From Father Mead: Open Doors
It can be a challenge competing vocally with the Fire Department of New York or an ambulance going past the church during Mass. When the weather is warm the 47th Street and 46th Street doors of the church are open. This allows some fresh Midtown air into the church and it opens our wonderful acoustics to the joyful sound of honking, car alarms, and sirens. The fresh air really is a plus and the normal sounds of the city act as a reminder that we are in Times Square. More importantly, the open doors offer an enormous welcoming gesture to those walking by the church. People hear and see that the church is doing something and often they simply walk in to see what’s going on. It seems to me that this is a very good thing. I don’t know how many people have developed a deep love for Our Lord and Saint Mary’s after wandering through an open door, but I imagine it’s quite a few.
Wonderful liturgy and a gorgeous building are the obvious places our open doors lead to, but I think the idea of open doors need not refer solely to the church building. Christian education, mission, spirituality, concerts, and fellowship events are also open for all. I hope that everyone coming through the doors feels invited to be a part of Saint Mary’s, not as a stranger passing through, but as a sister or brother in Christ being welcomed to the family table. There are many open doors at Saint Mary’s. Here are few that have been on my mind lately.
Sister Laura Katharine has begun oversight of the parish altar guild, the Saint Mary’s Guild. Historically, the Saint Mary’s Guild met on Saturdays for the noon Mass, lunch, a group meeting, and some work time. At one point in the parish history the Guild was so popular that it was divided into different parts each meeting once a month – meaning that effectively part of the Guild met every week. We are reviving this practice: the Saint Mary’s Guild will meet the first Saturday of every month for the 12:10 PM Mass, lunch, a group meeting, and some work time sewing and polishing. It’s a great place to meet other Saint Marians and learn some practical skills. The doors are open and I hope we’ll see some new faces wander in. If you are interested in becoming part of any of our guilds (see http://www.stmvirgin.org/CommunityandFellowship for a list of them all) speak to one of the priests, and we’ll see what we can do to make that a reality right now.
Our music is another area in which we are open. There have been five different concerts and recitals in the last two weeks: all of them open to the public and most of them free. In addition to scheduled concerts, we also offer an organ recital every Sunday before Evensong & Benediction and before most Feast Day weekday Solemn Masses (the next on is Ascension Day, May 17). If you haven’t been to a concert or a recital this year, I recommend catching one before the season ends with the start of summer.
One of the challenges at Saint Mary’s involves growing our Christian Education program. I think our current format works, but there is more work to be done. Currently a class is offered following Solemn Mass on Sundays. The classes last for about 45 minutes (ending at about 1:30 PM) and cover a wide array of subjects. Mr. Robert Picken is currently leading a group through a class on hymns. In a few weeks Sister Deborah Francis and Sister Laura Katharine will offer a presentation on the religious life. Each Wednesday a group gathers after the evening Mass in Saint Benedict’s Study for dinner and a Bible Study. Each week one person supplies a full dinner, another supplies drinks, the next week someone else supplies food and drinks. The doors are open and we’d love to have you join us for a Sunday class or a Wednesday dinner and Bible Study.
There are always new challenges and experiences awaiting us in our ministries at Saint Mary’s. How to open more doors for others to walk through is a challenge for all of us. Many doors are already open at Saint Mary’s. I invite you to consider stepping through some new door and to help us open even more doors for others. Matthew Mead
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Emil who is hospitalized, Hilyard, Aaron, Charles, Virginia, Daisy, Joseph, Michael, Ana, Kevin, Gert, Robert, 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 Fahad, Sean, David, Barron, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher and Timothy; and for the repose of the souls of Betty Lou, Jack and Christopher, priest . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 10: 1994 Malcolm Benton Wallace.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Jim Dennis’s sister, Betty Lou Maggi, died on Tuesday, May 1, in Frederick, Maryland. Pray for the repose of the soul of Betty Lou, for Jim and for all who mourn.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The Rector returns from his CREDO conference on Monday, May 7 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, May 12, by Father Gerth, and on Saturday, May 19, by Father Mead . . . The Reading Group meets Sunday, May 6 after the Solemn Mass, and will be discussing part one of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon . . . Father Mead’s Wednesday Night Dinner & Bible Study on the Maccabees continues this week. The class follows the 6:20 PM Mass and meets in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . Attendance last Sunday 450.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . The prelude before Mass today is the third setting of Ave maris Stella from Les vêpres de la Vierge, Opus 18 by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971). The postlude is an improvisation on ‘Abbot’s Leigh’. The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa ‘Ave Regina coelorum’ by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c. 1590-1664). Padilla was appointed maestro de capilla (master of the music) of Pueblo Cathedral, home to a distinguished musical tradition, in 1629 (church music in the Spanish colonies was similar to and derived from Spanish practice). Padilla composed in a style founded on sixteenth century polyphony, including the music of Morales, Guerrero, Victoria and other composers of the time, though one hears the traits of the “new style” in his compositions. This setting is a parody mass for double choir based upon the composer’s motet of the same name. It does not include Agnus Dei; a chant setting will be used instead. The motet at Communion is Francisco Guerrero’s (1528-1599) Ave Virgo sanctissima . . . The organ recital at 4:40 PM is by Karen Beaumont . . . At Solemn Evensong & Benediction, music is sung by the choristers of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, New York, directed by David Shuler. Robert McCormick
SAINT MARY’S GUILD BEGINS MONTHLY MEETINGS . . . Our first meeting is Saturday, May 5. Members of the Guild will gather 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 the parish vestments.
MOVIE NIGHT ON MAY 18 . . . Join us at 7:00 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall for Saint of 9/11, the documentary about Father Mychal Judge, a compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten and beloved New York City Fire Department chaplain. The film portrays Father Judge’s life as a spiritual adventure and an honest embrace of life, in which alcoholism and sexuality were aspects of his very full humanity. If you can, bring a few dollars to help with the cost of food and beverages.
UPCOMING CHRISTIAN FORMATION OPPORTUNITIES . . . Mr. Robert Picken continues with a study of Anglo-catholic Hymns and Hymnody in Saint Benedict’s Study on Sundays, May 6 and May 13 . . . Sister Deborah Francis and Sister Laura Katharine will lead a discussion about Anglican Religious Life on Sunday, May 20, after the Solemn Mass. The sisters will present an overview, brief history and casual conversation about Anglican religious orders and what it is like to be an Anglican nun.
JOIN OR SUPPORT THE SAINT MARY’S AIDS WALK TEAM . . . Join the Saint Mary’s team on Sunday, May 20 or join Father Beddingfield and a few others in walking on Saturday, May 19. Our goal is to have 25 walkers from Saint Mary’s and to raise $15,000.00 for the fight against AIDS. As we go to press we have 17 walkers and have raised a total of $5,925.00.
MAY CROWNING THIS SUNDAY AT SOLEMN MASS . . . During the Easter season the prayer we say three times a day, the Angelus, is replaced by the Eastertide hymn, Regina coeli. The hymn reaches a kind of highpoint on the first Sunday in May. With Christians around the world (especially in those areas of the world where May marks the beginning of springtime), we begin the month of May with the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As May is the month in which so much of the natural world flowers and blossoms, the Church adopted May as an appropriate time to reflect upon the spirituality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a spirituality that flowered and blossomed as she continued to grow in faith and love and holiness.
Like nature itself, we grow. Like Our Lady, we grow in faith and love, and the May Crowning allows us to give thanks for her model of holiness. This part of our liturgy is simple and dignified. A crown of flowers is placed on the head of the image of Our Lady early in the day. At the end of the Solemn Mass, during the singing of Hail, holy Queen enthroned above the clergy process to the Shrine of Our Lady. Holy water and incense are offered and the congregation prays Regina coeli. After the final hymn, Sing we of the blessed Mother, the Mass ends with the Easter dismissal. J.B.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Fifth Sunday of Easter
Monday Easter Weekday
Tuesday Dame Julian of Norwich, c. 1417
Wednesday Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389
Thursday Easter Weekday
Friday Easter Weekday No Abstinence
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.
Saturday in Easter Week: 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass.