FROM THE RECTOR: UNDERWAY
The materials abatement work on the roofs of the Mission House and the Parish House will be completed on Friday, August 16. The team was ready to wrap it up on Thursday, but because of our worship schedule for the Feast of the Assumption, they worked elsewhere that day. Already we’ve had some good news and some not-so-good news.
One of unexpected pieces of good news is that the balustrades across the front of the Mission House and the Parish House are in better shape than originally thought. Gentle scraping and gentle solvents have revealed that much less work will be needed for their conservation.
The not-so-good news is that many of the decorative stone finials on the façade are loose. We have videos of Milan Restoration team members holding and moving them—this week I’ll be exploring how we can post some of those videos to our web page. One of the spires also is not in good shape. That said, I am very, very thankful that the conservation of the façade is underway.
At our last weekly meeting with the teams Jan Hird Pokorny Associates and Milan Restoration, we learned that the glass in the entire rose window will need to come out. Organ curator Larry Trupiano told me many years ago that, though one can’t see it while standing in the nave of the church, it’s missing a lot of glass. The restoration of the window will include a new clear protective shield—one can tell by looking at the present shield from the street that the present shield needs to be replaced.
Some may remember that in May there were leaks in the small roofs above the frontal room and the confessional by Father Brown’s cenotaph. A temporary repair has been made—and has done a good job so far during recent heavy rains. In the meantime, we’ve asked our architects to design a proper repair. If I’ve learned nothing else in life, I’ve learned that if a roof is leaking, get it fixed as soon as possible.
We are also working on a proposed ramp for the 47th Street entrance of the church. There’s room for a ramp without a turn between the rectory stoop and the back door of the church. This work will also give us a chance to look at what’s going on underneath the sidewalks abutting the north wall of our complex. Some may recall that when the rectory roof was replaced in 2016, we discovered that the north wall of the Lady Chapel and the ornamented pediment over the 47th Street entrance to the church were only attached to the rest of church building by mortar—this was corrected!
I want to close with my thanks for the support and prayers of all who help keep the doors of Saint Mary’s open. You enable the powerful witness not only of this beautiful place but also the daily witness and richness of Prayer Book worship for all who enter. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Sharon, Gary, Rita, Paige, Pat, John, Bryan, Dianna, Beulah, Cyrisse, Wendell, May, Willard, Alexandra, Karen, Carolyn, Ivy, Marilouise, Takeem, Carmen, Michael, and Nicholas; and Horace, Clayton, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, PRIESTS; for James, BISHOP; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the souls of Gretel Bush and George Konyev, PRIEST . . . GRANT THEM PEACE: August 18: 1915 Mary August Ward . . . 1934 Ida Virginia Goodall; 1940 Myrna French Cloudman; 1955 Louis Herbert Gray; 2009 Maria Luppi.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . We recently received news that Gretel Bush, the wife of Harrison O. Bush, Jr., a longtime friend of this parish, died on January 30, 2019, while in hospice care near her home in Sloatsburgh, New York. She was ninety-three years old. She and Harrison had been married for sixty-three years. Please keep her, Harrison, 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.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, August 18, The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Summer Worship Schedule: Morning Prayer 8:30 AM; Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM; Solemn Mass 11:00 AM; Evening Prayer 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, August 21, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Ministry to the Homeless: Drop-in Day, 2:00–4:00 PM, Mission House Basement . . . Thursday, August 22, Mass and Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, August 23, The Centering Prayer Group, 6:30 PM in the Atrium in the Parish House, Second Floor . . . Saturday, August 24, Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Sharon Harms is a member of the Saint Mary’s Choir. Her skill and artistry are much valued by the members of the parish. Sharon was scheduled to sing at the Solemn Mass on Thursday evening and on Sunday morning. Sharon fell at home on Thursday and broke her wrist. Later in the day, she underwent surgery to repair the break. We expect that she will return to the choir soon. Chorister Joe Chappel graciously agreed to sing on Sunday morning in Sharon’s place. We are grateful to him for making this accommodation . . . The Feast of the Assumption was a very good day here at the parish. A congregation of thirty-five attended the noon Sung Mass and 238 people were at the Solemn Mass. The church was relatively cool that day. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate the feast with our many members and friends. We are grateful to all those who made the day possible . . . A Gentle Reminder: In order to prevent cash-flow problems, we ask all those who have made a financial pledge for 2019 to try to stay up to date with their pledge payments during the summer months. We are grateful to all those who continue to support the parish so generously . . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for Sunday, August 18, and for many Sundays in September and October. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Chris Howatt in the parish office . . . Brother Thomas Steffensen SSF will be away from the parish between Sunday afternoon, August 18, and Sunday, August 25. He will be on retreat in Upstate New York as he prepares to take his first vows in the Society of Saint Francis on September 14. Please keep him in your prayers. Dr. David Hurd will be away from the parish this week. Mr. Larry Long, organist and music director at the Church of the Epiphany, will play the Sung Mass on Wednesday, August 21 . . . Attendance at the Masses and Offices of the day: Last Sunday 156; Assumption 313.
