscribed on Saint Cecilia’s page of the Book of Life.
As you know, over the second weekend in January we will have several events to celebrate the organ’s seventieth anniversary. As we go to press there are a few tickets remaining for the fund raising dinner on Friday night. Please call the parish office to reserve.
The anniversary itself is Saturday, January 11. It is a great honor for us to welcome back a former organist and music director, Mr. McNeil Robinson. One of our country’s great musicians, Mr. Robinson’s playing of this instrument is legendary. The recital should not be missed.
Finally, I want to say a word about the support of the parish community for the direction the music program has taken. Music is a real blessing at Saint Mary’s today. It is simply a source of worship, enjoyment and glory. I expect the music program to grow larger and to be an even more important ministry to the wider community. I hope you will be a part of this growth. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Bart and Kenneth who are hospitalized and for Jack, Mark, Judith, Thomas, George, Sarah, Julia, Grover, Annie, Patricia, Paul, Robert, Eileen, Gloria, Jerri, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick and Charles, priest, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Keith, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 1: 1983 Gertrude Schrage; January 10: 1994 William F. Lata; January 11: 1967 Sarah Bedell McDonald.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 84:1-8, Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 . . . Confession will be heard on Saturday, January 4, by Father Weiler, and on Saturday, January 11, by Father Gerth . . . Mr. John Beddingfield, a candidate for Holy Orders from our parish, will be the preacher this Sunday, January 5, at Evensong.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Congratulations to the Reverend Robert Rhodes, our senior seminarian, who was ordained deacon at Christ Church Cathedral, Saint Louis, on December 27, Saint John’s Day. Father Rhodes will be with us until he is graduated in May from the General Theological Seminary . . . Dr. Ryan Lesh has returned to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific where he continues his studies for the priesthood. It was great to have him home and assisting over the Christmas holiday . . . Congratulations to Karen and Walt Leiding who were married at Saint Mary’s on New Year’s Eve – and many thanks to all who served and helped to make this celebration possible . . . Many thanks to Dale Bonenberger who played the 10:00 AM Mass for us last Sunday while Robert McDermitt was away . . . A new music schedule is available for The Epiphany through Corpus Christi. If you did not pick one up on Christmas Eve, please look for one on the usher’s table in the back of the church . . . The 2003 Stewardship Campaign continues. As we go to press, 67 pledges totaling $144, 426 have been received. Attendance Last Sunday 292, Holy Name 90.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This week at the Sung Mass, played by assistant organist Robert McDermitt, the prelude will be Prelude in G major by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) and the postlude is Toccata in d-moll, BWV 538 (“Dorian”) by J. S. Bach (1685-1750). At the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) and the postlude will be Noël Suisse by Louis-Claude Daquin (1694-1772). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass for Four Voices by William Byrd (1543-1623) and the motet at Communion, also by Byrd, is Surge, illuminare. We continue our organ recital series before Solemn Evensong & Benediction. This week, we welcome Mr. James Little of Calvary Church, Summit, New Jersey, who will play works of Searle Wright, Franck and Mathias. On Monday, the Epiphany, Mr. David Shuler, organist and director of music at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, plays the organ recital at 5:30. His recital will feature works of Bach, Buxtehude, Langlais and Mulet. At the Solemn Mass, the Mass setting is Missa ‘O magnum mysterium’ by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611). The motet at Communion, a striking piece for the Epiphany, is Magi videntes stellam by Blasius Amon (c. 1560-1590). The postlude that evening is Fugue sur le thème des heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons, Op. 12 by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986).
SOCIETY OF KING CHARLES THE MARTYR . . . The Annual Mass and Meeting of the Society will be held at Saint Paul’s Parish, 2430 K Street, Washington, D.C. 20037, on Saturday, February 1 at 11:00 AM. Luncheon follows and reservations are required by January 15. For more information about the society and the meeting please write; Dr. Mark A. Wuonola, 291 Bacon Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02451.
REMINDER . . . To ensure the deductibility of your church contributions, please do not file your 2002 income tax return until you have received a statement of your contributions to Saint Mary’s.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday after Christmas Day
Monday The Epiphany
Friday William Laud, archbishop Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
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.