FROM THE RECTOR: ALWAYS EASTER
The church has been reading through the first six chapters of Daniel at Morning Prayer for the last two weeks. (Good, recent and short introductions to the content and textual issues of this and the other books of the Bible can be found in The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version With The Apocrypha ). We will finish up these readings tomorrow. I’m sorry that the lectionary is structured so that we don’t hear either of the most famous stories (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego cast into the fire or Daniel in the lions’ den) on a Sunday. These stories would make very good preaching material at Evensong. They recount how God’s people are faithful to him and how God himself acts to rescue them from the actions of the evil people who conspire against them.
As I write on Friday morning, my thoughts and prayers, like yours, are turned to Boston. I suspect I am not alone among New Yorkers who could not bring themselves to dwell on the details of the evil done by the terrorists on Monday and since then. The enlarged police presence in our Times Square neighborhood is very welcome, but it’s also a sign that our parish is a place where there have been at least two unsuccessful terrorist attempts to murder people—one in 2008, the other in 2010. Some days just the sight of the increased police presence will take my emotions back to the hard days of September 2001—and take my whole being to feelings of real fear and anguish before any thought can stop it. That said, I do not believe evil can conquer God’s purposes for humankind. And even if I don’t understand why there is death, I believe the resurrection of the dead is God’s answer to suffering, sin and evil.
Holy Cross Day, Friday, September 14, 2001, carried particular meaning for us who gathered here for the Masses that day. On Sunday, September 16, 2001, the gospel was Luke’s story of Pharisees and scribes complaining that Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them. Jesus’ response was to speak about the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to search for the one who is lost (Luke 15:1-10). This coming Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday. The gospel is always from the tenth chapter of John. In this third year of the Sunday cycle it’s the final story—there’s an unexplained gap in the text that separates this section (John 10:22-30) from Jesus’ first declarations that he is the good shepherd (John 10:1-21). None of Jesus’ own were lost at Ground Zero, at the Pentagon, or in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. None were lost at the Boston Marathon.
There are many reasons why I prefer to use at the grave in the Burial of the Dead the anthem that begins, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37)—the traditional language is a more faithful translation of the Greek than the contemporary one. But I never quite forget Cranmer’s original anthem for the grave, which is still in the Prayer Book, save for the first stanza, Job 14:1-2:
Man, that is born of woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay (The Book of Common Prayer  332).
It’s always Easter. It’s always about the Paschal, that is, the Passover mystery of dying and rising, “In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ” (The Book of Common Prayer  485). Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Eloise, Sharon, Ruth, Penny, Cheryl, Wayne, Dianne, Theresa, Charles, Christopher, Jane, Diana, Dolores, Eileen, Linda, Arpene, Michael, priest, Park, priest, and John, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, Elizabeth, and Nicholas; and for the victims of terrorism in the city of Boston . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 21: 1877 Louis Many; 1878 Annie Kent; 1941 Frank Julius Hoffman; 1958 Madeleine Seaman.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, April 21, 9:45 AM, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the Atrium on the second floor of the Parish House. The Adult Forum will meet at 10:00 AM in the Mission House . . . Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 PM, The Bible Study Class will meet in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Thursday, April 25, Saint Mark the Evangelist, Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, April 20. Mother Mary Julia Jett will hear confessions on Saturday, April 27.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . If you are able to make a donation to help defray the costs of the reception on Ascension Day, Thursday, May 9, please contact the parish office or speak to Father Jay Smith . . . Donations for altar flowers are needed for May 9, Ascension Day, and for May 19, the Day of Pentecost. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., celebrates the nineteenth anniversary of her life profession this week. She made her final vows on April 25, 1994. We are grateful to her for her ministry here at the parish . . . Jeremiah Burch attends church school here at Saint Mary’s and is an active acolyte. He has also, at his young age, had considerable experience as a performer. He recently appeared in the national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. From May 29 to June 9, 2013, Jeremiah is appearing in a leading role in a revival of the musical Rags, at the Connelly Theatre, 220 East Fourth Street. Visit the Beautiful Soup Theater for more information . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 235.
AIDS WALK 2013 . . . Last year, Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team did extraordinarily well. It ranked 23rd among the 3,410 teams that walked in 2012. That money continues to be used by Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the fight against AIDS and to provide education, treatment, and care for people who are at risk of infection, are HIV-positive, or have AIDS. This is one of Saint Mary's major outreach efforts. Fifty percent of last year’s Maundy Thursday offering went to the AIDS Walk. Fundraising for AIDS Walk 2013 is now underway. Our team will walk on May 19 after Solemn Mass and before Evensong & Benediction. You are invited to join as a walker and fundraiser. Everyone is invited to make a contribution to our team. A link to the team’s web page is here. Copies of our informational flyer can be found on the table near the church entrances or downloaded from the parish website. You can also contact Father Jay Smith or MaryJane Boland, the team coordinator. We thank you for your support.
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION will be held following the Solemn Mass on Sunday, May 5, 2013. The meeting will receive reports from parish organizations, staff and the board of trustees. The meeting will elect two delegates and two alternate delegates to serve as our representatives to the annual diocesan convention.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . Adult Forum: On Sunday, April 21, Dr. Dennis Raverty will give a presentation on The Sacralization of Nature in German Romantic Landscape. Dennis describes the presentation as follows, “In the early nineteenth century, Philipp Otto Runge and Casper David Friedrich transformed and elevated landscape painting from the minor genre it had been up to that point, to the bearer of the kind of serious and sublime content that had formerly been reserved for biblical or mythological subjects alone. We will explore how these artists redefined the sacred in terms of implied narrative within their landscapes and their evocation of light as a metaphor for the divine presence in nature . . . On Sunday, April 28, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will begin a three-part series entitled, Angles of Anglican Poetry: Clerics, Converts, Contrarians, and Crossovers. Rebecca will be discussing the work of Donne, Herbert, Hopkins, Rossetti, and Eliot, among others. The last class of the Sunday morning Adult Forum will take place on Sunday, May 12. Classes will resume in October, after the summer break.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass is an improvisation on Victimae paschali, the plainsong sequence for Eastertide. Choral music is performed by a quartet of singers drawn from the main choir. The setting of the Mass ordinary today is Missa Suzanne un Jour by Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594). The Flemish-born Lassus, sometimes called the princeps musicorum or “main writer of music,” was one of the late Renaissance’s most cosmopolitan and respected composers. Much of his training took place in Italy. Later he worked as Kapellmeister (“chapel master” or “music maker”) at the court in Munich for almost forty years. The Mass is based on a song of the same name, also by Lassus, a setting of a poem by Guillaume Guéroult. The motet at Communion is a four-part setting of the Regina coeli by the great Spanish composer Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500–1553) . . . On Sunday afternoon at 4:40 PM the organ recital will be played by Christopher Jennings, associate organist-choirmaster and music associate for children and youth at Saint James’s Church, Madison Avenue, New York City. Christopher will play the Prélude, adagio et choral varié sur le theme du “Veni Creator,” Op. 4 by Maurice Duruflé (1902–1986). James Kennerley
THE COMMUNITY OF SAINT JOHN BAPTIST . . . On Saturday, April 27, the community and its friends will gather to celebrate one hundred years of service in Mendham, in the dioceses of Newark and New York, and the wider Church. Sister Eleanor Francis, superior, writes: "We are calling April 27 Cornerstone Day, to mark the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of our convent in Mendham. There will be a Eucharist with our diocesan bishop Mark Beckwith as celebrant. There will be three other bishops present, including our Visitor Prince Singh, who will bless the cornerstone. Our preacher will be the Very Reverend Lister Tonge, our Pastor from England. Please come and bring your family and friends! I am looking forward to seeing you there.” For more information, please speak to one of the sisters!
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . Women’s History Exhibition: As part of the ongoing efforts to document the important role of women in the history of our church, and in light of the thirtieth anniversary of the first attempts of women to be ordained in the Episcopal Church, the Christoph Keller, Jr., Library at the General Theological Seminary has mounted a new exhibition. The exhibition features recently-discovered archival material relating to the Church of Saint Mary, Manhattanville, on West 126th Street, and that parish’s sponsorship of Carter Heyward and Emily Hewitt for ordination to the priesthood in the early 1970s. Along with the vestry papers of Allen Mellen, this exhibit will feature materials from the archives of the diocese of New York, as well as materials from the Keller Library’s Special Collections. The exhibit will be in place at the library from April 8 through the beginning of June. Mary Robison, reference librarian and archivist, will lead a brief tour on Sunday, April 28 at 3:00 PM, to introduce parishioners from Saint Mary’s, Manhattanville; Saint Mark’s, Teaneck, New Jersey, and our own parish to the exhibit and to the seminary. Please contact Mary for more information.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Electronic versions of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger’s Guide to Free Food and Assistance are available here . . . We continue to gather
non-perishable food items for Saint Clement’s Pantry. Please contact Sister Deborah Francis for more information about the Pantry’s work . . . Donations to the Bishop Sisk Fund for the Care of Children in the Diocese of New York may be made here . . . The Book Sale in Saint Joseph’s Hall continues on Sunday morning. All proceeds are used to help those in need.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Thursday, April 25, Saint Mark the Evangelist, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, April 29, Meeting of the Board of Trustees, 6:30 PM . . . Wednesday, May 1, Saint Phillip and Saint James, Apostles, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Sunday, May 5, the Sixth Sunday of Easter: May Crowning & Annual Meeting . . . Wednesday, May 8, Eve of Ascension Day, Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 9, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM, the Right Reverend Geralyn Wolf, celebrant and preacher . . . May 19, The Day of Pentecost . . . Monday, May 27, Memorial Day. Federal Holiday schedule.