From The Rector: Assumption 2008
There are some members of our parish community who can remember a time when there was no Solemn Mass here on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was Donald Garfield, the seventh rector of the parish, who introduced the solemn celebration of the feast to the regular cycle of the parish’s life. I imagine there were complaints. Yet, in spite of these challenges and years of August heat, the church is usually full, the music and the Mass glorious, and the fellowship afterwards wonderful.
This year there’s a lot going on. As is our custom, the celebration begins on the eve, Thursday, August 14, with Solemn Evensong at 6:00 PM. This year Evensong will be sung by the choir of All Saints’ Church, Northampton, England. Immediately following Evensong, the Visual Arts Committee is giving a reception to welcome the artist Randall Good, whose Way of the Cross – paintings of the fourteen stations – is now on display in the gallery of Saint Joseph’s Hall. Mr. Good’s work is extraordinary.
On Friday, August 15, Morning Prayer will be sung at 8:30 AM. The 12:10 PM Mass will be sung. At 5:30 PM our interim organist & music director James Kennerley, who began his work here on Monday, August 4, will play his first recital for the parish community. His program includes works by Peeters, Franck and Bach. At 6:00 PM the Solemn Mass of the day will be celebrated. The music includes Missa Laetatus sum by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) and Exaltata est sancta Dei Genitrix by Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500-1553) – and many favorite hymns. A reception follows in Saint Joseph’s Hall.
I will be the celebrant and preacher for the Solemn Mass. Fathers Mead and Smith will concelebrate and assist. Also concelebrating will be four priests well-known to the parish community. The Reverend John Floyd Beddingfield, rector, All Souls Memorial Church, Washington, D.C., served here as curate from 2003 until the fall of 2007. The Reverend Dr. Ryan E. Lesh has served as vicar of Christ Church, Red Hook, New York, since graduating from seminary in 2006. The Reverend E. Clare Nesmith, executive director, Episcopal Charities of Long Island and bishop’s deputy for stewardship, Diocese of Long Island. Clare, ordained in 2005, was seminarian at Saint Mary’s while a student at the General Theological Seminary. The new rector of Grace Church, Westwood, the Reverend Robert Rhodes, will also be with us. Rob, ordained in 2002, was seminarian here too while a student at the General Theological Seminary. It will be great to have these priests with us on a day that means so much to so many in the wider parish community.
On a personal note, preparations for Assumption have pretty much wiped out any misplaced energy I might otherwise have for worrying about the Anglican Communion. I confess I did spend some time following the Lambeth Conference. Sadly, it seemed that too many archbishops and bishops were trying to find a way to ask homosexual persons and ordained women to move quietly to the back of the bus, as it were. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I continue to think the Church of England is where the real issues are. Their church is arguably the most conflicted in the entire Communion. When the Church of England decides who is welcome to be in the pews and to serve at the altar, the Communion will settle down.
In the meantime, at Saint Mary’s we’re going to continue daily to work, pray and give for the kingdom of God. There are many graces in serving in a parish community where people gather seven days a week for the Daily Office and the Holy Eucharist – and where the clergy never want for work. I hope you may be able to be with us for the very special celebrations for the Assumption this year. And I hope that wherever you are on August 15, you will remember Saint Mary’s Times Square in your prayers. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Gloria, Carol, Daniel, Kevin, Bill, Debi, Gary, Sandy, Philip, Olga, Jennie, Gloria, William, Gert, Mary, Terry, Daisy, Katherine, Ovidiu, Rozalind, Marietta, Connie, Rick, and Charles, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christopher, Marc, Keith, Dennis, Terrance, Steven, Patrick, Andrew and Brendan . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . . August 12: 1987 Toyoko Anne Tsutsumi Morton; August 15: 1963 Rose Macchia, 1971 Elvira Horg Oyx.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . On the Eve of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thursday, August 14, Solemn Evensong will be sung at 6:00 PM by the choir of Girls and Men of All Saints’ Church, Northampton, England, preceded by a recital given by the choir at 5:30 PM . . . On Friday, August 15, Matins will be sung at 8:30 AM. After noonday prayer, Mass will be sung at 12:10 PM. James Kennerley, Saint Mary’s new interim organist and music director will play a recital in the church at 5:30 PM. Solemn Mass is at 6:00 PM. The rector will celebrate and preach and the parish choir will sing . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, August 9. Father Mead will hear confessions on Saturday, August 16.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . If you are going to be away during all or part of the summer, we would ask you to please remember to make pledge payments, by mail if necessary, so that we can avoid summertime cash-flow difficulties. . . Thanks to all who helped with the services for the Transfiguration. It was a wonderful evening and a fine way to welcome James Kennerley, our new interim organist and music director to the parish . . . Father Mead returns from vacation on Sunday, August 10 . . . Early registrations for “Primary Things” – our liturgical conference – are encouraging! Full details are available on the parish website . . . Attendance last Sunday 237, Transfiguration 145.
