FROM THE RECTOR: Good Shepherd Sunday: 1967 – 2010
On Maundy Thursday, I made two changes in the liturgy for that night. An ordinary form of bread and wine were used for Communion. And, there was only one elevation of the Gifts, at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, followed by one genuflection. Beginning this Sunday, Good Shepherd Sunday 2010, ordinary bread (actually a communion bread recipe from Saint Gregory’s Abbey, Three Rivers, Michigan) and wine will be used for all Solemn Masses. And beginning this Sunday, there will only be one elevation of the Gifts and one genuflection during the Eucharistic Prayer at all Masses.
From the parish’s founding until Good Shepherd Sunday 1967, Holy Communion was not given to the congregation at Sunday Solemn Masses. In 1870, when the doors of the first church opened, part of the revival of catholic Christian tradition that was very important to the heirs of the Oxford Movement was fasting before Communion, that is, there was to be no ordinary food taken if one was going to receive the Eucharist. Early Masses on Sundays and weekdays were for Communion; the Sunday morning High Masses were for “worship.” Sermons were not preached at early Masses, even on Sundays.
Somehow Saint Mary’s and much of the Anglo-catholic movement got stuck in one of the oddest places one can imagine. At the principal gathering of the congregation on Sundays, the Solemn Mass, the Eucharist, was no longer food for God’s people. It’s hard to know why this continued for so long. Saint Mary’s from its inception has been in so many ways on the forward edge of liturgical knowledge, innovation and practice. But, with great respect, the parish managed to miss what is most fundamental about the Eucharist at its principal Sunday Mass for almost a hundred years: The Eucharist is a meal.
In his autobiography, the third rector of Saint Mary’s, the Reverend Joseph Gayle Hurd Barry, lamented that the Anglo-catholic revival did not seek its own liturgical way but surrendered its future to too much of the nineteenth-century Roman Church’s ceremonial practice. (See: J. G.H. Barry, Impressions and Opinions: An Autobiography, [New York: E.S. Gorham, 1931], Chapter 13, which can be read online at http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/jghbarry/auto/13.html). I understand the attraction. The Roman tradition, at its best, maintained a compelling reverence for the Eucharist, widely lacking among many Anglicans in the nineteenth century.
When I was in seminary, Michael Ramsey (1904-1988), retired archbishop of Canterbury, was able to be at Nashotah House for several months during my first and second years. Sometimes when he presided, he concentrated so hard on reading the words of the American rite that he forgot to touch the bread and the cup at the words of institution. Despite being a very uptight young seminarian, my respect for Ramsey’s priestly presence was such that my mind did not let me think the Eucharist was “invalid.” I’m not sure I thought much about it at all at the time. But the memory stayed with me. And since then it has helped suggest to me there was more to learn.
I think it’s fair to say that I get reverence for the Eucharist. For most of the years I have been a priest, traditional ceremonial has been something of a personal defense against the nonsense I know that goes on all of the time in our Church. I remain amazed that basic liturgical formation is not normative for the clergy of our Church. But I’m not sure it’s any better in churches where everyone simply knows a drill. I think we at Saint Mary’s are entirely capable of being a community shaped by the best theological and liturgical knowledge available to us. Stephen Gerth
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE for Rebekah Rachél Sterbin and Benjamin Slusky. If any of you know just cause why they may not be joined in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the second time of asking. J.R.S.
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE for Daylene Hunte and Felipe Lee. If any of you know just cause why they may not be joined in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the second time of asking. J.R.S.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Carol, Dennis, MaryJane, Chris, Cornelia, Angie, Rolf, Daisy, Ross, Roger, Henry, Nicholas, Robert, Elsa, William, Gert, Mary, Rick, Pegram, priest, and Edgar, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, Marc, Benjamin and Andrew; and for the repose of the souls of Scott, Brett and Teri . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 25: 1871 Helen Elizabeth Dunlap; 1892 Margaret Gillies Kelly ; 1898 David Duff; 1899 Marguerite McDevit; 1920 Elisa Jane Wylie; 1927 Edward Arthur Winters, Elizabeth Gordon; 1949 Zenaide Shepherd Vogelgesang; 1951 Edith A. Hooper; 1957 Albertina McKay, Virginia Roberts Coon; 1999 Helena F. Kingman
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Adult Forum meets at 10:00 AM . . . The Reverend Randall H. Haycock, chaplain clinician, Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., is our guest preacher at Solemn Evensong . . . Monday, April 26, is the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist (transferred). There will be an additional Mass at 6:20 PM . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, April 26, 7:00 PM, following the evening Mass, in the Arch Room, on the second floor of the Mission House . . . Saturday, May 1, is the Feast of Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles . . . Father Merz will hear confessions on Saturday, April 24. Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, May 1.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . MaryJane Boland, who had surgery early last week, is now at home and is recovering quickly. She is grateful to the Saint Mary’s community for its prayers and for its support . . . Sunday, April 25, is the sixteenth anniversary of Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.’s life profession. Congratulations! . . . The Annual Meeting of the Parish will take place on Sunday, May 2, at 12:45 PM, in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Delegates to the 234th Convention of the Diocese of New York will be chosen at the meeting. Diocesan Convention will take place on Saturday, November 13, at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine . . . Thank you to all who provided transportation to Father Mead’s installation last Friday. The parish was very well represented. Thank you to all who traveled to Granite Springs. Father Mead greatly appreciated your presence and your support . . . Saint Mary’s Guild, the parish’s altar guild, will meet on Saturday, May 8 (not Saturday, May 1), following the 12:10 PM Mass. If you have questions or if you would like to help with the guild’s work, please speak to one of the sisters or to Marie Rosseels . . . Ascension Day is Thursday, May 13 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 309
FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass on Sunday morning 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 paschalis (“Easter Mass”) by Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594). The Flemish-born Lassus, sometimes called the princeps musicorum or “main writer of music,” was one of the late Renaissance’s most cosmopolitan and respected composers. Much of his training was in Italy; later he worked as Kapellmeister at the royal court in Munich for almost forty years. This work for an Easter Day Mass is based upon chants associated with the liturgy the very chants our choir sings today. As in all of Lassus’s music, the music is always subservient to the meaning of the texts. At Communion, the choir will sing the motet Maria Magdalene et altera Maria by Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599) . . . On Sunday afternoon, the organ recital before Evensong & Benediction will be played by Jennifer French, the Robert G. Owen Organ Scholar at Christ Church, Bronxville, New York. Her program includes music by Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) and Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986). James Kennerley
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Adult Forum will meet on Sunday, April 25, at 10:00 AM. Art historian Dennis Raverty will give a slide lecture on “God & Nature in the Nineteenth-Century American Romantic Landscape.” This lecture examines how painters of the Hudson River School were influenced by contemporaneous understandings of the relationship between God, Humankind & Nature—the American wilderness they painted was viewed by them romantically as a new, sublime Garden of Eden. Dr. Raverty is an art historian with a specialization in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art. He published his first book with Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press on the history of American art criticism in 2005 and his articles and essays have appeared in Art in America, Art Journal, Prospects, and Art Criticism, as well as in other scholarly journals. He has recently contributed entries for the forthcoming Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, to be published later this year by Oxford University Press. An award-winning teacher and an engaging speaker, he is on the faculty at New Jersey City University (formerly New Jersey State College). Last fall, Dr. Raverty taught a popular series for Saint Mary's entitled, "Icons: A Very Brief Introduction." We are pleased to welcome him back to the parish. . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class resumed on April 14, meets this week on Wednesday, April 28, at 7:00 PM, and will continue until Wednesday, June 9. Led by the sisters, the members of the class will be finishing their reading of the Book of Job and will then take up the books of Ruth, Esther and the Song of Songs. The class normally meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House. All are welcome. No prior experience is necessary.
FLOWERS NEEDED . . . Flowers are needed for the altar for the following days: Sunday, April 18; Sunday, May 2; Thursday, May 13, Ascension Day; Sunday, May 30, Trinity Sunday; Sunday, June 6, Corpus Christi; Sunday, June 13; Sunday, July 4, 11, 18, and 25. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Finance Office and thank you to all those who have made such generous gifts, allowing us to decorate the altar and church.
AIDS WALK, SUNDAY, MAY 16 . . . Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk team is forming now. We invite you to join the team. The 2010 AIDS Walk is on Sunday, May 16, but many Saint Marians and their friends will walk on Saturday in order to be in church on Sunday morning. Flyers giving information about joining the team or supporting an individual walker will be on the ushers’ table near the church’s Forty-sixth Street entrance every Sunday. If you can’t join the team but would like to support its members, and this very worthy cause, you can give a check made out to AWNY to one of the priests or to the sisters. In 2009, Saint Mary’s ranked 27 out of 2,885 teams for its fundraising efforts. Please help the team to beat last year’s record! If you have questions, please send an e-mail to Father Smith (email@example.com), who can put you in contact with the team leaders, MaryJane Boland and Grace Bruni.
VISUAL ARTS PROJECT . . . Exhibit now in Saint Joseph’s Hall: “Illuminated Psalms by Lisa Bell”. Lisa Bell is an artist and calligrapher who lives in Hartford, Connecticut. Lisa is a graduate of the Pratt Institute. Her work is owned by private collectors who value her exquisite calligraphy, use of bold color, fine papers, and handmade frames – she is a picture framer by trade – to create unique works of art in the tradition of the medieval scribes and illuminators of the biblical text. Susan Wamsley, Saint Mary’s Visual Arts Program
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate
The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacon
The Reverend John Merz, assisting priest
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus
The Parish Musicians
Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director
Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator