Men in Black
Last Sunday Father Weiler, Father Smith and I went to lunch after the Solemn Mass. I think this is the first time the three of us have tried to do this on a Sunday. We went last week because it was the opportunity for the three of us to talk about plans for the fall and winter. Father Smith had just gotten back from vacation. Father Weiler leaves on Monday, July 15. Carpe diem.
Until a few months ago, I hardly noticed people looking at me when I wear clerical clothing. These days, I notice. Even now, most of the time, people are not hostile. As the three of us walked through Bryant Park, we were stopped by some tourists to pose for a photograph. Just before we got back to the church we were stopped again by some very young, aggressive lay Roman Catholic adult males. Conservative, hip Roman Catholics. I don’t get questions about stem-cell research on the streets of New York every day.
There are sometimes when I like to feel my age. These kids had all the wonderful passion of youth. Many if not all human beings go through and grow through different stages of life. There were six or eight of them and three of us. In less than five minutes we covered stem-cell research, whether Peter was really the Pope, and abortion. They really didn’t know a lot. And I think your parish clergy tried without any condescension to suggest that there would be other places their convictions might take them, that there were other things to know about some very complicated things. The only part of their response which troubled me was them saying that beliefs were more important than truth. Of course, that is not what Jesus said.
The Church as an institution always gets in trouble when it doesn’t tell the truth. We human individuals always get in trouble when we don’t tell the truth. Truth is at the heart of the reality which is the Holy Trinity. Truth is not always easy to perceive or to judge. But it is truth about ourselves and our world that sets us free. You and I are called to seek the truth and want to seek the truth. God is love and God is truth. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Eileen, Gloria, Robert, Jerri, Myra, Tessie, Marion, Olga, Rick and Charles, priest. Pray also for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 15: 1986 Peter A. J. McGrane, 1987 Allen C. Satterfield, 1989 Robert Fox Davis.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 55:1-5, 10-13, Psalm 65:9-14, Romans 8:9-17, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, July 13, by Father Smith and on Saturday, July 20 by Father Gerth.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . On Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be Air in D from Suite no. 3, and the postlude will be Toccata in d-moll, BWV 538 (“Dorian”) both by J. S. Bach. We welcome Robert McDermitt as the organist for Solemn Mass this Sunday. The soloist is Michele Kennedy, soprano, and the anthem at Communion is I will lift up mine eyes from Biblical Songs, Op. 99 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904).
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Flowers are needed for the Sundays, August 4, Sunday, August 18, and Sunday, August 25. If you wish to give them, please contact the parish office or send an email . . . The Reverend Joel M. Ives, a former seminarian at Saint Mary’s, was installed as rector of Saint Paul’s Church, Nantucket, on July 8. Congratulations, Father! . . . The Board of Trustees meets on Monday, July 15, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . On Thursday, July 18, Peter Anthony, an English aspirant for Holy Orders will arrive to begin a two-month internship with us. He has just graduated from Oxford and will be spending the next year as a lay pastoral assistant at Saint Paul’s Church, Tottenham, London. He’s met Father Shin (our former curate now at Oxford) . . . Our interns from Sewanee will be with us until July 26 . . . Attendance last Sunday 214.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . The Feast of the Assumption falls on Thursday, August 15, this year. An Procession & Solemn Mass will be at 6:00 PM. There will be an organ recital at 5:30 PM played by Robert McCormick. The Right Reverend C. Christopher Epting will preside, the Rector will be celebrant and the Reverend Dr. Peter Galloway will preach. Father Galloway, now vicar of Emmanuel Church, Hampsted Heath, came to Saint Mary’s twenty years ago as a seminarian. It will be a special honor to have him with us again. The music for the Mass will be “Missa ‘Assumpta est Maria’” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The motets will be Ave Virgo sanctissima by Francisco Geurrero, and Alma redemptoris mater by Palestrina . . . On Wednesday, September 11, 2003, our parish will offer a Solemn Requiem Mass at 12:00 PM. The celebrant and preacher will be the Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, vicar bishop for New York City. The parish choir will sing “Missa pro defunctis” by Tomás Luis de Victoria. Black vestments will be worn. This will be our major commemoration on this day. We hope that many of our active Sunday communicants can plan to be here for this Mass on this day . . . On Friday, September 13, 2003, the parish will offer Solemn Mass for the Eve of Holy Cross Day. There will be a choral recital at 5:30 PM. The Rector will be celebrant and preacher. The music will be “Mass for Five Voices” by William Byrd. Anthems will be by Tallis and Lotti. The Choral Scholars from Princeton, New Jersey will sing. Following the Mass, a Relic of the True Cross will be offered for Veneration in the Lady Chapel . . . The choir season begins (and Sung Matins and Solemn Evensong & Benediction return) on Sunday, September 29, 2003, the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels.
MASS IN CHINESE . . . While I was at Saint Gregory’s Abbey I picked up a book which I had known since seminary, “Mass of the Roman Rite,” two volumes, by Josef Jungmann. It was written originally in German, I believe. It was translated and published in the United States in 1950. It is a major reference work on the Mass. It is a different book than I thought. Reading through portions of the books, I realized for the first time that it wasn’t a large-scale ritual manual. On every page Jungmann is concerned not about ceremonies but about the liturgical act. Yes, the book is also full of interesting details and insights. One which I came across and found especially fascinating was a footnote to the effect that permission had been granted to missionaries in China at the beginning of the sixteenth century to translate the liturgy from Latin to Chinese. Jungmann said this was permitted because Chinese was a literary language. Because of the distances involved in communication between China and Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the permission was never received. Thirty years later, the emergence of the Protestant Reformation had altered the thinking of the leadership in Rome and permission was withdrawn. The footnote made me think. When did English and German become literary languages? Certainly not when Augustine went to Canterbury or Boniface to Mainz. It made me wonder what course the mission in China might have taken if Mass had been celebrated from almost the beginning in Chinese. It also reminded me how little I do know. Again, the most important thing about this monumental work – and why I am sure it continues to capture the minds and hearts of those who study it, was Jungmann’s vision of Christ present in the assembly. S.G.
A Prayer for the Mission of the Church
Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ:
Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness
and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Matthew Weiler, curate, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assistant,
The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.