ASSUMPTION APPEAL . . . If the parish office has an address for you, you will soon receive our annual special Assumption appeal letter in the mail. Most years we have directed donations received from this appeal to a specific project. This year we are asking you to help the parish reach our stated goal of $548,000.00 for our 2008 pledge campaign. We need just under $40,000.00 to meet our goal – less than 10% of the total. We hope that members and friends of the parish will be able to help us close the gap. Steven Heffner, Treasurer
VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM . . . On Thursday, August 14, there will be a reception to honor Randall Good following Solemn Evensong. Randall’s work is currently on view in Saint Joseph's Hall. We are showing his interpretation of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. Each station is an 11” x 14” inch oil-on-wood panel and the ensemble attempts to recreate the Via Dolorosa, or The Way of Sorrows. These oil-on-wood-panel paintings were commissioned as a memorial by a church in Hope, Arkansas, and they are currently touring the country before they are installed permanently back in Arkansas. Randall’s book, The Way of the Cross: The Passion of the Christ in Art is currently available in the gift shop and he will be available to discuss his work, the book, and to sign copies of his book on Thursday . . . On Sunday, August 17, following Solemn Mass, at 1:00 PM, Randall will give a talk about his work and the tradition of the Stations of the Cross. More information about his work and about the stations-of-the-cross tradition can be found at http://www.bluemoonartgallery.com.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is the chorale prelude on Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele (see Hymn 339 for a translation) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The postlude is Bach’s Fantasia in G BWV 572, written around 1708 when Bach was organist in Mühlhausen. The cantor is Mr. Geoffrey Williams, countertenor. At Communion, Mr. Williams will sing Laude novella by English composer Gavin Bryars (born 1943). Bryars’ collection of laude has its origins in the world of early music, being based in spirit and feeling on the unaccompanied laude for solo soprano voice found in a collection from 13th or 14th century Cortona (in present day Umbria, Italy). The people who originally sang such things – the laudesi – banded together in confraternities, but were not usually associated with any particular church and this music was not part of any liturgy, although many of the laude texts are Marian. James Kennerley
OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUTREACH . . . As many of you know, food prices are rising at an alarming rate. If you are thinking about ways to help, you might take a look at the following websites: Citymeals-on-Wheels (www.citymeals.org), Food Bank for New York City (www.foodbanknyc.org ), City Harvest (www.cityharvest.org), the Brown Bag Program at the Church of Christ & Saint Stephen, 120 West 69th Street (www.csschurch.org), or the Food Pantry at the Church of the Ascension, 12 West 11th Street (www.ascensionoutreach.org).
CHILD CARE & SUNDAY SCHOOL . . . Children are always welcome at Mass at Saint Mary’s. The Rector encourages families with children to sit at the front of the church – so the children can see. But there are some Sundays when young children might need some where else to go. The Saint Benedict’s Nursery & Playroom is staffed by Ms. Laura Minor, a professional childcare provider who is Red Cross infant/child-CPR-certified and has worked previously as a kindergarten teacher. The Nursery & Playroom is open and available every Sunday from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM.
JONATHAN MYRICK DANIELS, SEMINARIAN & WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, 1965. . . At the 12:10 PM Mass on August 14, we remember the life of a twenty-six year-old Episcopal seminarian who was murdered during the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi. Seeing a shotgun aimed at a sixteen year-old girl, he pulled her out of the way and was killed. Daniels journals date the renewal of his life in Christ to Mass on Easter Day at the Church of the Advent, Boston. May his soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. S.G.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Clare, Abbess at Assisi, 1254
Wednesday Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, 1667
Thursday Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Seminarian, 1965
Eve of the Assumption
Friday The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday Of Our Lady
Sunday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 9:00 AM Sung Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,
5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Said Mass. Child care is available from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM every Sunday.
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 Wednesday 12:10 PM Mass is sung. Thursday Masses include healing services.
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.