The Angelus

Volume 11, Number 45


There’s really no satisfactory name for the “season” that begins on the first Sunday of October at Saint Mary’s and most of the parishes in this city.  It’s New York Episcopalians’ version of the academic-year calendar.  But that phrase, the academic year, overlooks the origins of academic life in the Church’s life, its schools and universities.  I think it is also helpful to remember that the academic year and liturgical year were shaped for Christendom by seasons of harvest and war.  That said, this week I find myself remembering the fictional line from Franco Zeffirelli’s production Jesus of Nazareth (1977), when the empty tomb is discovered, “Now it begins; it all begins.”

Let’s start with the service schedule.  On this first Sunday in October our extraordinary parish choir returns to sing weekly at the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass.  Solemn Evensong & Benediction is celebrated at 5:00 PM.  Morning Prayer is chanted at 8:30 AM on Sundays.  An organ recital is offered weekly before Evensong at 4:40 PM, and organist & music director James Kennerley is playing the first recital.

Sunday School begins a new era this Sunday with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for younger children.  Please note the new time for the children: 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM.

Sunday Adult Christian formation takes place most Sundays between 10:00 AM and 10:45 AM.  This first Sunday we have a special program at 1:00 PM.  Parish archivist Dick Leitsch will present a program on the early history of Saint Mary’s in conjunction with the current exhibition of photographs in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  (Atrium Parents: This first Sunday is the only Sunday when Adult Sunday School will not meet at 10:00 AM while your children are in the atrium.  This week, bring your Sunday paper to read; coffee will be served.)

This week will also bring the return of our Wednesday evening Bible study that the Community of St. John Baptist sisters lead.  This class meets in the Arch Room of the Mission House between 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM.  No special preparation is required – and you don’t even need to own or bring a personal copy of the Bible as we have a large number available.

Among the many subjects I continue to read about from time to time is the development of the Church’s calendar.  It’s remarkable that there are no “Principal Feasts” or “Major Feasts of Our Lord” during the month of October.  July is the only other month of which this is true.  October offers us the opportunity to refresh our experience of the fundamental pattern of Christian worship, the weekly celebration of the Eucharist on the first day of the week.  I invite you to enter into it and enjoy.  Stephen Gerth


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Mary, Carol, Alan, Rick, Pamela, Robert, Thomas, Edward, Larry, Ashley, Lindsay, José, Sharon, Jessica, Daisy, Gerardo, Cesar, Chris, Rolf, Nicholas, Elsa, William, Gert, Miguel, Rick, and Emil, religious; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, Marc, and Benjamin . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 3: 1921 Sarah Laundes Crolius Goldbourne; 1932 Emma Shibles; 1958 Elsie May Long; 1969 Estelle Lucille Wilkins.


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class resumes on October 6 at 6:30 PM, following Evening Prayer.  The class meets in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House and is led by Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., and Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B. . . . Saint Mary’s Guild meets on Saturday, October 9, at 1:00 PM, following the noonday Mass.  The Guild is the altar guild of the parish; if you have questions, or would like to help, please speak to Marie Rosseels or to one of the sisters . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, October 2.  Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, October 9.


THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . The fourth annual Hymn Sing and Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 2, at 6:00 PM . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items for our outreach partner, the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry.  The Food Pantry continues to serve several hundred households in the Clinton and Times Square neighborhoods.  Please speak to Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., or to Father Smith if you have questions or if you would like to volunteer . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 207.


FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . At the Solemn Mass on Sunday we welcome the choir of Saint Mary’s back from their summer break.  The all-professional choir, comprised of many of New York’s finest singers, sings at Solemn Mass from October through Corpus Christi, and for principal feasts during the year.  (The music schedule through Epiphany 2011 is posted at  The prelude is an improvisation on Rouen, the tune of the hymn sung at the preparation of the gifts.  Asperges me is sung to a setting by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611).  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa “Bell’ amfitrit’ altera” by Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594).  The Flemish-born Lassus was one of the late Renaissance’s most cosmopolitan composers.  Much of his training was in Italy; later he worked as Kapellmeister at the court in Munich for almost forty years.  This setting is for two choirs of four voices each, and it reflects some influence from the Venetian style of Giovanni Gabrieli and others.  A “parody mass,” it is probably based upon an unknown madrigal.  At the ministration of Communion, the motet Sing joyfully by William Byrd (1543–1623) is sung.  The setting, a mature work for six voices, is particularly fine.  James Kennerley


STEWARDSHIP 2010 . . . As the Stewardship Committee prepares to launch the 2010-2011 Stewardship Campaign, we continue our ongoing series “Why I Love Saint Mary’s.”  We hear this week from parishioner and faithful acolyte and cantor, Emily Helming: “My dad introduced me to Saint Mary’s during one of his visits from Seattle.  He and my mother used to come to Saint Mary’s on occasion when they lived in New York.  When I moved here, I visited a few churches but never felt compelled to return.  I would share my reservations with my folks and my mother would say, “Go to Smoky Mary’s!”  It took my dad’s initiative to get me here, but I had no reservations about coming back.  I came back the very next Sunday, and the next, and so on.  As someone who had enjoyed church in a somewhat peripheral way, I was amazed by how strongly I felt compelled to keep coming back.  When I stepped foot into Saint Mary’s I was in awe of the entire experience.  First, it was the music.  Being a musician myself, the music has always been a huge draw for me and what I heard was transcendent.  I was also taken by the liturgy.  I gravitate toward the high-church and the older tradition.  Finally, I was moved by the warm welcome my dad and I received after the service.  I felt as though every gesture was genuine and that the members of Saint Mary’s truly wanted to get to know me and encourage me to come back (by then I already knew I would be coming back, no question).  I am thankful everyday for being introduced to Saint Mary’s and I feel incredibly grateful every time I am there.  I love serving at the altar, processing around Times Square, slinging smoke, singing the epistle and sharing this unique bond with my fellow Christians and friends.  I always tell anyone curious about exploring their faith, “Come to Saint Mary’s!”  It only takes one visit to see how special and wonderful Saint Mary’s truly is.  Emily Helming


BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION & RECEPTION . . . Bishop Sisk will be with us for the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on Wednesday, December 8.  He will celebrate and preach at the Solemn Mass at 6:00 PM.  The sacraments of baptism and confirmation will be celebrated at that time.  If you have been thinking and praying about baptism or confirmation, or if you think that you would like to be received into the Episcopal Church, please speak to Father Gerth or Father Smith.


CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD . . . Formation for younger children begins on Sunday, October 3.  The children will be meeting in a new space this year, the former parish office, now the “Atrium of the Good Shepherd.”  Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins is our catechist and seminarian Rem Slone will be assisting during this academic year.  PLEASE NOTE: The Catechesis meets from 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM.


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION THIS FALL . . . The first Adult Forum of the academic year will take place on Sunday, October 3, towards the end of Coffee Hour, around 1:00 PM, in Saint Joseph’s Hall.  Parish Archivist, Dick Leitsch, will give a talk on the history of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, focusing on Father Thomas McKee Brown, Saint Mary’s first rector and the organization of the parish during its early years.  The presentation will take place in connection with the current exhibition of images from the archives in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on October 6, at 6:30 PM.  Once again this year, the class will be led by Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., and Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B.  The class will be reading selections from the so-called “apocryphal” or “deutero-canonical” books of the Bible.  Building on their reading of the Wisdom literature last year, the members of the class will have the opportunity to study such important biblical themes as the end of prophecy and the rise of apocalypticism.  If you have questions, please speak to one of the sisters . . . The Church in England during the Middle Ages through the Lens of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: This four-part series will be led by parishioner Grace Bruni and will meet on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM, on the second floor of the Mission House (October 10, 17, 24 and 31) . . . Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians: Father Peter Powell will lead a three-part series on 1 Corinthians this fall (November 7, 14, and 21).  The series is designed to be an introduction to this very important letter.  During Lent 2011, Father Powell returns and will do a close reading of 1 Corinthians 15.  The fall series will be good preparation for the Lent series, but is not a prerequisite . . . The Adult-Education Class will not meet on Sunday, November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day.


CHILDCARE . . . 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 is in Saint Benedict’s Nursery & Playroom which is open and available every Sunday from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM.


HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The evening receptions following Solemn Mass on Holy Days are made possible by the donations of generous parishioners and friends of Saint Mary’s.  A donation has already been made for All Saints’ Day on November 1.  We have also received a donation for the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8 and are looking for some additional help for the reception on that day.  If you would like to make such a donation, or if you would like more information about how this works or for our reception schedule, please contact Fr. Jay Smith; and thank you to all who give so generously to this ministry.


ALTAR FLOWERS are needed for Sunday, October 24, and for three Sundays in November.  If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the finance office.  A special word of appreciation to all who give.  Thank you.  S.G.


LOOKING AHEAD . . . Monday, October 11, Columbus Day, the Federal Holiday Schedule . . . Monday, October 18, Saint Luke, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Saturday, October 16, 2010, 8:00PM, The Early Music Series of the Columbia University’s Miller Theatre presents In Paradisum, a concert performed by the ensemble Stile Antico.  Memorials and swansongs by Byrd, Dufay, des Prez, Lassus, and others . . . Thursday, October 28, Saint Simon & Saint Jude, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, November 1, All Saints’ Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Tuesday, November 2, All Souls’ Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, November 7, 2:00 AM: Daylight Savings Time ends (clocks are set back one hour) . . . Saturday, November 13, 1:00 PM, Meeting of Saint Mary’s Guild . . . Sunday, November 21, Commitment Sunday: Offering of 2011 Pledge Cards . . . Tuesday, December 7, Solemn Evensong and Legacy Society Reception . . . Wednesday, December 8, Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM, the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, XV Bishop of New York, celebrant and preacher . . . Saturday, December 11, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, Advent Quiet Day, led by Father John Beddingfield . . . Saturday, December 11, 2010, 8:00 PM & Monday, December 13, 2010, 8:00 PM Voices of Ascension Christmas Concert . . . Saturday, December 18, 2010, 8:00 PM, The New York Repertory Orchestra: Annual NYRO Benefit Concert...and the 100th birthday of Samuel Barber.



The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate
The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacon
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus


Saint Mary’s Mission House
Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.
Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B.
The Community of St. John Baptist


The Parish Musicians
Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director
Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator


The Parish Staff
Mr. Aaron Koch, business manager
Mr. Steven Gonley, building superintendent
Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons