From the Rector: The Story of St. Mary’s
In 1931, Newbury Frost Read, a member of the parish and a trustee, wrote a history of this parish, “The Story of St. Mary’s: The Society of the Free Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City, 1868-1931.” What was to become the Great Depression was well underway. Frost records that at the beginning of 1930 the trustees were surprised Saint Mary’s had ended 1929 with a positive balance, even though it was only $8.34. Money was far from the only challenge the parish faced.
In 1928, the third rector, the Reverend Dr. Joseph Gail Hurd Barry, retired after nearly twenty years of service as rector. In 1929, Mr. Haley Fiske, president of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, died. Mr. Fiske had been a member of the parish for forty-six years and a trustee and treasurer for thirty-seven years. On June 3, 1930, the Reverend Dr. Selden Peabody Delany, who had served at Saint Mary’s since 1915 as Dr. Barry’s assistant before becoming rector on January 1, 1929, resigned his position to enter the Roman Catholic Church.
Saint Mary’s lay leaders did not wait long to call another rector. With the help of Dr. Barry, they invited the Reverend Granville Mercer Williams, S.S.J.E. to become their fifth rector and for him and priests from the Society of St. John the Evangelist to take charge of the parish. The parish moved forward. Its doors remained open. Its mission continued.
Saint Mary’s first church opened its doors on December 8, 1870. The doors of our second and present church home opened on December 8, 1895. The selection of this day was not unimportant. A commemoration of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary dates from 700 A.D. Theological debates during of the late Middle Ages produced a feast of the Conception of the Immaculate Virgin Mary in the Western Church in 1476. In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed that members of his ecclesial community had to believe that Mary was conceived without original sin in order to be saved. This unilateral declaration immediately became another source of division among the different Christian churches, Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman.
Yet, the founders of our parish clearly knew the date was significant when they chose it for the opening of both of our church homes. Marian devotion was practically unknown in the American Church at the time. Saint Mary’s was founded in the wake of the catholic revival in Anglicanism. We can be very proud of this heritage, which, at its best, has a broad welcome to those from across the spectrum of Christian living and mission. It is Jesus that matters at Saint Mary’s.
On Monday, December 8, we welcome the Right Reverend Jeffrey Dean Lee, bishop of Chicago, to be celebrant and preacher for Solemn Pontifical Mass at 6:00 PM. A reception follows. Bishop Lee and his wife Lisa Lee have been frequent visitors to Saint Mary’s over the years. He has preached on our patronal feast before. The ties between Saint Mary’s and the diocese of Chicago are longstanding. It is wonderful that a new bishop of Chicago is with us for our patronal feast.
At 5:30 PM, bBefore the Mass, at 5:30 PM, Mr. Kyler Brown, director of Music Ministries, Saint Jean Baptiste Roman Catholic Church, New York City, will play an organ recital. Kyler is known to many of the parish’s members and friends, in the parish assince he served as music director and organist at Saint Mary’s from 1988 until 1996. Our celebrations will be very special this year. I hope it may be possible for you to be with us. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Patrick, Samuel, Renate, Lucien, Russell, Brooke, Stephen, Donna, Laura, Madeleine, Marc, Janelle, Jennie, Gloria, William, Gert, Mary, Terry, Daisy, Rozalind, Connie, Rick, Robert, Priest, and Charles, Priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christopher, Omar, Curtis, Timothy, Benjamin, Marc, Keith, Dennis, Terrance, Steven, Patrick, Andrew, and Brendan; and for the repose of the souls of Richard and Olga . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . December 7: 1876 Elizabeth Jane Weston; 1902 Caroline Symonds; 1905 George Geiss; 1906 Frederick Berry; 1962 Carol Elizabeth M. Irwin Hollister; 1966 Eloise Cole Janke; 1993 Lily Lasham.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . . Richard J. Carlson, father of parishioner Terry Carlson, died in Minnesota on November 21, at the age of 83. Please pray for Richard, for Terry and his family, and for all who mourn.
STEWARDSHIP MATTERS . . . Thank you very much to all those who have already made pledges during our 2009 Stewardship Campaign. As of December 1, we have received pledges from 95 households. Ten of those households are pledging for the first time. The total amount pledged thus far is $274,059.00. Though pleased with those numbers, we have a ways to go: we still have not heard from slightly more than half of the households who made pledges for 2008. It would be helpful if you could fill out a pledge card and offer it at Mass or return it to the Finance Office as soon as possible. We understand that these are difficult times and we recognize that not every household will be able to maintain their giving at former levels. Still, it really is true that “every bit helps.” We remain grateful to God for what we have been given. We face the future together with joy and with hope. The Board of Trustees
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . We will have a veritable musical feast during the course of the next few days at Saint Mary’s. On Sunday, the choral music is based upon a well-known German chorale for Advent, which is found in The Hymnal 1982 as hymn 54, Savior of the nations, come. The prelude is Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). T, and the postlude is a fugue on the same chorale, also by Bach (BWV 661). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa super “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (c. 1670-1746). T, and the motet is Ecce Virgo concipiet by Heinrich Isaac (c. 1450-1517). For the patronal fFeast of the Immaculate Conception, the choir will sing perform Messe Solennelle (1949) by Jean Langlais (1907-1991) and A Hymn to the Mother of God (1985) by English composer John Tavener (b. 1944).. When the Choir of Saint John’s College, Cambridge, was recording the work in the presence of the composer, the then Director, George Guest, and Langlais decided spontaneously that the Sopranos should ascend to a top C at the end of the Sanctus and Benedictus (the notated note is a top G), and this is often how the work is performed to this day! During the ministration of Communion, the choir sings A Hymn to the Mother of God (1985) by English composer John Tavener (b. 1944). The Tavener work was written in memory of his mother, and is a setting of a text from the liturgy of Saint Basil, which speaks of the almost cosmic power attributed to the Mother of God by the Orthodox churchChurch. The postlude is the virtuosic final fugue section from Julius Reubke’s (1834-1858) Sonata on the 94th Psalm . . . The Saint Mary’s Singers will NOT have a rehearsal this week. We are still looking for singers for this volunteer, mixed choir – and particularly for the Christmas Lessons and Carols on December 28. Please be in touch with me for more information. James Kennerley
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Thursday, December 4, 2008, 8:00 PM, Vox Vocal Ensemble at Saint Mary’s: Christmas Spectacular . . . The Adult Education class on “Ritual and Ceremony” resumes this Sunday, December 7, at 10:00 AM. The classes throughout December will be on ritual and ceremony . . . Sunday, December 7, 6:30 PM, there is a reception for members of Saint Mary’s Legacy Society in the Rectory . . . The Immaculate Conception is Monday, December 8, 2008. Morning Prayer is sung at 8:30 AM. The 12:10 PM Mass is sung. Solemn Pontifical Mass is at 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 8:00 PM, Clarion Music Society at Saint Mary’s: Bach Christmas Cantatas . . . . . . The Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church is Friday, December 12, 2008. There will be a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM . . . Saturday, December 13, 8:00 PM: New York Repertory Orchestra concert at Saint Mary’s . . . Father Mead will hear confessions on Saturday, December 6, . Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, December 13.
Volunteers are needed to decorate the church for Christmas on Saturday, December 20, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM and on Tuesday, December 23, from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. (Volunteers may also be needed on Christmas Eve morning if everything is not finished by 5:00 PM on December 23.) Please contact either Dale Bonenberger or MaryJane Boland for more details or to confirm that you can help.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Thanks so much to all those who worked on this year’s beautiful Advent wreath: Rick Austill, Marie Rosseels, José Vidal, and MaryJane Boland . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study resumes in January . . . Thank you to Sister Laura Katharine, Scott Holman, Andrew Smith, and Dick Leitsch for their help in the office this week and with the Christmas mailing . . . Former parishioner and acolyte, Pat Higgins, took a bad fall recently and is recuperating and making good progress at a rehabilitation center in New Jersey. Please contact Father Smith for more information or if you would like to drop Pat a get-well card . . . Volunteers are needed to decorate the church for Christmas on Saturday, December 20, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM and on Tuesday, December 23, from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Please contact either MaryJane Boland for more details or to confirm that you can help . . . AtteAttendance: Sunday 285
COMING EVENTS . . . Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24, 2008: 4:30 PM Carols & Christmas Music, 5:00 PM Sung Mass, 10:30 PM Carols & Music, 11:00 PM Procession & Solemn Mass . . . Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25, 2008: 11:00 AM Solemn Mass & Procession to the Crèche . . . The First Sunday after Christmas Day, December 28: 5:00 PM Christmas Lessons & Carols.
THE RECTOR’S 25th ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD . . . We invite you to join us on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 21, for a celebration of the rector’s twenty-fifth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. A reception will follow the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. At Evensong and Benediction that evening, the Reverend Dr. Louis Weil, Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, will be our preacher, and another reception will follow! We hope that many members of our parish community may be able to be with us to join in the celebration. The Board of Trustees
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday Of Advent
Monday The Immaculate Conception
Tuesday Advent Weekday
Wednesday Advent Weekday
Thursday Advent Weekday
Eve of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church
Friday The Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church
Saturday Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, c. 304
Eve of the Third Sunday of Advent
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Sung Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Christian Education & Sunday School, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 4:40 PM Organ Recital, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction.
Childcare 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 anointing of the sick.
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.