The Angelus

Volume XI, Number 15

From Father Mead: The Language of Lent

My son Liam, who is not quite two and a half years old yet, is learning to speak English at a rate that I find quite surprising.  For the past few days he has thoroughly enjoyed climbing up on the couch cushions so that he can look out the window in our living room.  Once settled on his perch, he exclaims: “Look at my up here!”.  “Look at me up here,” I say.  “Look at meee up here!” he repeats.  He’s using the correct word, but not the correct form of the word.  Likewise, he will often march into the living room and announce: “I take me shoes off!”  His statement is not technically true since he is wearing his shoes.  What he really means is that he wants to take them off.  Again, he has the right word, but he isn’t using the correct form of the verb.  Still he’s getting better day by day, and as a father, I think it’s a thrilling thing to be a part of.

I am trying to learn Spanish this Lent (or more correctly, to begin learning Spanish).  I know Latin, Greek and Hebrew, which are all very convenient when working as a parish priest, but I’ve discovered that knowing Spanish, especially in New York City, would be helpful.  Simply for the sake of further-reaching pastoral care, outreach and evangelism, I believe it would be a very useful thing for any parish priest to know.  So far, I’m sort of the opposite of Liam in my new linguistic skills: I know the correct forms, but I can’t seem to remember many of the correct words.  Its fun, but frustrating: I want to learn the language now.  I should remember that Liam will spend years learning English; in fact, he’s spent the last six months building up a vocabulary that consists almost entirely of words related to clothing, food, numbers and colors.  At this point I would be happy simply to be able to say the Spanish equivalent to “Look at my up here!” from the pulpit. 

Reflecting on the time that it takes to really learn something leads me to Lent and Holy Week.  This is my fifth Lent at Saint Mary’s, and it will be my sixth Holy Week (my first year I was in Seminary during Lent and assisted at the parish throughout Holy Week as Deacon).  The details and forms of the Lenten worship life at Saint Mary’s continue to sink in, I continue to learn new things, but I note that this year I feel far more comfortable with the language of Lenten worship here than I ever have before.  The last few years I had been tripped up by the minor liturgical changes that Lent brings, and I’d been caught of guard by the simplicity of the season.  So far, not this year.  So far Lent is Lent, not a new season that brings complications for my life as the Curate for Liturgy, not a sudden change of gear, but a daily progression toward Holy Week and Easter that flowed right out of Christmas and has gotten serious.  I noticed for the first time this year that the hymns on the last Sunday after Pentecost feature tunes that are more familiarly from Holy Week and Easter.  I’m seeing clearly the link between the Scriptural texts that are read throughout Lent and those read during Holy Week and Easter.  I believe that this clarity is the result, not simply of learning Lent and Holy Week at Saint Mary’s, but living it.  In a sense, it’s like that moment – a moment I can only envy that others have had – when one becomes so familiar with another language that one actually starts thinking or dreaming in it.  I’m no longer thinking about what Lent is, I am just enjoying living each Lenten day and feeling the progress toward Easter. 

At some point Liam began to think in English.  I don’t know when that happened, I can only hope that I am able one day to feel what it is like to think in another language.  But when that happens, my learning will not be complete, it will probably feel like a fresh beginning all over again!  I feel sort of like I have finally begun to think in the language of Lent, and I am looking forward to where this will lead me as I continue to live, breathe, think, and even dream about the love of God in Christ that can be experienced so gloriously in the church.  Living out the liturgical life of the church year is possible at Saint Mary’s – that cannot be said of every church, which I think is very sad.  This Lent, I encourage and invite you to walk through the doors of this church as many times as you are able.  It’ll make a huge difference when you walk through the doors here on Palm Sunday.  You’ll know more of the grammar and vocabulary that the church has used for two thousand years to proclaim the triumph of the cross and the joy of the resurrection.  Matthew Mead


SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Kirk, Angie, Jack, Ben, Alice, Harold, Lawrence, Marcia, Richard, Mary, Stephen, Brooke, Donna, Madeleine, Marc, William, Gert, Mary, Daisy, Rozalind, and Rick., and Stephen, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christopher, Omar, Curtis, Timothy, Benjamin, Marc, Terrance, Steven, Andrew, and Patrick . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 8:  1916 Julia Allen Draper Kent; 1947 Howard Noble Place.


