FROM THE RECTOR: EASTER SEASON
On Monday morning, April 15, Joe Chappell, a member of our choir and a longtime friend of longtime parishioner, Rick Austill, shared with us the news that Rick had died unexpectedly on Palm Sunday night. Rick was a very talented musician and artist, one of the anchors of our Flower Guild. It was his turn to be in charge of the decorations for Holy Week and Easter Day. I saw Rick a lot last week. He was here for many hours, preparing for the week to come and creating the arrangements for Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday night, he was with close friends at a restaurant having supper. He got up from the table to go downstairs to the restroom. It seems that he fell. An ambulance was called, and, after the EMTs arrived, his friends discovered what had happened. They followed to Bellevue Hospital Center. They were with Rick when he died just before 10:00 PM. His death has shocked and saddened all of us who knew him. Rick formally joined Saint Mary’s on May 5, 2000. At his death, he was 63 years old.
I think it is fair to say that Rick’s “last rites” on Palm Sunday were both the Solemn Mass of the Passion and supper with his friends. On Sunday I gave him the Bread at Communion. I spoke to him about the arrangements on the altar after Mass. Since Monday, my mind—or my heart—has carried me every morning to one of the petitions of the Burial of the Dead, “Help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting” (The Book of Common Prayer , 481).
Arrangements are being made for the Burial of the Dead here at Saint Mary’s. As soon they are finalized, I will announce them. Rick’s death brings home the deepest meaning of Easter: the life of the world to come. For those of us who knew him, we will remember this as the Easter that Rick died.
Easter begins on Easter Eve, Saturday, April 20, with the Great Vigil of Easter at 7:00 PM. Holy Baptism will be celebrated. A reception will follow in Saint Joseph’s Hall. On Easter Day, at 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM we have Said Eucharists with Hymns—we sing at every service on Easter Day. The Solemn Mass is at 11:00 AM. There are refreshments in Saint Joseph’s Hall after all of the morning services.
Easter Day Evensong is very special. The parish choir sings. We have a procession to the font. Most of all, we hear two stories from the gospels of Jesus’ appearances the evening of the day of resurrection. During Evensong, we hear John 20:19–23, Jesus’ appearance to his disciples. During Benediction, we hear Luke 24:13–35, Jesus’ Appearance to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus. “Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory” (Cecil Frances Alexander [1818–1895], alt. The Hymnal 1982, no. 180). —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Zu Hui, Harm, Paul, Rita, Marie, Russell, Paige, Jonathan, Carmen, Bryan, Dianna, Beulah, Donald, Cyrisse, Wendell, May, Alexandra, Kyle, Karen, Susan, Marilouise, Takeem, Norman, José, Emily, Michael, and Abraham; and Horace, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the soul of Rick Austill.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 21: 1877 Louis Many; 1878 Annie Kent; 1941 Frank Julius Hoffman; 1958 Madeline Seaman.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Longtime parishioner Rick Austill died suddenly on the evening of Palm Sunday, April 14. He is survived by members of his extended family and by a large community of friends here in New York, including members of this parish. Please keep Rick, his friends and family, and all who mourn in your prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Monday, April 22, Monday in Easter Week, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM. The church is open 7:00 AM–7:00 PM. Only the noonday services are offered . . . Wednesday, April 24, Sung Mass 12:10 PM; The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will not meet on April 24 . . . Thursday, April 25 Mass with Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, April 26, Centering Prayer Group, 6:30 PM in the Atrium in the Parish House, Second Floor . . .During Easter Week confessions are heard only by appointment.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . It has been a difficult week for the members of the Flower Guild. They have lost a colleague, a leader, and a friend. Still, they continue to work hard and well, as they prepare for Easter. They have been joined by a number of members of the parish community, who have stepped up to fill the void left by the death of Rick Austill. We are grateful to them and to all those—ushers, acolytes, sacristy team, musicians, sextons, bakers of bread, launderers of linen, members of the staff, and assisting priests who work so hard and give so generously during Holy Week. We are very grateful . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 186.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Our next Drop-in Day will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 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 in the former Gift Shop 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 or Brother Thomas, if you would like to make a donation to or volunteer for this important ministry . . . We continue to receive donations of canned goods and other non-perishable 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.
AIDS WALK 2019 . . . On Sunday, May 19, Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk Team will once again walk to support those living with—or at risk of contracting—HIV/AIDS. This year, Saint Mary’s Team hopes to be even more successful than last year, when we raised $61,153 and ranked number 6 among all teams.
Team leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell recently met with Kelsey Louie, the CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) to hear more about what our funds help to pay for and learned some exciting news about the organization. Two takeaways from their meeting: GMHC has moved to a new space, more centrally located on West Thirty-eighth Street and better suited to serve the 15,000 clients it sees a year; and GMHC has announced a strategic partnership with a leading HIV research and education nonprofit, ACRIA, which will broaden GMHC’s scope to include not only service, but also research and policy.
We invite you to join our Team and raise money with us—or simply to make a donation to Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk Team. You can join or donate to our Team online. You may also donate by mailing us a check, paid to the order of AIDS Walk New York I (not paid to the order of Saint Mary’s), to the Finance Office at 145 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036, or place your check in one of the shrine boxes in the church or in the collection basket. If you have questions, please contact Father Jay Smith or co-leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell. We are very grateful to all those who have supported the Team in past years, and we look forward to this year’s campaign.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Herbert Howells (1892–1983) was a remarkable twentieth-century English composer. He was mentored in his youth by some of the most prominent English musicians of the time including C. V. Stanford, C. H. H. Parry, and Charles Wood. Rather than pursuing the more avant-garde impulses which propelled some young composers of his time, he cultivated the more tonally oriented, but distinctively original vocabulary of melody, harmony and lyrical rhythms for which his music is recognized. He was highly regarded, particularly in Anglican church circles, for his richly expressive anthems and settings of the morning and evening daily office canticles. Howells’ sensitivity for the expression of texts communicated itself also into his instrumental compositions, many of which have scriptural or other programmatic subtexts.
Howells’ Saraband for the Morning of Easter, the organ prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning, is the second of his Six Pieces for Organ published in 1949. In its ABA structure and with singing melody, Howells colors his stately dance of Easter morning in the shades of his distinctive post-romantic harmonic palette, finally ending in a blaze of C-Major brilliance.
Howells’ great contribution to Anglican church music is his several services designed for particular cathedrals, parishes, and collegiate chapels. Each of these services responds to the architecture, acoustic, and musical tradition of the place for which it was composed. Of all these services, those designated Collegium Regale are the most exhaustive. Sunday morning’s Mass setting is Howells’ Collegium Regale Office of Holy Communion, composed for King’s College, Cambridge. Howells’ association with Cambridge dated from 1941 when he became acting organist at Saint John’s College, replacing Robin Orr who had been called away to service in World War II. In 1944, at the urging of the then dean of neighboring King’s College, Eric Milner-White, Howells composed the Collegium Regale morning canticles, Te Deum and Jubilate. The following year he added to the Collegium Regale settings by composing evening canticles Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. (These latter canticles will be sung here at Saint Mary’s on Sunday afternoon at Evensong.) Then, finally, in 1956, Howells completed his Collegium Regale collection by setting The Office of Holy Communion. Howells’ Collegium Regale settings all feature an extraordinarily expressive partnership between voices and organ. They are clearly a family of compositions, all crafted to function in the same household. For example, although separated by twelve years, the 1944 Te Deum and 1956 Gloria are very close siblings which share essential thematic elements.
The antiphon Haec dies quam fecit Dominus (“This is the day which the Lord has made”) is traditionally appointed to be sung throughout Easter Week. As such, many splendid choral settings of this text have been composed over the centuries. The setting of this antiphon, composed by Herbert Howells and sung at the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning during the administration of Communion, was first performed at Compline of Easter Day 1918 at Westminster Cathedral, London, under the direction of Howells’ early mentor, Dr. Richard Terry. Haec dies was the last of nine works that Howells composed for the Latin liturgy at Westminster Cathedral while he was a student at the Royal College of Music. Published posthumously in 1992, Howells’s dramatic setting of this ancient Easter antiphon is scored for five voices. —David Hurd
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Adult Forum will not meet on April 21, Easter Day, nor on Sunday, April 28 . . . The class meets next on Sunday, May 5, at 10:00 AM, when Mary Robison will discuss her work in the parish archive. Mary writes, “Father Taber, rector of Saint Mary’s between 1939 and 1964, writes in the April 1950 edition of Ave, the parish magazine, ‘Just inside the church door at the foot of the south aisle there has been erected our Calvary Shrine, which is a thank offering for the sacrifices of the men and women of Saint Mary’s in World War II. It is a call to us all willingly to offer up our daily sacrifice in union with the Great Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.’ We’ll talk about the shrine, and its symbolism, while focusing on the sacrifices made by two parishioners during the war. The first is Constance Rivington Winant (1899–1983), the wife of John Gilbert Winant, U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, 1941–1946. Mrs. Winant’s gifts to the parish are memorialized in the chapels. The second is the Rev. Dr. Clifford E. Barry Nobes, parish missionary, interred in a concentration camp in the Philippines during the war.” Mary is a librarian and archivist. She serves the parish as usher, reader, and secretary of the Board of Trustees . . .On May 12 and 19, Father Matthew Jacobson will lead the Adult Forum in a series that takes us back to sixteenth-century Europe and the controversies between Protestants and Roman Catholics concerning the Eucharist. Father Jacobson writes, “In these last two sessions of the academic year, we will look at a series of sermons preached by Carlo Borromeo (1538–1584) on and around the feast of Corpus Christi in 1583. Borromeo was the archbishop of Milan and an important figure in the Catholic Reformation, also known as the Counter Reformation. We will read Borromeo’s sermons with an eye to their historical context, considering Borromeo central role in the Catholic Renewal. We will also look at some of the writings of Borromeo’s contemporary, Richard Hooker (1554–1600), to give us an Anglican perspective on the Eucharist. The class will include time for discussion and reflection on the Eucharist ahead of our own celebration of Corpus Christi in late June . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class, led by Father Jay Smith will not meet on April 24. The class resumes on May 1, at 7:00 PM, following the evening Mass, when the class will continue its reading of the Passion Narrative in the Gospel of Luke, which will be heard this coming Sunday, Palm Sunday. On May 1, the class will begin its reading at Luke 23:26, as Jesus is led away to be crucified.
HOSPITALITY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We hope to receive donations to help pay for the holy-day receptions on 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.
AT THE MUSEUMS . . . Beginning May 24, 2019, at the New-York Historical Society, Seventy-seventh Street and Central Park West, Stonewall 50 at New-York Historical Society. From the museum’s website, “[We will] commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and the dawn of the gay liberation movement with two new exhibitions and a special installation. Letting Loose and Fighting Back: LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall explores the history of LGBTQ bars, clubs, and nightlife in New York City during the second half of the twentieth century. The exhibition highlights the ways in which nightlife—though subjected to policing, unfavorable public policies, and Mafia control—has been critical to finding identity, building community, developing political awareness, and fostering genres of creative expression that have influenced popular culture worldwide.
Curated by the Lesbian Herstory Archives Graphic Committee, By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives examines lesbian lives both pre- and post-Stonewall, highlighting institution-building, organization, and networking within the LGBTQ movement with a focus on the contributions of lesbians and queer women.
A special graphic installation, Say It Loud, Out and Proud: Fifty Years of Pride, uses imagery from five decades of New York City Pride marches to animate a timeline of significant moments in national and New York LGBTQ history, illustrating the ways in which the fight for equal rights for LGBTQ citizens is constant and ongoing.