FROM THE RECTOR: NOVEMBER 2019
November always begins with a lot of worship. One feels it a little less in years when All Saints' and All Souls' both fall in the middle of the week. This year, with November beginning on a Friday, we will have had significant worship daily from the eve of All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day on Saturday, through Sunday, for us at Saint Mary's, the Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost.
The 1928 Prayer Book gave All Saints' a beautiful proper preface for the Eucharistic Prayer: "who, in the multitude of thy Saints, hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us, and, together with them, may receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away" (page 79). It also gave All Saints' Day an "octave." That meant, that the collect for All Saint's Day would be used on the Sunday following the day. The present Prayer Book says this: "All Saints' Day may always be observed on the Sunday following November 1, in addition to its observance on the fixed date" (page 15). We observe All Saints' on Sunday when it falls on Sunday.
For some time now, with the help of Brother Damien Joseph (Photoshop), Brother Thomas (copy editing), Father Smith (copy editing), and me (also editing --- --- and a little Photoshop), the 2020 parish calendar is moving closer to production. The work begins early in the new year when I draft the monthly clergy schedule for the following year. When that's done, I work on the color-coded monthly schedule that lists all of the daily services of the year-over 1,400 of them.
As our work on the calendar has continued, we continue to focus our commemorations, when possible, on the day of a person's death. Coming down to us from the church of the late first- and early-second century, is the belief that the day of one's death is the day a believer enters eternal life, their "heavenly birthday." This principle helps to shape the optional days of observance.
One of the things publishing our own calendar has done is to enable me, and I hope for other members of the parish community, to gain clarity about what we do when we remember the saints-the New Testament word for a baptized believer. I continue to meditate on the observation I came across in Paul Bradshaw and Maxwell Johnson's The Origins of Feasts, Fasts and Seasons in Early Christianity , made by Cyrille Vogel (1919 --- 1982), "that up until the middle of the second century ancient burial inscriptions reveal that Christians prayed both for and to deceased Christians, whether they were martyrs or not" (179 --- 80). What is our relationship in this life now to those who have gone before, especially for me, my parents and my grandmothers?
In addition to All Saints' and All Souls', the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle is celebrated on November 30. This November we commemorate one event in the life of the Episcopal Church, the consecration of Samuel Seabury, first American bishop, on November 14, 1784. We also commemorate fourteen people on twelve days. Amazingly, we know the dates of death of all but one of them-the exception being Clement, an early bishop of Rome. The Prayer Book gives his year of death as "c. 100." He is remembered on November 23.
On Saturday, November 30, at Evening Prayer the collect and lessons will be for the eve of the First Sunday of Advent, the new church year. On Sunday, December 8, 2019, we will begin our one hundred-fiftieth year of serving our neighborhood, our city, and the wider church. --- --- Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Nathan, Linda, Denis, George, Kenneth, Ruben, Francis, Mary Hope, Melvin Jack, Ellie, Pat, Ann, Gene, Marie, May, Willard, Alexandra, Karen, Marilouise, Takeem, John, Michael, Rita, Ivy, Carolyn, and Dennis; Horace, Gene, Gaylord, Louis, Edgar, priests; Jennifer, bishop; the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Edward; and all the benefactors and friends of this parish . . . GRANT THEM PEACE: November 3: 1897 Susan Taber Congdon; 1918 George Francis; 1937 Anthony Maler; 1957 Francis Mills Smith.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . On All Souls' Day, during the Prayers of the People, we will give thanks for the members, friends, and benefactors of this parish who died during the past year, and we remember them in our prayers, Rick Austill; George Ballard; Marci Basden; Harm Bouckaert, Doris Bretzger-McLellan; Betsy Brown; Vincent Burroughs; Gretel Bush; Gregg M. Carder; Denise Corbé; Robert Derstein; Melissa Dorssom; Patricia D. Downer; Camilo Estremera; Roy Molitor Ford, Sr.; Carol Renée Gates; Mia Hoffman; Rodney M. Hurd; Madeline Pecquex; Paula Peterson; Charles Postlewate; Elizabeth Rockwell; Dorothy Rogers; Barbara Segal; Barbara Sletten; Shelley Preston Storm; Yolanda Goldyng Travieso; Rebecca Victor; James Cronen, OSB, monk and priest; Michael Siconolfi, SJ, priest; Michael Whalley, priest; and James Winchester Montgomery, bishop.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the Lord's crucifixion.
