From the Rector: Easter Agenda
I have an “Easter Agenda.” Across the fifty days of the Easter Season, I use the permissions in the Prayer Book to keep the sense of the season as strong as possible. This kind of agenda, if you will, comes naturally to the Church during the twelve days of Christmas or the forty days of Lent. For many centuries, these seasons have had a pull on the hearts of Christians that Easter has just not had. There are many reasons for this, but there is no reason to be stuck with a shallow Easter. And it really isn’t very hard to do this.
In all three years of our three-year Sunday cycle of readings, the lessons, psalms and gospels of Eastertide invite us to encounter a risen Lord. The lectionary of the present Prayer Book even moved the traditional “Good Shepherd Sunday” from the third to the fourth Sunday of the season so that there would be three Sundays when our gospels were resurrection narratives. The other Sundays all reveal and extend the meaning of the resurrection.
At Saint Mary’s, through the season at least one of the hymns at Solemn Mass is from the Easter section of the Hymnal. The other hymns of the Mass have Easter themes, no matter what section of the Hymnal they be in. We choose to use the permission to have the Easter dismissal, with its double alleluias, through the conclusion of Evensong on Pentecost, the last day of the season. And from Easter morning until Pentecost, instead of the usual versicle and response (the “Alleluia Verse”), we sing a special hymn, “Christians to the Paschal victim.” Traditionally, this hymn before the gospel (called the “sequence” in Church-speak) is sung only on Easter Day and the Second Sunday of Easter. Pentecost, the last day of the season, traditionally has its own sequence, “Come, thou Holy Spirit, come.” Week after week the Easter sequence takes us to and through some of the most powerful confessions of our faith. I think it is more than fair to say that week after week through Eastertide at Saint Mary’s, Sunday sermons, if not all daily Mass sermons, reecho and proclaim how we live out the Paschal Mystery.
These choices are not about being “Anglo-catholic” or “High Church.” To my mind, these choices are the way the words we pray not only begin to come alive but connect to our lives. Jesus’ death and resurrection is the center of all creation, of all created time. I believe that for the Church at its best, the Easter Season is not a matter of taste and I believe it’s more than just conviction. It’s the way we are sustained by God in this world and reminded of his eternal victory of life and love over sin and death. Stephen Gerth
SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for David, Jane, Dorothy, Charisse, Malika, Kirk, Jack, Alice, Harold, Marcia, Richard, Mary, Stephen, Brooke, Laura, Donna, Madeleine, Marc, William, Gert, Mary, Daisy, Rozalind, and Rick . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 3: 1947 Rachel Howland; 1969 Arthur Howlett.
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION will be held on Sunday, May 3, following the Solemn Mass. The Annual Report is distributed (and will be posted online next week). The congregation elects delegates to the annual convention of the Diocese of New York. The meeting in recent years has been a time of much rejoicing and lasts about thirty minutes. All are invited.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The annual “May Crowning” forms part of the concluding ceremonies of Solemn Mass on the first Sunday of May . . . School for children continues this Sunday, May 3, at 10:00 AM . . . Sunday, May 3, 11:00 AM, Solemn Mass will be sung by the Schola Cantorum Leipzig . . . The Annual Meeting of the Congregation follows Solemn Mass on Sunday , May 3, in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Saint Mary’s Guild will meet on Saturday, May 9, 12:00 to 5:00 PM, for Noonday Prayer and Mass, and then for a meeting and a work session on the second floor of the Mission House . . . Father Smith has been on vacation. He returns to the parish on Tuesday, May 5 . . . On Saturday, May 2, Father Montgomery will hear confessions at 11:30 AM and Father Gerth will hear confessions at 4:00 PM. Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, May 9.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will be ordained deacon on Saturday, May 2, at 10:30 AM at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. All are invited . . . Altar flowers are needed for the rest of the Sundays in May, including May 31, The Day of Pentecost. Please contact the parish office if you would like to make a donation . . . Monday, May 11, 7:30 PM, Organ Recital: Andrew Yeargin, The Manhattan School of Music . . . Sunday, May 17, AIDS Walk . . . . Attendance: The Third Sunday of Easter: 350.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . This morning we are pleased to welcome the Leipzig Schola Cantorum, from Leipzig, Germany. The choir consists of 35 female singers, thirteen to twenty-six years of age, who are largely students at different Leipzig schools as well as apprentices, university students and workers. The choir specializes in a cappella music for treble voices from medieval times to the present and also sings with different orchestras in the production of choir-symphonic works. Since 2005, Philipp Amelung has directed the Schola Cantorum Leipzig. The choir sings as the prelude to Solemn Mass the motets Hebe Deine Augen auf (“Lift thine eyes”) from the oratorio Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) and Alleluja from the motet Exsultate, jubilate by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). The setting of the Mass ordinary is for choir and congregation. At the ministration of Communion, the choir will sing Tantum ergo by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) and Laudate pueri Dominum by Mendelssohn. The Saint Mary’s Singers will not meet on Sunday, May 3. They will meet on Sunday, May 10 at 3:00 PM to rehearse and sing for Evensong and Benediction. 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. James Kennerley
RITES OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION . . . Sunday, May 31, is the Day of Pentecost. At 11:00 AM the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, will be celebrant and preacher for the service. Holy Baptism and Confirmation will be celebrated. If you are considering being prepared to join the parish community and the Episcopal Church please speak with one of the parish priests!
MISSION & OUTREACH . . . AIDS Walk 2009: Please support us as 30 Saint Marians walk to support the struggle against HIV and AIDS on Sunday, May 17! Contribute to the Saint Mary's team by clicking here. If you prefer, put a check made out to AWNY in the plate or give it to a priest or to the parish team captains, MaryJane Boland or Andrew Smith. To learn more, or to walk with us, contact MaryJane or Andrew . . . The Gay, Lesbian & Friends Small Group Ministry of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church has contacted us and asked if there might be Saint Marians who are interested in meeting with their group at some point, for fellowship, a tour of their church, and a discussion of mutual concerns and the possibility of cooperation between members of the two churches. If you are interested in finding more about the Small Group Ministry or in discussing a future meeting, please contact Father 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. At its March meeting the Board of Trustees voted to designate the entire 2009 Maundy Thursday collection to benefit the Food Pantry. We now have a final figure: $2,604.00 was offered at the Maundy Thursday liturgy, a substantial donation indeed, all of which will be given to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Thank you to all who have given and who continue to give so generously to this important parish mission & outreach effort. Jay Smith
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . .We invite members and friends of Saint Mary’s to consider making a special donation to support the parish’s hospitality efforts. There are several ways that one can do that. First, you can sponsor a feast-day reception. Receptions are not free! If you would like to sponsor or co-sponsor a reception, please let me know. Or, if you would like to plan and host a reception, please contact me. Second, you can donate unopened boxes of cookies or other sweets or pastries - or make a cash donation - for hospitality on Sundays. Checks should be written to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and “Hospitality Fund” should be written in the memo line. Finally, hosts and servers are needed. If you want to help, please let me know. Jay Smith
STEWARDSHIP MATTERS . . . As of April 14, we have received pledges from 186 households. The total amount pledged thus far is $473,820.00, which is 91.3% of our goal of $518,970.00. Our pledge campaign has slowed down a bit and we are still waiting to hear from around 22% of those who pledged for 2008; however, we are tantalizingly close to reaching our goal! Our church is an important part of the community and, we hope, an important part of your life. We join in God’s love and sacrifice for us by our personal sacrifices for others. Your help is needed. If you need another pledge card or have questions, please contact Father Jay Smith, MaryJane Boland, or Steven Heffner.
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. Monday, May 11, 7:30 PM, Organ Recital: Andrew Yeargin, The Manhattan School of Music.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Fourth Sunday of Easter
Monday Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Tuesday Easter Weekday
Wednesday Easter Weekday
Thursday Easter Weekday
Friday Dame Julia of Norwich, c. 1417 No Abstinence
Saturday Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389
Eve of the Fifth 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 normally heard on Saturdays 11:30-11:55 AM & 4:00-4:55 PM.