FROM THE RECTOR: TWO ENDINGS
The twentieth chapter of John's gospel recounts three appearances of the Risen Lord. Two were on the day of resurrection, one in the morning at the tomb to Mary Magdalene and one in the evening to the disciples except for Thomas. The following Sunday Jesus returned. He said to all of the disciples, "Peace be with you" (20:26) and to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing" (20:27). Count me among those who think that Thomas believed when he saw and heard the Risen Christ. Then Jesus says to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (20:29).
New Testament scholar Francis J. Moloney, among many others, calls the next two verses, "The Conclusion of the Gospel." These verses are the conclusion of the first twenty chapters: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (20:30 --- 31). And then Moloney directs our attention to the evangelist's words after Jesus' body was pierced by a spear, "He who saw it has borne witness-his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth-that you also may believe" (19:35).
John 21 is called an "Epilogue" by many scholars, but that seems to imply that it is a conclusion of the previous twenty chapters-and there are very good reasons of style and content to suggest that it is not. But it is canonical, accepted as far as I know, as Good News. The late Raymond E. Brown wrote that, "From textual evidence, including that of such early witnesses as [Papyrus 66] and Tertullian, the Gospel was never circulated without ch. xxi" (The Gospel According to John (xiii-xxi) , 1077).
The chapter includes two stories. The first is heard on this Third Sunday of Easter in Year C of the Sunday Lectionary. It tells the story of Jesus' appearance at the Sea of Tiberias to seven of the disciples including Simon Peter and the Beloved Disciple (21:1 --- 14). The second follows the first in the same location, a conversation among Jesus, Peter, and the Beloved Disciple (20:15 --- 24). This is heard on the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (June 29). The second ending of John (20:25) is never appointed to be read. It's not unimportant: "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (While writing this I discovered that none of chapter 21 is read in the Daily Office. I don't know where it's going to go at Saint Mary's, but it's coming in. I think our Daily Office should include all of the New Testament, even the parts that may make us feel uncomfortable.)
Now who was "the disciple Jesus loved?" We do not know. We do know that he appears only in John and in John not until the supper before the passover (13:23). He is at the cross with the mother of Jesus (19:25 --- 27). And he was the first to believe (20:8). Works for me. --- --- Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Barbara, Francis, Willard, Maria, Maritza, Paul, Rita, David, Russell, Bryan, Dianna, Beulah, Donald, Cyrisse, Wendell, May, Alexandra, Kyle, Karen, Susan, Marilouise, Takeem, José, Carmen, Emily, Michael, and Burton; and Horace, Rick, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the soul of Jonathan Bost.
GRANT THEM PEACE. . . May 5: 1911 William Ellwood; 1912 John Thomas Barry, Adelaide Langford Harrout; 1920 Henry A. Renling; 1934 Catherine Sinclair Chauncey; 1942 Paul Wagstaff Craig; 1943 Marnie Johnston; 1945 Anna David Haines; 1965 Elizabeth Perrigo.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, May 4, 10:00 AM, Burial of the Dead for Rick Austill . . . Sunday, May 5, Third Sunday of Easter, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass and May Crowning 11:00 AM, Annual Meeting of the Parish 12:30 PM, Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, May 1, Sung Mass12:10 PM . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on May 8, at 6:30 PM . . . Thursday, May 9, Mass with Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, May 10, Centering Prayer Group, 6:30 PM in the Atrium in the Parish House, Second Floor.
THE TD FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR is this Sunday. It begins downtown at Franklin and Church Streets. It moves to Fifth Avenue south of Houston Street, and continues on Fifth until turning to cross the Madison Avenue Bridge to the Bronx.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The Annual Meeting of the Parish will take place in Saint Joseph's Hall following the Solemn Mass on Sunday, May 5. The Meeting, chaired by the rector, will acknowledge reports prepared by members of the parish and of the parish staff. Delegates to Diocesan Convention will be nominated. The Meeting normally lasts around thirty minutes . . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for the following dates: May 12 and 19, and June 2 (Easter 7), 9 (Day of Pentecost), and 16 (Trinity Sunday) . . . Brother Damien Joseph SSF returns to the parish on Saturday, May 4. He has been attending a meeting of the Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas (CAROA) in Racine, Wisconsin . . . Brother Desmond Alban SSF will be visiting Saint Mary's from the afternoon of Saturday, May 4, until Tuesday, May 7. Brother Desmond Alban is minister provincial for the Americas of the Society of Saint Francis . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 158.
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 (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.
