The first time I served as subdeacon I was a senior at Nashotah House. Following English university practice (recall that the universities were Church institutions until the late nineteenth century), the fall term was called the “Michaelmas Term.” Michaelmas was the first big feast of the new school year in those days. I felt a little pressure, shall we say, in that role that night. But what I most remember is the text for the epistle itself which I sang, Revelation 12:7-12. I practiced it so much that I can usually recall the text and the chant most days:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
Satan, evil and sin are realities of creation. They are realities I do not understand; but they do exist. I usually think of the triumph of the cross as the triumph of life and love over death and pain. That’s where my heart and soul repose. But there is more to it than that. It was Satan, evil, sin and human beings who embraced Satan, evil and sin who brought Jesus to the cross. It is Satan, evil and sin which are still seducing too much of humankind.
The Masses and Offices this Sunday will be very special. I hope you will be able to be here. And I hope you will sense the presence of God’s loving providence in your life every day. Satan is still active in our world, but his time is short. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Sarah, Grover, Annie, Robert, Angel, Peter, Michael, Elenita, George, Eileen, Gloria, Jerri, Myra, Tessie, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick and Charles, priest. Pray for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John . . . Your prayers are also asked for the repose of the soul of Harold . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . October 1: 1996 William Wolf; October 2: 1961 Beatrice Irwin Packington; 1985 Herbert Eric Schmidt.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Robert Clepper’s father, Harold Lynn Clepper, died at his home in Huntsville, Texas on Sunday, September 22. Please pray for him, for Robert and for all who mourn.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Genesis 28:10-17, Psalm 103:19-22, Revelation 12:7-12, John 1:47-51 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, September 28, by Father Weiler and on Saturday, October 5, by Father Gerth.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday we welcome the return of the full choir for Solemn Mass. We are also glad to return to the full Sunday schedule. In addition, we begin a series of weekly organ recitals, before Evensong at 4:40. These recitals are part of the celebration of our organ’s 70th anniversary year and are a wonderful way to hear great music played on our wonderful organ by superb organists. The recitalist this Sunday is Izumi Fujimori, from Princeton, New Jersey, who will play works of Jehan Alain. At the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be In paradisum from Esquisses Byzantines by Henri Mulet (1878-1967), and the postlude will be Chorale Prelude on ‘Croft’s 136th’ by C. H. H. Parry (1848-1918). Both pieces are appropriate for Michaelmas, being inspired by texts that contain references to angels. The Mass setting is Missa ‘Descendit Angelus Domini’ by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) and the motet at Communion is Duo seraphim by Juan Esquivel (c. 1563-after 1613). Our Postcommunion hymn, “Angels and ministers”, is taken from The Hymnal 1940, and may be unfamiliar to some people. It is a wonderful text composed for this feast for The Hymnal 1940 and set to a familiar tune, ‘Slane.’ The parish clergy and musicians cannot come up with any reasons why this hymn was not included in The Hymnal 1982.
CLERGY NOTES . . . We note with thanksgiving that Friday, September 27, marked Bishop Christopher Epting’s fourteenth anniversary of consecration to the episcopate. We are also thankful for his presence here last Sunday to celebrate and preach at the Solemn Mass. Bishop Epting will celebrate and preach next on Sunday, October 20 . . . The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa is moving on to other ministries and will no longer be serving as an assisting priest at Saint Mary’s. We are thankful for his service among us.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Jack Cortner, former trustee and former treasurer, now living in Tennessee, is recuperating from successful heart surgery. He is doing well and sends his best regards to friends at Saint Mary’s . . . Thanks go to Pat Higgins and Sean Cassidy for their repair of a cruet and for making, with Stephanie Felshin, new dust covers for our smoke room . . . Thanks to Dale Bonenberger for solving the sanctuary lamp problem . . . Many have asked for the present address of our English summer intern. Here it is: Peter Anthony will be at Saint Paul’s Vicarage, 60, Park Lane, Tottenham, London, N17OJR.. He is serving there as a lay pastoral associate while he continues to discern a vocation to the priesthood . . . Attendance last Sunday 202.
OCTOBER WALKING TOUR OF CHURCHES . . . Saturday, October 12 continues our tour of New York City churches, begun last year. Father Weiler and Mr. Ben Northrup, an architect and friend of the curate, will lead a walking tour of several historical Episcopal and other churches of the Upper West Side. The tour departs from Saint Mary’s at 10:00 AM and will conclude about 3:00 PM. In the midst of the tour, we’ll be stopping, of course, to have lunch. Please contact Father Weiler by telephone (212-869-5830) or email email@example.com if you would like to join the tour.
NEW TO SAINT MARY’S? . . . Join us on Monday evenings, October 7, 14, 21, and 28 to learn more about our parish and the Christian Church. Brochures are in the mail and at the back of the church. Call the parish office for more information if you didn’t receive a brochure.
READING WITH SAINT MARY’S . . . This is a group that reads, thinks, prays, and questions together… but only meets once! During the month of October, we’ll be reading Writing in the Dust: After September 11 by Rowan Williams. Please email any questions, thoughts, or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet for dinner and discussion on Wednesday evening, October 30, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study.
GOSPEL CELEBRATION 2002 . . . Saint Mary’s will be the venue for this year’s Gospel Celebration 2002, a concert by Broadway Inspirational Voices to benefit for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids. In 1994, Michael McElroy founded the Broadway Gospel Choir, and then in 1999 he founded the Broadway Inspirational Voices. The choir is comprised of actors performing on and off Broadway. Tickets on Sunday, October 6 are $35.00, General Seating. VIP tickets for Sunday night are $60.00. On Monday, October 7, all tickets are $35.00. Call 212-840-0770 or online.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday Saint Michael and All Angels
Solemn Mass 11:00 AM
Solemn Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM
Monday Jerome, priest & monk
Tuesday Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus
Wednesday The Holy Guardian Angels
Friday Francis, friar 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 Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priest, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.