The Angelus


"And they fell down and worshiped him," Matthew 2:11
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF


“Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me”
(Matthew 25:40,
The Message translation)

Saint Mary's Creche at Epiphany: Though St. Matthew does not name the Magi, this wise man, or magus, came to be known, in the West, as Balthasar, by around the 8th c.
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF

The people of Saint Mary’s have long recognized that, in the words of Frank Weston (1871–1924), Bishop of Zanzibar (1908–24), “You cannot claim to worship Jesus in the Tabernacle, if you do not pity Jesus in the slum.” Weston’s words came in the context of an address to a conference of the budding Anglo-Catholic movement. He rightly made the connection that Anglo-Catholic faith flowed naturally from the presence of Christ in the Sacrament to the presence of Christ in all people, especially those most needing our help. This parish continues in that tradition and commitment in opening our doors to all, and to striving in our corner of the world to clothe and care for those “overlooked and ignored” by providing clothing, hygiene items, and other services, free of charge to those who need them.

In recent years, through the cooperation of parish staff, volunteers, and the resident Sisters of the Community of St. John Baptist, Saint Mary’s developed a monthly “drop-in” in our clothing room that serves about seventy individuals per month. Obviously, the needs of our unsheltered neighbors and others aren’t limited to one day a month.  The staff and volunteers involved in the clothing ministry, now in conversation with the Brothers of the Society of Saint Francis in residence here at the parish, will be expanding the assistance we offer to our neighbors. Beginning on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, emergency clothing and hygiene items will be available most Wednesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The monthly “drop-in” will continue one Wednesday per month, with folks welcome to visit our clothing store and take whatever they need. And now, on the remaining Wednesdays, basic items like socks, underwear, hats, gloves, and blankets will be available to those in need. We will use the former gift-shop space at the west end of the church narthex off Forty-sixth Street to provide this service. My brothers, and other volunteers, will staff the room during those Wednesday hours..  This outreach is intended primarily to serve our neighbors who spend part or all of their day without shelter. The basic needs of some of our neighbors are such that the once-per-month drop-in day is insufficient.

One of twenty-one double lancet windows in the nave.
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF

We ask your prayers in support of this important new work. This month, as we begin, will you also consider making a gift of one or more blankets to help keep our neighbors warm through the increasingly cold weather? You may drop off new or good-quality, lightly used blankets at the church any time, or you may wish to order blankets for direct shipment to the church. An example of the kind of blankets we can most use is found online here or here. Shipments should be sent to Saint Mary’s, to the attention of Brother Damien Joseph, SSF, at 145 West Forty-sixth Street, New York, NY 10036-8502. As always, your financial gift is also welcome to help in this important work.

We at Saint Mary’s will continue to demonstrate our belief that Christ is present in our neighbors as well as in our Tabernacle. Please join us in serving him there. You may contact me by e-mail for more information. Peace and all good! —Brother Damien Joseph SSF

YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Dennis, Paula, John, Chuck, Bert, Emil, Alexandra, Rayazz, Kyle, Carolyn, Ivy, Jondan, José, Eloise, Michael, James, Karen, Susan, Marilouise, William, Abraham, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, and Sandy; for Horace, Daniel, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the soul of Lamin Sanneh.

GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 13: 1891 Angelo Bassett Prentice; 1899 Louisa Myers; 1916 Hugo Hoffman; 1931 Emma N. McKean; 1950 Louise Gerhold; 1950 Henrietta Schaefer; 1994 Thomas Holz.

 THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the Lord’s crucifixion.

Madonna and Child, side aisle of the church.
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF

 WE LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING YOUR PLEDGE CARD! . . . We encourage all friends and member of the parish to return their pledge cards as soon as possible so that the Budget Committee may continue their work, planning for 2019. Our needs are urgent. Our mission is clear. We welcome your support, and we are grateful to all those who have supported Saint Mary’s so generously in the past . . . Our campaign and pledge drive is well underway. Once again this year, our goal for the campaign is $425,000. As of December 18, we have received $338,167.00 in pledges from 98 households, 80% of our goal.

THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, January 12, Eve of the First Sunday after the Epiphany: the Baptism of Our Lord, Evening Prayer 5:00 PM, Vigil Mass 5:20 PM . . . Sunday, January 13, The First Sunday after the Epiphany: the Baptism of Our Lord, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM, Adult Education 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, January 16, Sung Mass 12:10 PM; Wednesday Night Bible Study Class 6:30 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study. . . Thursday, January 17, Mass with Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, January 18, The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle, Mass 12:10 PM and Sung Mass 6:00 PM; Centering Prayer Group 6:30–8:00 PM, Atrium, Parish House 2nd Floor.

 HOSPITALITY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We hope to receive donations to help pay for the holy-day receptions on February 1 (Eve of the Presentation), March 25 (Annunciation), April 20 (Easter Eve), and Thursday, May 30 (Ascension Day). If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office. The total cost of each reception is around $500.00. We appreciate all donations in support of this important ministry. Any and all donations are always used to make up the deficit each year we normally experience in the hospitality budget. When making a donation, please make a note that it is for the Hospitality Ministry, and we thank you.

Marie Postlewate chanted the Prayers of the People at Mass on Epiphany.
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF

AROUND THE PARISH . . . Lighting experts from IMCD Lighting were in the building this week, installing new lights and electrical switches in the church, mostly in the chancel and at the crossing. IMCD designs and installs lighting for most of the NY Fashion Week, as well as for a number of Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theaters. Noonday Masses were, for the most part, celebrated in the Lady Chapel to accommodate IMCD’s work. The new equipment replaces fixtures that had begun to show their age; and the manner of hanging the new lights will be, we believe, safer and more secure. The new switches will allow us to adjust the lights more quickly and easily, giving us the ability to create different “looks” for the variety of services and events that take place in the church. Adjustments to the quality and color of the light in the chancel may need to be made in the coming days. Friends and members of the parish will remember that the donations made in response to the Christmas Appeal are to be used to help pay for this lighting project. We are very grateful to all those who responded so generously to the Appeal. Additional donations are most welcome . . . Friday, January 18, is the feast of the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle. As usual, there will be two Masses on the feast day, one at 12:10 PM and the other at 6:00 PM. The evening Mass will be a Sung Mass, at which we will welcome a group of visitors from Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, South Carolina . . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for the following dates: Sunday, February 10, 17, 24, March 3 and 31, and April 14 (Palm Sunday). Donations for Easter flowers and decorations are also welcome. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 174.

High Altar Crucifix, by the Gorham Company, in Memory of Philip Kissam (d. 1895).
Photo by Br. Damien Joseph SSF

FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Calvin Hampton (1938–1984) was a vibrant member of the New York music scene his entire adult life.  A brilliant organist and imaginative composer, Hampton was music director at Calvary Church, Gramercy Park, from the early 1960s until shortly before his death. His distinctive art-song-styled hymn settings and liturgical service music brought a distinctive spark to congregational singing in the years after the Second Vatican Council and the ecumenical wave of liturgical renewal which followed. Hampton’s Mass for the New Rite was composed especially for the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Eucharistic common texts which took hold in the early 1970s. It was published in 1976. The Creed from this setting, revised for the text of the Book of Common Prayer 1979 and included in The Hymnal 1982, has become a staple for singing congregations far and wide, including the congregation of Saint Mary the Virgin. The other portions of Hampton’s Mass are less well known, perhaps because they appeared too challenging for congregational singing and did not significantly penetrate the repertoire of choral settings for which there was little demand at the time. On Sunday morning, the choir will sing the Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei of Hampton’s Mass for the New Rite, and we shall all sing the Creed together as is the custom at Saint Mary’s. 

The motet at Communion on Sunday is also by Calvin Hampton. It is one of the yet unpublished choral pieces which he shared with the Mississippi Liturgy and Music conference in 1983. The bookend events of the Epiphany season are the Baptism of Christ and the Transfiguration. In both of these events, according to the synoptic Gospels, a voice from heaven affirms Jesus as the Son of God (i.e., Matthew 3:17 and 17:5). In the motet to be sung today, Hampton gives musical illumination to a small segment of scripture which is common to these two occasions. 

The organ prelude will be an extended setting from the third part of J. S. Bach’s Clavierübung that is based upon the traditional melody for Luther’s text on the baptism of our Lord, translated “Christ, our Lord, to the Jordan came” (cf. Hymnal 1982, # 139). The melody is played on the pedals of the organ, sounding in the alto register, while consistent scale-wise motion of the left hand suggests the flowing of the Jordan River, and the right hand provides additional rhythmic and harmonic texture. The postlude will be improvised.  — David Hurd

William Shakespeare, The Chandos Portrait. National Portrait Gallery, London, UK,

