The Angelus

Volume 8, Number 40

From the Rector: Momentum at Saint Mary’s

At its meeting on Monday, August 21, 2006, the Board of Trustees approved proposals for two of our Momentum Fund projects.  These are the renovation of the fifth floor of the Mission House to be an apartment for two resident sisters from the Community of St. John Baptist and the fabrication and installation of new hand rails for all of the Forty-sixth Street doorways of the church.  As I write, papers have to be reviewed by our attorneys before yours truly signs on behalf of the parish.  But these are details not problems.

To date we have received $150,370 pledges to the Momentum Fund – and of these pledges $71,348 is already in hand.  In addition to this, we have $24,598 already donated for the hand rails, $7,445 for new kneeling cushions for the church and $3,000 for Mission House furnishing.  The apartment renovation will cost $97,105.  The hand rails will cost $14,760.  In the course of projects like this, it’s wise to expect additional monies will be needed to cover what could not be foreseen before construction begins.

I plan to ask the Trustees to reserve any monies given for hand rails not needed for the Forty-sixth Street doorways for the next project on my wish list: a handicapped accessible ramp for the Forty-seventh Street entrance.  (It’s the only place where there’s room to do it and we are fortunate there is plenty of room there to do it.)

I’m not ready to present proposals yet to the Trustees for our two other Momentum Fund projects, kneeling cushions for the church and a new water heater for the plant.  But I hope to be able to do so by October.

After the apartment is finished and the new hand rails are installed, there’s still going to be work to be done in the Mission House and at the Forty-sixth Street doorways.  There are many other rooms and hallways in the Mission House needing plaster repairs and fresh paint.  The steps themselves at the Forty-sixth Street doorways will be a project in a very few years.  We don’t have the money to do it all now, but I’m sure we will, sooner than later.

There is a grammar, as it were, to the Momentum Fund.  The parish is growing and using its buildings more than before.  Because we are reclaiming the Mission House for mission and education, I suspect one or more people will step forward to get more done.  People won’t want the hallways of the Mission House to look so bad.  People won’t want the classrooms in the Mission House to look unloved.

There are wonderful opportunities for this parish to be of use to others in Christ’s name.  It is hard for any of us to overestimate the lives we touch simply by being a place of prayer with open doors.  I confess that I am looking forward to the cooler weather of the fall, but I know more people see our open doors in the summer time than at any other time of the year.

If you haven’t sent in a gift to the Momentum Fund, there’s still time.  You know we’re going to need more gifts.  And I hope you know it will be used wisely for the work of Christ through our parish church and its programs.  Thank you so very much for your support and your prayers.  I am so very proud and honored to be the rector of this parish.  Stephen Gerth


PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Daniel, Robert, Gloria, John, Mansell, Terry, Sandra, Gloria, Roxanne, Grace, Tony, Michelle, Ray, Isa, Joy, Christine, Danny, Ann, William, John, Laura, Gabriela, Eve, Roy, Deborah, Virginia, Mary, William, Ana, Gilbert, Jeanne, Joseph, Rick, Thomas, priest, Louis, priest, and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Fahad, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Dennis and Derrick; and for the repose of the soul of Gregorio. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 27: 1961 Leslie Evans Roberts; August 29: 1959 James Edward Emanuel, 1961 James B. Thornell.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Remember: child care is offered from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM each Sunday and during Solemn Masses celebrated during the week . . . Visit the Adult Education section of the parish website for more information about opportunities to learn and grow this fall . . .Flowers are needed for Sundays in August.  Please contact the parish office if you wish to give them . . . The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin was honored to be asked to supply incense for the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Mass at our sister parish Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Manhattan . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, Saturday, August 26, by Father Mead and on Saturday, September 2, by Father Beddingfield . . . Sandra Schubert returns to the parish office on Monday, August 28.  It was great to have again Beth Mahaffey with us in the parish office while Sandra was away . . . Father Beddingfield returns to the parish from vacation on Wednesday, August 31 . . . Attendance Last Sunday 213


NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Pange lingua from Le tombeau de Titelouze, Opus 38/10 by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971).  The postlude is an improvisation on ‘Darwall’s 148th’, Ye holy angels bright.  The cantor is Mr. Scott Dispensa, baritone.  The music during Communion is Know ye not that the temple of God is holy from Paulus, Opus 36 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).  Robert McCormick


PRAYER BOOK WORSHIP . . . In the Angelus for the week of July 30 I printed a prayer to be used when a child learns to ride a bike from the newly official “Liturgies for Rites of Passage.”  Here is another selection for “Dating Relationship”—and again, I am not making it up,


Our greatest joy in life, O God, is to love.  We thank you for showing us through Jesus that loving a child, a friend, a dream or a companion makes us more fully human, created in your image.  As N. stands ready to begin dating, help her to remember that she will be learning that love is sacred.  May she bring to each new date hope for true friendship.  May she listen, and speak, and act with the greatest respect for herself and her companion.  May she strive for a relationship that is truthful, patient, courageous, and kind.  Above all, may love teach her to love you more and more as, through the Spirit’s care, she grows in the image of your holy child, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.


If you are interested in the work of the Standing Liturgical Commission on Liturgy and Music, here is the link for their report to the General Convention,  Two proposed prayers in “Rites of Passage” were not approved by the General Convention, one for “A Call to Military Service” and one for “Godly Expression of One’s Sexuality.”


I haven’t been able to bring myself to read through all of the newly authorized rites yet.  I do invite you to read the committee’s own introduction to its work and “A Forward Note to Rites of Passage” by the Rt. Rev. Mark Mac Donald, bishop of Alaska.  Bishop Mac Donald names many Gospel events (Jesus’ Presentation – omitting Joseph’s presence but naming Mary’s – and Jesus’ Baptism among others) as “transitions.”


I don’t write to be disrespectful, but something seems very wrong with the entire project to me.  Are people missing the connection between the liturgy and life?  Going back as far as we have a written evidence, Christian worship has been shaped by the gospels’ record of Jesus’ life and teaching.  Prayer Book worship celebrates and helps us find our lives in the life of Jesus.  With the single exception of Trinity Sunday, we don’t do “theme Sundays” in the liturgical tradition.  It’s always about Jesus Christ and the life we share as members of his Body.


The Roman Catholic liturgist Romano Guardini wrote on the eve of the Second Vatican Council that the challenge for his ecclesial community would not be the translation of the liturgy into vernacular languages.  The challenge would be to recover the “liturgical act.”  To this day, I think it is fair to say that many, if not most, Roman Catholics do not experience their own presence and role at Mass as important to the rite as the presence of the priest.  With respect, the Eucharist is not a sacred, saving drill by a priest.  It’s the great prayer of the People of God.


In our own Church the disconnect from the liturgical act is of a different kind but the end result is the same.  Instead of a prescribed priestly drill, one usually finds clergy leaders who just don’t know much about worship.  Things are said and done during worship without reference to context, history or meaning.  Given the increasing lack of liturgical study in our seminaries there is every reason to think it is going to get worse before it gets better.


Perhaps more sadly, I can’t help but wonder what the recent work of the General Convention tells us about the opinion of some of our leaders about ordinary Episcopalians, about our prayer lives, about our Prayer Book tradition.  S.G.


The Calendar of the Week

Sunday              The Twelfth Sunday after PentecostMonday                     Augustine of Hippo, 430

Tuesday                     The Beheading of John the Baptist

Wednesday               Weekday

Thursday                   Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 651

Friday                        Weekday                                                          Friday Abstinence

Saturday                    The Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942



Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,

5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Said Mass.  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