46TH STREET PROJECT REPORT . . . For some weeks now, our contractor has been attempting to pull-the verb that is used-a work permit for the conservation of our church's 46th Street façade. The holdup has come down to the question of whether "Project-Specific General Liability Insurance" is required for the work to be done. At this point, Milan Restoration and Jan Hird Pokorny Associates are approaching a resolution in every way that is open to them. As I understand it, the scope of work to be done here doesn't ordinarily trigger the need for this type of insurance — as far as we know. The Department of Buildings is right to be cautious in their review. As frustrating as it is for our team, a resolution will be forthcoming. It is just taking time. — S.G.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Sunday, November 3, Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, Sung Matins 8:30 AM; Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM; Adult Forum 10:00 AM; Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Solemn Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Annual Requiem Masses: Monday-Friday, November 4-8, Mass at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM. The Mass at 12:10 PM on Wednesday is a Sung Mass . . . Wednesday, November 6, Clothing Ministry: Wednesday Afternoon Grab-and-Go, 2:00-3:00 PM, Narthex; Bible Study Class 7:00 PM (after Evening Mass), Saint Benedict's Study: Friday, November 8, Centering Prayer Group 6:30 PM, Morning Room, Parish House, 145 West Forty-sixth Street . . . Friday, November 8, 7:00 PM, in Saint Joseph's Hall, Art Opening: Equidistancia/Equidistance, work by interdisciplinary artist Daniel Djuro-Goiricelaya . . . Monday, November 11, Veterans' Day, all weekday services are offered and the parish offices are open. The church opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 6:30 PM on November 11. All scheduled twelve-step groups meet in the Mission House.
ALL SOULS' DAY REMEMBRANCES . . . On the weekdays following All Souls' Day, November 2, we will celebrate our annual Parish Requiem Masses. Each day there will be two Masses, one at 12:10 PM and the other at 6:20 PM. The departed will be remembered at each Mass during the Prayers of the People. The first names of the departed will be read according to the following schedule. Please note: the list of names is organized according to the last name of the person making the request, according to the following schedule: November 4 (A - E), November 5 (F - K), November 6 (L - N), November 7 (O - Q), November 8 (R - Z). This means, for example, that on Monday, November 4, names provided by Charles Abercrombie will be read. On Friday, November 8, names provided by Hagar Zenobia will be read. Our annual All Souls' packets were mailed last week. A form for the names of the departed was included in the packet. The form may be mailed to the parish office or dropped in the collection basket at Mass.
A donation is traditional at All Souls' and may be made by mail or by placing the donation in an envelope in the collection basket, with All Souls' Day written in the memo line of the check. We are grateful for your generous support of the parish. The offering will be used for the conservation of candlesticks and candelabra so they can again be used on the high altar.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Parishioner MaryJane Boland and Daniel Louis Picard were married in the church on Saturday, October 26, at 2:00 PM. Sexton Shalim Peña is to receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism at the Solemn Mass on All Saints' Day, Friday, November 1. Please keep MaryJane, Daniel, and Shalim in your prayers . . . Daylight Saving Time will end at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3. Clocks should be turned back one hour . . . The Adult Forum will meet this Sunday, November 3, at 10:00 AM, in Saint Benedict's Study. The class will be led by Father Peter Powell . . . Parishioner Cooki Winborn will appear in Lorraine Hansberry's iconic play, A Raisin in the Sun, at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, New York, November14 --- December 1, 2019. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the theater website . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, November 10 and 17, and for many Sundays in January and February. Please be in touch with Chris Howatt in the parish office if you would like to make a donation for one of these dates. Donations to support the work of the Flower Guild at Christmas are always welcome . . . Attendance at all Offices and Masses: Last Sunday 185.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . Father Peter Powell will be teaching the Adult Forum on Sunday mornings during the month of November. He writes, "On the four Sundays in November, we will be reading from the last twelve books of the Old Testament. All you need to participate is curiosity about the Bible. Why should this interest you? The issues each prophet addressed are relevant today as we work out how to be faithful in a divided society. These books, known as The Twelve or as the Minor Prophets, include Hosea, Amos, Jonah, and Habakkuk. We will examine them in their original setting and then move into how they speak to us today. We will begin with Hosea and Amos and then get as far into the others as we can. Amos and Hosea tell us about how to be faithful in a time in which conservative religion appears to be in control of our culture. The twelve prophets lived in a time when religion dominated, but faith was absent. Our time is much like that. I invite you to join me in November as we begin this important study of how God works in our world." These classes will meet at 10:00 AM on Sunday mornings in November, in Saint Benedict's Study, in the Parish House, 145 West Forty-sixth Street . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class, led by Father Jay Smith, is studying the forms of prayer in the Hebrew Bible, while exploring the ways in which we ourselves pray, asking ourselves: what does it mean to complain, lament, seek, inquire, meditate, intercede, praise, or give thanks. After an introduction to the topic, the class will study and read closely one or two biblical texts each week. The class meets next on November 6 at 7:00 PM, after the evening Requiem Mass. The class takes place in Saint Benedict's Study in the Parish House.
THE VISUAL ARTS PROJECT . . . On Friday, November 8, at 7:00 PM, there will be a reception to mark the opening of a new art exhibition in the Gallery in Saint Joseph's Hall: Equidistancia/Equidistance. This will be a solo exhibition of work by the interdisciplinary artist Daniel Djuro-Goiricelaya. The work was created during Daniel's recent residency in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. For more information, please contact gallery curator, José Vidal.
NEWS FROM THE FRIARY . . . Brother Damien SSF and Brother Thomas SSF will lead a Quiet Day at the Church of the Holy Trinity, East Eighty-eighth Street, on November 2, 2019. Contact Brother Damien Joseph for more information.
