The most memorable Pentecost I have celebrated was in Venice in 1997 while I was on sabbatical and traveling in Italy. I attended the Solemn Mass at Saint Mark's Basilica. The Patriarch of Venice was the celebrant. The Mass was in Latin. The lessons and sermon were in Italian. I understood nothing and everything. I know enough Latin to follow much of the Mass. But it didn't matter. I was right at home in so many ways. A bell rang. The choir started to sing the historic entrance song:
Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia: et hoc quod continent omnia, scientiam habet voce, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici eius: et fugiant, qui oderunt eum, a facie eius.
The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world, alleluia; and that which contains all things, knows every language spoken by men, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; and let those who hate him flee before his face.
The procession was led by an older teenager or young man with a thurible and quantity of smoke worthy of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. In the choir loft above and to the side of the 'altar of gold' a person was trying unsuccessfully to fan away the smoke.
The liturgy was impressive. The Patriarch of Venice is a cardinal archbishop of the Roman Church. Two of his recent predecessors were elected pope: John Paul I and John XXIII. Their procession included a small army of assisting clergy, seminarians and servers. It was just great. I could tell that the congregation was listening carefully to the sermon. I was lost in the liturgy in Venice in one of the great churches of the world on one of the church's greatest feasts.
I also knew that some churches throughout the world were doing the same thing, just as well, just as powerfully. And I knew that many small parishes were also doing the same thing in small buildings yet with the same liturgical love that I knew in Venice that morning, that I now see everyday at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Pentecost is about the radical and real presence of the Lord in our midst, not just in the Blessed Sacrament, not just in the Word proclaimed, but in the People of God, the assembly of the baptized.
It has been a remarkable Easter for me. Holy Week began with a wonderful solemn liturgy and a procession through Times Square. All the liturgies of Holy Week, and the Easter Triduum in particular, were something in the world but not of the world. We were in sacred time, the time of eternity, the time of the Church, as we gathered day by day to be the Body of Christ at worship.
The liturgies were all full. We did not worry about how long they were. We just did them. One highlight was certainly the presence of the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Church as celebrant and preacher for the Great Vigil. I also sense that this community was also very aware that the Easter Event was the celebration of Holy Baptism, Jesus Christ dying and rising among us still. I hope you are able to be with us on Sunday for the conclusion of Eastertide 2000. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Jack who is hospitalized, James, Carol, Olga, Helen, Margaret, Shirley, Hannah, Dawn, Bryn, Mary, Lucille, Frances, André, Edgar, Helen, Beatrice, Timothy, Eleanor, Hendrick, Anjel, Andra, Diana, Elizabeth, Michelle, Andrea and Susan.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 12: 1986 James P. Gregory; June 17: 1972 Charles Henry Genet.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 44:1-8, Psalm 104:25-37, Acts 2:1-11, John 14:8-17 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant: Father Breidenthal, Preacher: Richard Lawson; 10:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Shin, 11:00 AM Celebrant Father Shin, Preacher Canon Gerdau, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Gerth . . Confessions will be heard on June 10 by Father Gerth . . . Confessions will be heard on June 17 by Father Gerth.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Members of the parish are reminded that Sunday is the Puerto Rico Day Parade. Plan your travel accordingly . . . Please remember Mary Haddad in your prayers. She is to be ordained deacon on Saturday, June 10, at her home parish, All Saints' Church, Beverly Hills, California . . . Monday, June 12, is the Feast of Saint Barnabas the Apostle. It is a Major Holy Day of the Church year. As is our custom, members of the parish are especially invited to make an effort to attend Mass on Major Holy Days here or elsewhere . . . It certainly was a wonderful honor to have Bishop Sisk with us on Ascension Day. Many thanks to all who served at the altar and in other ways. Brother Lawrence Guild, thank you for the reception! . . . Many thanks to Jon Bryant who attended the Diocesan Convention with Father Gerth and Father Shin on Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3 . . . Richard Lawson was selected to attend the Excellence Preaching Program at Virginia Seminary this past week. The program is sponsored by the Episcopal Church Foundation . . . Many thanks to Sean Cassidy and Pat Higgins for any number of small repair jobs for the sacristy. These are much appreciated! . . . Many thanks to Dale Bonenberger, our guest organist this month at the Solemn Masses . . . The Rector will be out of town Monday, June 12, through Thursday, June 15, to visit family in Maine . . . Father Shin brought Holy Communion to our New Jersey shut-ins this past week, Marion Freise, Margaret Johnke, Gaylord Mason and Beatrice Norling; Father Gerth brought the Sacrament to Grace LaCurto in Greenwich, Connecticut . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, June 19, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict's Study . . .Father Gerth was ordained deacon on June 11, 1983. Father Briedenthal was deacon priest on June 12, 1982. Father Wolsoncroft was ordained deacon on June 13, 1987. Father Shin was ordained deacon on June 15, 1996 . . . Attendance: Ascension Day 207; Last Sunday 142.
WEDNESDAY EVENING SERIES CONTINUES . . . We meet in Saint Benedict’s Study at 7:00 PM with Fr. Breidenthal, Mr. Richard Lawson and Fr. Shin on the topic: The Darkside of the Bible. This Wednesday, June 14, Fr. Breidenthal’s topic will be “2 Samuel 13 The Rape of Tamar”. You are invited to join us.
BIBLES FOR SAINT MARY'S . . . We need to order fifteen Bibles for our adult education classes. These will be hardbound editions of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible with the Apocrypha, the same edition of the Scriptures which we use in worship. The Bibles cost $35.00 each. One or more may be given as a memorial to the departed ("in Memory of") or to honor a loved one ("in Honor of") and the Bible will be beautifully inscribed. If you would like to give a Bible to the Church (and the Church needs Bibles!) please make your check payable to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and mark it for Bibles. If you wish the book to be a memorial please include a note and someone in the parish office will contact you about the wording. Thank you!
JOURNEY TO SEOUL . . . We still need money to help Amelia Nagy-Rochester to participate in the Diocesan Youth Program's "Journey to Seoul." Father Shin is accompanying the trip as a chaplain and his expenses are covered. We have received $350.00 as we go to press. $1,150.00 more is needed. Please make your check payable to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and mark it so that we will know it is for this trip to Seoul. Thank you!
WALKING TOUR OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCHES IN LOWER MANHATTAN . . . Father Shin will lead a tour of lower Manhattan churches on Saturday, June 17. The tour will begin at Trinity Church, Wall Street, with Morning Prayer and Mass at 8:45 AM. The group will continue to Saint Paul's Church, Grace Church, Church of the Ascension, Saint Mark's Church, Saint George's Church, Calvary Church, the Church of the Transfiguration and the Church of the Incarnation. The tour will conclude with Evening Prayer at Saint Mary's at 5:00 PM. The tour will explore some of many historical Episcopal churches, and their architectural styles and theological influences.
ABOUT THE LITURGY . . . This Sunday, June 11, is The Day of Pentecost. Our guest preacher will be the Reverend Canon Carlson Gerdau, canon to the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church. Canon Gerdau is a former member of the parish and was with us most recently for the Great Vigil of Easter. We are delighted to welcome him for the first time to the pulpit of Saint Mary's. The fifty days of Easter end at sunset this evening, and the exuberant alleluias added at many points in the liturgy will not reappear until Easter 2001. The Solemn Mass on Sunday will begin with a procession to two stations within the church. On Pentecost a special sequence hymn is appointed for use before the Gospel. The congregation will be invited to join the choir in singing the plainsong version from The Hymnal 1940. For reasons not entirely clear to me this particular setting is omitted from the new hymnal. The historic plainsong tune is not easy, but the text is rich and I know many in the congregation will appreciate the opportunity to hear it even if all of us are not able to sing it. S.G.
FRIDAY ABSTINENCE . . . The faithful are reminded that the ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. Traditionally this has meant abstinence on Friday from flesh meats. It is now permitted to substitute other signs. The point is to offer an act of physical devotion on the day of the Lord's death.
This week at Saint Mary’s
10:00 AM The Rector's Class in Saint Benedict's Study
This is the class's final meeting until the fall.
7:00 PM The Dark Side of the Bible
Father Breidenthal topic will be “2 Samuel 13 The Rape of Tamar.” You are invited to join us.
8:45 AM Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan Churches
Meet Father Shin at Trinity Church, Wall Street, at 8:45 AM for Morning Prayer. The tour follows.
The Calendar for the First Week after Pentecost
Monday Saint Barnabas the Apostle (Transferred)
Wednesday Saint Basil the Great, Bishop
Thursday Evelyn Underhill, Theologian
Friday Joseph Butler,Bishop
Saturday Ember Day
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend Allen Shin, curate, The Reverend Thomas Breidenthal, assistant, The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, assisting priests, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.