From Father Mead: Through the rhythms of times and seasons
This past Tuesday evening the parish community celebrated the Epiphany with a Solemn Mass. The feast marks a wonderful conclusion to Christmastide while also offering a glorious reminder of the riches of the upcoming liturgical year – the solemn singing of The Proclamation of the Date of Easter at the conclusion of the Solemn Mass. Because our assisting deacon, Jedediah Fox, was swamped with Canonicals (exit exams required of all Seminary Seniors that for some odd reason are always scheduled at Epiphany), I had the pleasure of singing the Proclamation this year.
The Proclamation announces not only the date of Easter, but of all the other feasts of the year that are movable. Still, it is evident that the great Paschal Mystery celebrated in the Easter Triduum is at the heart of all we as Christians do. Its tone is similar, but not identical, to that of the Exultet, sung at the Easter Vigil, and it explains that the feasts of the year find their reference point at Easter. It is a remnant from a time when knowing when the annual dates for Ash Wednesday, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost and the first Sunday of Advent were not “a click away”. I have always enjoyed it for the simple fact that I know in advance when things are happening. It’s all well and good to be able to look ahead on the calendar… it’s another thing to hear these very important things proclaimed. With that in mind, it seems like a good time to announce a few things that are happening during the next three months while Father Gerth is away on sabbatical.
This Sunday, January 11, the parish is doing something that I don’t think it has ever done. At 10:40 AM, in Saint Joseph’s Chapel at the Christmas Crèche, the Saint Mary’s Sunday School will celebrate an Epiphany Pageant. All are invited to sing “We Three Kings” and watch the children offer gifts at the Crèche. I hope you will join us; the pageant will take less than ten minutes and should be lots of fun.
On Sunday and Monday, February 1 and 2, the parish will celebrate several events. The first will be the Eve of the Presentation (Candlemas) with Solemn Evensong & Benediction. Our preacher will be the Reverend Ian Montgomery, who is assisting while the rector is away. The second event takes place immediately after Evensong: Saint Mary’s Superbowl Party IV. As usual, Father Mead’s Abusive Chili will be on the menu. The next day Candlemas will be celebrated with the Blessing of Candles, Procession and Solemn Mass at 6:00 PM, followed by a splendid reception – Father Mead’s Abusive Chili will not be served at the reception.
February and March bring some notable visitors to Saint Mary’s. On Sunday, February 15, the choir from Guildford Cathedral in England will sing at Solemn Evensong & Benediction. The Very Reverend Victor Stock, Dean of Guildford Cathedral, will preach at the service. It will be a wonderful night!
The next Sunday, February 22, the Right Reverend Dr. C. Franklin Brookhart, Jr., Bishop of Montana, will be with us as celebrant and preacher at Solemn Mass. Bishop Brookhart is Deacon Jedediah Fox’s bishop and the ninth bishop of Montana. It is a great honor to have Bishop Brookhart with us on the last Sunday after Epiphany.
On the First Sunday in Lent, March 1, the Right Reverend Andrew St. John, rector of the Church of the Transfiguration (the “Little Church around the Corner”) in Manhattan, will preach at Solemn Evensong & Benediction. Bishop St. John is a great friend of Saint Mary’s, and we are glad to have him with us again this Lent.
The Reverend E. Clare Nesmith will preach the following Sunday, March 8, at Evensong & Benediction. Mother Nesmith served as Seminarian at Saint Mary’s several years ago and now serves as the Bishop’s Deputy for Episcopal Charities in Long Island.
On Wednesday, March 25, the Annunciation will be celebrated with Solemn Mass. That evening we welcome the Reverend L. Kathleen Liles as our preacher. Mother Liles is rector of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church, New York, New York. It should be another great festival and a nice break during Lent.
Each Sunday in Lent, the Reverend Peter Powell will offer a class on the Psalms. Father Powell is a great friend of Saint Mary’s and he has taught classes for us the last few years. We are grateful for his assistance and expertise in teaching the Bible; and we are always very happy when he and his wife, Barbara, are with us on Sundays.
Knowing what’s coming up is only the first step… don’t forget to mark your own calendars so that you won’t miss a single one of these great events! Matthew Mead
SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Scott, Allan, Jocelyn, Mimi, Marcia, Richard, Deloris, Mary, Gloria, Samuel, Russell, Stephen, Brooke, Donna, Laura, Madeleine, Marc, Janelle, Jennie, William, Gert, Mary, Terry, Daisy, Rozalind, Rick, Emil, Religious, Charles, Priest, and Stephen, 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 Alejandro, Martha and Vincent . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 11: 1925 Annette Lyman; 1946 Nellie Malleson; 1950 William C. Clark; 1954 Sarah Bedell MacDonald; 1967 Sara Bedell MacDonald; 1973 Joseph Louis Moreno-Leal . . . IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Alejandro de los Santos, the father-in-law of sexton Antonio Sanchez, died on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2008. Please keep Mr. de los Santos, his family, Antonio, and all who mourn, in your prayers.
A (VERY BRIEF) FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN AT EPIPHANY . . . Join Deacon Jedediah Fox and the children of the Saint Mary’s Sunday School for a wonderful (and short) festival for children the first Sunday after Epiphany at 10:40 AM at the Christmas Crèche. The service will feature a familiar song and the presentation of gifts by the children. All are invited!
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Rector, the Reverend Stephen Gerth, is on sabbatical until April 1, 2009 . . . On Saturday, January 10, the Reverend Ian Montgomery will hear confessions . . . On Sunday, January 11, after Coffee Hour, around 1:00 PM, the Mission & Outreach Committee will meet for about an hour in Saint Joseph’s Hall to discuss several proposed outreach efforts and to hear a report on the Food Pantry Project. A light lunch will be served . . . Solemn Evensong and Benediction this Sunday is sung by the choir of the Church of the Nativity, Huntsville, Alabama, directed by Suzanne Purtee. Frederick Jodry plays an organ recital before Evensong at 4:40 PM . . . Sister Deborah Francis and Sister Laura Katharine will be away from the parish from the afternoon of Sunday, January 13, until the morning of Thursday, January 17, in order to attend their community’s “long retreat” in Mendham, NJ . . . On Tuesday, January 13, at 8:00 PM, Dr. Matthew Lewis (Music Director, Church of the Incarnation, New York City) will give an organ recital. Admission is free . . . On Saturday, January 17, the Reverend John Merz will hear confessions. Confessions are also heard by appointment . . . Music director and organist, James Kennerley, will be away January 8–14. He returns to the office on January 15.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . On Sunday, January 11, the First Sunday after Epiphany, the prelude will be Prelude in G by William Harris (1883-1973). The setting of the Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus is for congregation and organ by William Mathias (1934-1992) and the Agnus Dei is arranged by Mason Martens (b. 1930). In my absence, while I am on vacation, former associate organist, Robert McDermitt, has kindly agreed to play for Solemn Mass. Ms. Elizabeth Baber, soprano, will be the cantor. At the ministration of Communion, Ms. Baber will sing the motet “Suscitans a terra inopem” (“He raises the poor from the dust”), taken from Laudate pueri, HWV 237, by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). At Solemn Evensong, the choir of the Church of the Nativity, Huntsville, Alabama, directed by Suzanne Purtee, will sing the rousing Evening Service in A by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924), in addition to music by Alain, Rodney Bennett and White. The Saint Mary’s Singers resume rehearsals on January 18 at 3:00 PM. We will also meet on January 25. If you would like to join us, please contact me. James Kennerley
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We need volunteers to “un-decorate the church” on Saturday, January 10, 10:00 AM–3:00 PM, and then again on Sunday, January 11, immediately following Solemn Mass, in order to dismantle the Crèche. If you have questions, please contact Dale Bonenberger . . . Thank you to James Kennerley and our choir for the offering of their music at Solemn Mass on Epiphany. James has been bringing us some wonderful things from his native land and the Anglican mother church. The very difficult Rubbra setting, Missa cantuariensis, was beautifully performed and helped all of us in our worship . . . Thank you very much to all those who donated food for our receptions at Christmas and Epiphany: Gypsy da Silva, Father Gerth, and Grace Treiman. Thank you also to Marie Rosseels and our sextons for providing such friendly and capable hospitality at the reception on January 6 . . . On Sunday, January 11, the Reverend R. Lee Peyton, Jr., will be instituted and inducted as the Rector of Saint Andrew’s Church, Hartwell, Georgia. Father Peyton served here at Saint Mary’s during his diaconate. Please keep Lee in your prayers as he begins this new ministry . . . Flowers are needed for most Sundays and feast days this year. If you would like to donate flowers for the altars and shrines, please contact Father Mead . . . The Annual Meeting and Mass of the Society of King Charles the Martyr will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2009, at 11:00 AM at Saint Stephen’s Church in Providence, Rhode Island. For more information please contact www.skcm-usa.org . . . Attendance: 2 Christmas 292; Epiphany 250.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION & EDUCATION FOR ADULTS . . . All classes meet in the Arch Room on the Second Floor of the Mission House (133 West 46th Street). Sunday classes meet at 10:00 AM and feature delicious donuts and hot coffee. The Wednesday Night Bible Study and other weeknight classes meet at 7:00 PM. Detailed information on upcoming classes is below. All are welcome at every class. Matthew Mead
THE REVELATION ACCORDING TO JOHN . . . On Sundays during Epiphany Season (January 11, 18, 25 & February 1, 8, 15 & 22) Father Mead and Father Smith will lead a class examining the most famous apocalyptic book of the Bible.
