The Angelus

Volume 14, Number 3


When Father Matthew Mead left Saint Mary’s to take up work in his new parish, I took over two jobs that I had not done before.  I update much of the web page and I have taken over what we call Saint Mary’s Lectionary Project.  The online lectionary is intended to make it easy for people to study the Sunday lessons and for readers at services to prepare to read.

The web page work has required me to become familiar with html code – not required often, but for something essential.  I try to do the front page web work once a month as the page can be set to update automatically.  The other web work I generally do is to put this weekly newsletter online and sermons up.

The lectionary project involves producing the texts that will be used by readers during services and making these same texts available on our web page.  Generally speaking, you can find the readings for any service on any day of the year on Saint Mary’s web page.  Corrections need to be made from time to time as mistakes are discovered – because of the structure of the Church and the civil calendar, not every service is used every year or even every second or third year.

The work would largely be over at this point if the Church had not mandated a new lectionary for Sundays and some major feasts.  We are now in the second year of its use.  This has meant the reading for every Sunday needs to be reviewed for changes.  And because we now use “docx” files from Word 2007, there is a fair amount of word processing too.  For now, I try to keep at least a month ahead.

We started the lectionary project because the materials available to us from various church publishers were not adequate to the worship of a parish that has Daily Morning and Evening Prayer and a daily Mass.  Our materials are designed to make it as easy as possible for readers to read.  There are standard (and unconfusing) reminders about what to say at the beginning and end of lessons, about how to announce the appointed psalm, about inviting the congregation to stand for the gospel, and when to return to one’s seat.  The lessons for the Daily Office are simpler because the services are simpler.  The basic Eucharistic version is said Mass.  When needed, there are additional versions for sung and solemn Masses.

In the summer of 2010, our then seminarian Rem Slone worked through Year A of the new lectionary for us.  Then, he and I sat down and did alterations as needed.  I’m working through Year B myself right now – with occasional trips to Father Smith’s office to tell him about the latest craziness I have uncovered.  This all takes time.

Regular readers of this newsletter will know my great disappointment at the adoption of the new lectionary.  It was not done carefully or thoughtfully.  That said, if I were not frustrated by the mess it has made of so many things, I wouldn’t be working with it so much.  The good thing is that almost always when one works with Scripture one learns something new about the history of God’s kingdom and the revelation of his Son.  Stephen Gerth


STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN 2012 . . . We have received 126 pledges so far, 20 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 $425,000.00.  $340,261.00 has been pledged to date, which is 80% of our goal.  We still have a ways to go; however, we remain cautiously optimistic.  Last year, 177 households made pledges to the parish.  At this point in the campaign, 60% of those households have made a pledge for 2012.  Please remember that every pledge counts; every pledge represents a commitment to the parish and its mission.


YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Susan, Ivan, Charles, Lawrence, Paris, Chandra, John, Ann, Ruth, Dorothy, Richard, Peter, Linda, Dorothy, Gert, Rick, Stephen, and Deborah Francis, religious; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Matthew, Mark, John, and Rob . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . December 11: 1870 Sarah Elizabeth Murray; 1930 Oliver E. Holmes; 1959 Harriet O’Conner Sullivan; 1962 Carol Hollister; 1975 Margaret B. James.


THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Adult Forum will meet on Sunday, December 11, at 10:00 AM, on the second floor of the Mission House.  Father Jim Pace will teach the second half of his class on the Ministry to the Sick . . . The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will meet on Sunday, December 11, at 9:45 AM . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, December 12, 6:30 PM . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study will meet for its final class this semester on December 14, at 6:30 PM . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, December 10. Father Jay Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, December 17.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., had surgery on Monday, November 21.  She is still at Morristown Medical Center (Morristown, New Jersey).  We expect that she will be returning to the convent in Mendham soon.  We look forward to her return to the parish! . . . On Sunday evening, December 4, Father Gerth hosted a dinner in the rectory to thank the members of Saint Mary’s Flower Guild.  We are grateful to all the members of the guild for their creative ministry . . . Parishioner Jane Lear’s Blog has a concise and useful article on how to buy, ripen and use pears this week . . . The “O Antiphons” for the Song Mary at Evening Prayer – familiar to all as they make up the verses of the hymn O come, o come, Emmanuel – begin at Saint Mary’s on Friday, December 16 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 245, Conception 263.


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . On Sunday, January 15, at 10:00 AM, Father Jim Pace will begin a three-part series entitled “Comfort and Suffering” . . . On Sunday, February 5, Father Jay Smith will begin a three-part series entitled “What Do Episcopalians Believe?”  For this series, Father Smith will be working with a new book, What Episcopalians Believe: An Introduction (Morehouse Publishing, 2011), written by Samuel Wells, the Dean of the Duke University Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School.  Copies of the book can be purchased at or in the parish gift shop, beginning in January . . . On Sunday, February 26, Father Pete Powell will begin a five-part series on Genesis 1-11, entitled, “What does the Bible really say about Creation and the Flood.  How can thinking Christians claim these stories as their own?”


FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday is Verse in Five Parts by Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625).  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa secunda by Hans Leo Hassler (1512–1562).  Though he was Protestant, Hassler, a student in Venice of Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510–1586), wrote a fair amount of Latin music for Roman Catholic liturgy (in addition to madrigals, keyboard music and instrumental music).  This Mass setting is one of his most popular, and is admired for its beauty and brevity.  At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Rejoice in the Lord alway, an anonymous sixteenth-century English setting of Philippians 4:4-7 . . . On Sunday afternoon at 4:40 PM, Janet Chung will play the organ recital.  Janet is a student of McNeil Robinson (organist and music director at Saint Mary’s for many years) at the Manhattan School of Music.  James Kennerley


OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . During November and December, we will be collecting new and gently used coats for the New York Cares Coat Drive.  The deadline is December 31.  If you would like to donate a coat, please speak to Father Smith or bring the coat with you on Sunday . . . We are also collecting toys and gifts, including gift cards, to donate to the New York Foundling Hospital.  The hospital, located on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea, works with children, teenagers, and families in need.  The deadline is December 16 . . . 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 . . . Father Smith continues his Book Sale on Sunday.  All proceeds are used to benefit the Food Pantry and others who are in need.


CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, December 10, 8:00 PM, Miller Theater Early Music Series: Songs of Mary: A Christmas Celebration.  The Tallis Scholars, Peter Philips, director . . . Saturday, December 17, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra Annual Benefit.  David Leibowitz, music director.  Music by Chausson, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky.


AWAY FROM SAINT MARY’S . . . The Peccadillo Theater Company at the Theatre at Saint Clement’s presents a revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s classic and very funny play, The Man Who Came to Dinner.  Limited engagement, November 25-December 18.  Directed by Dan Wackerman.  Dan is a good friend of Saint Mary’s and often worships with us on Sunday mornings.  For reservations and tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.thepeccadillo.comThe Theater has very kindly offered Saint Marians and their friends discounted tickets.  When ordering tickets, use the following code in order to get the discount: PTCCH.