From the Rector: Christ the King
Eight years ago I was introduced to Saint Mary’s for the first time just a few days before the Feast of Christ the King. The great hymn tune ‘Helmsley’ – which is sung at the end of Solemn Mass on Christ the King to the text “Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,” was being played when I opened the doors of the church for the very first time. At once I saw the altar and the great crucifix on the rood beam above the chancel. In our church, the Crucified reigns in glory over all.
Not so long ago, I was in an architecturally polite Episcopal parish outside the city. Aside from biblical scenes in the stained glass windows, there was not an image of any kind in the church. I’m so used to Saint Mary’s (and to parishes like Saint Mary’s) that the contrast really hit me. At Saint Mary’s, visually, the Lord is above us and reigning over us, but he is also very, very present to us and near us. He’s really present. And you can’t mistake who we are or what we are about.
One of the greatest blessings of Saint Mary’s is the breadth of its community. A wide range of people encounter what is sacred in life in this very Christian, very traditional parish church, just off Times Square, in the center of one of the largest cities of the world. Our commitment to worship may not come to mind when someone first walks into this building or observes the community at prayer. But the worship of Christ the Lord is the ordering principle for all that we are – and at our best, all we desire. If one is here very long at all, this becomes clear.
For a number of years the Board of Trustees has asked for members and friends of the parish to make their commitment to the operating budget of the coming year on this Sunday, the last Sunday of the Church year, the Feast of Christ the King. The drafting of the budget is done in December, with final preparations at the beginning of the new year. Much depends on how we do on pledges and how generous people are in December – and we don’t know either of those numbers until the end of the year.
I don’t begin to understand why some people are so very generous to Saint Mary’s – and many are -- and others are not. I do know that the people who work on being generous to the Church and to others tend to be a lot happier – and more real – as a group than those who don’t.
Saint Mary’s absolutely needs support to continue its work, to keep the doors open, to be of use to the gospel. Saint Mary’s needs more support in 2007 than it had in 2006 if it is going to continue on the road to financial stability. I invite your prayers and your commitment to Christ the King through the parish of Saint Mary the Virgin in Times Square. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Arturo, Mary Ellen, Ana, Gert, Chip, Harold, Robert, Gloria, Ray, Tony, William, Gabriela, Eve, Virginia, Mary, William, Gilbert, Rick, Thomas, priest, Louis, priest, and Charles, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Fahad, Barron, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Dennis and Derrick . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 30: 1970 Sarah Lucille La Bosse; December 1: 1977 Calvin Nash, 1989 George William Johnson, Sr., 1992 Margaret Louise Rigler; December 3: 1990 Francis Timothy Dlugos, 1991 Mrs. Olga Edgar; December 5: 1989 Lorelle D. Brownell Britt.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Give a Christmas gift that honors someone and helps others. Alternative Gifts for Honduras brochures are available in the church and at the mission section of the parish website . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, November 25, by Father Beddingfield and on Saturday, December 2, by Father Mead . . . Many thanks to Robert McDermitt, who played the organ and conducted the choir at Solemn Mass, and Kyle Babin, who played the organ for Evensong, for their gracious help in covering for Robert McCormick this past Sunday . . . Attendance last Sunday 387.
BIBLES STUDY AT THE MOVIES: GOSPEL OF JOHN: PART 2 . . . The Saint Mary’s Tuesday Night Bible Study is gathering together with the Saint Thomas Church Adult Bible Study in Saint Joseph’s Hall to watch the second half of a film version of the Gospel according to Saint John on Tuesday, November 28. The movie is a word-for-word adaptation of the Gospel (Good News translation). All are invited to attend. Food for each session is pot-luck with a Middle Eastern (or Eastern Mediterranean) theme.
SAINT MARY'S IS ON THE ROAD AGAIN! . . . Join our group as we visit the Morgan Library exhibition celebrating the two-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through manuscripts, letters, and first editions of his works. We’ll meet on Saturday, December 9 at 1:00 PM at the Morgan Library, which is located at 225 Madison Avenue (at 36th Street). Admission is $12.00. Space is limited so RSVP to email@example.com or see Susan Miranda in the Saint Mary’s Gift Shop on November 26 or December 3.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is an improvisation on ‘General Seminary’, King of glory, King of peace, the Postcommunion hymn. The postlude is Nun danket alle Gott, Opus 65/69 (Marche triomphale) by Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis (1977) by Jackson Hill (b. 1941), professor of music at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. This setting for unaccompanied choir was written for Louise Basbas and her choir at Corpus Christi Church, New York. The piece reflects a variety of moods, and the composer shows himself remarkably sensitive to the texts of each movement. Ned Rorem (b. 1923), composer of the Communion anthem, is one of America’s most distinguished living composers. He is perhaps best known for his songs for solo voice, as well as his published diaries chronicling the events of his life. His setting of Sing, my soul, his wondrous love, a text which is found in our Hymnal to another tune, is a simple, prayerful work . . . The organ recital is played by James Wetzel, a student at the Juilliard School. Robert McCormick
2006 PATRONAL FESTIVAL . . . December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has been the parish’s patronal feast since it began. This year, December 8 is a Friday. The Solemn Mass of the day will be at 6:00 PM. The Rector will be celebrant and preacher. On Thursday, December 7, Solemn Evensong will be celebrated at 6:00 PM. The preacher will be the Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, the bishop of New York. The full parish choir will sing at Evensong and, of course, at the Solemn Mass on December 8. Evensong on December 7 will also mark the official beginning of Saint Mary’s Legacy Society. If you have made a bequest through a will or another financial instrument to Saint Mary’s, not only your rector but your bishop too asks that you allow yourself to be thanked and your intention to be recognized. If you have any questions about a bequest to Saint Mary’s, please speak with Father Gerth.
CHRISTMAS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . On Sunday, December 24, it will be the Fourth Sunday of Advent all morning. The regular Sunday morning schedule is observed. When you come to church that Sunday, you will see that a great deal of the decorating has been done, more than the last time Christmas Eve was a Sunday. Why the change? We now have a 5:00 PM Sung Mass. It’s simply not possible to get the church ready between 12:30 PM and 4:30 PM without getting most of the work done on Saturday! . . . The 5:00 PM Sung Mass is preceded by music at 4:40 PM. This Mass lasts one hour and was well attended by families with younger children (among others!) last year. The parish choir sings. The Rector is celebrant and preacher . . . The principal Mass of the evening is at 11:00 PM. Christmas music begins at 10:30 PM. The parish choir sings. This year the Rector will be celebrant and preacher for the Mass. It begins with the Proclamation of the Birth of Christ and a Procession to the Crèche and continues with Solemn Mass. This service will last about one hour and forty-five minutes . . . On Christmas Day we have Solemn Mass & Procession to the Crèche at 11:00 AM. Father Beddingfield will be celebrant and preacher. During the final hymn of this Mass, as is our custom, the congregation follows the clergy and servers to the crèche. Before the dismissal, the Angelus is said. The church closes at 2:00 PM on Christmas Day.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Feast of Christ the King
Tuesday Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii, 1864, 1885
Eve of Saint Andrew the Apostle
Thursday Saint Andrew the Apostle
Friday Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637 Friday Abstinence
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