From the Rector: Holy Week 2008
Let’s start with something that’s wonderfully special: The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will be celebrant and preacher for the liturgies of the Easter Triduum. Plan now to be at Saint Mary’s for all of them.
Saint Mary’s has always been about congregational worship. Some who are new to our tradition may not know that the most important days of the Christian year and the most important services of the year begin Thursday, March 20, and end with an ancient form of Evensong on Easter Day, March 23. For the record, Easter in 2008 is almost as early as it can be!
Easter, however, is just not a Sunday morning service – far from it. It should not surprise anyone that the heart of the Christian year is more than an hour on a Sunday. During Holy Week the Church celebrates the central event of history, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What we know as Easter is the focused annual celebration of this event, tied to the annual rhythm of the year, a cycle with its roots in the Jewish heritage of the Church. When one Sunday at the beginning of spring became the Sunday of the Resurrection, the Sunday before became the Sunday of the Passion.
In the fourth century, the Church in Jerusalem overlaid this Sunday pattern with the weekday pattern for Holy Week which we now know. A palm liturgy came to be added to the Sunday of the Passion, and for centuries has overshadowed it. In retrospect, it seems a no-brainer that the Easter Triduum (TRI-djoo-um – Latin for “Three Days”) would have been adopted and became the central celebration for Christians.
It is an extraordinary privilege for us again to have Bishop Griswold with us during this special time. He will be celebrant and preacher for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, March 20, for the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Friday, March 21, at 12:30 PM (yours truly will take the 6:00 PM liturgy), and for the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday, March 22, at 7:00 PM. Our celebration of Easter will continue on Easter Day, Sunday, March 23, with the Masses of the morning and with Solemn Paschal Evensong at 5:00 PM.
Plan now to be here for the Easter Triduum. Plan now to be here for the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. Plan now to keep the Passover of the Lord here at Saint Mary’s. Stephen Gerth
2008 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Since last week, we have received over $30,000.00 in additional pledges, bringing our total so far to nearly $469,000.00, or just over 85.3% of our goal. Less than 15% separates us from our target. Thank you to everyone who has pledged so generously! We still have a bit to go, so if you’ve forgotten to make your pledge, please do so. If you’ve misplaced your pledge card, please call the church office (212-869-5830), or stop by the website (www.stmvirgin.org) to pledge online. Steven Heffner, treasurer
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Saint Mary’s missioners in Honduras, for Samuel, Betty, Joan, David, Alison, Doreen, Martina, Terry, Mary, Jane, José, Gert, Ana, Kevin, Gloria, William, Gilbert, Rick, Carl, priest, Thomas, priest, and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Terrance, Steven, Andrew, Patrick, Brenden, Christopher, Marc and Steve; and for the repose of the souls of Kim Sook Lee and Lois . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 21: 1977 Edward Parker Amos; January 23:1964 Walter R. Noe, Jr., 1990 Mary Grantham Adams; January 25: 1995 Giselle Klopstock.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Your prayers are asked for Clara Mun’s mother, Kim Sook Lee, who died on Friday, January 11, and for Rick Austill’s mother, Lois Austill, who is to be buried on Thursday, January 17. Please pray for them and for all who mourn. S.G.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Reminder: Icon Workshop this Saturday from 10:00-3:00 PM, 2nd floor of the Mission House . . . The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity concludes with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle on Friday, January 25 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, January 19, by Father Gerth and on Saturday, January 26, by Father Smith . . . The parish office will be closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The church will be open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The Noonday Office will be offered at 12:00 PM. The Eucharist will be celebrated at 12:10 PM . . . Mark your calendars: The Lenten Quiet Day will be Saturday, February 23; the Parish Retreat at Mendham Convent will be Friday, May 16, through Sunday, May 18. For more information please speak to one of the Sisters . . . Special thanks to Kenny Isler for taking several days this week to make a new batch of incense. Kenny has been the parish “incense-meister” for many years; we are grateful for the wonderful work and care he puts into making the best incense in the world . . . We have received a Letter of Transfer for new member David Moore and we welcome him to the parish. Father Smith and José Vidal will be moving into the fourth-floor parish house apartment next week. Father Smith will be out of the office next week. He returns Saturday, January 26 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 275.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is an improvisation on Kingsfold, our final hymn. The postlude is Crown Imperial (A Coronation March, 1937) by William Walton (1902-1983), arranged for organ by Herbert Murrill (1909-1952). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass for Four Voices by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Tallis, who remained a lifelong Roman Catholic, reached his summit near the time of the English Reformation when styles of liturgical music began to change greatly. Though this setting is in Latin, it was composed after the Reformation, and its relatively simple homophonic (chordal) texture is largely in keeping with the Reformers’ musical guidelines. The motet at Communion is Tallis’s O nata lux . . . The recital at 4:40 PM is by David Enlow . . . The Offertory hymn at the Solemn Mass is All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine (tune: Engelberg). The text is by Francis Bland Tucker, who was an American Episcopal priest, and rector of Christ Church, Savannah, Georgia. The tune, originally composed for the text For all the saints, is by the Irish-born Charles Villiers Stanford . . . Rehearsals of the new volunteer choir continue this Sunday in the choir room at 3:00 PM. Interested persons are very welcome; please e-mail me for further information or to let me know you plan to attend (email@example.com). Robert McCormick
VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM . . . On Sunday, January 20, a new exhibition is opening in the Gallery in Saint Joseph’s Hall. We are showing the paintings of Librado Romero. Romero is a California native who has lived and worked in New York City for many years. He is one of the founding members of SOHO Photo Gallery and is currently a photographer for the New York Times. Also an accomplished painter, Romero says that “he is fascinated by the interplay of time, space, gravity and by the fantasies with which those forces conspire.” He describes his paintings as “evocations and resurrections that give shape, weight, and texture to times and associations that have faded beyond sight and touch, but which remain as profound as they ever were, perhaps even more so.” For Romero, “there is always an inner world of dream and nightmare, of love and fear, of demons and of guiding spirits.” Susan Miranda, curator
HONDURAS MISSION TRIP 2008 UPDATE . . . Saint Marians Michael McNett and Julie Gillis are in Honduras this week, along with a number of other diocesan volunteers. Rebecca Weiner Tompkins fell ill at the last minute and was not able to join the team. However, she has been in regular contact with her fellow Saint Marians and reports that “everyone is very busy: working with the young and the adolescent kids; continuing work on the garden; ‘supporting’ heavy construction; talking, praying and singing with the community, including the women who cook and bake at the coop, and with a few local postulants for the diaconate or for the priesthood. Visits are planned to a local school, a clinic and the home of one of the teachers for dinner. Future needs are being assessed and discussed. As in past years, the group plans to return with more specific news (and photographs!) about their experiences and their assessment of how things are going in Villanueva.” In the meantime, please keep Julie, Michael, Rebecca and all the volunteers in your prayers. J.R.S.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION . . . Father Smith concludes a three-part series on the Creeds on Sunday, January 20, at 10:00 AM . . . On Sunday, January 27, the Rector will lead a class on Ordination . . . Father Mead’s Bible Study continues on Wednesday, January 23, at 7:00 PM. The class is studying Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans . . . Classes meet in the second-floor room of the Mission House.
SUPER BOWL . . . Saint Mary’s 4th Annual Super Bowl party will be held following Evensong on Sunday, February 3, 2008. The party is a pot-luck centered around Father Mead’s Abusive Chili. We will watch the game in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . For those Saint Marians who don’t know anything about football or who think football is a different game called soccer, Father Mead will once again offer a “class” entitled “Football for Anglo-catholics” before the game begins.