FROM THE RECTOR: ORDINATION OF A DEACON
The Right Reverend C. Franklin Brookhart, bishop of Montana, will ordain Mary Julia Jett as a deacon on Monday, February 6, at 6:00 PM at Saint Mary’s. Mary is in her second year at the General Theological Seminary. With the permission of our own bishop, she will be an assisting deacon in the parish until graduation in May, 2013. Many know her from her service at the altar. On Sunday mornings she also assists Deacon Weiner Tompkins in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. New York Polyphony will sing at the ordination. All are invited to attend the service and the reception which follows.
In our diocese, ordinations are generally celebrated at the cathedral. But this is a service of the diocese of Montana—of course, with the permission of the bishop of New York. This is only the second ordination at Saint Mary’s in my time here. There are many reasons to attend the service. Mary is the second seminarian from Montana in recent years—many will remember the Reverend Jedediah Fox, now curate at the Church of St. Michael and St. George, St. Louis. Bishop Brookhart is a friend of Saint Mary’s and asked if this service could take place here. It will all be very special.
Mary is a graduate of Purdue University. Before entering seminary, she worked in graphic design and as a kindergarten teacher. At General, she has been an active member of the student community, serving as a student representative to the seminary’s board of trustees and in a number of roles connected with the chapel. She was awarded the Robert C. Dentan Prize for excellence in Old Testament studies. (And she plays on the seminary’s flag football team!) It’s been great to have her with us at Saint Mary’s, and I’m looking forward very much to her being with us in the coming academic year.
Like many areas of the Christian life, ordination is a very complicated subject. The common life of the worldwide Christian community was far more varied before the Middle Ages than most of us were taught in Sunday School or in seminary in the not-too-distant past.
The only priesthood that the New Testament knows is the “high priest” Jesus (Hebrews 4:14) and the “royal priesthood” of all of the baptized (1 Peter 2:5,9). The words translated as “bishop” and “deacon” do appear in the New Testament; but what did they mean to those who used them? It’s all too easy—and intellectually dishonest—to read the practices of succeeding generations into the age of the New Testament.
That said, the calling of persons by Jesus and by his disciples for preaching the gospel and the care of the Christian community is clearly witnessed in the New Testament. When Paul writes to the Romans, he commends to them “our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae” (Romans 16:1). In Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, he writes “to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Philippians 1:1). In the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles ask their “brothers and sisters” to choose seven men to care for the widows in the community. The community presented a group of seven to the apostles who set them aside with prayer and the laying on of hands (Acts 6:1-6).
In Western Europe, from the ninth century a person called to priesthood had to be ordained a deacon first. The Anglican Church retained this requirement at the Reformation—and of course, only priests could be made bishop under this scheme. It’s worth noting that the Roman Church has maintained this medieval tradition with one exception: any Roman Catholic male may be elected bishop of Rome—thus preserving the ancient tradition. I think it is fair to say that bishops generally get almost as nervous at the idea of ordaining persons to the priesthood without first ordaining them deacons as they do if one raises the question of cleaning up the theology of confirmation—a big subject for another day.
The Book of Common Prayer  provided entrance songs for the ordination of priests and bishops, but not for deacons—and none since has prescribed what must be used. So, we have felt free to choose. The service will begin with the entrance chant for Trinity Sunday, Caritas Dei. This is the text in English, “The love of God has been poured into our hearts, alleluia, by his Spirit which dwells in us, alleluia, alleluia.” This Spirit has made us God’s children and we believe this Spirit has led the Church to call Mary to this ministry among us. All are invited to be here for the ordination of a deacon. Stephen Gerth
THE ORDINATION OF OUR BISHOP COADJUTOR . . . Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has announced that the diocese of New York has received the required consents for the election of the Reverend Canon Andrew M.L. Dietsche as bishop coadjutor. In the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and a majority of the standing committees (composed of clergy and laypersons) of all the dioceses must consent to the ordination of a new bishop. The consecration will be on Saturday, March 10, at 10:30 AM at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. All are invited.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR JoAnn, Gerald, Aston, Amy, Helga, Kyle, Kellie, Jim, Odin, Arpene, Chandra, Sharon, Ann, Ruth, Dorothy, Richard, Linda, Gert, Rick, and Deborah Francis, religious; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Matthew, Mark, and Rob; and for Mary who is to be ordained deacon . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . February 5: 1889 Hermann Lichtner; 1897 Sarah Louise Stone; 1903 Walter Malius; 1906 Henry M. Bolton; 1922 Lois Sherman Flick; 1939 Therese Bishop; 1964 Frances Field Swanton; 1978 Jacob Peter Flipse; 1993 Gerald Dennis Bergstrom; 1995 Leo Szalkowski.
