FROM THE RECTOR: 9/11 AND 9/14
As in the year 2001, this year September 11 is a Tuesday and September 14, Holy Cross Day, is a Friday. On Tuesday the 12:10 PM Mass will be offered as a requiem for those who were killed in the terrorist attacks that day. On Holy Cross Day, a "Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ," in addition to the Daily 12:10 Eucharist there will be a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM. (Friday abstinence is not observed on "Feasts of Our Lord Jesus Christ.") For those who are new to Saint Mary's, our "Evening Sung Masses" start at 6:00 PM and finish before 7:00 PM. There's some music, and incense is offered; but it's a Sung Mass, not a Solemn Mass-less chanting, less ceremony. And it seems right for the day.
Last month I visited the September 11 Memorial Museum on a Saturday afternoon with friends. I had seen the Memorial Plaza a few times, but never on my own initiative. I like the memorial a lot. I like the names. I like the water falling into the footprints of the two towers. These words from the Memorial Museum website describe what I've experienced every time I have seen it:
The nearly 3,000 names of the men, women and children killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, are inscribed on bronze parapets surrounding the twin Memorial pools. The display of these names is the very heart of the Memorial. The design of the names parapet provides a direct relationship between the visitor, the names, and the water, allowing for a feeling of quiet reverence between the visitor and the Memorial. Names are stencil-cut into the parapets, allowing visitors to create paper impressions or rubbings of individual names. At night, light shines up through the voids created by each letter of a name.
The visit to the museum was not my idea either. Memories of that day and of that fall season bring me deep sadness. It was a scary time. The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. American service men and women are still being killed and maimed there, and Afghan men, women, and children are being wounded and killed as well-and there is no end to the war in sight. Yet, it was strengthening for me to see the exhibits. It was crowded, respectful. My eyes began to tear up more than once, but I'm glad I visited. Anyone viewing the exhibits will be aware of the breadth of the tragedy, the strength of evil. For all of our faults, I'm very proud of the basic decency and basic freedoms of our country.
It was great grace that the National Day of Prayer on September 14, 2001, happened to be for us Holy Cross Day. This commemoration has a long history; relics of the "True Cross," abound. At the English Reformation, this celebration was omitted from the Prayer Book. It returned for Episcopalians with the 1979 Prayer Book as a "Feast of Our Lord" that may be celebrated on a Sunday (BCP , page 16)—which we do when September 14 is a Sunday. On September 14, 335, the church in Jerusalem now known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which includes the shrine of the Lord's crucifixion and of his tomb, was dedicated.
The seventh rector of Saint Mary's, the Reverend Donald Lothrop Garfield (1924–1996; rector 1964–1978), was a member of the "Drafting Committee on the Calendar, Eucharistic Lectionary, and Collects" that became Prayer Book Studies 19: The Church Year (1970). The study describes our Episcopal understanding of Holy Cross Day in these words: Holy Cross Day is a festival of dedication—to the victorious defeat of sin and death by our Lord, and to the mission of the Church to proclaim his cross as the sign of salvation to all men "at all times and in all places" (page 36). (This phrase, "at all times and in all places" is from the beginning of the traditional language Eucharistic Prayer (BCP , 333, 334)—and in all previous American Prayer Books.)
As we do every year since 2001, we also remember the victims of September 11, 2001, at the Eucharists on Holy Cross Day. The hymns at the Sung Mass help to heal our hearts, not to mention the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Milena, Perry, Greg, Alexandra, Carlyle, James, Joseph, Karen, Kenneth, Timothy, Ilona, Sheila, Eloise, Angie, Maxine, Carlos, Susan, Marilouise, Ridhima, Lakshmi, Dennis, Robert, Abraham, Randy, Burton, Michael, Kyle, Greta, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, and Sandy; for Anna, Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the soul of Conrad Idzik. We also invite you to pray for all those who were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, especially André Bonheur, Richard Bosco, Juan Lafuente, Nicole Lindo, Francisco Liriano, Sean Rooney, Joseph Zuccala, Mychal Judge, priest, and the firefighters of Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, Forty-eighth Street and Eighth Avenue: Joseph Angelini, Jr., Carl Asaro, Michael Brennan, Peter Brennan, Dennis Devlin, Alan Feinberg, Charles Garbarini, Edward Geraghty, Paul Gill, José Guadalupe, Michael Haub, Michael Lynch, Daniel O'Callaghan, Samuel Oitice, Leonard Ragaglia, Christopher Santora, John Tipping III, and David Wooley.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . September 9: 1916 John Wilkinson; 1940 Eliza Cecilia Knight; 1941 Walter Beal Holden; 1947 Thomas Henry Coles; 1998 John William Onderko.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . We learned this week that Conrad Idzik, the father of Paul Idzik, died on June 17, 2018, near his home in Western New York. Paul, who used to work in our neighborhood, is a good and faithful friend of Saint Mary's. Please keep Conrad, Paul, their family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the Lord's crucifixion.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BAPTIZED OR CONFIRMED? . . . The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche 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 . . . Sunday, September 9, The Sixteenth 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 . . . Tuesday, September 11, Requiem Mass for those killed on September 11, 2001, 12:10 PM . . . Friday, September 14, Holy Cross Day, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Sung Mass 6:00 PM.