ABOUT THE MUSIC ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3 . . . The musical setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is Missa O quam glorisosum est regnum of Tomás Luís de Victoria (1548 --- 1611). It was published in Victoria's First Book of Masses (1583), and carried a dedication to King Philip II of Spain. Victoria, considered the most important Spanish composer of Renaissance polyphony, was born in Avila, the seventh of eleven children. He began his musical education as a choirboy at Avila Cathedral, and his classical education at San Gil, a Jesuit school for boys founded in 1554. By 1565, Victoria had entered the Jesuit Collegio Germanico in Rome, where he was later engaged to teach music and eventually named maestro di cappella. Victoria knew and may have been instructed by Palestrina (1525 --- 1594) who was maestro di cappella of the nearby Seminario Romano at that time. During his years in Rome, Victoria held several positions as singer, organist, and choral master and published many of his compositions. He was ordained priest in 1575 after a three-day diaconate. There are twenty authenticated Mass settings of Victoria of which the Missa O quam glorisosum est regnum is one of several in the style of Missa parodia. In this case, Victoria parodies his own motet of the same title. The full text of the motet translates as "O how glorious is the Kingdom wherein all the saints rejoice with Christ; clothed in white robes they follow the Lamb wherever he goes, alleluia." This is the Magnificat antiphon for the Feast of All Saints. Victoria's manner of parody resists the usual practice of beginning each Mass movement with a clear reference to the motet from which its themes are derived. Rather, he skillfully selects his borrowed themes and applies them where they best serve their new texts. The setting, one of the best known of Victoria's Masses, is for four voices.
Sunday's Communion motet is by Hans Leo Hassler, who was born in Nuremberg and baptized on October 26, 1564. Hassler had a musical career that bridged the late Renaissance to the early Baroque periods. His initial musical instruction was from his father, Isaak Hassler (c. 1530 --- 1591). Hans Leo left home in 1584 to study in Venice with Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1532 --- 1585) and become a friend and fellow pupil with Gabrieli's nephew Giovanni (c. 1554 --- 1612). Thus Hassler was one of the first of a succession of German composers to experience in Italy the musical innovations that were shaping what would later be identified as Baroque style. Hassler was recognized in his day not only as a composer, but also as an organist and a consultant on organ design. Although he was a Protestant, Hassler's early compositions were for the Roman church. Hassler's five-voice setting of the first four verses of Psalm 96 was published in Nuremberg in his Cantiones sacrae, 1591. Hassler's works also include two other settings of this joyful psalm text: the often-performed four voice setting from his Sacri concentus, 1601, and an impressive polychoral setting for twelve voices in three choirs. The five-voice setting, sung today, employs SSATB voices and is mostly in an imitative polyphonic style. At et benedicite it shifts briefly from duple to triple meter and from polyphony to homophony. At annunciate the polyphonic imitation resumes beginning at the bottom of the choir and ascending voice by voice to the top.
This morning's organ voluntaries are the first and second movements from Te Deum Laudamus, a four-movement work by David Hurd, organist and music director at Saint Mary's. Te Deum Laudamus, based upon the Latin hymn for which it is named, was composed in 1981 for Larry King, who was then director of music at Trinity Church, Wall Street. Dr. King premiered Te Deum Laudamus at Manhattan's Riverside Church in July 1982. The second movement of Te Deum Laudamus, played for the prelude today, is subtitled The Adoration. It has four distinct sections, each of which incorporates pertinent segments of the ancient Te Deum plainsong melody. The sections represent the four constituencies which are praising God in the hymn. The Apostles' praise is set in twelve-tone technique; the Prophets' praise uses ascending thirds and canonic imitation; the Martyrs' praise is expressed in boldly juxtaposed major triads; the Holy Church's praise is a five-voice fantasia in which the chant cantus firmus is fully given out in the upper pedal voice. The first movement of Te Deum Laudamus, played for the postlude, is a Toccata subtitled The Acknowledgement. The chant melody for the initial verse of Te Deum provides the cantus firmus which is played in long tones on the pedals in the outer sections of this movement. This same melody serves as a fugue subject for the central section. --- --- David Hurd
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Our next Drop-in Day will take place Wednesday, November 20, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, in the Mission House basement. On those Wednesdays when a Drop-in Day does not take place, we continue to offer our Grab-and-Go days-from 2:00 to 3:00 PM-in the former Gift Shop, just off the church Narthex. On those days, basic, even emergency, items can normally be provided-socks, underwear, toiletry articles, and, in the winter months, cold-weather clothing. Please contact Brother Damien if you would like to donate cash, clothing, or toiletry articles, or to volunteer for this important ministry. We have a particular need at the moment for cooler weather clothing: gently used jackets, coats and sweatshirts of varying weights, jeans, slacks and sweatpants. We always need new socks and underwear in various sizes. Our number of guests continues to grow, and we are always grateful for your financial contributions to this project. We can also use a few more volunteers for our once per month drop-in days . . . We continue to receive donations of canned goods and other nonperishable food items for the Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Donations may be placed in the basket next to the Ushers' Table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church.