LENT AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Fridays during Lent are observed with special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.  Stations of the Cross are offered on Fridays in Lent at 7:00 PM . . . Sister Laura Katharine will offer a Lenten Meditation Day of Personal Reflection through the use of the Mandala on Saturday, March 14, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM . . . The Reverend Peter Powell will offer an Adult-Education Class on the Psalms at 10:00 AM each Sunday in Lent . . . At Evensong during Lent we are excited to have  a number of guest preachers at Sunday Evensong & Benediction, including the Reverend E. Clare Nesmith, the Reverend Dr. Ryan Lesh, and the Reverend Robert Rhodes . . . Lent is a season of simplicity: throughout the season there are no flowers on the high altar, organ music is used only to accompany singing, and there are no pre-service organ recitals, preludes, or postludes . . . In addition to our regular observance of Lent, this year Father Mead and Father Smith will offer a six-part, fifteen-minute midday Bible study on the Gospel narratives of the Passion of Jesus.  The class will meet in the choir area every Wednesday in Lent (not in Holy Week) immediately following the 12:10 PM Sung Mass: on Wednesday, March 11, Father Smith will discuss the Jesus’ trial before the Roman authorities. 

FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The service this Sunday is sung by the female voices of the choir.  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Messe Basse by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924).  Composer, organist, pianist and teacher, Fauré was the foremost French composer of his generation.  From a young age he attended the École Niedermeyer, which prepared organists and choir directors in Paris.  He would later be organist-choir master in several Parisian churches, where sacred texts served as the inspiration for his compositions.   At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Cantique de Jean Racine, Op 11,  by Fauré, heard here in an arrangement for upper voices.  It was written when the composer was nineteen, and won him the first prize when he graduated from the École Niedermeyer in 1866.  In observation of Lent, there is no prelude, postlude or organ improvisation.  The Saint Mary’s Singers meet this Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 PM, to rehearse and to sing at Solemn Evensong.  Music is by Byrd, Walmisley, and Saint Mary’s Singer and professional composer Allen Hill.   Please note that we have professional singers leading each voice part, so, if you were thinking of joining us, do not be worried that you’d be the only one in your section!  If you have any questions, please email me on  James Kennerley


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 8, at 2:00 AM: Remember to turn your clocks forward one hour.  (Starting in 2007, daylight time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. On the second Sunday in March, clocks are set ahead one hour at 2:00 AM local standard time, which becomes 3:00 AM local daylight time. On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 AM local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 AM local standard time.  Daylight Saving Time ends this year on Sunday, November 1, 2009) . . . Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, March 7.   Father Merz will hear confessions on Saturday, March 14.  Confessions are also heard by appointment . . . Father Peter Powell will continue his class on the Psalms on Sunday, March 8, at 10:00 AM, on the second floor of the Mission House . . . The fifteen-minute Bible Study will meet immediately after Wednesday’s Sung Mass on March 11, at 12:45 PM, in the chancel choir.  This week Father Smith will look at the Trial before the Roman Authorities . . . Father Mead’s class on the Prophets will NOT meet on Wednesday, March 11, at 7:00 PM.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . . . . Thanks so much to Dale Bonenberger for three years of hard and devoted work as head of the parish flower guild.  Due to work commitments and time constraints, Dale has been unable in recent months to devote any time to this work and has decided, therefore, to resign his position in the guild.  We are very sorry to lose his expertise and his graceful hand, but we are grateful to him for all of the hard work that he has put in over the last several years.  Under Dale’s supervision the guild was created; the flower room in the basement was renovated, stocked and inventoried; and of course, the flowers on the altar, at the shrines, and in the chapels have been fantastic!  Thank you so much Dale! . . .  Let there be light!  Thanks so much to Terry Carlson for his continuing work on the lighting in the church.  Among the many recent improvements that Terry has made is lighting of the rood beam, which you may have noticed is lit up for the first time in many years! . . . The Parish Library on the fourth floor of the Mission House is still being painted with money from the Jones Library Fund.  Once adequate shelving has been installed, we hope to begin moving books into the space in March . . . Tuesday, March 10, 8:00 PM: Concert at Saint Mary’s: Uncloistered, a Vocal Consort Specializing in Sacred and Secular Polyphony of the Renaissance presents “Clasp Hands and Jump: Polyphony Old and New” . . . Friday, March 13–Sunday, March 15: Youth Group of the Church of the Mediator, Allentown, PA, Visit to Saint Mary’s . . . Saturday, March 14, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM: Lenten Meditation Day of Personal Reflection through the Use of the Mandala . . .  Sunday, March 22, 1:00 PM, Meeting of the Mission & Outreach Committee in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  A light lunch will be served . . . Anjellicle Cats Rescue, a local cat and kitten rescue and adoption agency, will host an adoption event on Saturday, March 28, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  If you want to adopt a cat or a kitten, please stop in! . . . Theater at Saint Mary’s: Resident theater, The American Globe Theatre, presents Henry V, by William Shakespeare, March 26–April 25, Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM (no performances during Holy Week).  Tickets $15.00 . . . Thursday, April 2, 8:00 PM, Concert at Saint Mary’s: Music for Double Choir, The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director.  The concert is a presentation of the Miller Theatre at Columbia University.  For tickets, please call the theatre box office at 212.854.7799.  Admission is $40.00 . . . We are sorry to have to announce that Father Allen Shin, Chaplain of Keble College, Oxford, and former curate at Saint Mary’s, will not be with us during Holy Week.  He had been scheduled to preach at Evensong on Palm Sunday and on Easter Day . . . Saturday, May 2, 10:30 PM, The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine: Ordination to the Diaconate: Rebecca Weiner Tompkins . . . The Rector began his sabbatical on January 1.  He returns to New York at the end of March and to the office on April 1, in time for Holy Week . . . Holy Week rehearsals for members of the Saint Vincent’s Guild: Saturday, April 4, at 10:00 AM, Rehearsal for Palm Sunday followed by Stripping of Palms; Sunday, April 5, at 1:00 PM, Rehearsal (1 of 2) for Maundy Thursday; Thursday, April 9, at 5:00 PM, Rehearsal (2 of 2) for Maundy Thursday; Friday, April 10, at 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Rehearsals for the Good Friday services; Saturday, April 11, at 4:00 PM Rehearsal for the Easter Vigil . . . . Attendance: Last Sunday, 1 Lent 286


CHILDREN AT SAINT MARY’S . . . 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 easily and clearly. Childcare for younger children is available in the Saint Benedict’s Nursery & Playroom which is open and available every Sunday from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM . . . Sunday School for children meets on Sundays during the academic year at 10:00 AM, in the Morning Room (follow the blue signs in Saint Joseph’s Hall to the Morning Room). Sunday School is led by Deacon Jedediah Fox and Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.


MISSION & OUTREACH . . . The next meeting of the Mission & Outreach Committee will be on Sunday, March 22, at 1:00 PM, following the Solemn Mass.  A light lunch will be served .  All are welcome to attend . . . The Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Episcopal Church, 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues: Saint Marians are invited to bring non-perishable food items on Sundays and place them in the basket at the ushers’ table in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall during Coffee Hour.  (The Food Pantry is looking for items such as canned tuna fish, peanut butter, jelly or preserves, Parmalat milk, dried milk, coffee, pasta, tomato sauce, canned soup, canned beans and other canned vegetables, etc.)  The food is then delivered to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry on 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.  Cash donations can also be made: please write the check to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and put “Fr. Smith’s Discretionary Fund” in the memo line.  (Both diocesan and parish guidelines stipulate that such funds are only to be used for outreach and for those who are in need.  They are not used for personal reasons.  Here at Saint Mary’s the clergy’s discretionary funds are administered by the Finance Office.)  Lightly used clothing may also be donated and should be placed on the table near the Kitchen in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  During the winter months, coats and sweaters, hats and gloves are particularly welcome. Thank you to all who continue to give so generously to the Food Pantry! . . . Reha Sterbin has begun an outreach project for the Seamen’s Church Institute.  She is knitting cold-weather garb (hats, scarves, etc.) for mariners visiting the Port of New York and New Jersey.  If you would like to help with this project or if you would like to receive more information, please contact Reha at  Jay Smith


AIDS Walk 2009 . . . On Sunday, May 17, Saint Mary’s will walk in solidarity for the fourth year in a row with over 45,000 other New Yorkers and friends in support of a cure for HIV and AIDS. Since its inception in 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $105 million (over $7 million last year) for HIV programs and services in the tri-state area and is the largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event in the world.  This has afforded great progress in our understanding of the disease and a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for those living with HIV.  However, daunting challenges remain: progress has led to a dangerous sense of complacency among at-risk populations, and the cure still seems to be a long way off.  Despite the fact that HIV/AIDS is completely preventable, in 2008, over one-third of men who had sex with men did not consistently use a condom, and the rate of HIV transmission to newborns is on the rise because their mothers don’t know their status and thus don’t take the medication that could prevent transmission of the virus to their babies.  Even though we know how to prevent HIV infection, 5,200 New Yorkers were infected in 2008, an incidence three times the national average.  The epidemic marches on; education, prevention programs, and adequate treatment and support for all are still urgent needs.  Saint Mary’s has a rich tradition of ministry to all people living with HIV and AIDS from the very first days of the epidemic.  Over the past four years, our parish has raised upwards of $50,000 at the AIDS Walk by walking together on a bright sunny Sunday in May with all those living with HIV and AIDS and those who care for them.  Our team is in the top thirty of over 2,000 teams: though we’re small, we have an effect far beyond our numbers and far beyond the walls of our church.  We invite you to join fellow parishioners on May 17 for an amazing experience of walking in love and charity to support the infected and to find a cure!  To learn how to participate by walking or by supporting the team, please pick up an information sheet at church, online, or contact the parish team captains, MaryJane Boland or Andrew Smith.  Our goal is to have thirty Saint Marians walking and to raise at least $25,000 to help our fellow parishioners, friends and neighbors who live daily with HIV and AIDS.  MaryJane Boland & Andrew Smith


STEWARDSHIP MATTERS . . . As of March 3, 2009, we have received pledges from 182 households.  The total amount pledged thus far is $468,280.00, which is 90.23% of our goal of $518,970.00.  Eighty-five households have been able to increase their pledge from 2008 (which is not an insignificant figure in these hard times).  Thirty-three households are pledging for the first time or are returning after some time away.  We would especially like to encourage all new members and all members of our parish guilds to pledge this year.  Please keep the parish and the Stewardship Campaign in your prayers.  If your financial situation is clearer now that the New Year has begun and if you now feel ready to make a pledge, if you need another pledge card, or if you have questions, please speak with Father Jay Smith, MaryJane Boland, or Steven Heffner.  We are very grateful to all those who have pledged; we really are getting closer to our goal!  We believe that we can reach that goal, working together, and, as always, with God’s help.  Jay Smith


COME AND SING WITH US! . . . Saint Mary’s Singers is looking for members.  We are a group of parishioners and non-parishioners who now sing twice a month at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Times Square.  The church has one of the finest acoustics in the city, as well as one of the city’s greatest organs.  Why don’t YOU consider taking a break from work on Sunday afternoons to come sing and socialize with a group of Saint Mary’s neighbors, friends, and parishioners.  If you are able to match pitch and have a desire to sing, especially some of the great Anglican choral repertoire, why not consider being part of our new choir? We promise that you will have fun!  Professional singers lead each voice part, so you will never be alone! If you would like to join, or just come along for a rehearsal, please email me at  James Kennerley


THE PSALMS . . . The Reverend Peter Powell will lead a class on the Psalms in Lent 2009.  Father Powell is the president of the Interfaith Housing Corporation, Westport, Connecticut.  He is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and holds advanced degrees from Princeton and the University of the South.

CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saint Mary’s offers a wide variety of concerts each year.  In addition to concerts offered by our music department, we also host a number of outside groups who offer concerts in the church.  See below for upcoming concerts at Saint Mary’s . . . Every Sunday, 4:40 PM (October to June, except during Lent): Before Sunday Evensong & Benediction Saint Mary’s offers a weekly organ recital by a visiting musicianFor more details, please see the current music schedule HERE . . . Tuesday, March 10th, 8:00 PM: Uncloistered, a Vocal Consort Specializing in Sacred and Secular Polyphony of the Renaissance presents “Clasp Hands and Jump: Polyphony Old and New”.  The members of Uncloistered are Mary E. Larew, soprano; Naomi Morse, soprano; Sam Sytsma, countertenor; Thatcher D. Lyman, tenor; and Christopher Macklin, bass.  (Naomi Morse is a member of Saint Mary’s Choir.)  Suggested Donation: $15, $10 students . . . Monday, March 16, 7:30 PM: Concert Choir and Chamber Orchestra of Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH . . . Saturday, March 21, 1:00 PM: Lenten Recital by the Choir of Saint Mary’s School, Calne (near Salisbury), England..  Admission is free . . . Sunday, March 29, 5:00 PM: The Service of Evensong and Benediction is sung by the Choir of the Church of Saint Paul, Fairfield, Connecticut, Jonathan Abdenour, director . . . Thursday, April 2, 2009, 8:00 PM: Music for Double Choir, The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director . . . Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 1:15 PM: The Choir of the Royal Memorial Chapel, Sandhurst, UK, Peter Beaven, director . . .

The Calendar of the Week

Sunday                   The Second Sunday in Lent

Monday                     Weekday of Lent                                                         Abstinence

Tuesday                     Weekday of Lent                                                         Abstinence

Wednesday               Weekday of Lent                                                         Abstinence

Thursday                   Weekday of Lent                                                         Abstinence

Friday                         Weekday of Lent                                     Lenten Friday Abstinence

Saturday                    Weekday of Lent                                                         Abstinence

                                     Eve of the Third Sunday In Lent


Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Sunday School & Adult Christian Education, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 4:40 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.

A service of Stations of the Cross is offered every Friday in Lent at 7:00 PM

Saturday: 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass.  Confessions are heard Saturdays at 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM or by appointment.