FROM THE RECTOR: SUMMER AT SAINT MARY’S
We believe in open doors and daily worship at Saint Mary’s. Not much changes during the summer months. The church itself is open on the same schedule as during the rest of the year and the regular daily services are offered. Every day people who come into the church at service times may join in our worship or simply witness the church at prayer.
On Sundays, two things are different—in addition to the heat of the season. The music at the Solemn Mass is sung by the congregation, except a soloist from the choir will sing the proper liturgical chants and a communion motet. On Sunday evenings, in place of Solemn Evensong & Benediction, Evening Prayer is read—and no sermon is preached! Vacations are taken by members of the church staff. Those of us who are not away don’t feel as if it is a slower time—and in fact, it isn’t. The life of the parish goes on.
It’s hard to generalize about Saint Mary’s members and friends. For whatever reason, a parish community that sees worship at its center speaks powerfully to us. During the summer we see many members and friends who are visiting the city. Local parishioners sometimes return from visits to parishes elsewhere with appreciative words about the witness of this parish to the larger church. New members of the parish get used to their home parish being known—and it’s great when what is known about us corresponds with our common life today.
I continue to reflect on a comment about what Paul Bradshaw called the “primitive Christian tradition” of “feeding on the life-giving Jesus” (“The Eucharistic Sayings of Jesus,” Studia Liturgica 35 , 5-6, 11). Here, perhaps, is the reason Christians gather on Sundays to hear together God’s Word, to pray, and to eat and drink. I love lots of the things we do in church, but it rings true that our coming together for worship is, above everything else, about receiving the life-giving Jesus.
Some years ago we switched from using the postcommunion prayer that begins, “Eternal God, heavenly Father” on page 365 of the Prayer Book to the one on the following page that begins “Almighty God and everliving God.” We did so because of the layout of the book and how it is used by visitors and newcomers. (Immediately following this second thanksgiving is a note stating there may be a blessing; the concluding dismissals follow.)
I always liked the other prayer, but I’ve grown to appreciate again the richness of the second prayer, a contemporary version of the traditional language prayer. I try to read it very thoughtfully when I am presiding at the altar or sitting in a pew:
Almighty and everliving God,
we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food
of the most precious Body and Blood
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
and for assuring us in these holy mysteries
that we are living members of the Body of your Son,
and heirs of your eternal kingdom.
And now, Father, send us out
to do the work you have given us to do,
to love and serve you
as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.
To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
We are heirs to a strong heritage of reverence for the Eucharist as Anglicans and as Anglo-Catholics. Its power begins and ends with the life shared with us in the Bread and Cup and the witness and service for which this Food sustains us and calls us—in summer and through all the days of our lives. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Michael, Ben, Anna, Jeanne, Ivan, Susan, Philip, Wayne, Barbara, Joseph, Jan, James, Gail, Helen, Arpene, Joyce, Betty, Sharon, Chandra, Dorothy, James, priest, and Harry, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Elizabeth, Nicholas, and Matthew . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 17: 1882 Eleanor Bertine Leverich; 1886 Annie M. Pierce; 1950 Katherine Von Steer; 1962 Ralph W. Stubbs; 1970 Agnes E Lloyd; 1972 Charles H. Genet.
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 Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, June 18, 6:30 PM . . . Father Jay Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, June 16. Father Stephen Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, June 23.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Many thanks to Daniel Craig and Dick Leitsch for finding replacement globes for our outdoor processional torches! . . . .Deacon Mary Jett is doing another term of field education this summer and is already working hard here at the parish. She continues to serve at the altar and is working on a number of projects in the parish office. She will also be doing home and hospital visits and spending some time at the Food Pantry. She has already accomplished a great deal, has been an enormous help to Father Gerth and Father Smith. We are very grateful for all that she does for us here at Saint Mary’s . . . Thank you to all those who worked so hard to organize the end-of-season picnic for the members of the choir, and of the acolyte, reader, usher and flower guilds. It was great fun. Thank you to James Kennerley and Emily Werne for hosting the party and for working so hard to make it a success; a special word of thanks is due to Richard Theilmann, without whom the picnic would not have happened; and thank you to all the members of the guilds, whose dedication, commitment and service makes the parish’s mission possible. . . Sunday, June 24, LGBT Pride March, 36th Street & Fifth Avenue to Christopher & Greenwich Streets . . . Donations are needed for altar flowers 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 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 241.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass on Sunday morning is Lied from Vingt–quatre pièces en style libre, Op. 31, No. 17, by Louis Vierne (1870–1937). Dr. Mark Risinger, bass, is the cantor. At the ministration of Communion, Dr. Risinger and Mr. Kennerley sing the motet Fulgebunt justi sicut lilium (“They shall shine like the lily”), No. 11, from Cantiones duarum vocum (“Songs for Two Voices”) by Orlande de Lassus (c. 1532–1594). Lassus (or Lasso or Delattre, as he was variously named) was born in Mons, now part of Belgium. Little is known about his early life apart from the fact that he was kidnapped three times because of the incredible beauty of his singing voice! He worked for several years in various parts of Italy before settling in Munich in 1556, where several composers, including both Gabrielis, visited to study with him. Cantiones duarum vocum, a set of Latin motets for two voices, was published in Antwerp in 1609. 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 . . . Wednesday, August 15, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
SAINT MARY’S FACEBOOK PAGE . . . For some time now, there have actually been three or four Saint Mary’s groups and pages on Facebook. Members of the parish staff have not had control of any of those pages, which has caused some confusion. Though we are very grateful to all our friends and members who are interested in the mission and ministry of our parish and have done what they could to give Saint Mary’s a Facebook presence, we have decided that it makes most sense for us to have a page that we can edit and manage on a regular basis from the parish office. We are grateful to parishioner Susan Martin, who provided us with valuable advice about social media and, especially to Deacon Mary Julia Jett, who has ended the confusion, stilled our fears, created our page, and got us started on this new tool for communication and evangelism. Jay Smith
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 Concerns Committee of the Diocese of New York continues to receive donations to support the Episcopal Church’s presence at the Pride 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.