WELCOME, FRANCISCAN FRIARS! . . . Brother Damien Joseph SSF is scheduled to arrive at Saint Mary's on Monday, September 10. As we go to press, work is being done in the Mission House apartment to prepare for his and the arrival of Br. Thomas SSF on Wednesday, September 19. With Brother Thomas will be Br. Finnian SSF, a British Franciscan who will be with us for the weekend and then he travels to the friary in San Francisco. I am excited about many things that will be going on this fall, but none more than the arrival of the Society of Saint Francis. -S.G.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . 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 . . . Father Matt Jacobson was ordained priest on Saturday, September 10, 2017. We are thankful for his ministry. Father Jacobson will be celebrant and preacher for the Solemn Mass on Sunday, September 30 . . . The Reverend Dr. Anna S. Pearson was instituted and inducted as the rector of the Church of the Holy Apostles, Ninth Avenue and Twenty-seventh Street, on Thursday, September 6. Father Jay Smith and Dr. David Hurd represented Saint Mary's at the service. Please keep Mother Pearson and our neighbors at Holy Apostles in your prayers . . . Father Stephen Gerth will be away from the parish on Wednesday and Thursday, September 12 and 13. He plans to be back to Saint Mary's in time for the Sung Mass on Friday, September 14, Holy Cross Day . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 158.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The cantor today is soprano Heather Meyer, who will sing Samuel Barber's The Heavenly Banquet from Hermit Songs during the ministration of Communion. Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Samuel Barber (1910–1981) remains one of the most revered twentieth-century American composers. His Hermit Songs, Opus 29, was premiered in 1953 at the Library of Congress, sung by soprano Leontyne Price, and with the composer at the piano. Barber's Hermit Songs is a cycle of ten settings of anonymous poems written by Irish monks and scholars from the eighth to the thirteenth centuries. The Heavenly Banquet is the fourth song of the cycle. Its text is attributed to Saint Brigid of Kildare who, according to Samuel Barber's score, shares the patronage of Ireland with Saint Patrick. She is also known to practicing Catholics as the patron saint of beer. The translation of the original text is by Seán Ó Faoláin (1900–1991).
The organ voluntaries on Sunday morning are by another American composer, Gerald Near (b. 1942). Gerald Near's composition teachers include Leo Sowerby, Leslie Bassett, and Dominick Argento, respectively at the American Conservatory in Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the University of Minnesota. Near's compositions include a wealth of sacred choral music, and he is represented in The Hymnal 1982 both by service music and hymn settings. The Suite for Organ was Near's first commissioned work and was premiered by Marilyn Mason, to whom it is dedicated, as part of the Detroit Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) in June 1965. Shortly thereafter, in fall 1966, Dr. Mason included the Suite in her dedicatory recital of the then newly installed Schlicker organ at Grace Church, Manhattan. The second of the Suite's three movements, a meditation on the hymn tune Land of Rest (304 and 620 in The Hymnal 1982), will be played as the prelude on Sunday. The rondo-like third movement, Final, will be played for the postlude. —David Hurd
SAVE THE DATES! . . . Members of the staff often remark that one never knows what's going to happen if you take a walk through the church. Chris Howatt, office manager and member of the Saint Mary's Choir, was making his rounds on Tuesday afternoon, when a woman named Sasha Spielvogel stopped him, introduced herself to him, and told him that she had interviewed parishioner Dick Leitsch shortly before his death earlier this year. Ms. Spielvogel is the artistic director of the Labyrinth Dance Theatre and is creating a dance piece entitled Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye: Passion, Struggle, Loss and Freedom-Gay Life in New York City 1965-1995. The piece will be presented June 14-17, 2019, at the Ailey Citicorp Theater/The Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 West Fifty-fifth Street at Ninth Avenue. Ms. Spielvogel says she loved meeting and interviewing Dick and hopes that many Saint Marians will be able to see the piece next year.
ALTAR-FLOWER DONATION OPPORTUNITIES . . . The following Sundays have not been covered by donations: October 14; November 11, 18, and 25; the patronal feast, celebrated this year on Friday, December 7, and on Saturday, December 8; and Sunday, January 6, the Epiphany. We are also happy to receive donations for Christmas flowers and decorations. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Parish Office.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for our next Drop-in Day on Wednesday, September 26, 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 recently received gifts of clothing and toiletry articles for our drop-in days from Forever 21 in Times Square; Neurosport Physical Therapy, on Eighth Avenue near Forty-seventh Street; and the Pastori Family, friends of Sister Monica Clare. We are very grateful to all those who continue to support this ministry.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Friday, September 21, Saint Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist, Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Holy Baptism and Mass 6:00 PM . . . Friday, September 28, Eve of Saint Michael and All Angels, Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Saturday, September 29, Saint Michael and All Angels, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Thursday, October 4, Saint Francis of Assisi, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, October 7, The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. The choir will sing at the Solemn Mass. The academic-year worship schedule begins: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, October 31, Eve of All Saints' Day, Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, November 1, All Saints' Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM. Andrew M. L. Dietsche, Bishop of New York, will be the celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass . . . Friday, November 2, All Souls' Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, 12:10 PM Sung Mass, 6:00 PM Sung Mass . . . Sunday, November 4, Daylight Saving Time ends.
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, "Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow," September 7, 2018-March 3, 2019. From the museum's website, "This exhibition explores the struggle for full citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the fifty years after the Civil War. When slavery ended in 1865, a period of Reconstruction began, leading to such achievements as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. By 1868, all persons born in the United States were citizens and equal under the law. But efforts to create an interracial democracy were contested from the start. A harsh backlash ensued, ushering in a half century of the "separate but equal" age of Jim Crow. Opening to mark the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the exhibition is organized chronologically from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I and highlights the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights. It also examines the depth and breadth of opposition to black advancement."