From the Rector: Easter and Annunciation
On Tuesday, April 1, 2008, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, will be with us as celebrant and preacher for the Feast of the Annunciation. I hope very much that many members of the wider parish and diocesan community may be able to be with us. Robert McCormick will be playing an organ recital at 5:30 PM. Solemn Pontifical Mass is at 6:00 PM. A reception in honor of Bishop Jefferts Schori and all of our guests will be held in the parish hall immediately following the service.
The present generation of Saint Mary’s may find it hard to believe that Bishop Jefferts Schori will only be the third presiding bishop to be at Saint Mary’s as a guest celebrant and preacher. Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning was the first, for the sesquicentennial celebration of the Oxford Movement in 1983, at the invitation of my predecessor, Father Edgar Wells. Bishop Griswold was with us many times during his tenure as presiding bishop, as well as just last week for the principal liturgies of the Easter Triduum!
Normally, all I would be writing about the week after Easter would be thanks and reflections on Holy Week and Easter Day. But, this is not a normal year. Easter is early. Annunciation is on April 1 and another presiding bishop will be here for the first time. The presiding bishop’s visit with us follows her time in the Holy Land for Holy Week (our good friend Bishop Christopher Epting was there as well). Again, for so many reasons I hope many will be able to be with us for the Annunciation.
And I move on to Holy Week and Easter – the graces of the week flowed and flowed. We organize things on Maundy Thursday so that members of the clergy wash feet first and then their feet are washed last, by whoever happens to be the last four laypersons in line from the congregation. This means that Bishop Griswold and I sat opposite each other and observed. He and I remarked to each other afterwards that we would never forget the extraordinary care with which everyone washed and dried each others’ feet. No one rushed. There was a reverence for each other and for what we were doing that mirrored the kind of reverence shown at the altar. It came naturally to this assembly. It is the kind of ritual action that becomes even more meaningful as we recall it through the year, by the way we live our lives.
The church was lovely. Dale Bonenberger and his large crew of volunteers worked long and hard to decorate the church. The result was truly wonderful. There were servers and ushers and helpers whenever they were needed. Somehow, hundreds and hundreds of programs were produced so that everyone could participate easily in worship. Father Mead did an extraordinary job as our curate for liturgy – his knowledge and hard work made it easy for the rest of us to worship. Extraordinary music and hospitality just don’t happen automatically either. Robert McCormick, Robert McDermitt, our singers and our organ curator, Larry Trupiano, were all hard at work. Father Smith worked with ushers (some newly recruited), and with Larry Green, Jim Dennis and John Delves who organized the Easter vigil Reception. The sisters took care of many, many sacristy details – including a lot of last minute work. Behind the scenes, food was prepared for workers. I can’t begin to keep track of all who helped, day after day, to make this parish’s offerings available to so many. Thank you so very, very much.
Let me say another word publicly to Bishop Griswold. Thank you, Bishop, for being with us and giving us so much during Holy Week. There is a special joy at Saint Mary’s when you are here, and for this we are all most thankful.
Eastertide continues at Saint Mary’s through Pentecost. I hope our worship and our work for the Lord may deepen our joy and increase our usefulness for the gospel of the One who died and rose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Mara, Richard, Robyn, Doreen, Brooke, Allison, Theresa, Terry, Mary, Gert, Kevin, Gloria, William, Gilbert, Rick, Carl, PRIEST, Charles, PRIEST, and Robert, PRIEST; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Keith, Dennis, Terrance, Steven, Andrew, Patrick, Brenden, Christopher, Marc, and Steve; and for the repose of the soul of Delia . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 30: 1968 Mabel Helen Arends; April 4: 1987 Clara D. Lewis, 1992 Thelma Bradford Ingersoll; April 5: 1964 Harold Bosworth Libbey.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Delia González, the mother of Saint Mary’s building superintendent, Hector Rojas, died on Thursday, March 20. Her funeral is on Friday, March 28, in the Brooklyn. Please pray for her, for Hector and his family, and for all who mourn. S.G.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Please note the special time for Adult Christian Education On Sunday, March 30, Robert McCormick speaks on Liturgical Hymnody at 12:45 PM in the Mission House . . . On Monday, March 31, Saint Joseph’s Day is observed at Morning Prayer and at the 12:10 PM Mass. In the evening, the liturgical day becomes Annunciation Eve and Solemn Evensong will be offered in the church at 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, April 1, is the Annunciation. Morning Prayer will be sung at 8:30 AM. The 12:10 PM Mass is sung. Robert McCormick plays a recital at 5:30 PM. The Presiding Bishop will celebrate and preach at Solemn Mass at 6:00 PM . . . Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, April 5.