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . On January 13, John Basil, former artistic director of the American Globe Theater, begins a four-part series on William Shakespeare, focusing on Hamlet. The series is designed to help us read Shakespeare’s language, while looking at some of Shakespeare’s humanist and religious concerns. John writes, “This will be an introduction to William Shakespeare’s first folio and will provide an approach to the text using methods that Shakespeare and his company utilized. The participant will learn how to uncover the character’s physical life from the language. This gutsy, visceral way to analyze Shakespeare’s language teaches the participant how to use the script as a ‘blueprint.’ The Tragedy of Hamlet will be the text explored. We will also hope to uncover all of the Protestant and Catholic references that are hidden in the text. Workshops begin on January 13, at 10:00 AM in Saint Benedict’s Study, and classes are fifty minutes long.” John will lead the class on January 13, 20, 27, and February 3 . . . On Sunday, February 10, parishioner Mary Robison will make a presentation to the class on an important archival project here at the parish . . . On Sunday, February 17 and 24, Father Borja Vilallonga will lead the class in a discussion of his doctoral research done at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Father Vilallonga was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church and is now a priest of the Old Catholic Church, which is in full communion with the Episcopal Church. He is currently a research scholar at Columbia University, working with Prof. Carmela Vircillo, a great friend of Saint Mary’s, who recommended us to Father Vilallonga. His research is centered on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European Christianity—the Oxford Movement, Gallicanism, early liturgical reform, Pius IX, the First Vatican Council, and the transformation of Roman Catholicism between Vatican I and Vatican II . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will resume on January 16, when we will begin reading at James 4:1.

Saint John, viewed through candles and flowers on the high altar, in the high-altar reredos painting by Valentine d'Ogries (1922).
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF

OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We have begun our annual winter “Take One, Leave One” Project of placing a basket with woolen scarves, hats, and gloves near the ushers’ table at Forty-sixth Street. These are made available to those in need. We welcome donations of such woolen items. If you are a knitter—or a shopper!—and would like to make a donation, simply place the item in the basket; and we thank you for your generosity . . . Donations and volunteers will be needed for our next Drop-in Day on Wednesday, January 16, and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days. We are in particular need at the moment of packs of new, clean underwear for both men and women. Please contact Brother Damien Joseph, SSF, 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 with their time, talent, and treasure.

 FROM OUR RESIDENT THEATER COMPANY . . . As many Saint Marians know, Royal Family Productions, directed by Christine Henry, is in residence here at the parish, using our third-floor theater space. Royal Family has been working on a new theater piece, Anne of Green Gables: Part I, for a while now. They describe the piece as follows, “Chris Henry’s Anne of Green Gables: Part I is a one-woman, movement-fueled, theatrical experience for all ages, featuring dynamic choreography by Lorna Ventura. Starring Broadway’s Ali Ewoldt , Part I shares the journey of Anne Shirley, an imaginative, red-headed, hot-tempered, eleven-year-old orphan, and what happens when she is accidentally brought in the early years of the twentieth century to the home of two middle-aged, unmarried, and quiet siblings, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, on Prince Edward Island.” Upcoming performances will take place on the following schedule: January 24, 6:30 PM; January 25, 7:00 PM; January 26, 6:30 PM; January 27, 1:00 PM; January 28, 6:30 PM; February 2, 6:30 PM; February 3, 1:00 PM; February 4, 6:30 PM; February 8, 6:30 PM; February 9, 6:30 PM; February 10, 1:00 PM, and February 11, 6:30 PM. Tickets may be purchased online. Royal Family is very kindly offering a 20% discount to the members and friends of Saint Mary’s. Use the code STMARY20 when ordering to receive the discount.

The People are censed at the Offertory.
Photo: Br. Damien Joseph SSF

 LOOKING AHEAD . . . Friday, January 18, The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle (Said Mass at 12:10 PM and Sung Mass at 6:00 PM) . . . Monday, January 21, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday Schedule . . . Friday, January 25, The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle . . . Friday, February 1, The Eve of the Presentation . . . Wednesday, March 6, Ash Wednesday.

AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY, December 11, 2018–August 25, 2019, Plein Air Sketching in the North. From the museum website, “During the second half of the eighteenth century, the practice of using oil paint on paper while working outdoors became popular among landscape artists. Artists from Germany and Scandinavia often traveled to Italy and began making forays into the countryside to immerse themselves in nature and record their observations in small-scale studies in oil on paper. Returning home, artists focused on their native landscapes in Germany, Denmark, and Norway, depicting distinct features from inland forests to rocky coasts. These explorations coincided with the rise of national schools of painting. Through thirteen works from the Thaw Collection of oil sketches, jointly owned with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this installation highlights the innovative approaches employed by northern artists documenting the varied sites and topography of their homelands.”

CLICK HERE for this week’s schedule.

CLICK HERE for the full parish calendar.