VISUAL ARTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . A new exhibition, Carlos Arteaga: Paintings and Drawings, is on view until May 31 in the Gallery in Saint Joseph's Hall. For more information, contact curator, José Vidal. You may also view more of Carlos's work on his website . . . An icon by the parish's resident iconographer, Zachary Roesemann, can now be viewed on the website of Episcopal Church & Visual Arts (ECVA). The icon, Holy Cross Triptych: Christ Pantocrator with SS. Benedict and James Huntington (Egg tempera and twenty-three-carat gold leaf on board; approximately 4x5 feet) was written for Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York. Zachary writes, "We are taught that God is present everywhere. But humans have always sought God in sacred places, often creating them both for worship and as acts of worship. We need the beauty of holiness. This icon celebrates that beauty in several ways. Written for the Chapter Room at Holy Cross . . . the three images are chosen particularly for those living out the monastic calling in that place. Father Huntington, the founder of the Order of the Holy Cross, presents to Christ the beauty of a community of monks as well as the beautiful architecture of the monastery. Benedict presents the beauty of his written rule and the beautiful structure of life it sets up. The background shows the natural beauty of the site of the monastery, where monks fulfill their vow of stability. The icon is made of beautiful, natural materials of creation, from gold to pigments from across the earth. And then there is Christ himself. Radiant with love, robed in precious lapis lazuli, he both blesses us and invites us. He himself is the true beauty of holiness. The icon draws us to him-to look, to be still, to worship, and to love."
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 of cash, clothing, or toiletry articles, or to 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.
INTERFAITH EVENT . . . On Friday, June 7, 10:15 AM-2:00 PM, the Episcopal-Jewish Relations Committee of the Diocese of New York will be the guests for a private tour at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place in lower Manhattan. Schedule of the day: Gather at the museum at 10:15 AM, Tour 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Lunch (optional), 12:00-2:00 PM. The cost of the tour is $14.50 ($10.50 for seniors). The cost of the lunch is $14.50. In order to register for this event, please visit the diocesan website. For more information about the museum and its work, please visit the museum website.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is the Mass for four voices by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Tallis was one of the most foundational composers of English church music. His long life and musical career included service under four English monarchs --- --- Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I --- --- with all the shifts in the church's liturgical and institutional life which these different reigns occasioned. Tallis' early life is not well documented, but references to his musical employment begin to appear as early as 1532 when he was appointed organist at the Benedictine Priory of Dover. Notably he was later employed at Canterbury Cathedral and served as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. Along with William Byrd (1543 --- 1632), Tallis enjoyed an exclusive license to print and publish music which was granted by Elizabeth I in 1575. While he was one of the first musicians to compose for the new Anglican rites of the mid-sixteenth century, Tallis retained an affection for the Latin forms and continued to compose extensively for them. Tallis' unnamed Latin Mass for four voices probably dates from the 1550s. Its musical style reflects the trend of that time away from very florid liturgical settings and toward syllabic and chordal compositions, favoring clearer declamation of the text.
Complementing Tallis' Mass for four voices on Sunday is a setting by William Byrd, also for four voices, of the antiphon Cibavit eos. This antiphon and its customary companion verse are derived from Psalm 81, verses 16 and 1 respectively. Byrd's setting, published in his 1605 Gradualia I, is structured to be the Introit for the Feast of The Body and Blood of Christ; the antiphon is followed in turn by the verse in a reduced voicing, Gloria Patri, and finally a repetition of the antiphon. Sung at the Communion this morning, Gloria Patri will be omitted.
The organ prelude and postlude on Sunday are, respectively Prelude and the Fugue in D Major, BWV 532, of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 --- 1750). This is a youthful and exuberant piece, and sparkles with a joyful Easter spirit from the opening ascending pedal scale which launches the three-sectioned Prelude. The opening and closing sections of the Prelude are in a free fantasia style, while the center section features more ordered writing, and is marked Alla breve to indicate a feeling of two beats to the bar. The Fugue is built on a theme presented as a short figure repeated four times followed by a brief pause and the sequential repetition of a similar figure. From this simplicity of melodic material, Bach builds a bright and energetic piece, and not without a sense of humor. --- --- David Hurd
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. . . The Adult Forum will meet 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's 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 continues its reading of the Passion Narrative in the Gospel of Luke on May 8 in St. Benedict's Study following Evening Prayer.
HOSPITALITY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARY'S . . . We hope to receive donations to help pay for the holy-day receptions on Thursday, May 30 (Ascension Day), and Thursday, August 15 (Assumption). 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.