COMING EVENTS . . . Learn about the Lives & Thoughts of Saint Benedict, Saint Francis, the leaders of the Oxford Movement, and Dr. Joseph G. H. Barry at 10:00 AM, Sundays in April . . . Dinner & Bible Study on the Letter to the Hebrews, Wednesdays in April and May at 7:00 PM . . . Ascension Day is Thursday, May 1 . . . The Parish Retreat at the Community of Saint John Baptist in Mendham, New Jersey is Friday, May 16, to Sunday, May 18 . . . AIDS Walk 2008 is on Sunday, May 18 . . . On Sunday, May 18, Trinity Sunday, we offer our final Solemn Evensong & Benediction until the Autumn.
DID YOU TAKE PICTURES DURING HOLY WEEK? . . . If you took photographs at Saint Mary’s we would love to post them on our website. The easiest way for us to post them is if you give us a CD or flash drive containing folders with the photographs in them. You do not need to rename any photo files. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you. Matthew Mead
AROUND THE PARISH . . . At the Easter Vigil, Saturday, March 22, 2008, the rites of Christian Initiation were celebrated. Awilda González and Elizabeth Marie Valentine were baptized. Charisse González was confirmed. Michael Bruni was received into the Episcopal Church and Renate Brand and David Moore reaffirmed their baptismal vows. We have also received Letters of Transfer for James Cantrell and Agustin Rodriguez. James and Agustin live most of the year in Port St. Lucie, Florida, but will be here at Saint Mary’s when they are in New York. Please keep all of our new members in your prayers . . . The Maundy Thursday offering will go to support the work and ministries of the Church of San Juan Evangelista in Villanueva, Honduras . . . The Fridays of Eastertide are not observed by abstinence! . . . Saint Mary’s team will again participate in the AIDS Walk on Trinity Sunday, May 18 – many are walking on Saturday so they can attend Mass on Sunday. Information is available at www.stmvirgin.org/missionandoutreach or from MaryJane Boland (firstname.lastname@example.org) . . . Attendance: Maundy Thursday 267, Good Friday 542, Easter 1009.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Ad regias Agni dapes (the Eastertide Office Hymn for Vespers) from Le tombeau de Titelouze, Opus 38/7 by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971). The postlude is Eastertide chorale preludes from Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685-1750) Orgel-Büchlein, or “Little Organ Book.” The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis by Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510-1586). Gabrieli, uncle of the better-known composer Giovanni Gabrieli, was, like his nephew after him, organist and chief composer at Saint Mark’s in Venice. The motet at Communion is Andrea Gabrieli’s Maria Magdalene . . . The liturgical music of Eastertide includes an abundance of “alleluias,” following our Lenten fast from that word. One notices it interwoven into the Gregorian chant propers, in most of our hymns (a few have antiphons or refrains consisting only of “Alleluia” repeated, such as O sons and daughters, let us sing and The strife is o’er, the battle done), in the psalmody, and in the congregation’s responses (such as the opening acclamation, the fraction anthem, the dismissal, and various versicles and responses). Alleluia continues as our nearly constant song through the Day of Pentecost . . . The organ recital at 4:40 PM is played by Timothy Denton . . . On the Annunciation, the organ recital at 5:30 PM is played by the music director, and includes works of Bach, Frank Bridge, John Cook, Dupré and Howells . . . At the Solemn Mass, the setting of the ordinary is Missa Nasce la gioia mia by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594). Often regarded as the greatest of the late Renaissance masters (perhaps his only rivals are William Byrd and Orlande de Lassus), most of Palestrina’s career was spent in Rome (his name comes from the town of his birth, not far from Rome). He was a boy chorister at St. Mary Major, and at various points in his career was maestro di cappella of the Basilicas of St. Peter, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. Palestrina composed an extraordinary quantity of liturgical music, including 104 masses. This setting, a parody mass for six-part choir, is based upon a secular piece (a rarity for Palestrina), a madrigal by Giovan Leonardo Primavera (c. 1540/45-c. 1585). Robert McCormick
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday of Easter
Monday Saint Joseph’s Day
Eve of the Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Tuesday The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Wednesday James Lloyd Breck, Priest, 1876
Thursday Easter Weekday
Friday Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253 No Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Sung Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 12:45 PM Christian Education (this Sunday only), 5:00 PM Evensong & Benediction.
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.