From the Rector: Easter Priorities
For the first time I can recall I recently have had some trouble remembering to add one or more “alleluias” to things during Mass – much to the delight of my colleagues. I think it is fair to say that I’m pretty reliable and regular as a celebrant. I’m not an automaton but my body, as it were, has a good liturgical memory both of word and gesture. As I write on Thursday morning of the Second Week of Easter, I think I’m on track now. No promises, but missing some of this stuff at weekday Masses and Offices has gotten my attention.
I feel guilty, in a sense, about these mistakes in part because it is possible to go to so many places and experience worship done without care or love. As pastor of this congregation I want every person who comes to our community, as member, friend or visitor to know we are trying to live out our Easter faith, especially during these fifty days of the Easter Season.
It’s pretty easy to celebrate and show off for the twelve days of Christmas. Everyone knows the song, to begin with. Our Christmas decorations and flowers will last for a couple weeks usually, and most people will get that its still Christmas. For the fifty days of Eastertide, we need other strategies.
The greatest way we might celebrate Easter is to try to sense new directions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, perhaps to let the joy of our faith show in our ordinary living in some new way. It says everything about the broader Christian tradition that more people enjoy Lent than Eastertide, that Ash Wednesday is the day when more people come into Saint Mary’s than any other day of the year. Okay, we’ve all been bad. Now what are we going to do about it?
At Saint Mary’s, the traditions of our worship can provide a starting point. We use almost all of the Easter options during all of the fifty days. At Morning Prayer, there is a canticle prescribed for Easter Week, “Christ our Passover” (Prayer Book, page 83), that is optional until the Day of Pentecost. We take the option. Only during Eastertide do we add “alleluia” to the acclamation at the breaking of the Bread, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” And despite the temptations of a tuna fish sandwich from the deli by the rectory, I make myself eat meat on Fridays.
I don’t remember the name of the priest or how many years it’s been since I heard a confessor say to me at a point when I had come to a new understanding about my sins, “Now, what are you going to do differently in the future?” He said it gently and with full appreciation of how hard it had been for me to tell the truth. Frankly, I can’t remember the sin. What I remember is the challenge of repentance, that is, of turning in a new direction, of walking in the new way that the Lord seemed to have prepared for me.
I believe Jesus changes our lives. I believe he does this over and over again in this world and in the world to come. There is a lot of sin, sickness and death that accompany us on the journey of life. But we Christians confess an Easter faith in the midst of all of it. Over and over again God calls us to walk in new ways, to the greater life of resurrection, just as he called his Son to a cross and a tomb. Easter isn’t about just knowing that Jesus rose, it’s about how we are being called today to live in a new way. That’s Easter priority. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Judi who is hospitalized, for Ethan, John, Brendan, Laura, Gabriela, Eve, Judi, Roy, Betty Ann, Deborah, Virginia, William, Mary, Gilbert, Marion, Jeanne, Joseph, Rick, Thomas, priest and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Dennis and Derrick; and for the repose of the souls of Mary, Spencer, Alaina and Garrett . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 3: 1947 Rachel Howland; May 4: 1995 Alexandrina Patricia Hunte; May 5: 1965 Elizabeth Perrigo; May 6: 1991 Homer Lee Hennig.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Michael Dougherty’s sister, Mary Grace Dougherty, died on April 21. Please pray for her, for Michael and for all who mourn . . . Jocelyn Dannenbaum’s cousins were in a car accident near Pittsburgh on April 13. Spencer Morrison and two of his triplet children, 4-year-olds Alaina and Garrett, were killed when a wood chipper fell off of a truck and hit their van. Ethan, the third triplet, is in the hospital. Please keep this family in your prayers.
