FROM FATHER SMITH: THE BREAD OF LIFE, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
On Wednesday evenings after Bible study, I walk through the narthex of the church, headed home to our apartment on the fourth floor of the parish house. I almost always look through the open doors at the head of the center aisle.
At that time of day the church is usually closed. The lights have been turned off and, for reasons of safety, the candles have been extinguished. (The sextons are careful to re-light the votive candles that have burnt wicks the next morning. Though we do not claim to know the mind of God, we trust that he understands our system and continues to hear the prayers of his people!) At any rate, at that time of day all the candles have been put out, all but one: the sanctuary lamp that hangs in front of the tabernacle that sits on the high altar. That flickering light, in its silver lamp, is one way that we declare that Christ is with us and that the Blessed Sacrament has been reserved in this place.
I confess that I find that small, bright flame floating in the darkness oddly reassuring and strangely hopeful. I often think—how blessed we are that our Lord has come so close to us, that he desires to be with us in this way; and there is something about that bright point of light that reminds me that it is by grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that Christ dwells with us in the Blessed Sacrament. The tabernacle is not a cage and Christ is not our captive. For some reason, that burning candle makes me think of all the other candles that are just then shining in the darkness in the many churches in our neighborhood and in our city. How mysterious this is: “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness” (Philippians 2:5-7) and yet he is now the one who “fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). Christ is able to dwell with you and with me, to address us as we are, specific and unique; but this is not a limitation and it is not in our power to limit him or keep him all to ourselves. For he is the Son and Word, of God, present to the entire world. That flickering light reminds me that Christ is the light that shines in the darkness for me, and for you; it also reminds me that Christ is the Bread of life and the Light of the world.
On Sunday morning, toward the end of Solemn Mass, weather permitting, we will process with the Blessed Sacrament to Times Square. The Body of Christ bears Christ’s Body into the world. We will sing “Amazing Grace.” It is an amazing and joyful grace: to go forth with Christ beyond the doors of our church, to go forth with Christ to meet Christ’s Body gathered in that place, to proclaim to a hungry world that God in Christ is with us, “with [us] always, [even] to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jay Smith
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Jeanne, Rick, Ivan, Susan, Philip, Wayne, Brenda, Michael, Joseph, Jan, James, Gail, Helen, Arpene Joyce, Betty, Sharon, Chandra, Dorothy, and James, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Elizabeth, Nicholas, and Matthew . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 10: 1888 George Adam Angelo Keth; 1915 Emily Jane Mills; 1929 Mary Elizabeth Haines; 1939 Helen Julia Coaszar Davies; 1963 Kenneth M. Wilmont; 1970 Florence S. Crouch.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, June 10, 2012, The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (Corpus Christi): Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Said Mass 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass, Procession to Times Square & Eucharistic Benediction 11:00 AM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM . . . Monday, June 11, Saint Barnabas, Mass 12:10 PM & 6:20 PM . . . Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, June 9. Father Jay Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, June 16.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Thank you to all those who worked so hard to prepare for the Baby Shower last Sunday. The shower was a great success. Jananie Nair has asked us to thank the friends and members of the parish who came to the shower and who are helping her to prepare for her baby’s arrival . . . The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place on Monday, June 18, at 6:30 PM . . . Sunday, June 24, LGBT Pride March, 36th Street & Fifth Avenue to Christopher & Greenwich Streets . . . Donations are needed for altar flowers for Sunday, June 17; for all the Sundays in July; and for August 5, August 15, and August 19. If you would like to donate flowers on one of those dates, please contact the parish office . . . The Reverend Dr. Douglas J. Fisher, rector of Grace Church, Millbrook, New York, was elected the ninth bishop of Western Massachusetts, on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Father Fisher is a friend of the rector and of this parish. Please keep him and his family in your prayers . . . Several of our parish clergy celebrate the anniversary of their ordination to the diaconate this week: Father Jay Smith, June 10, 1989; Father Stephen Gerth, June 11, 1983; Father Peter Powell, June 12, 1976 . . . Sister Laura Katharine and Sister Deborah Francis will be at the convent on Friday, June 8, for the clothing of a novice . . . The Rector will be away from the parish Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17, to speak at Saint Peter's Cathedral, Saint Petersburg, Florida, on Saturday, and to preach on Sunday morning. He will return to the office on Monday, June 18 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 262.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Sunday, June 10, the Feast of Corpus Christi, is the final Sunday in the professional choir’s season. The choir sings each Sunday at the Solemn Mass from October until Corpus Christi, in addition to singing on the major feasts of the church year that fall on weekdays. The full choir will sing next at the Solemn Mass on the Feast of the Assumption, Wednesday, August 15, at 6:00 PM. Mass is preceded at 5:30 PM by an organ recital, performed by James Kennerley, organist and music director. During the summer months, services are sung by smaller groups or soloists drawn from the main choir. Please check the website for further details.
The prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning is Chant de paix by Jean Langlais (1907–1991). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Messe solennelle, Op. 16, by Louis Vierne (1870–1937), the seventy-fifth anniversary of whose death we commemorate this year. The Mass was composed in 1900 for choir and two organs. Traditionally, many large French churches have two organs: a large grand orgue in the gallery and a smaller orgue de choeur in the chancel. Our church is not arranged in that way and we have only one organ (the music can thus be adapted for one organ only), though our Aeolian–Skinner Opus 891–A, built in 1932, is strikingly similar to a French grand orgue. It has often been compared, in fact, to the organ of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, where Vierne, who was blind, was for many years organiste titulaire (he died there while in the organ gallery, just as he wished). The Mass is heard in an arrangement for brass and organ accompaniment, adapted by James Kennerley for this service. The communion song, Qui manducat, is sung to a setting by Jacob Handl (1550–1591) for five male voice parts. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Ave verum corpus by Colin Mawby (b.1936). At the preparation for Benediction, the choir sings Olivier Messiaen’s (1908–1992) sublime setting of the Eucharistic hymn O sacrum convivium. The choir and organ are joined by the Saint Mary’s Brass. James Kennerley
SUMMER SCHEDULE ON SUNDAYS . . . June 17–October 6, 2012: Said Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Said Evening Prayer 5:00 PM. Sung Matins and Solemn Evensong and Benediction resume on the first Sunday in October.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Sunday, June 24, The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist . . . Friday, June 29, Saint Peter & Saint Paul, Apostles . . . Monday, August 6, The Transfiguration of Our Lord.
THE GEORGE HANDY MEMORIAL FUND . . . A permanent fund to honor the memory of George Handy (1918-2012) has been established. A number of generous contributions have already been received from George’s many friends and admirers. Because of his ministry of welcoming visitors and his close association with the parish during his lifetime, the fund will be used for the conservation of the parish’s art and archives. Donations can be made to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, noting “George Handy Memorial Fund.”
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of the reception on August 15, please contact the parish office. We are also happy to receive donations to support our hospitality efforts on Sunday morning!
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please consider making a regular donation to the Food Pantry. Look for the basket in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall. You may make a cash donation as well. If you would like more information about how the Food Pantry works or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., or Father Jay Smith . . . The LGBT Pride March will take place this year on Sunday, June 24. For the past two years the Episcopal Church has had the largest contingent in the March. The LGBT Concerns Committee of the Diocese of New York is, once again, seeking donations to support the Episcopal Church’s presence at the March. Donations may be sent to Paul J. Lane, c/o The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014. Checks should be made payable to the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields. Please write “Pride March” in the Memo Line.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . Summer Term 2012 at the General Theological Seminary: A Series of Intensive Courses in June and July, including “Contemplative Practices for Spiritual Direction,” “Twelve-Step Spirituality Practicum,” and “The Venerable Bede and the Origins of Anglicanism.” For more information: www.gts.edu (click on “take a course”) . . . At Union Theological Seminary, Broadway and 121st Street, October 1–14, 2012, Photo Exhibit: We Have Faith–Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clergy and People of Faith. The exhibit features people and clergy of many faiths and denominations that support the movement for full equality for LGBT persons.