We will begin the month of November with the great privilege of the Visitation of the Bishop of New York. We will end the month of November with the great privilege of the Ordination of a Priest by the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Church. In Matthew’s Gospel the Kingdom of heaven is described by Jesus as something small that is always growing into something great. I hope it is not presumptuous of me to like to think of our parish community as something small that is indeed growing.
The Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk has known Saint Mary’s for many years. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the General Theological Seminary. After serving in parishes in New Jersey and New York, he was an archdeacon of this diocese before being called to serve as dean of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. On April 25, 1998 he was consecrated bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of New York. Upon the retirement of Bishop Grein he immediately became our Bishop on July 1, 2001. He and his wife, Karen Sisk, were with us for Ascension Day last year. This is his first “Visitation” to us as Bishop of New York.
Friday, November 2, is All Souls’ Day. On All Saints’ and on All Souls’ in addition to the solemn liturgies in the evening there will be Said Mass with Hymns at Noon. Slowly, Saint Mary’s appears to be developing a greater relationship with people who work in our area. Earlier this year we had huge crowds on Ash Wednesday and there was an enormous attendance on the national day of prayer on the Friday after September 11. The Said Masses with Hymns at Noon (not 12:15 PM) on these days is part of our work to find a liturgy that is appropriate for the needs of many who work in our neighborhood.
The parish staff and clergy have been working very hard on preparing these liturgies (and the Ordination!) as have many lay volunteers. November is a time for remembrance. The days shorten (and I remind you that Daylight Savings Time returns this Sunday morning) and cold weather descends. The transitory nature of our human lives is all too apparent for us who live in New York. Few of us are not carrying in our hearts that petition from the Prayer Book that we be granted the grace of not dying suddenly and unprepared.
The determination in the hearts and souls of our parish and our city is extraordinary. Christ came that we might have life. You and I have the opportunity to live the Paschal Mystery every day, to stare death and evil down while rejoicing in the gift of life. In a very real sense for Christians it is always Easter. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Karen who is hospitalized, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph and Mark, and for Alex, Marion, Harold, Olga, Carl, Eleanor, John, Peter, Michael, Kenneth, Ursula, Tessie, Jennifer, John, Jolene, Dorene, Christina, Julia, Arthur, priest, and Charles, priest.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 26: 1987 Dorothea Moran; October 31: 1964 Earl Brandt Bird; 1990: David Hessing; November 1: 1997 Mark Hamilton; November 2: 1957 Elsinore Janmott; 1958: C. Y. Wong; 1960: Mabel Amelia Hoover; 1970: John Arthur Schwarz; 1973: Howard Montague Smith; Doris White; 1976: Winona Claire Peterson; 1982: Robert William Kennedy; 1983: Marie Anne Andokian; 1987: Clasine A. Van De Geer.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Jeremiah 14:1-10, 19-22, Psalm 84:1-6, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18, Luke 18:9-14 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, October 27 by Father Smith and on Saturday, November 3 by Father Garrison . . . NOTES ON MUSIC . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday will be Prelude on Saint Columba by Henry G. Ley (1887-1962) and the Postlude will be Paean by Peter Hurford (20th century). The Mass setting is Communion Service in E (Collegium Regale) by Harold Darke (1888-1976) and the anthem at communion is O how amiable by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). On All Saints’ Day, November 1, there will be an organ recital at 5:30 which will include works of Preston, Jongen, and Bach. The Mass setting that evening is Office of Holy Communion (Collegium Regale) by Herbert Howells (1892-1983). The anthem at communion is And I saw a new heaven by Edgar Bainton (1880-1956). The postlude that evening will be Paean, also by Howells. On All Souls’ Day, November 2, the choir will sing Messe de Requiem by Gabriel Fauré as the ordinary of the Mass.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Karen Benson continues in the medical intensive care unit at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center. Please keep her in your prayers . . . Father Charles Whipple is home and doing well following his treatment at Saint Vincent’s last week . . . John Beddingfield has been made a Postulant for Holy Orders by Bishop Sisk. We are delighted and look forward to John’s ordination in the Episcopal Church . . . It’s not too late to take a “Journey in Faith,” our Christian formation course that meets on Sundays from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM after the Solemn Mass . . . Noel Hennelly wants to thank all at Saint Mary’s who have included Patrick Brown in their prayers. Patrick was one of many firefighters who died at the World Trade Center. There will be a Memorial Mass for him at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday, November 9, at 2:00 PM. For details about the wake please call the Campbell Funeral Home, 1076 Madison Avenue at 80th Street . . . Yes, there are some small clean spots on several paintings in the church and on the large canvas in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Luca Bonetti, an art conservator, was here last week to evaluate paintings in four places, Saint Joseph’s Hall, the Lady Chapel, the Baptistry and the painting of the Flight to Egypt on the north wall of the church (near the Shrine of Christ the King) . . . Attendance last Sunday 210.
AT THE VISITATION . . . The visitation of the diocesan bishop, the principal bishop of the diocese, is an occasion of no little importance in Christian communities. Bishop Sisk has pastoral responsibility and jurisdiction for all other members of the clergy who function in any congregation in his diocese. There are several liturgical signs to express our reverence for his office. Most importantly, Bishop Sisk will be with us to preside at the rites of Christian Initiation, one of the great offices of a bishop. It is customary for gifts to be offered to the bishop’s discretionary fund upon his or her visitation to a parish. Envelopes for this purpose will be included with the service bulletin. Checks should be made payable to The Diocese of New York with the Bishop’s name on the memo line. Checks made out in this way also be sent to the parish office and we will forward them to the Bishop. And there will be a festive reception after the liturgy to welcome our Bishop and the newly baptized.
SAINTS ALIVE! . . . Wednesday evenings, November 7 and 14 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study. For two evenings, John Beddingfield will lead a discussion that will look at the role of saints in the history of the church, in the context of the Anglican tradition and in our own lives. A part of the class will involve reflecting upon the liturgies of All Saints’ and All Souls’ and the ways in which this “season of saints” can speak to us. Come and join the conversation.
WOMEN’S GROUP . . . The Fall debut of the Women’s Spirituality Group has been delayed but not for long. Lauren Winner, a member of another Episcopal parish in the city who has often attended services at Saint Mary’s, will be leading the group. She is a doctoral student at Columbia University and is the author of numerous articles (mostly in religion and culture). Her first book is forthcoming from Doubleday and is tentatively titled Confessions of a Christian Cosmo-Girl. Mother Rosemari Sullivan will also be helping to lead the group. The first meeting will be a weeknight in November as yet undetermined. Look for details in next week’s Angelus. Father Weiler describes Lauren as “erudite yet earthy,” as well as “quite fun and a little funky.” “I expect that everyone will absolutely love Lauren,” says Father Weiler, “ She’s a convert from Orthodox Judaism, she drinks scotch, she wears ‘cats-eye’ glasses, she knows her theology backwards and forwards.” “What’s not to love?”
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost
Monday Saint Simon & Saint Jude, Apostles (transferred)
Eve of All Saints’ Day (6:00 PM)
Thursday All Saints’ Day
Said Mass with Hymns 12:00 PM
Procession & Solemn Mass 6:00 PM
Friday All Souls’ Day Abstinence
Said Mass with Hymns 12:00 PM
Solemn Mass & Blessing of the Vault 6:00 PM
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend Matthew Weiler, curate,
The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.