FROM THE RECTOR: ANGLICAN CENTRE IN ROME
My first two years at Nashotah House Seminary were the last two years the late Michael Ramsey, archbishop of Canterbury (1961–1974) was permitted by his physicians to travel to the United States. He and his wife Joan Ramsey were very generous with students in so many ways, especially with their time. Bishop Ramsey was a very fine confessor. The only time he ever presided at a Great Vigil of Easter was at Nashotah in the spring of 1982, just before he left the United States for the last time.
Ramsey wore, and he loved to show us students, the ring Paul VI had put on his finger during his first visit to Rome as archbishop of Canterbury in 1966. It was the ring Paul VI had worn as archbishop of Milan. The Anglican Centre in Rome came about also as a result of this visit. The board of governors of the Centre and the board of the American Friends of the Anglican Centre in Rome will be meeting this week at Saint Mary’s. It is a great honor for us to have them here. Their work continues to be important, especially with the turning away of the Roman Communion from the ecumenical spirit of Paul VI. But that’s not all that’s happening at Saint Mary’s this week.
Tuesday, May 31, is the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The gospel is Luke 1:39-49, the visit of Mary to Elizabeth. Here, Elizabeth’s greeting is, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Mary’s response is what we know as Magnificat, the Song of Mary. For a number of years, we have celebrated this feast with a Sung Mass in the evening. It may seem surprising at first that this parish doesn’t have a long tradition of keeping this feast with more solemnity. It turns out that the feast is a fourteenth-century addition to the calendar of the Western Church and the present Prayer Book is the first of our American Prayer Books to include it.
Wednesday, June 1, the Church commemorates the life and witness of Justin Martyr at Rome, c. 167. His writings are among the most important Christian documents of his time. Legal charges were preferred against him. He and six of his students refused to renounce Christ and were put to death.
Wednesday evening is the Eve of Ascension Day. As is our custom, Solemn Evensong will be offered at 6:00 PM to begin our celebration of the day. The service is sung ”solemnly” – which is liturgical shorthand for using incense. It’s a simple, lovely service and last just 35 minutes or so usually. I invite you to join us.
On Ascension Day, Morning Prayer is sung at 8:30 AM. Following the Noonday Office, there is a Sung Mass at 12:10 PM. We will welcome Christopher Creaghan back to Saint Mary’s to play a recital at 5:30 PM. At the 6:00 PM Solemn Mass, our preacher will be the Right Reverend Stephen Platten, bishop of Wakefield, and a member of the Anglican Centre’s board. A reception follows in Saint Joseph’s Hall.
There are many reasons to be glad leadership from the Anglican Centre is meeting here. Personally, it’s a reminder to me of the great affection I have had for most of my life for the Roman Church. I have always been received in Rome by members of that communion with the greatest courtesy and respect for the journey our own communion has taken. That said, it’s impossible to ignore the profoundly anti-ecumenical writings of the bishops of Rome since the death of Paul VI (see John Paul II’s encyclical Ut Unum Sint [May 25, 1995] and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s, now Benedict XVI, declaration Dominus Iesus [August 6, 2000]). Anglican and Protestant churches probably can go no farther in the ecumenical journey until a bishop of Rome has the courage to see Christ’s real and full presence in all parts of Christ’s body. Until then, we Anglicans can continue to bear witness that all people are already one in Him, even when we human beings don’t want to see, don’t want to believe. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Carol who is hospitalized; for Andrea, Sharon, Jack, Sandy, B.F., Lindalou, Richie, Krislea, Michael, Michele, Max, Olutoyin, Timothy, Anna, Julia, Dorothy, Chris, Rolf, Gert, and Rick; for the repose of the soul of Kwame Anthony Rodriguez; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christine and Mark . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 29: 1893 Ella Mary Smith; 1911 Jeanne M. Potter; 1925 Ethel F.L. Scott; 1932 Frank Alexander; 1962 Gustave Chartrand; 1966 Millicent McLaughlin; 1992 William Robert Anderson.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . William Cutting, the brother of parishioner of Robert Cutting, died on February 16, after a long illness. William has been in the prayers of the members of the Saint Mary’s community for many years now. Please remember William, Robert, and all who mourn in your prayers this week.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has begun its summer break and will resume on the first Sunday in October. The Adult Forum will not meet on Sunday, May 29 . . . Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day. The church will open at 10:00 AM and close at 2:00 PM. The parish offices will be closed. Only the noonday services will be offered . . . Tuesday, May 31, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Said Mass will be offered at 12:10 PM and a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, June 1, is the Eve of Ascension Day, Solemn Evensong will be offered at 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, June 2, is Ascension Day. This is the schedule for the day: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM, Reception in Saint Joseph’s Hall 7:30 PM . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, May 28. Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, June 4.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, Carol Pepper is at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for treatment. Please keep her in your prayers . . . The servers and trustees presented a gift of gold collar buttons to the Reverend T. Remington Slone on Sunday, May 22, at the reception following the Solemn Mass. Rem takes up his first parish assignment on June 1 at Saint Peter’s Church, Savannah. We wish Rem and his wife Casey Slone all the best . . . On Saturday, June 4, at 1:00 PM, a Requiem Mass will be celebrated for Alan Champion at the Church of Saint Clement, Philadelphia . . . Altar flowers are needed for the following dates: July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the finance office . . . As the summer months approach, we would like to encourage all Saint Marians to try and stay current on their pledge payments, since this is a time when we often experience cash-flow problems. We are grateful to all those who continue to support Saint Mary’s. If you would still like to make a pledge for 2011, please contact Aaron Koch or Father Smith . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 241.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass this Sunday is Le Banquet Celeste, an early work by Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass for Four Voices by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505–1585). Tallis, who remained a lifelong Roman Catholic, reached the summit of his career near the time of the English Reformation when styles of liturgical music began to change greatly. Though this setting, sung today by men only (alto, tenor and bass), is in Latin, it was composed after the Reformation and its relatively simple homophonic (chordal) texture is largely in keeping with the reformers’ musical guidelines. The Communion motet, Ave verum corpus, by William Byrd (1543–1623), was published as part of his first book of Gradualia, in 1605. This sizable collection contained settings of the Mass propers for every major feast of the liturgical year . . . At Solemn Mass on Ascension Day, the choir sings Missa Sancti Thomai, Opus 40 by Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988). The setting was written in 1962 and dedicated to Saint Thomas Becket on the 800th anniversary of his consecration as archbishop of Canterbury. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet God is gone up, opus 2, no. 2 by Gerald Finzi (1901–1956), which features a particularly heraldic part for the organ. James Kennerley
VICTORY OF THE SAINTS . . . Richard Theilmann and Larry Trupiano have spent several long days in the church recently to run cable from the chancel organ console to the organ loft in the back of the church. The work, much of which took place in the church basement, was difficult and dirty. The results, so far, have been very good. Thank you to both Richard and Larry for this generous gift of their time and expertise. The chancel console enables an organist to play while sitting with the congregation at small services. In the gallery, the organist has to guess about the volume. When he or she is in the chancel, he can actually hear the people and our magnificent organ. Again, many thanks to Richard and Larry. S.G.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class has begun its summer break and will resume in October. . . . On Sunday, June 5, at 10:00 AM, Dr. Dennis Raverty, will give a lecture on The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood & the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Dr. Raverty writes, “In the mid-nineteenth century a secret society of young British painters from Oxford rebelled against the academy, signing their paintings with the mysterious initials, “PRB”. Influenced equally by the Gothic Revival and the contemporaneous Realist movement on the continent, much of their work is devoted to Christian subject matter, in emulation of artists of the early Renaissance and late Gothic periods. Their religious work was derided publicly by no less a figure than Charles Dickens for lacking decorum, and the movement had ties with the Anglo-Catholic revival and with socialism, both of which were controversial in the Church of England during the Victorian era.”
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Food may be placed in the basket at the ushers’ table on Sunday mornings. Cash donations should be mailed to Father Smith’s attention at the parish office. Checks should be made out to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and “Food Pantry” should be written in the memo line. Sister Deborah Francis is at the Food Pantry on many Friday afternoons. She delivers our food donations and acts as our representative at the Food Pantry. If you have questions about this project or if you would like to volunteer, please speak to her or to Father Jay Smith. Thanks to all for their ongoing generosity and commitment to this outreach project.
SAINT RAPHAEL’S GUILD OF USHERS . . . The summer schedule was e-mailed last week. If you did not receive a copy, please speak to Father Smith or Randy Morgan. Since the summer vacation period has almost arrived, we would like to remind all the members of the ushers’ guild that, if possible, they should try to find a replacement if they are not able to serve on a Sunday for which they have been scheduled. If you need a copy of the current contact list, please speak to Father Smith.
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector;
The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate;
The Reverend James Pace, assisting priest;
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. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons.