From The Curate: Thank You
Several people have asked me since my ordination last Friday, "So, how are you feeling? Do you feel different?" My answer has repeatedly been, "Yes, I feel more grateful, both to the Lord, and to more people than I have ever felt before." I want each and every member and friend of Saint Mary's to know that I am, almost more than words can express, deeply appreciative for all the prayers, money, time, and energy which went into making my ordination an experience I shall never, ever forget. Thank you for your overwhelming generosity. I am honored to be your priest. Matthew Weiler
From the Rector: Sunday Evensong Returns
Beginning on Sunday evening, January 6, and continuing at least through May, we are going to offer Solemn Evensong, Sermon & Eucharistic Benediction every Sunday night at 5:00 PM. We are planning for this to be a liturgical, not a choral Evensong. I suspect the congregation for this service will grow slowly but surely. Of course, wonderful Evensongs are offered in the city. But I believe most of them tend to be more choral than congregational and don’t include Eucharistic Benediction. I think that this is something Saint Mary’s should be doing.
Our first service will be on the Epiphany and I am delighted that Bishop Christopher Epting will be our preacher for this first Evensong. There will be opportunities for people to serve as ushers and altar servers, who need not be part of the Sunday morning crews. I hope in the long run we may even have a volunteer choir to sing on Sunday nights. But liturgical Evensong is about the Sunday assembly praying, and those in the congregation will be singing the psalms, the canticles and the prayers appointed for them.
Father Weiler and I will be the principal officiants. Robert McCormick will be the organist. The sermon will be on the appointed Lessons for Sunday Evening Prayer, not for the Sunday Eucharist.
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will conclude the service. It will be about one hour in length. It will become, at least for the next five months, the only Sunday evening service at Saint Mary’s.
For those who know Sunday Evensong, I don’t really need to sell the service. It is one of the glories of Christian worship, especially of the Anglican tradition. It is the second most ancient of form for Christian worship, after the Sunday morning Eucharist. The hymns are great. The psalms will be sung to simple plainsong, the canticles to familiar tones. It will be prayerful. It will be beautiful. It will be holy. Stephen Gerth
PARISH PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Helena, Alex, Marion, Harold, Olga, Eleanor, John, Peter, Michael, Kenneth, Ursula, Tessie, Jennifer, John, Jolene, Dorene, Christina, Julia, Maureen, Marie, Jake, Rick, Joan, Arthur, priest, and Charles, priest, for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned and David, and the repose of the soul of Mary Lou . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . December 11: 1962 Carol Elizabeth Hollister; December 12: 1961 Jeanette Bolton, 1962 Martha Townroe; December 14: 1952 Amy Florence Nicholas, 1977 Edward Miller; December 15: 1989 Lorel Brownell Britt.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Gerald McKelvey’s mother, Mary Lou Zumbro, died on Wednesday, December 5. She was eighty years old and was a resident of York, Pennsylvania. Please pray for her, for Gerald and for all who mourn.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 1:1-10, Psalm 72:1-8, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, December 8, by Canon Garrison. The Advent Quiet Day is on Saturday, December 15. Confessions will be heard during the Quiet Day by Bishop Epting. Father Weiler will hear confessions before Evening Prayer.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday will be Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by J. S. Bach (1685-1750) and the postlude will be another setting of Nun komm, der Hieden Heiland, (BWV 661) also by Bach. These two pieces are both settings of the same Advent hymn (hymn 54 in the Hymnal 1982) from Bach’s Leipzig Chorales. The Mass setting is Mass in the Phrygian mode by Charles Wood (1866-1926) and the anthem at communion is Lo, in the time appointed by Healey Willan (1880-1968), the great English-born organist and composer who made his home in Canada for most of his life. He was for many years organist of the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Toronto, the leading of Anglo-Catholic parish in that city. Both his motet and the Wood Mass are cast in a similar vein, hearkening back to an earlier style that helps make both pieces truly wonderful liturgical, not concert, music.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Helena Handy has moved to Cabrini Hospice. Please keep her and her husband, George Handy, in your prayers . . . Many thanks to Howard Christian for the Advent Wreath . . . Many thanks to all who helped make the Ordination so special . . . The Board of Trustees meets on Monday, December 10, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . Reminder: Father Thomas Breidenthal will be with us to celebrate and preach the Solemn Mass on Sunday, December 16. On January 1, Father assumes his new appointment as dean of religious life at Princeton University . . . Looking ahead: The Annual Mass and Meeting of the Society of King Charles the Martyr will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2002, at 11:00 AM at the Church of the Transfiguration. Information about the Society of King Charles the Martyr is available on the ushers’ table in the church . . . Attendance Last Sunday: 227.
SAINT MARY'S STEWARDSHIP 2002 . . . As we go to press 41 commitments to the work of the parish in 2002 have been made. These pledges total $102,662.00. The second stewardship mailing, for those who have not responded to the first appeal, is scheduled to be mailed on Monday, December 10.
NEW ALTAR LINENS . . . The Book of Common Prayer (1928) required that the Holy Table be covered with a “fair white linen cloth.” The present Prayer Book simply says a “clean white cloth.” Linen is not as common as it once was; but in most Episcopal parishes the tradition is so strong that people really do make the effort to use real linen. It is beautiful. Traditionally, altar linens are also still sewn by hand. They are not inexpensive, especially for us, as we happen to have an enormous altar. The best church linens presently available come from Madeira and are sold through the religious goods store C.M. Almy & Son, Inc., located for many years in New York, now in Greenwich, Connecticut. It usually requires at least six months for delivery of a fair linen. We need at least two new ones. The fair linens for the principal altar in the church are at the end of their serviceable life. They are cared for with much love and devotion by Eileen Whittle. It is a lot of work. The linens must be laundered properly. Starch and bleach are not used on pure linen. They are then ironed while damp. The cloths for the high altar are eighteen inches wide and almost twenty feet long. Each of the two new cloths will cost about six hundred dollars. Each will last for decades. Fair linens make wonderful memorials. A hand embroidered memorial inscription can be added, discreetly, in white thread, to one of the edges of each of the linens. If you are interested in giving one or both of these new linens please speak with the Rector.
ADVENT QUIET DAY . . . "The holiday season" is for many a source of great stress rather than a festive time of relaxation. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, why not take a few hours away from the world to prepare spiritually for the birth and epiphany of our Lord? Our upcoming "Advent Quiet Day" is just such a time for worship, prayer, and reflection. The Right Reverend C. Christopher Epting, Deputy for Ecumenical and Inter-faith Relations of the Episcopal Church will be at SMV on Saturday, December 15 to guide our "retreat." The Quiet Day begins with Morning Prayer at 10:30 AM and ends with Benediction at 3:00 PM. In between are additional worship times and periods for silent meditation. A simple lunch will be provided at 1:00 PM.
WOMEN'S SPIRITUALITY GROUP DECEMBER MEETING . . . The brand new Women's Spirituality Group is just starting to get underway. Why not get in on the ground floor? Discussion at the first meeting centered on the schedule for future meetings and the goals of the Group. That planning continues and you can help! The second meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict's Hall. Mother Sullivan, the Group's co-facilitator will celebrate the evening Mass at 6:20 PM, which immediately precedes the meeting.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday of Advent
Monday Advent Weekday
Tuesday Advent Weekday
Women’s Group 7:00 PM
Wednesday Advent Weekday
Thursday Advent Weekday
American Boychoir Concert 8:00 PM
Friday Advent Weekday
Saturday Of our Lady
Advent Quiet Day 10:30 AM
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.