THE PROPHETS . . . The Wednesday Night Dinner and Bible Study will resume on January 21, 2009. The class, led by Father Mead, has been studying the narrative accounts of the prophets in the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. We will conclude that portion at the end of January and begin reading prophetic books, beginning with the Book of Amos. A (minimum) $5 donation is requested from all who attend to cover the cost of dinner.
THE PSALMS . . . The Reverend Peter Powell will lead a class on the Psalms in Lent 2009 (Sundays, March 1, 8, 15, 22). 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.
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . During this time of belt-tightening and budget cuts, we would like to invite those members and friends of Saint Mary’s, who are able to, to consider making a 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. (We try, when possible, to pay for such receptions through the generous gifts of friends and parishioners.) The next planned reception will be on Candlemas, in early February. If you would like to sponsor that reception, please let me know. Second, you can donate unopened boxes of cookies or other sweets or pastries for use at our receptions on Sunday evenings after Evensong & Benediction (this is an especially effective way to banish those too-tempting simple carbohydrates from the home as one attempts to meet one’s weight-loss goals!) Third, you can make a cash donation (none is too small!). Checks should be written to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and “Hospitality Fund” should be written in the memo line. Finally, if you feel called to be a server and host at a reception, please let me know. The only job requirements are a calm and welcoming disposition, a friendly smile, the ability to engage newcomers in conversation, and a willingness to be helpful and to work with others to organize, prepare, and host receptions and other events. Since Saint Mary’s welcomes so many visitors, our hospitality efforts are an essential means of evangelism and church growth. If you are interested, please speak to me and thank you for your help. Jay Smith
MISSION & OUTREACH . . . Saint Mary’s has begun a cooperative relationship with the Food Pantry of Saint Clement’s Church, 46th Street. The Pantry serves between 400 and 500 households per week, most of them neighbors of our two parishes. Friends, visitors and parishioners are invited to bring non-perishable food items and place them in the basket at the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall during Coffee Hour. A number of you have done so already. (Donations of lightly used clothing items are also welcome.) If you find that bringing donations to Saint Mary’s is difficult or cumbersome, you may also make a money donation. Many Saint Marians have already brought food and clothing for the Food Pantry. Thank you very much for your generous response. We will be delivering our first donation to Saint Clement’s on Friday! The Food Pantry operates each Saturday, except the first Saturday of every month. Food is sorted and bagged the day before. If you would like to volunteer, either on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings, or if you would like to make a money donation, please speak to Father Smith. Jay Smith
STEWARDSHIP MATTERS . . . “Why I Love Saint Mary’s: An ongoing series: Parishioner Margaret Malone writes, “In my experience, Saint Mary’s is the closest you can get to Heaven in the City of New York. Now, why is that? We have an atmosphere of prayer and a tradition of service that makes us mindful of Christian teachings. Everything we do here underscores the faith. Divine love is acted out in the Catholic liturgy, in the ministry of the clergy, in the acceptance and inclusion of every type of human being in the congregation, in the formation of Christian character in our religion classes, and in our outreach efforts that rescue and comfort those less fortunate. Many other churches and temples in New York do good deeds, and they are close to Heaven too. What I love about Saint Mary's is that all things here work together for good.” Margaret Malone first started worshipping at Saint Mary’s many years ago, when she was a student at Hunter College. She first worked in the publishing industry, editing textbooks for a large New York publishing firm. She then went back to college to study for a Master’s degree in education. Upon graduation, she worked as a teacher, specializing in teaching the homebound and those with special needs. Margaret also studied systematic and practical theology at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Margaret worshipped at the Cathedral and at a couple of other local parishes, but has returned to Saint Mary’s because of what she has found here. We are very happy that she has joined us – it is helpful to have someone who so clearly sees the relationship between worship, service, and mission. 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 school work on Sunday afternoons to come sing and socialize with a group of fellow students and parishioners. (Trips to the local pubs and restaurants of Hell's Kitchen immediately follow the rehearsals and performances!) 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! If you would like to join, or just come along for a rehearsal, please email me at email@example.com. James Kennerley
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): Before Sunday Evensong & Benediction Saint Mary's offers a weekly organ recital by a visiting musician. For more details, please see the current music schedule HERE . . Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 8:00 PM, Free Organ Recital by Dr. Matthew Lewis . . . Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8:00 PM: A Royal Christening and Musical Banquet, Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, Parthenia, A Consort of Viols, Vox Vocal Ensemble . . . Saturday, February 14, 2009, 8:00 PM: Songs of Love, Lust, and Lamentation, Vox Vocal Ensemble, George Steel, conductor . . . Saturday, April 2, 2009, 8:00 PM: Music for Double Choir, The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director.
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 . . . Sunday School for children meets on Sunday’s 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.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The First Sunday after Epiphany:
The Baptism of Our Lord
Monday Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
Tuesday Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, 367
Saturday Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356
Eve of the Second Sunday after Epiphany
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 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: 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.