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE for Alan Kwang-Tak Wong of West New York, New Jersey, and Audrey S. Lee of New York, New York. If any of you know just cause why they may not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the second time of asking. S.G.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN 2012 . . . As of January 31, we have received 177 pledges, 29 of them new pledges or pledges from households that were not able to make a pledge for 2011. Our goal for the campaign this year is $425,000. $412,698 has been pledged to date, which is 97% of our goal. A number of pledges made at the end of the year has brought us closer to our goal. If you need a new pledge card or have questions about pledging or how to pledge, please contact Father Jay Smith or call the Finance Office.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . On Sunday, February 5, Father Jay Smith will begin a three-part series in the 10:00 AM Adult Forum entitled What Do Episcopalians Believe?. . . The Super Bowl Party begins at 6:00 PM on Sunday, February 5, after Evensong and Benediction . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on Wednesday, February 8, at 6:30 PM in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House . . . The next New York Repertory Orchestra concert will be here on Saturday, February 11, at 8:00 PM . . . Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, February 4. Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, February 11.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Parishioner Gerald McKelvey is doing rehabilitation therapy at the Klingenstein Pavilion of Mount Sinai Hospital. Please keep him in your prayers . . . The Book Sale continues on Sunday in Saint Joseph’s Hall. All donations are used to serve those in need . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items and cash donations for Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please look for the collection basket in the back of the church on Sunday mornings . . . Confirmation and the other rights of Christian initiation will be celebrated at the Easter Vigil. For more information, please speak with one of the parish clergy . . . The forthcoming concerts by the Dessoff Choirs, culminating in the performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor here at Saint Mary’s, was covered this past week by the Wall Street Journal . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 206.
INSIDE THE TABERNACLE . . . When the tabernacle was removed for its lock to be fixed, Marie Rosseels volunteered to repair the linens used inside it. She remade the linen cover for the uniquely-shaped base and repaired the lace attached to the veil that hangs inside in front of the door. The base has been replaced and the veil has just returned from being cleaned. Marie, thank you very much. S.G.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The setting of the Mass ordinary on Sunday is Missa octo vocum by Hans Leo Hassler (1512–1562). Though he was Protestant, Hassler, a student in Venice of Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510–1586), wrote a good amount of Latin music for Roman Catholic liturgy (in addition to madrigals, keyboard music and instrumental music). This work for double choir (two distinct choirs of four parts each) bears the influence of the Venetian polychoral tradition. This tradition, which was prominent at the time of the transition from Renaissance to Baroque styles of music, is particularly associated with Giovanni Gabrieli, organist of Saint Mark’s, Venice (who was nephew of Andrea Gabrieli and a contemporary of Hassler). The communion motet is Reges Tharsis by John Sheppard (c. 1515–1559/60) . . . At the ordination of Mary Julia Jett on Monday, February 6, music will be sung by New York Polyphony. The mass setting is Mass for Four Voices by William Byrd (1543–1623), and the communion motet is Ave verum corpus by Grayston Ives (b. 1948). James Kennerley
ADULT CHRISTIAN EDUCATION IN FEBRUARY . . . In the Adult Forum on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM, Father Smith will be working with a new book, What Episcopalians Believe: An Introduction (Morehouse Publishing, 2011), written by the Reverend Canon Samuel Wells, dean of the Duke University Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School. Copies of the book can be purchased at amazon.com or in the parish gift shop. This may be a good class for those who would like to be confirmed or received . . . Father Smith is also leading the Wednesday Night Bible Study in reading the Letter to the Hebrews. The first four sessions of the class will take place on February 8, 15, 29, and March 7 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the Arch Room of the Mission House.
WORSHIP DURING LENT . . . Ash Wednesday is February 22. Masses will be said at 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM. There is a Sung Mass at 12:10 PM. The Right Reverend Frank T. Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church, will be celebrant and preacher for Solemn Pontifical Mass at 6:00 PM. Ashes will be distributed in the church from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM. On Fridays during Lent, Stations will be offered at 6:30 PM.
LENTEN QUIET DAY . . . Led by Father John Beddingfield, Saturday, March 3, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, The Fear of God: Our Troubles Transformed—Proverbs says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), but what does it mean to “fear” God? How does our relationship with God affect other parts of our life in which fear plays a part? Are faith and fear connected, or are they opposed to each other? Using scripture, tradition, story, and silence, this year’s Lenten Quiet Day will allow us to reflect on these questions together. Father Beddingfield will offer three meditations. There will be opportunities for quiet, prayer, and silent meditation. Those attending are invited to celebrate the Eucharist together at noonday. Coffee and tea will be served in Saint Joseph’s Hall beginning at 9:30 AM and a simple lunch will be provided following Mass. Please send an e-mail to Father Jay Smith if you think you would like to attend so he can make plans for lunch.
SUNDAY ADULT FORUM IN LENT . . . On Sundays during Lent, Father Peter Powell returns to Saint Mary’s to lead a five-part series on Genesis 1-11, the first part of the Bible’s first book. The class will be asking such questions as “what does the Bible really say about Creation and the Flood?” and “how can thinking Christians claim these stories as their own?”
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Monday, February 20, Washington’s Birthday, Federal Holiday Schedule, the church opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 2:00 PM, only the noonday services are offered and the parish offices are closed . . . Monday, March 26, The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM, the Right Reverend R. William Franklin, bishop of Western New York, celebrant and preacher.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . December 7, 2011–May 14, 2012, Transition to Christianity: Art of Late Antiquity, 3rd-7th Century AD, at the Onassis Cultural Center, Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, entrances on 51st and 52nd Streets, between Madison and Fifth Avenues . . . February 3–May 20, 2012–Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière, at the Museum of Biblical Art, 1865 Broadway at 61st Street. This exhibition presents the liturgical work of Hildreth Meière (1892-1961), who was one of the best known and most prolific Art Deco muralists of the twentieth century. Recognized during her lifetime for both her liturgical and secular work, Meière completed over 100 commissions from 1922 to 1961. Though Meière is little known today, her commissions are very well recognized and include several New York City attractions like the Red Banking Room at One Wall Street, the lobby of the Walker Lispenard Building, the 50th Street façade of Radio City Music Hall, and religious art and decoration at the Church of Saint Bartholomew and Temple Emanu-El.