Midsummer at Saint Mary’s
Worship is the mission at Saint Mary’s all year long. In August, in addition to the daily and Sunday services, two important feasts are observed. On August 6 the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. On August 15 the Church celebrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This year the Transfiguration falls on a Friday. As is our custom, there will be a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM. Assumption falls on a Sunday this year. Sunday is the only day of the week when it is practical to have processions in our neighborhood. As is our custom when Assumption occurs on a Sunday, the Solemn Mass will begin with a procession through Times Square. Our choir will be here to sing the Mass. It will be glorious.
Father John Beddingfield continues on vacation this week. He will be back with us on Sunday, August 8. Those of us who know John know he will return from his vacation full of energy for the fall at Saint Mary’s. Father Matt Mead has been with us officially for one month now. He’s doing just about everything a deacon can do at the moment. We are looking forward very much to his ordination to the priesthood on September 18 at the Cathedral. Matt was with us as an intern last summer. He was at home in the sacristy from his first Sunday. He grew up Anglo-catholic. He’s right at home at Saint Mary’s and we are glad he is with us.
Mother Rosemari Sullivan will be away for a few weeks in August. She is our regular Wednesday night celebrant when she is in town. Father Ian Montgomery is usually with us on Sunday mornings and twice during the week. His generosity too is a great gift to our community and ministry to others. Sunday nights and Mondays Father Jay Smith is taking the Masses while Father Beddingfield is away. We are so very thankful for the help of all of our assisting clergy.
Robert McCormick has returned from a week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he served as organist for a summer course of the Royal School of Church Music in America and a week visiting his family in Georgia. Robert will be away again at the end of the month and again our associate organist Robert McDermitt will play for us.
The clergy have been calling on members of the community who have been in the hospital or are shut-in. There are a couple of babies due to be born very soon. We continue to respond to the needs for prayer and pastoral care as they arise daily. Often our ministry is simply to be available to people for a few minutes after Masses and Offices. This is possible because the doors of our church are open and your clergy are there to pray and to lead worship.
A lot of my work this summer has involved planning for the fall, winter and spring in several areas, including invitations to guest preachers. The Presiding Bishop will be with us on Sunday, November 14. The Bishop of New York will make his Visitation to the parish at our patronal celebration on Wednesday, December 8. Our Vicar Bishop for New York City, the Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, will be with us as celebrant on All Saints’ Day, Monday, November 1, when we will welcome the Right Reverend Michael Marshall, honorary assistant bishop, Diocese of London, as preacher. We are delighted that the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, will be with us for the Easter Triduum 2005.
Final plans for a number of areas in our common life await the regrouping of the parish staff after Father Beddingfield returns. Stay tuned for details about Christian education, outreach and service, as well as details about our fall music programs.
Sometimes I feel defensive about our primary ministries, worship and prayer. Yet whenever I walk by a church of any denomination whose doors are closed on a busy New York street I remain convinced of the need for our work in this community. I write this to you on Thursday, July 29, the Feast of Saint Mary and Saint Martha of Bethany. Being with Jesus and listening to his words is not the only thing that is important, but it has a certain priority. I believe you and I do God’s work and live our lives best when we try to put Jesus, his words and his worship first, even in the middle of summer. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Samuel, Paul, Peter, Charles, Mamie, Judy, Mary, Tom, Kara, Mark, Steve, Gilbert, Matthew, Robert, Gloria, Margaret, Jason, Harold, Bart, Hugh, Margaret, Marion, Rick and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Brenden, Jonathan, Jeffrey, Ned, Timothy, Patrick, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Joseph, Marc, Timothy, David, Colin, Christina, David, Nestor, Freddie, Matthew and Bennett.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 1: 1969 Edith Collins; August 4: 1996 Harold Anderson Worrell; August 8: 1963 Charles Augustus Edgar.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Ecclesiastes 1:12-14; 2:18-23, Psalm 49:1-11, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 12:13-21 . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, July 31, at 11:30 AM. Confessions will not be heard at 4:00 PM this Saturday only . . . On Sunday, August 1, The Rector will preach at the 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM Masses. Father Smith will preach at the 5:20 PM Mass . . . The Transfiguration of Our Lord is observed this year on Friday, August 6. As The Transfiguration is a Major Feast of Our Lord ordinary Friday abstinence is not observed.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Saint Mary’s is sponsoring two persons for Holy Orders at the present time. They are Ryan Lesh and William Franklin. Ryan and Bill are both doing “Clinical Pastoral Education” this summer. We look forward to both of them being home to preach at Saint Mary’s sometime during the coming academic year . . . Second quarter pledge statements have been mailed. Your gifts and prayers keep our doors open! . . . Saint Vincent’s Guild (the official name for our altar servers) will meet on Saturday, August 14 from 10 AM to early afternoon to polish brass, clean and prepare for Assumption . . . Attendance last Sunday 191.
LOOKING FOR SOME SUMMER READING? . . . Why not rediscover or begin to read the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins? For three Wednesday nights in September, our parishioner Rebecca Weiner will lead us in a study and discussion of the poetry and life of Hopkins. Rebecca is a professor of literature at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. A good place to begin is with the Dover Thrift Edition (1995), God’s Grandeur and Other Poems.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Chorale Prelude on ‘Melcombe’ by C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918) and the postlude is Lobet den Herren mit Pauken und Zimbeln schön (from Opus 101) by Sigrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933). Our soloist is Ms. Ruth Cunningham, soprano, who again will utilize her abilities in improvisation in place of some of the customary chant propers. The anthem at Communion is Heart Prayer, Ms. Cunningham’s setting of a text from Small Bird: Poems and Prayers by her sister, poet Elizabeth Cunningham.
SUMMARY OF JULY 19, 2004, BOARD MEETING . . . At its July 2004 meeting, the Board of Trustees: 1. Approved a modification of the 2004 Budget, as recommended by the Budget Committee (Mr. Dan Franks, Mrs. Barbara Klett and Mr. Terrence O’Dwyer). 2. Approved the engagement of a professional fundraiser, Ms. Elizabeth Lowell, of Raybin Associates, to assist with the Stewardship Campaign for this autumn. 3. Received the report of a professional appraiser, Wm. Schubert and Co., concerning the church’s property. 4. Discussed options for future use of the Parish House. 5. Agreed on the date of September 25, 2004 for the next long-range planning meeting of the Board of Trustees. Leroy Sharer, secretary
AS IS OUR CUSTOM . . . At its inception Saint Mary’s was on the forward edge of the liturgical movement in the Church. As I look back on the parish’s history, this was particularly true during the stewardship of the first three rectors of this parish. The renewal we know today at Saint Mary’s has its origins in our parish’s beginnings as well as the work and leadership of my two immediate predecessors, Father Donald Garfield and Father Edgar Wells. Father Garfield became rector of the parish on February 2, 1965. Father Wells became rector on February 2, 1979 (yours truly, February 2, 1999 – there is a pattern here). Father Garfield set the parish in a new direction on what was then called “The Second Sunday After Easter,” May 2, 1965. For the first time, Holy Communion was offered to the congregation at the 11:00 AM Sunday High Mass. Previously, the congregation here was offered Communion only at earlier Masses. (“Low Mass for Communion, High Mass for worship.”) This was a change that mattered. In a real sense, modern liturgical renewal at Saint Mary’s began that Sunday. S.G.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Eve of The Transfiguration 6:00 PM
Friday The Transfiguration of Our Lord No Abstinence
Saturday John Mason Neale, Priest, 1866
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend John Beddingfield, The Reverend Matthew Mead, curates,
The Reverend Ian Bruce Montgomery, The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.