FROM THE RECTOR: THREE GREAT SUNDAYS
When I was in Canada last year I noticed that the signs held up to direct traffic when a road was under construction had two words on them, “SLOW” (English) at the top, “LENT” (French) at the bottom. “SLOW LENT” seemed like a good phrase, but Lent is not really slow in the Church. It’s a season with more devotional practices than any other. Far more important than any of our personal or corporate devotions are the Sunday Masses. As we approach Holy Week, we’ve got three Sundays in a row that have three of the most important passages from John. They are lessons that appear only in John.
This Sunday, the Third Sunday in Lent, the gospel is the Samaritan Woman at the Well. The next Sunday is the Healing of the Man Born Blind. The Fifth (and last) Sunday in Lent we have the Raising of Lazarus. Each speaks not to Lent, but to Easter, to eternal life. In parishes where many adults are prepared for baptism at Easter, these gospels are heard every year, not just in the first year of the Sunday cycle. (You need the bishop’s permission, but bishops don’t say no to parishes that have large formation programs for adults coming to faith.) These are the gospels the great tradition uses to prepare the congregation and those coming to faith for baptism.
We have one Sunday of the year when the gospel is about the death of Jesus, the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday. The Good News is Jesus’ resurrection. With faith, Christians see God’s work of resurrection in all of Jesus’ life. By faith, we understand our own lives in the life of Christ.
I write on Thursday morning, the Eve of the Annunciation. Lots of preparation is going on at the church today and tomorrow. As is our custom, Solemn Evensong will be offered tonight. On Friday, Morning Prayer will be sung. After the Noonday Office, there will be a Sung Mass. There will be great music for the Solemn Mass, and James Kennerley will play a recital before it. I am delighted that the Reverend Dr. Ryan Lesh, vicar, Christ Church, Red Hook, New York, will be our preacher in the evening. In nine months it will be Christmas Eve. God’s kingdom will continue to unfold through the year in our world and in our lives.
One of the many messages of the gospel is that Jesus’ words and actions brought some to believe in him. His resurrection brought many more to believe. You and I can reflect on what we have done, and we can make choices about what we will do today and tomorrow. But, as we are in John, the question this gospel always brings to those who hear this Word is, “Do you believe?”
Perhaps, “SLOW LENT” is not such a bad phrase after all for this time of year. Many of us have jobs and responsibilities that keep us working consistently at a very fast pace. I hope the Masses on Annunciation and the last Sundays in Lent provide space for us to enjoy God’s gifts of today and to nurture our belief in God’s tomorrow. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Carol, Sharon, Emily, Doreen, Margaret, Julia, Dennis, Dorothy, Grace, Joyce, Alan, Chris, Rolf, Gert, Daisy, William, Rick, Russell, and Laurence, deacon; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Nicholas and Christine . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 27: 1883 Louise Gardner Hall; 1890 Mary Ann Rebecca Rice; 1896 Theresa Unger; 1917 Albert Heald Thwaite; 1922 Elmer E. Largen; 1924 Anna Cecelia Everard; 1932 Clarence Gerow Winter; 1934 Edward Selwyn Moffett.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the Adult Forum will meet on Sunday, March 27 . . . Father Smith will be away from the parish from Monday, March 28, until Tuesday, April 5. He returns to the office on Wednesday, April 6 . . . The Tallis Scholars present a concert on Saturday, April 2 . . . Father Stephen Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, March 26. Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, April 2.
THE OBSERVANCE OF LENT . . . The ordinary weekdays of Lent are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. In addition, the Fridays of Lent are observed traditionally by abstinence from flesh meats.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . At Saint Mary’s on Saturday, March 26, 8:00 PM: New York Repertory Orchestra . . . As we go to press, Sharon Singh has been scheduled for surgery. Please keep her in your prayers . . . Many thanks to Bishop Charles Jenkins for his help last week while the rector was away. We look forward to his return . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, April 3, Rose Sunday. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the Parish Office . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 203.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The setting of the Mass ordinary at the Solemn Mass on Sunday is Missa Ave Regina, an eight-part setting by Mexican composer Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c. 1590–1664). Born in Málaga, Spain, he immigrated to Mexico sometime before 1622, at which point he is recorded as being assistant maestro de capilla (“master of the chapel”) at Puebla Cathedral. The cathedral was particularly splendid, sumptuous in gold, onyx and marble, and second only to that in Mexico City. Padilla’s style is typically conservative, as was much of the music in New Spain, and tends to avoid the stylistic trends of the emerging Italian style. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Salvator mundi a 5 by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). James Kennerley
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . On Saturday, April 2 at 8:00 PM, Miller Theater at Columbia University presents the Tallis Scholars singing music of Tomás Luis de Victoria, including his Requiem. For more information, please visit the Miller Theatre website.
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Cash gifts are needed to fund the reception planned for the Easter Vigil on April 23. We are also looking for some additional help for the reception on Ascension Day, June 2. Please contact Father Smith or Aaron Koch in the Finance Office if you would like to help; and thank you to all who have given so generously to support this crucial ministry.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class meets in the Arch Room, on the second floor of the Mission House from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The class is led by the sisters and is currently reading the Book of Ecclesiasticus. Newcomers are most welcome! . . . On Sundays during Lent, Father Peter Powell will lead the Adult Forum in a discussion of First Corinthians 15 . . . On the four Sundays in May, Grace Bruni will lead a church-history series on the complex relationship between civil and ecclesiastical authority during the Middle Ages . . . On Sunday, June 5, Dr. Dennis Raverty, will give a lecture on The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood & the British Arts and Crafts Movement.
AIDS WALK 2011 . . . The Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk team is in action again, our sixth year in a row, walking in the 26th AIDS Walk on Sunday, May 15. Our team will raise money, and most of us will walk on Saturday, May 14, in order to be in church on Sunday. We are small but successful: in 2010, there were 20 of us, we raised almost $15,000, and we ranked 50 out of 3,000 teams in the Walk! We need your help to do even better this year. Contribute to our team by clicking here (if you prefer to write a check made out to AWNY, you can give it to Father Smith or to MaryJane Boland). Join our team by clicking here (click on Join a Team NOW, and select Saint Mary’s) and then raise money from your friends and colleagues. Ask questions of our team by emailing the team leader, MaryJane Boland or speak to her on Sunday.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please consider making a regular donation to the Food Pantry. Look for the basket in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall. If you would like more information about how the Food Pantry works or if you would like to volunteer, please speak to Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B. . . . Father Smith resumes his Book Sale in Saint Joseph’s Hall on Sunday morning. All proceeds benefit the Food Pantry and other outreach efforts.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Thursday, April 21, Maundy Thursday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper 6:00 PM . . . Friday, April 22, Good Friday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord 12:30 PM and 6:00 PM. Confessions will be heard by the parish clergy following both liturgies . . . Saturday, April 23, Holy Saturday, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, the Great Vigil of Easter 7:00 PM . . . Sunday, April 24, Easter Day, Mass 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Organ Recital 4:30 PM, Solemn Paschal Evensong 5:00 PM . . . Sunday, May 1, 1:00 PM, Annual Meeting of the Parish.
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus
The Parish Musicians
Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director
Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator
The Parish Staff
Mr. Aaron Koch, business manager
Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons