FROM BROTHER DAMIEN JOSEPH, SSF: Blessed Francistide!
The Brothers of the Society of Saint Francis are thrilled to be joining the Saint Mary's community. We are joining you at a significant time of the year for Franciscans. The term "Francistide," is used loosely to describe the period surrounding the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Properly, Francistide only refers to the time from the feast until the following Sunday. It is a time of important reflection and celebration for us as Franciscan brothers.
Saints' days are generally kept on the anniversary of their death (or their "birth to larger life"). Francis likely died on October 4, 1226. The formal observance of his feast begins on the evening of October 3, as Franciscans worldwide mark what is known as the "Transitus," or "passing" of the saint. It may be that Francis died some time after sundown on October 3, or the service may have evolved from a "vigil" or "eve" service.
We will keep our Transitus at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, October 3, in the Lady Chapel, and we're pleased to welcome the larger Saint Mary's community to join us for a taste of Franciscan history and tradition. Transitus liturgies often use visible symbols of events in Francis's life and death. In our observance, a Franciscan habit and rope will be laid out on the floor, marked by five candles, symbolizing the tradition that Francis experienced the "stigmata" (a miraculous appearance of the likeness of Christ's wounds). We will share bread as Francis reportedly did with his gathered brothers (a fellowship meal, rather than a Eucharistic observance). We will recite or sing the "Canticle of the Creatures," ("Brother Sun, Sister Moon"), Francis's great poem of praise, and likely among the first poetry written in modern Italian. We will eat marzipan, an almond-based confection that was brought to his deathbed by his friend Lady Jacopa, a reminder of the sweetness of life even in the bitterness of death. A bell will toll forty-four times for the years of life of this remarkable poor man from Assisi. We hope you'll find the service a moving devotion, as we do.
The following evening, the parish will celebrate a Solemn Mass in honor of the feast of Saint Francis. In contrast to the solemnity of the Transitus, the feast of Francis is a joyous day, remembering the great joy with which he lived a very simple life.
We will be joined for both observances by Brother Desmond Alban, SSF, who is our Minister Provincial, who will keep the feast with us and bless and commission our new ministry here. We also hope that some members of the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis (a dispersed religious community that is a part of our larger SSF family) will join us, along with some members of the Order of Saint Francis (a dispersed community of Friars who are friends of many of our Brothers). We hope all of you will join us as well. Peace and all good! —Brother Damien Joseph, SSF
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Jorem, Eloise, Donald, Irma, Al, Flor, Marge, Chandra, Greg, Alexandra, Carlyle, James, Karen, Carlos, Susan, Marilouise, Ridhima, Lakshmi, Timothy, Barbara, Dennis, Robert, Abraham, Randy, Burton, Michael, Greta, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, and Sandy; for Rebecca, deacon; for Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; and for all the benefactors and friends of this parish . . .GRANT THEM PEACE . . . September 30: 1889 Mary Theresa Fitzsimmons; 1953 Rebecca Mason; 1964 Helene Weinstock; 2005 Hugh Eustis Paine.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the Lord's crucifixion.
STEWARDSHIP AT SAINT MARY'S . . . The Stewardship Committee has been hard at work, preparing materials for the annual stewardship campaign. We urge all of our members and friends to begin a process of prayerful discernment of their stewardship plans and practice. As you begin this discernment, please consider this thoughtful message from the president of the Episcopal Church Foundation, Donald V. Romanik, "Thanksgiving knows no season, which is why stewardship needs to be a year-round, life-long practice. Stewardship is our joyful and loving response to God's abundant generosity and an opportunity, as Christian disciples, to discern how we use all the gifts we have been given to support and advance God's mission on earth." Stewardship materials will be mailed in mid-October. If you have questions about stewardship, please feel free to speak to MaryJane Boland, Steven Heffner, Brendon Hunter, Marie Rosseels, or a member of the clergy.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BAPTIZED OR CONFIRMED? . . . The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche, the bishop of New York, will be the celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass on All Saints' Day, Thursday, November 1, at 6:00 PM. If you have been thinking about baptism, confirmation, or about being received into the Episcopal Church, we would be glad to help. All Saints' Day is one of the four days each year when the Rites of Initiation-baptism, confirmation, and reception-are normally celebrated here at the parish. If you would like to be baptized, confirmed, or received on November 1, please speak to Father Gerth or Father Smith or call the Parish Office.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, September 29, Saint Michael and All Angels, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Saturday, September 29, 6:00–8:00 PM, Saint Joseph's Hall, Art Exhibit Opening: "Spirit's Flight . . .Sunday, September 30, The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM, Mass 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Evening Prayer 5:00 PM. An opportunity for fellowship follows each of the Masses . . . Wednesday, October 3, Sung Mass 12:10 PM . . . Wednesday, October 3, Eve of Saint Francis Day, Transitus Service 6:30 PM in the Lady Chapel . . . Thursday, October 4, Saint Francis of Assisi, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass and Healing Service 12:10 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, October 4–Friday, October 5, Annual Conference of the Society of Catholic Priests. Presentations for registered members of the Society. All liturgies are open to the public . . . Friday, October 5, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Solemn Evensong and Benediction 6:00 PM . . . Friday, October 5, 7:00 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor.
ACADEMIC-YEAR SCHEDULE begins on Sunday, October 7, The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM. The parish choir will sing at all Solemn Masses through the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ: Corpus Christi, on Sunday, June 23, 2019.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We still hope to receive donations for altar flowers on the following dates: October 14 and November 18 and 25. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . Pledge to keep up with your pledge! During the summer months we sometimes experience cash-flow problems as many friends and members of the parish are away, taking much-needed vacations. We are grateful to all those who continue to support the mission and witness of this parish . . . Attendance: Saint Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist 63; Last Sunday 132.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The cantor on Sunday morning is countertenor Clarke Baxtresser, who has often sung in the choir and as cantor at Saint Mary's. During the ministration of Communion, he will sing A Heart That Centers, Lord, on You by David Hurd, organist and music director at Saint Mary's. The words are by poet and priest, and professor emeritus of Yale Divinity School, Thomas H. Troeger (b. 1945), a prolific hymn author of our time whose works appear in many modern hymnals. The present musical setting was commissioned in conjunction with the sesquicentennial celebration of Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, North Carolina. The words focus on Saint Stephen, deacon and martyr-and patron of the parish-as a model of devotion to our Lord. The musical setting has the character of a strophic art song with alternating measures of four and five beats throughout.
The prelude on Sunday will be two of the several organ settings composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) of the chorale melody found in many modern English language hymnals with the English text "Blessed Jesus, at thy word" (Hymnal 1982, No. 440). The first of these two chorale preludes begins as a rich harmonization of the unadorned chorale melody. In its fifth phrase, Bach introduces melodic ornamentation, but he returns to the style of the opening for the sixth and final phrase. In contrast, BWV 731 has an ornamented soprano melody throughout. These two chorale settings, by virtue of common key of G Major, relative brevity, and character of treatment, are well suited to being performed together. The postlude will be Bach's fugue in the same key of G Major. It is subtitled the "Gigue" because of its bright dancing rhythm. While some scholars are uncertain that this well-known fugue was actually composed by Bach, others see parallels between this work and his harpsichord Toccata in G minor and are happy to have it in the Bach canon. Assuming that the latter group of scholars is correct, this fugue probably dates from Bach's early years in Arnstadt and Weimar. It may have been inspired by a C Major Fugue of similar character by Dieterich Buxtehude (1637–1707).
The Choir of Saint Mary's will return to sing at Solemn Mass twice next week. They will sing at the Solemn Mass on Thursday, October 4, the Feast of Saint Francis, and again on Sunday, October 7, at 11:00 AM. The Choir will sing at Solemn Mass on Sundays and major feasts through the feast of Corpus Christi, June 23, 2019. —David Hurd
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Day in late October or early November, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days. We are in particular need of basic items such as the following: packs of new underwear in various sizes for both men and women; slacks for both men and women, including jeans, chinos, khakis, etc.; packs of new socks, white and black; rainwear; knapsacks; and toiletry articles. Please contact Father Jay Smith if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation . . . We continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers' table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church. We are very grateful to all those who continue to support this ministry.
THE VISUAL ARTS AT SMV . . . On Saturday, September 29, at 6:00 PM, an exhibit entitled "Spirit's Flight" opens in the Gallery in Saint Joseph's Hall. Members and friends of the parish are invited to join the artists and to see their work. All are invited. This exhibition features the work of two artists, Deborah Holcombe and parishioner Ingrid Sletten. Ingrid and Deborah's work, in different ways, explores the intersection between nature and the spirit. They have subtitled the exhibition "More Than the Eyes See: Combining Science with Revelation." An Artists' Talk for this exhibition will take place on Thursday, October 18, 6:00-8:00 PM.
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, October 13, 2018, 8:00 PM, Miller Theatre Early Music Series, Stile Antico: "Elizabeth I, Queen of the Muses." Music by Byrd, Dowland, Farmer, Ferrabosco, de Lassus, Sandrin, Tallis, Taverner, Weelkes, Wilbye, and Willaert. From the theater's website, "Queen Elizabeth I presided during a time that delighted in the talents of some of the most renowned composers of the Renaissance, including Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, and John Dowland. The exquisite Stile Antico explores the reign of the great Tudor Queen in a program illuminating the life of a court that rejoiced in some of the finest music ever created." For more information and to purchase tickets, you may visit the Miller Theatre website . . . Saturday, October 20, 2018, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra (NYRO). NYRO returns to Saint Mary's for another season. On October 20, the orchestra will play music by Clyne, Mussorgsky, and Mendelssohn. Admission is free, but a donation is encouraged. Visit the orchestra's website for more information . . . Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, Miller Theatre Early Music Series, Cappella Pratensis: "The Josquin Imitation Game." Music by Josquin des Prez and Ockeghem, Van Ghizeghem, Busnoys, Willaert, and Gombert. From the theater website, "Josquin des Prez paid homage to his predecessors through the use of imitation. By the same token, subsequent composers played this game as a deliberate tribute, utilizing the same texts, melodies, and other characteristics of his music. The acclaimed Cappella Pratensis, known for their period interpretations, makes their Miller debut with a program anchored by Josquin masterpieces and exploring some of the great polyphonic works of the period by composers who inspired Josquin and those who were later inspired by him.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Thursday, October 18, Saint Luke the Evangelist, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass and Healing Service 12:10 PM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Tuesday, October 23, Saint James of Jerusalem, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM, Mass 6:20 PM . . . Monday, October 29, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Evening Prayer 6:00 PM, Mass 6:20 PM.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD . . . Broadway Flea Market and Auction, September 30, 2018, 10:00 AM–7:00 PM. Shubert Alley, between West 44th Street and West 45th Street (near the site of Saint Mary's first church building, built in 1870). Sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. From the Times Square Alliance website, "Tens of thousands of Broadway fans will celebrate their love of all things theater by bidding on and buying theatrical treasures, including one-of-a-kind show props, tickets to opening night performances, autographed musical phrases, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and more. More than fifty tables full of Broadway memorabilia, collectible Playbills and unique gems will line the streets. Among the shows scheduled to have tables this year are Aladdin, Anastasia, Beautiful-The Carole King Musical, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mean Girls, NEWSical The Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, Pretty Woman, School of Rock-The Musical, Sweeney Todd, Waitress and Wicked, with a special table featuring items from recently closed shows. Favorite Broadway performers will visit the Autograph Table and Photo Booth on the deck of Junior's restaurant, at Shubert Alley and West 45th Street, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM."
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at Thirty-sixth Street, New York, New York 10016. Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn. Station. Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters. September 7, 2018, through January 6, 2019. From the Library website, "At the end of the 1520s, at the time of the siege that brought to an end the last Florentine Republic (1529–1530), the painter Jacopo da Pontormo, (1494–1557) created one of his most moving and groundbreaking paintings, the altarpiece of the Visitation. The recent restoration of this masterpiece of Mannerist art has created the extraordinary opportunity for the work to travel for the first time from Carmignano (near Florence in Italy) to the United States. Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters presents Pontormo's spectacular altarpiece together with its preparatory drawing and with another masterpiece by the artist, the Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap (Carlo Neroni?). Pontormo painted this portrait of the handsome yet enigmatic young man during the same dramatic months of the siege of Florence. Believed to be lost, it has only been recently rediscovered in a private collection in Europe." There is a good illustration of the Pontormo "Visitation" on the Library website. All Saint Marians are invited to take a look at the picture, which shows the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth in a rather striking way. It seems to be the meeting of two mature women-Elizabeth older than Mary-who are genuinely happy to be with each other. The Feast of the Visitation is May 31, celebrated here at the parish with two Masses, one at 12:10 PM and one at 6:00 PM.