FROM THE RECTOR: HOLY WEEK 2013: PART I
Let’s start with the big news first. The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop & Primate of the Episcopal Church, will be with us as celebrant and preacher for three of the principal services of the Easter Triduum: Maundy Thursday at 6:00 PM, Good Friday at 12:30 PM and the Great Vigil of Easter at 7:00 PM. (I will be the celebrant and preacher for the second service on Good Friday at 6:00 PM.) Newcomers may not know that Bishop Griswold served as presiding bishop from 1998 until 2006. In retirement, he’s been active as a visiting professor, retreat leader and author. He has known Saint Mary’s since he was a teenager and was with us most recently on Christmas Eve. It will be a very special Holy Week at Saint Mary’s this year.
Since I was in seminary there has been a great deal of new research about what we know (and don’t know) about Christian worship, especially about the week we call “Holy Week.” Christian worship, like our human lives, continues to evolve—as it has since the days when Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray. Study increases our understanding of the traditions we have inherited. Study invites us to reflect on what we do when we come together as the people of God. Study often raises as many questions as it answers. About many seemingly basic things in the past, we just don’t know a lot—and that’s where things stand. That said, with apologies to Saint John the Evangelist, the Holy Spirit has not left us comfortless. Our inheritance is very rich and we don’t run out of things for prayer and for spiritual challenge across this very special week.
Holy Week begins on the day we now call “The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday.” The first part of the service is the “Liturgy of the Palms.” It commemorates Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem and the welcome he received. Especially in Luke’s gospel—the gospel for this year of the three-year cycle, there is an orientation of the Good News around Jesus in Jerusalem. It is where he dies, rises and ascends. From Jerusalem, in Luke’s second book, The Acts of the Apostles, the Good News spreads throughout the world. After the Liturgy of the Palms, the service continues with the Eucharist of the Passion. But it is one service—and movement is very much a part of the great tradition.
At Saint Mary’s we have three celebrations: Saturday evening at 5:00 PM and Sunday morning at 9:00 AM are simple Sung Masses. Because these Sung Masses last one hour, Palm Sunday is the one Sunday of the year when there is no 10:00 AM Sunday celebration—there is simply not enough time. Our principal Sunday celebration is at 11:00 AM. We begin in the church for the Liturgy of the Palms; the congregation and clergy process through Times Square and distribute palms to all who may want them. We return to the church for the Mass.
I invite you to be with us during Holy Week, and I invite you specially to be present for the 11:00 AM service on Palm Sunday. In my opinion, this Mass reflects more than any other service of the year our vocation as an urban liturgical parish. We witness to Christ in the world—and a great number of people are eager to receive what we offer and the gentle, joyful and, I think it’s fair to say, natural way we make worship present in the extraordinary place known as Times Square. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Sharon, Eloise, Cheryl, Christopher, Jane, Scott, Eleanor, Casey, Charles, Jake, Diana, Kathy, James, Chelsea, Tiffany, Wendy, Stephen, Dolores, Wayne, Eileen, Linda, Arpene, Rowan, priest, Paulette, priest, and Christopher, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, Elizabeth, and Nicholas; and for the repose of the souls of Mary McDonald and Charlotte Miller . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 10: 1916 Clara VanRiper; 1967 John S. Jarvis Beach; 1989 Marion Campbell, Jr.; 1990 Stephen Arthur Smith; 1994 Virginia Greene.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Charlotte Miller, the grandmother of parishioner Jake Miller, died on Wednesday, March 6. Please keep Charlotte, Jake, their family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers . . . On Saturday, April 6, at 10:00 AM, a Requiem Mass will be celebrated for Brother Emil Denworth, FMS, at which time Brother Emil’s ashes will be placed in the vault in the Lady Chapel. The Reverend Matthew Hoxsie Mead, rector, Church of the Good Shepherd, Granite Springs, will preach. All friends and members of the parish are invited to attend . . . On Saturday, April 13, at 2:00 PM, the Order for the Burial of the Dead will be offered for Charles Cooper. May their souls, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
2013 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . We are now coming to the end of the first phase of our Stewardship Campaign. However, the Stewardship Committee will continue its work as we try to reach our financial goal. As of March 4, we have reached 92% of our goal of $450,000.00. We invite all the readers of the newsletter to join our efforts to balance our budget and fulfill our mission. If you have questions, or if you would like to receive a pledge card, please contact the parish office.
