As much as I would dearly love for the congregation to process through Times Square during the Solemn Mass on August 15th, and even though I have announced we would do that, as I’ve stood on the corner of 46th Street and Seventh Avenue at 6:00 PM I have come to the conclusion that we should not attempt to process on this day at this time. I really love the witness of this congregation showing its presence in this neighborhood. Our public processions on Sundays have worked very well and have been a wonderful witness, a witness from which our community can profit. But the crowds are so large on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 PM at this time of year that it just doesn’t make any sense for us to process out of doors. Instead, we will process indoors, as is customary.
The celebration will be a particular joy for so many. It will be a celebration of Father Wells’ fortieth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Has any rector before celebrated such an occasion here? It will also be an opportunity to give particular thanks for the work of the Holy Spirit that led the founders of this Christian community to be so committed to a full expression of incarnational, sacramental, catholic Christianity. And of course, this parish community has always been under the title and patronage of Mary, the virgin Mother of God.
The liturgy will begin at 6:00 PM. This would be a great night to bring friends to Saint Mary’s and Brother Lawrence Guild is planning a wonderful reception. The full choir will sing the Mass and Bishop Catherine Roskam and Bishop E. Don Taylor will be in choir. It should really be a splendid evening and I hope very much you may be able to be here. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Olga, Helen, Shirley, Hannah, Dawn, Mary, Lucille, Frances, Eleanor, Carl, Harold, Frank and Deborah.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 8:1963 Charles Augustus Edgar; August 12:1987 Toyoko Anne Tsutsumi Morton.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Transfiguration of the Lord: Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:13-21, Luke 9:28-36 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant: Father Shin, Preacher: Richard Lawson, 10:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Gerth, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Gerth, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Shin . . . Confessions will be heard on August 5 by Father Garrison . . . Confessions will be heard on August 12 by Father Shin.
CLERGY NOTES . . . We are very happy for the Reverend Mary Haddad who has been called by Saint Bartholomew’s Church, New York City, to serve full-time on their staff. Mother Haddad was with us during her last year in seminary and has been serving as an assisting deacon this summer. We look forward to her ordination to the priesthood later this year and we are so very glad that she is so near.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We checked the file: When the Transfiguration falls on a Sunday as it did in 1995 it was observed with a Solemn Mass, not a Procession & Solemn Mass . . . Ann Sokolowski reports that we are in need of several punch bowls. If you have one to donate it will be appreciated . . . Phil Burgess and John Schultz are taking a break from serving. They have been at the altar for four years! We are thankful for their service . . . We welcome Joy Carmichael to Saint Vincent’s Guild, the servers group at Saint Mary’s. New members are always welcome and if you would like to serve please speak with Father Shin . . . Altar flowers are needed for Sunday, September 10 and Sunday, September 24. If you are interested in donating flowers in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving please call the parish office at 869-5830 . . . St. Mary’s Cursillo group picnic was cancelled last Sunday. They will try again this Sunday at 2:00 pm in Central Park. Enter on West 100 Street, look to left and you will see the group. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP Tom Lisa at his home (212) 265-4899 . . . Attendance last Sunday 121.
FROM SAINT VINCENT’S GUILD . . . (The Rector asked Sean Cassidy to write about the work of the MC at a Solemn Mass. Here is his account.) . . . If you are in the sanctuary during any Solemn Mass, you might hear the words “genuflect, ascend, turn and sit.” The person giving these instructions is the “MC,” that is, the master of ceremonies of the Mass. The MC here is responsible for directing the flow of the liturgy and for making sure that things happen when they should. The MC begins his Sunday at about 9:30 AM in the sacristy, reviewing the liturgy and consulting with the clergy about particular aspects of the day’s Mass. He then arranges the vesting drawers for the celebrant, deacon and sub-deacon. He makes sure that all vestments and the high altar frontal are correct for the season and day of the liturgical year. The MC sets up the sacred vessels and the linen cloths. He asks the clergy to verify the contents of the high altar tabernacle so that he can prepare the vessels that the people will bring forward at the Preparation. The list of duties continues: filling the aspergilium with holy water used for sprinkling, preparing the altar missal and the gospel book, checking lectern lessons and prayers, placing the chasuble on the altar rail, placing the sanctus bells under the first acolyte's chair, and checking to see if other details are covered. Once he completes these preparations the MC makes sure there is a Lay Reader and meets with the other servers. The MC coordinates the servers with their assignments (thurifer, acolytes, crucifer, and torchbearer). At 10:45 the MC rings the tower bell from the sacristy to announce that Mass will begin in 15 minutes. He assists the sacred ministers with their vesting, gathers the servers, and at precisely 11 AM tolls the tower bell again. He then coordinates and leads the procession into the church and the sanctuary.
During the Mass, the MC guides all movement within the sanctuary by giving verbal commands, gestures and cues. He must be alert, aware, and capable of anticipating all that follows in the Mass. One will rarely observe the MC sitting down, since the MC is “on call” throughout the Mass. He continues to coordinate and oversee the various movements of the Mass, through the Communion and the concluding prayers. At the end of the Mass, the MC leads the procession back into the sacristy, where he essentially reverses all the preparatory activities. He makes sure that everything is returned to its proper place, that all vessels are cleaned, that candles are extinguished, that all is put away safely, and that books and missal are set up for the next celebration of the Mass.
Only then does the MC breathe a very big sigh of relief and join the rest of the assembly at the coffee hour …. He is ALWAYS late. When there is a high feast day, there are usually two MC’s and there are much longer and more involved preparatory meetings. St. Mary's is very fortunate to have six MCs currently serving at Solemn Mass. They are: Phillip Burgess, Chuck Carson, Howard Christian, Winston Deane, Godfrey Gregg, and yours truly, Sean Cassidy.
(Editor’s note: Sean failed to mention that the MC, like all the altar servers, is a volunteer. Their time and energy given to Saint Mary’s is but one tangible expression of their great faith.)
Gifts for the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
Have Been Received This Week
In Thanksgiving for the Ministry
of the Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells
Worship at Saint Mary’s
The Holy Eucharist
On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM. Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:20 PM. On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.
The Daily Office
On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:30 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM. Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM. On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.
The Reconciliation of Penitents
Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00. Appointments can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.
The ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
The Calendar for the Ninth Week after Pentecost
Monday John Mason Neale, priest
Tuesday Dominic, priest and friar
Thursday Laurence, deacon and martyr
Friday Clare, abbess Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
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.