From the Rector: The Day of Pentecost and Other Things
The Easter Season concludes as the sun sets on Pentecost. After Solemn Evensong, the Easter candle will be extinguished along with the other candles in the chancel and it will be moved to the baptistery. The ordinary time of the Church year will begin. But before it’s all over we will have celebrated the conclusion of Eastertide in the best possible way. The Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, will be with us for the principal liturgy of the day at 11:00 AM to celebrate, preach and preside over the rites of Christian initiation. In a real sense, the liturgy of the day will re-present us with the central mysteries of our faith. Jesus Christ still rises and dies in the people he calls to faith.
Pentecost seems to have been a day for the celebration of Baptism since there has been a celebration called Pentecost by Christians. In England, it came to be known as “Whitsunday,” that is, “White Sunday,” because it was a day for Baptisms. (In the Mediterranean world, “White Sunday” was the second Sunday of Easter – think of unheated churches and of the weather difference between Canterbury and Rome in April and the reason for this becomes clear.)
For centuries, Western Christians too often have associated narrowly the gift of the Holy Spirit with this fiftieth day. This was the lectionary focus of our previous Prayer Books. The new lectionary moves away from this by providing John’s account of the gift of the Spirit on the evening of the first Easter Day to balance the account from the Acts of the Apostles about the gift of the Holy Spirit on the fiftieth day, the Jewish festival of Pentecost. Indeed, many would read John’s gospel and find the gift of the Spirit being given to the disciples from the cross. One can regard the fiftieth day as a moment of intense focus and awareness of the presence of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. But he was not absent before. Humankind did not accept God’s loving presence and purposes until God’s only Son died and rose.
On Pentecost we will proclaim all of the great mysteries of our faith in a special way: Christ’s incarnation, his death, his resurrection, his ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit to us. There is a special hymn to be sung before the gospel at Solemn Mass, Come, thou Holy Spirit, come!, sung only at this Mass. This will be a holiday weekend, of course, but I want to invite you especially to be with us for Solemn Evensong on Sunday, again, the end of the Easter Season. One of the privileges of being part of our community is that we choose to observe the Church year in all its richness.
Thursday, May 31, is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As is our custom, on this feast the evening Mass is sung. Father Beddingfield is celebrant and preacher. There will be Marian hymns. The Mass begins at 6:00 PM and will conclude by 7:00 PM. There will be a special choral prelude by a women’s ensemble from Hunter College, New York City. Do join us. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Gary, Ida, Pamela, Joan, Ron, Hilyard, Aaron, Charles, Virginia, Daisy, Joseph, Marcia, Ana, Kevin, Gert, Gloria, Ray, Tony, William, Gabriela, Eve, Virginia, Mary, Gilbert, Rick, Suzanne, Thomas, priest, and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Steve, Fahad, Sean, David, Barron, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher and Timothy . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 29: 1992 Robert William Anderson; May 31: 1995 Louis Stephen Stancill; June 1: 1993 Kenneth William Cloughley.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. Ordinary Fridays begin again on June 1, 2007.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . On Memorial Day we will observe our Federal Holiday Schedule. The parish office will be closed. The church will be open only from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The only services of the day will be the 12:00 PM Noonday Office and the 12:10 PM Mass . . . Many thanks to all who made the wonderful reception after the Solemn Mass on Ascension Day possible . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, May 26, and on Saturday, June 2, by Father Gerth . . . Many thanks to all who have taught and all who have attended our Christian Formation classes this year! . . . Attendance, Ascension Day 320, Last Sunday 290.
SAINT MARY’S GUILD MEETS JUNE 2 . . . The Saint Mary’s Guild will meet Saturday, June 2 at the 12:10 PM Mass in the church and then move to Saint Benedict’s Study for lunch. After lunch the Guild will clean the parish altar vessels and make necessary repairs to parish vestments. If you are interested in joining the Saint Mary’s Guild, please speak to Sister Laura Katharine, or simply come to one of the monthly meetings.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Toccata F-dur, BWV 540 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), played by Chad Kelly, Saint Mary’s music intern. The postlude is Choral varié sur le “Veni Creator”, Opus 4 by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986), played by the music director. The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa ‘Ave Regina coelorum’ by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611). The Spanish Victoria, one of the great musicians of the late Renaissance, lived and worked for many years in Rome, though he is recognized as Spain’s finest composer of that period. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1575 by the last surviving English Roman Catholic bishop. This ebullient setting for double choir (two distinct choirs of four parts each) was published in 1600, and is a “parody” on Victoria’s own two settings of Ave Regina coelorum, the Marian antiphon appointed for Compline from Candlemas (February 2) through Lent. The motet at Communion is Dum complerentur by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) . . . The organ recital at 4:40 PM is played by Douglas Keilitz . . . Before the 6:00 PM Sung Mass on the feast of the Visitation, May 31, a women’s ensemble from Hunter College will sing a prelude before the Mass (at approximately 5:50) and offer a motet during Communion. The ensemble is directed by Lily Ardalan and includes parishioner Mary Robison. Robert McCormick
ECCLESIA MINISTRIES LAUNCHES ON PENTECOST . . . This Sunday Ecclesia Ministries of New York will celebrate the Eucharist at Madison Square Park beginning at 2:00 PM, near the southwest corner of the park. Ecclesia seeks to make available the gifts of the church for all God’s people, including those who may be homeless. Father Beddingfield and others will be leaving from Saint Mary’s at 1:30 PM and returning well before Solemn Evensong & Benediction.
UPDATE FROM THE AIDS WALK . . . Our “official” count isn’t in yet, but tallying both walkers and donors, more than 55 Saint Marians supported our AIDS Walk. A small group, led by Father Beddingfield, walked the route on Saturday in order to be in church on Sunday. A larger group walked Sunday, along with almost 50,000 other New Yorkers. The team is deeply grateful to the people of Saint Mary’s for their support. Unofficially, we surpassed our plan for walkers (2 more than our plan of 25) and we are close to our goal for funds (at $14,948, we are close to our $15,000 goal). Contributions can still be credited to our team until June 15. To add to our total, go here https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=216438&lis=1&kntae216438=3F3D2C9B8F554C73B8F97D883E9F86CA&supId=0&team=1820079 to donate online or send a check to Saint Mary’s marked for AIDS Walk NY. A final report will be in the Angelus in late June.
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH . . . “The Faith is one but it is one in its presentation much more literally than in its reception by particular minds. SS. Peter and Paul believed the Faith as it was delivered to them of the Holy Ghost, but it suggests no argument against the unity of it that it took on in one mind a Pauline, and in the other a Petrine, type. The pure humanness of its perception made nought against the absolute divineness of its delivery, but rather illustrated the fact that when God unveils Himself to our vision He does not take away our eye-sight, but permits each eye to look conformably to its powers and methods of looking. The truth seen by St. Paul was the very truth seen by St. Peter. The angle of vision differed--the perspective differed--the power of insight differed; but the differences did not by any law of necessity lead to division and alienation. The Christian result of differences is charity, not anathema.” – The Right Reverend George F. Seymour, former dean of General Theological Seminary and first Bishop of Springfield, 1883 From the preface to “What is the Anglican Church?” by the Reverend E. C. Ewer, founding rector of the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch, New York City, at http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/fcewer/what.html.
KEEPING THE CANDLES BURNING . . . On most Sundays and certainly on major feast days, the altar is resplendent with bright candles – one of the many beautiful tableaux we all expect as part of a Saint Mary’s Solemn Mass. Each day, scores of people come into the church to pray and light votive candles for loved ones. Did you know that in the first four months of this year, the church spent over $5,100 on candles? – just one of the costs of keeping our lights shining and fulfilling our mission in Times Square. Stewardship Committee
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday
Monday The First Book of Common Prayer
Memorial Day – Federal Holiday Schedule
Eve of the Visitation
Thursday The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Friday Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167 Abstinence
Saturday The Martyrs of Lyons, 177
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.
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.