HOSPITALITY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We hope to receive donations to help pay for the holy-day receptions on Thursday, August 15 (Assumption) and Friday, November 1. 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.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The cantor on Sunday morning is bass-baritone Joe Chappel, a regular member of the Choir of Saint Mary’s who has been a summer cantor here many times in past years. During the ministration of Communion, he will sing an arrangement of the African-American spiritual Give me Jesus by Moses Hogan (1957–2003). Hogan was born in New Orleans. His uncle was organist and music director and his father a bass chorister at the Baptist church his family attended as a child. Hogan’s own musical abilities were recognized and cultivated in his early years. He majored in piano at Oberlin College and then pursued graduate study at The Juilliard School and abroad. Although he was a prize-winning pianist, his musical career rapidly developed around his abilities in choral arrangement and direction. His extensive catalogue of spiritual arrangements, widely published and recorded, has reinvigorated the modern performance of that great American heritage of song, both at home and abroad. The career of this remarkable African-American musician was regrettably cut short by a brain tumor.
Sunday’s organ voluntaries continue a series, begun last Sunday, of the eight “Little” Preludes and Fugues traditionally attributed to J. S. Bach (1685–1750). These pieces are now widely believed to have been composed by one of Bach’s pupils, very likely Johann Tobias Krebs (1690–1762), or his son Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713–1780). Of these eight relatively short preludes and fugues, four are in the major keys of C, F, G, and B-flat, and the remaining four are in their relative minors of A, D, E, and G. The standard ordering of these eight pieces begins with BWV 553 in C Major and progresses up the scale to BWV 560 in B-flat. Sunday morning’s prelude will be BWV 559 in A minor, and the postlude will be BWV 553 in the relative Major key of C. BWV 559, for the prelude, is probably the most dramatic of the eight preludes and fugues, displaying elements of the stylus fantasticus (“fantastic style”) of north-German Baroque keyboard music. BWV 553, numbered first in the collection and played for the postlude, is a bright and innocently straightforward piece. Both preludes and fugues have stylistic similarities to larger works, BWV 543 and BWV 545, in the same respective keys and more certainly authentic J. S. Bach. —David Hurd
FROM THE FRIARY . . . 2019 marks the 100th year of the Province of the Americas of the Society of Saint Francis. On Holy Cross Day, September 12, 1919, Father Joseph Crookston, a priest of the Episcopal Church, officially founded what was then the Order of Saint Francis (OSF) in Merrill, Wisconsin. OSF later merged with the English Society of Saint Francis to form the Society of Saint Francis, American Province. As we begin our next 100 years, we invite you to celebrate with us. On Saturday, September 14, 2019, at 11:00 AM there will be a festal celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Church of Saint Luke in the Field, 487 Hudson Street, New York, New York. The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick, Bishop of Hawaii, is the celebrant. The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop will preach. Mass is followed by lunch and a lecture by noted scholar and writer, Sister Ilia Delio, OSF. A celebration on the West Coast will take place in San Francisco on Saturday, October 5, at 11:00 AM.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BAPTIZED OR CONFIRMED? . . . The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche, the bishop of New York, will be the celebrant and preacher for our patronal feast, the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on Monday, December 9, 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. If you would like to be baptized, confirmed, or received on December 9, please speak to Father Gerth or Father Smith or call the Parish Office.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Our next Drop-in Day will take place this coming Wednesday, August 21, 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 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 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.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Monday, September 2, Labor Day, Federal Holiday Schedule, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM. The church opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 2:00 PM. The parish offices are closed . . . Monday, September 9, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (transferred), Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, and Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Friday, September 13, Eve of Holy Cross Day, Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Saturday, September 14, Holy Cross Day, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Saturday, September 21, Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM and Mass 12:10 PM . . . Sunday, September 29, Saint Michael and All Angels.
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue and Eighty-second Street, until October 6, 2019, Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519). From the museum website, “To commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Met presents the artist’s painting Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness (begun around 1483), a special loan from the Vatican Museums. The exquisitely rendered work represents Jerome (A.D. 347–420), a major saint and theologian of the Christian Church. The scene is based on the story of his later life, which he spent as a hermit in the desert, according to the thirteenth-century Golden Legend. The unfinished painting provides viewers with an extraordinary glimpse into Leonardo’s creative process.”