THE WEEKDAYS OF LENT are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. The Fridays of Lent are also traditionally observed by abstinence from flesh meats.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS are offered on all Fridays in Lent at 6:30 PM, which follows 6:00 PM Evening Prayer.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, March 10, Daylight Saving Time begins. Clocks should be moved forward one hour . . . Church School for younger children meets this Sunday at 9:45 AM in the Parish House . . . The Adult Forum continues this Sunday at 10:00 AM, in the Mission House . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will not meet on Wednesday, March 13, at 6:30 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Mother Jett, who is attending the General Theological Seminary, will be on her spring break . . . Stations of the Cross, Friday, March 15, 6:30 PM . . . Father Stephen Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, March 9. Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, March 16.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The complete service list for Holy Week and Easter Day is available on the parish webpage . . . Patrick Williams worked in our neighborhood and was a faithful member of our noonday congregation until he left his job in order to go to seminary. Patrick, who is a member of the Church of the Intercession, has been attending the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, March 2, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Please keep him in your prayers as he begins this new ministry . . . Father Smith is away from the parish on vacation. He returns to Saint Mary’s on Sunday, March 17 . . . Mother Mary Jett is away through Thursday, March 14 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 242.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Music this Sunday is sung by a quartet drawn from the main choir. 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 good 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 Sicut cervus, an exquisite setting of verses from Psalm 42, by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–1594) . . . Michael Hey, assistant organist at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and a student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School, will play for evensong this Sunday. I will be away singing in a Lenten meditation with the early music group TENET at Trinity Church, Wall Street . . . The next Sunday organ recital will be on Easter Day at 4:30 PM. James Kennerley
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue to gather warm clothing—socks, coats of all sizes, sweaters, and sweatshirts—and blankets for distribution to the homeless in our neighborhood. Some of those items, as well as non-perishable food items, will be sent to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please speak to Mother Mary Julia or Jake Miller about our efforts here at the parish. Please contact Sister Deborah Francis for more information about the Pantry’s work . . . The Book Sale continues on Sunday. All proceeds benefit those in need. Thank you to all those who have donated books for the sale. Your generosity is very much appreciated . . . Donations to the Bishop Sisk Fund for the Care of Children in the Diocese of New York may be made here.
ADULT EDUCATION . . . On Sunday, March 10, Father Peter Powell will continue his series on Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans. The final class in the series will be Sunday, March 17 . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study class will not meet on March 13. It will resume on Wednesday, March 20; however, the class will not meet during Holy Week, March 27. The class will resume on Wednesday, April 3 . . . The Adult Forum will not meet on Palm Sunday, Easter Day, or the Second Sunday of Easter (March 24, 31, or April 7) . . . The topic of the class on April 14 is to be announced. On April 21, Dr. Dennis Raverty will teach a class on the paintings of several representative German artists of the movement known as Romanticism. Dennis will be discussing, among other things, the Christian symbols and motifs which lingered in the works of these painters even as the artists responded to the rise of secularism and the effects of the Enlightenment . . . On April 28, as well as on May 5 and 12, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will teach a class entitled Angles of Anglican Poetry: Clerics, Converts, Contrarians and Crossovers. The class will be studying the poetry of Donne, Herbert, Hopkins, Rossetti, and Eliot, as well as others “who might surprise us with their aptness for the theme, often covert, or even subverted or sub-conscious.” The Sunday-morning Adult Forum takes place in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House. The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class is held, when possible, in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Newcomers are always welcome at all of our adult-education classes. No prior preparation is necessary. James Ross Smith
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Tuesday, March 19, Saint Joseph, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . The Feast of the Annunciation, normally celebrated on March 25, is transferred this year to Monday, April 8.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . Up to Jerusalem: A Day’s Retreat with Barbara Crafton, Saturday, March 23, 9:00 AM–3:00 PM, The Community of Saint John Baptist, Mendham, NJ. Cost for the day (lunch included) is $65.00. Please call 973-543-4641 x 9 for more information. A deposit of $20.00 is required to reserve a place.