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE between Ethan John Rosenblatt of Brooklyn, New York, and Elizabeth Robin Nolan of Brooklyn, New York. If any of you can show just cause why they may not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the third time of asking. J.R.S.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, April 28, by Father Mead and on Saturday, May 6, by Father Gerth . . . Monday, May 1, is a major holy day, the Feast of Saint Philip & Saint James, Apostles. Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, Judi Kerr is hospitalized. Please keep her in your prayers . . . A new credence cover has arrived. It is a memorial to Pat Higgins’s mother. Pat Higgins and Sean Cassidy, thank you so very much! . . . Movie Night is back and better than ever! On Friday, April 28 at 7:00 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall we will watch Richard III, staring Sir Ian McKellen on the big screen. Join us for the flick, food, foamy beverages and fun. The flick and the fun are free but the food and the foams are not: please bring a few dollars to help cover the cost . . . The Reverend Ryan Lesh, a seminarian from our parish, will be graduated from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific on Friday, May 21. Father Lesh will be with us on Ascension Day. He was ordained deacon in March 2005 and is to be ordained priest in September 2006 . . . Attendance last Sunday 297.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . The prelude before Mass today is Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den Tod überwand, BWV 626 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The postlude is Dialogue from Troisième suite by Louis Marchand (1669-1732). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Communion Service in D, Opus 45 by Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988). Leighton was born in Wakefield, England, and his unique musical language (including lyrical melodies combined with chromaticism and, later in his career, use of serial techniques) earned him great respect as a composer. He is best remembered, perhaps, for his contributions to liturgical music, including numerous masses. The motet at Communion is O sacred feast by Healey Willan (1880-1968) . . . The recital at 4:40 is played by Michael Kaminski . . . At Solemn Evensong & Benediction, we are delighted to welcome choristers from St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York and Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Preston Smith is director of the St. Bartholomew’s choristers and Mr. Jason Abel is director of the Christ Church choristers. Robert McCormick
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION & FORMATION . . . Sunday School meets on Sundays at 10:00 AM in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . The Tuesday Night Bible Study meets on Tuesday, May 2, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study. This class will read through the book of the Acts of the Apostles. We will read chapters 6 through 12 . . . The Spirituality and Reading group continues with the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. At the next meeting, on Sunday, May 21, we will discuss The Cost of Discipleship.
ALTAR FLOWERS . . . Many thanks to all who helped make the flowers so special for the Easter Triduum and the Second Sunday of Easter. Beginning this Sunday, April 30, we return to our regular florist. Flowers are needed for June 11 and for all of the Sundays in July and August. If you would like to give flowers on a Sunday, please contact Sandra Schubert in the parish office.
MISSION NOTES . . . On Saturday, May 6 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in Donegan Hall at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine there will be a meeting to evaluate the 2006 mission trip to Honduras and to begin planning the trip for 2007. This is a wonderful time to meet some of the participants and leaders and to begin thinking about joining next year’s group. Let Father Beddingfield know if you would like to attend so that you can be included for lunch.
SPONSORING RECEPTIONS . . . One need not “work” a coffee hour or feast day reception to make a huge contribution. Our Brother Lawrence Guild almost always can staff a reception, but they can use your gifts to pay for refreshments. If you would like to sponsor a reception or a coffee hour, please speak with Jim Dennis or anyone who is “working” on Sunday morning during coffee hour.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . On Sunday, May 21, the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, will be with us as celebrant and preacher at the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass to celebrate his twenty-fifth anniversary of consecration to the episcopate. A reception will follow . . . On Ascension Day, Thursday, May 25, our guest preacher at the 6:00 PM Solemn Mass will be the Reverend Andrew Archie, rector, Church of St. Michael and St. George, St. Louis, Missouri.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Third Sunday of Easter
Monday Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles
Tuesday Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, 373
Wednesday Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Thursday Easter Weekday
Friday Easter Weekday No Abstinence in Eastertide
Saturday Of Our Lady
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,
5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction. Childcare from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass,
6:00 PM Evening Prayer, 6:20 PM Mass. The 12:10 Mass on Wednesday is sung.
Saturday: 11:30 AM Confessions, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 4:00 PM Confessions, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass