From Father Smith: The Love of God
“The love of God.” We read those words and maybe they make us sit up straight and pay attention. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…” The love of God: a duty, a responsibility, a commandment, the commandment. “The love of God.” We hear those words and maybe we recall an experience that made all the difference, gave us hope, brought us back to life, changed us, converted us.
“For God so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son…” On Sunday, the psalm appointed for the Eucharist is a portion of Psalm 84. The psalm is all about the love of God. It is a love song, but this love is not an obligation and, remarkably, it is not God’s love for us. It is the psalmist’s deep, passionate, slow-in-building desire, his passion, his burning love for God. In technical terms, this is a pilgrimage psalm.
The poet imagines himself on the road to Jerusalem. He travels to the Holy City and to the Temple (“happy are [those] whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way”) to that place where God’s presence is felt most intensely.
A single day in the Temple’s courtyards is lovelier, more desirable, than many a year spent in the warm safety of the poet’s own home, he says in the psalm’s tenth verse. The poet uses an achingly poignant image.
The birds of the air, so fortunate, so blessed, are able to get so very close to God’s gracious, glorious presence. Not earthbound, the birds are able to “nest in the little crevices of the roughly dressed stones of the [T]emple façade… [The poet], like an unrequited lover, [can] only dream of [such] intimacy with the divine” (Robert Alter, The Book of Psalms, 2007).
For Christians, the Temple as presence does not disappear, but it is radically transformed. Jesus Christ is both High Priest and sacrificial victim. He is the “sacrament of [our] encounter with God.” How would our lives be different if we thought less about whether God loves us, and lived like lovers, yearning to draw closer to God, ever closer, day by day? James Ross Smith
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Heather, Jack, Doreen, Fred, Gert, Virginia, Ana, Kevin, Gloria, William, Gilbert, Rick, Suzanne, Carl, priest, Thomas, priest, and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Steven, Andrew, Patrick, Brenden, Christopher, Marc and Steve and for the repose of the soul of Angelo . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 31: 1990 David Hessing; November 1: 1997 Mark Hamilton; November 2: 1957 Elsinore Janmott, 1958 C. Y. Wong, 1960 Mabel Amelia Hoover, 1970 John Arthur Schwartz, 1973 Howard Montague Smith, 1973 Doris White, 1976 Winona Clare Peterson, 1982 Robert William Kennedy, 1983 Marie Anne Andokian, 1987 Clasine A. Van De Geer.
SERVICE SCHEDULE . . . Monday, October 29, is the Feast of Saints Simon & Jude, Apostles . . . Our celebration of All Saints’ Day begins Wednesday, October 31, with Solemn Evensong at 6:00 PM, and continues Thursday, November 1, with Sung Matins at 8:30 AM, Sung Mass at 12:10 PM and Solemn Pontifical Mass, celebrated by the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, at 6:00 PM. At the Solemn Mass Aria Magdalene Hokedsi and Mateo Stephen Akiro Innis-Kopelson will be baptized, Titcha Kedsri Ho and Autumn Martin will be confirmed, and Raymond John DeVries, Jr., Raymond Neider, and Marie Josée Georgette Rosseels will be received . . . On Friday, November 2, we observe All Souls’ Day, with Sung Matins at 8:30 AM, Sung Mass at 12:10 PM and Solemn Requiem Mass with Blessing of the Vault at 6:00 PM . . . Parish Requiem Masses will be offered this year on Monday and Tuesday, November 5 and 6, and on Thursday and Friday, November 8 and 9, at both 12:10 PM and 6:00 PM.
STEWARDSHIP 2007 . . . Commitment Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King, November 25, 2007. In early November, Saint Marians will receive a letter from the Board of Trustees, along with a pledge card for 2008, to be returned by November 25. This year we are seeking financial participation from every member of the Saint Mary’s community, and we plan to follow up with anyone who misses the November 25 deadline. Our guiding philosophy is this: Saint Mary’s doors are open seven days a week. Our commitment to the spiritual health of the people who enter those doors is strong. Our commitment to worship, to fellowship, to Christian education, to outreach, and our ongoing attempt to be the Body of Christ here in Times Square is strong. We seek your commitment to the strength, and to the future, of the parish as you consider making or renewing a pledge. Our pledge to you is that we will make ourselves available to answer questions, to listen to concerns and to do our best to provide the information needed to make an informed, and theologically grounded, decision about making a pledge . . . The principal celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass on Commitment Sunday will be the Right Reverend C. Christopher Epting, the Presiding Bishop’s Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. Bishop Epting is a longtime friend of Saint Mary’s. Among his many gifts is a remarkable ability to reflect on mission and stewardship in a way that is simultaneously clear, challenging, profound and blessedly concise. We urge you to be with us on that day (and to consider making a larger pledge than you did last year, whether that means pledging for the first time or increasing the amount you pledged last year!). MaryJane Boland & Steve Heffner
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Flowers are needed for All Saints’ Day! Please call the parish office if you would like to give them . . . Congratulations to Brother Clark Berge, S.S.F. on his election as Minister General of the First Order of Brothers of the Society of Saint Francis! . . . We have received a Letter of Transfer for James Larsen. We are very happy to welcome James as a member of the parish . . . . Kenneth Nagy-Rochester, the son of Abraham Rochester and Suzanne Nagy-Rochester, was married to Tracy Diane Sterlock on Saturday, October 20, 2007, in Baltimore, Maryland. Both Kenneth and Tracy are graduates of Northeastern University, where they received their Master’s degrees, Kenneth in accounting and Tracy in physical therapy . . . The Wednesday Night Dinner & Bible Study will not meet on October 31; we will resume on November 7 when we begin 2 Corinthians . . . The Church History 201 series begins this coming Sunday, October 28, at 12:45 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study. Father Mead will lead the first part of this series with a class on Richard Hooker and Lancelot Andrewes . . . Sister Laura Katharine will offer An Introduction to the Enneagram on Saturday, November 3, beginning at 9:45 AM . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, October 27, by Father Smith, and on Saturday, November 3, by Father Gerth . . . The Rector continues on vacation through Tuesday, October 30 . . . Attendance last Sunday 368.
OUTREACH PROJECT . . . Once again this year we are inviting parishioners and friends of the parish to donate Christmas gifts to Aids Action International (AAI). AAI collects gifts for people of all ages who are living with HIV and AIDS and who are homeless, in recovery, or who have special needs. AAI donates the gift items to five local hospitals and social service agencies. We will set up boxes in Saint Joseph’s Hall where donated gifts may be placed. Gift ideas are: new clothing for men, women and children of all ages, games, basic cosmetics, disposable cameras, phone cards, dolls and toys of all kinds, scarves, gloves and hats. Note well: no used items or food items may be donated. If you have questions, please contact Father Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday, October 28, the prelude at the Solemn Mass is Chorale Prelude on ‘St. Peter’, Opus 20/1 by Harold Darke (1888-1976). The setting is Darke’s Communion Service in A minor. An English composer and organist, Darke was organist of Saint Michael’s Church, Cornhill, London, for fifty years. He was acting organist of King’s College, Cambridge, during the Second World War, substituting for Boris Ord. The motet at Communion is Draw nigh and take the Body of the Lord by American Richard DeLong (1951-1994). The postlude is an improvisation on ‘Lancashire’ . . . The recital at 4:40 PM is by Stephen Buzard . . . On All Saints’ Day, November 1, the organ recital at 5:30 PM is by the music director, and includes works of Vierne, Langlais and Simon Preston . . . At the Mass, the setting of Gloria in excelsis Deo is from Messe de Nostre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300-1377). Machaut, who was also a poet, is the most highly regarded composer of the medieval Ars Nova. He left an impressive body of work, larger than any of his contemporaries. This work is of great historical importance because it is one of the first examples of a “complete” Mass ordinary, which became a genre of widespread consequence from the fifteenth century on. The setting of Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei is from The Frences Mass by John Sheppard (c. 1515-1559/60). Sheppard, along with such composers as Thomas Tallis and Christopher Tye, was among the English musicians whose careers spanned the Reformation and the resulting changes in liturgical practice . . . All Saints’ Day brings a selection of wonderful hymns. Perhaps the greatest is For all the saints (tune: ‘Sine Nomine’ or “without a name”). A hymn of epic proportion (we sing 8 out of the original 11 verses), the communion of saints is described in abundant, moving and colorful detail. The text is by William Walsham How and the tune, widely considered among the greatest of the twentieth century, is by Ralph Vaughan Williams . . . On All Souls’ Day, November 2, the setting is Messe de Requiem, Opus 48, by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924). Fauré composed the work between 1877 and 1890, while he was choirmaster at the Church of the Madeleine, Paris. The work provides an uplifting and hopeful view of death and of eternal life. Robert McCormick
THANK YOU, JOHN RUST . . . John Rust, a friend of Saint Mary’s from Seymour, Indiana, has once again made a generous contribution to support ongoing work to our organ. This gift will provide for the smaller console in the chancel to be outfitted with a simple but up-to-date “combination action” system, which allows the organist the necessary control over the organ’s stops for service playing. Thank you, Mr. Rust. R.M.
“NEW” CANDLESTICKS . . . You may have noticed our acolyte candlesticks are “new.” Actually, they (along with two ciboria) have been restored after being damaged several years. Contributions to the Guild of All Souls make such repairs and restoration possible. M.M.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Eve of All Saints’ Day
Thursday All Saints’ Day
Friday All Souls’ Day Abstinence
Saturday Richard Hooker
Sunday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong and 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.