From the Rector: Easter Gratitude
Easter Day Evensong is one of my favorite services. It’s the last liturgy of the Easter Triduum and Holy Week. I know my body and mind is ready for a rest, and surely this is part of the appeal. But I really love the lessons we hear every year from John and Luke. These are the appearances of Jesus on the evening of the first day of resurrection.
In John, the disciples are behind a locked door because of fear. Jesus appears and says, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19b). From Luke we hear the encounter on the road to Emmaus while the Eucharistic Bread is exposed. At table with his disciples after the day’s journey, he is recognized when “he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them” (Luke 24:30). I know when I hear these passages I am here at Saint Mary’s but my heart and mind feel as if they are elsewhere, the nearer presence of God. In ways and in words I cannot begin adequately to express, I sense the presence of God in our lives here. God breaks through on our journey, just as he did in that locked room and on that road.
Our God does not leave us for ever, even if there are periods in our lives when we seem to share in Jesus’ cross from Mark’s gospel, where Jesus is quite alone, suffering, and despite his prayer he has no word from his Father. There is resurrection for Mark’s Jesus, as well as the Jesus shown by the other evangelists – and for us. Easter gratitude is thankfulness for the gifts of life and eternal life God has given us in love. When all is said and done, life and eternal life are the great gifts of God for all.
I want to thank all who helped make the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter so powerful this year. There are too many people to thank to begin to name individuals. I am keenly aware that I cannot begin to know how much so many did, but the evidence of their love and their sacrificial commitment to God’s work in this parish was everywhere through the week. It was simply wonderful. I’m hopeful that all who were here will be able to treasure and carry in their hearts the memory of word, song, touch, blessing, beauty, and food and drink for the journey.
Something new this year for our generation in this parish was an Easter egg hunt after Solemn Mass on Easter Day. It’s just so great to have kids in the parish. Their presence is a ministry to us, and their comfort in feeling “at home” in their “church home” is a witness and reminder to all of us of our relationship to God and to each other in Christ. Happy Easter. Stephen Gerth
SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Dorothy, Charisse, Jeanne, Donald, Tracy, Kenneth, Malika, LaVerne, Kirk, Angie, Jack, Alice, Harold, Marcia, Richard, Mary, Stephen, Brooke, Laura, Donna, Madeleine, Marc, William, Gert, Mary, Daisy, Rozalind, and Rick.; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christopher, Omar, Curtis, Benjamin, Marc, Terrance, Steven, Andrew, and Patrick . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 19: 1881 Wilbur Kirby; 1904 Louise Myers, Hannah Robertson; 1906 Pauline Rescousie; 1908 John Mearns; 1914 Henry Glover; 1950 Grace Fanning; 1965 Gertrude Yorke; 1977 Gudrun Lagergren
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Gloria Ann Johnson McDermitt, the mother of parishioner and former assistant organist, Robert McDermitt, died on Holy Saturday, April 11. Her funeral was held at Park Presbyterian Church, Beaver, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, April 15. Please pray for Gloria, for Robert, and for all who mourn. S.G.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday School for children resumes this Sunday, April 19, at 10:00 AM . . . The Saint Mary’s Singers sing Solemn Evensong on Sunday, April 19 . . . Our resident theater company, The American Globe Theatre, presents Henry V, by William Shakespeare through April 25. As we go to press, tickets are still available for evening performances, Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25, at 7:30 PM . . . The Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist is observed on Friday evening, April 24, and on Saturday, April 25.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Altar flowers are needed for the following dates during Eastertide: May 3, 10, 17; May 21, Ascension Day; May 24; and May 31, the Day of Pentecost. Please contact the parish office if you would like to make a donation . . . The Fridays of Eastertide are not observed by abstinence! . . . Father Mead will be away from the parish from Thursday, April 16, until Wednesday, April 22. He returns to the office on April 23 . . . Father Mead’s Wednesday Night Bible Study will not meet during the month of April . . . The Rector will be attending “Leadership in Ministry,” Sunday evening April 19, through Wednesday, April 22. He returns to the parish office on Thursday, April 23 . . . On Saturday, May 2, at 10:30 AM, Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will be ordained deacon at the Cathedral. All are invited . . . Attendance: Maundy Thursday 258; Good Friday 466; Easter 987.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass this Sunday is the chorale prelude on Christ ist erstanden (“Christ is arisen”), BWV 627, from the Orgelbüchlein by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa secunda by Hans Leo Hassler (1512-1562). Though he was Protestant, Hassler, a student in Venice of Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510-1586), wrote a good amount of Latin music for the Roman Catholic liturgy (in addition to madrigals, keyboard music, and instrumental music). This Mass setting is one of his most popular, and is admired for its beauty and brevity. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Regina coeli by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611). A medieval antiphon to the Virgin Mary, the Regina coeli is one of four Marian antiphons appointed to be sung at the end of Compline during the various seasons of the Church year, this one being sung during the Easter season . . . Sunday organ recitals resume this week, with Iain Quinn, Albuquerque, New Mexico, performing at 4:30 PM (note the earlier time) . . . The Saint Mary’s Singers meet THIS week, April 19 at 3:00 PM to sing Evensong. Please note that we have professional singers leading each voice part, so, if you were thinking of joining us (and this would be a very suitable occasion to do so), do not be worried that you’d be the only one in your section! If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. James Kennerley
THANK YOU . . . Thanks so much to all those who gave so much of their time, talent, and energy to support our common life and mission during Holy Week: to those who worked on the lighting in the church, dealing so capably with the intricate demands and special needs of Holy Week; to the acolytes and choristers who worked so hard and so well to enable and enhance our worship; to those who decorated the church so beautifully; to those who helped out in the office during a particularly busy and difficult time; to our ushers who worked so diligently to welcome and assist our many visitors; to our hard-working sextons; to those who cooked, donated food, tended bar, and provided hospitality at Coffee Hour, at the reception after the Vigil, and after the acolyte rehearsals; thank you also to the generous parishioners who funded the Vigil reception. Thanks to all who did so much during what was a busy, demanding, but wonderful Week. The Parish Clergy
SAYING GOODBYE . . . Our seminarian, the Reverend Jedediah Fox, will be graduating from the General Theological Seminary in May. We expect that he will be ordained to the priesthood on the Day of Pentecost, May 31, 2009, in Helena, Montana. His last Sunday at Saint Mary’s will be May 17. We plan to thank him and to say goodbye to him before then. At that time, we would like to present him with a going-away gift. If you would like to make a donation toward such a gift, you can send a check to the Finance Office, made out to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, with “Jed Fox Gift” in the memo line.
MISSION & OUTREACH . . . AIDS Walk 2009: On Sunday, May 17, the Saint Mary’s team will walk for the fourth year in a row. Twenty-six Saint Marians and friends of the parish have signed up so far (our goal is thirty walkers). We are about to order Saint Mary’s team t-shirts, so if you join us soon, we will be able to order a t-shirt for you! We invite you to join us and walk along with 45,000 other New Yorkers, working together to combat HIV and AIDS. To learn how to participate, please pick up an information sheet at church, or contact the parish team captains, MaryJane Boland or Andrew Smith. To contribute to our team, click here. MaryJane Boland and Andrew Smith . . . The Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Church: 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 is then delivered to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry on 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues. At its last meeting the Board of Trustees voted to designate the entire 2009 Maundy Thursday collection to benefit the Food Pantry. We don’t, as yet, have a final number, but it appears that around $2,500.00 was given on Maundy Thursday for this ministry, a substantial donation indeed. If you would still like to contribute to this effort, please send a check in care of the Finance Office and write “Food Pantry” in the memo line. Thank you to all who continue to give so generously to this important outreach effort. J.R.S.
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 . . . 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 musician. Please note: on Sunday, April 19, Easter 2, the organ recital will begin at 4:30 PM rather than at 4:40 PM . . . Friday, April 17, 7:30 PM, Organ Recital: Nathan Taylor, The Manhattan School of Music . . . Monday, May 11, 7:30 PM, Organ Recital: Andrew Yeargin, The Manhattan School of Music.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday of Easter
Monday Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109
Tuesday Easter Weekday
Wednesday Easter Weekday
Thursday Easter Weekday
Friday Easter Weekday No Abstinence
Eve of Saint Mark the Evangelist
Saturday Saint Mark the Evangelist
Eve of the Second Sunday of Easter
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Sunday School for Children, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 4:40 PM Organ Recital, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction (through and including Trinity Sunday). 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: 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass. Confessions are not heard on Saturday in Easter Week except by appointment.
Confessions are normally heard on Saturdays 11:30-11:55 AM & 4:00-4:50 PM.