The Angelus


The 35th Annual Brazilian Day celebration was held on Sunday, September 1. West 46th Street between Fifth and Seventh Avenues has the honorary name "Little Brazil Street." The photograph looks east to Sixth Avenue from underneath the construction scaffolding.
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF


There are two feast days in September that may be celebrated on a Sunday when they fall on a Sunday. They are Holy Cross Day, September 14, and Saint Michael and All Angels, September 29. This year Holy Cross Day is a Saturday, and as is our custom, there will be a Sung Mass on the eve, Friday, September 13, at 6:00 PM, and the 12:10 Eucharist on Saturday, September 14, will be for Holy Cross Day. Saint Michael and All Angels, commonly called “Michaelmas,” falls on Sunday this year. The Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturday, September 28, and the Offices and Eucharists on September 29 will all be Michaelmas celebrations.

Father Jay Smith was celebrant and preacher.
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF

By tradition, Saint Matthew is identified as an “Apostle and Evangelist.” His feast day is September 21. This year, September 21 being a Saturday, the Eucharist for Saint Matthew will be the 12:10 Daily Mass on the twenty-first. This celebration dates in the Christian West from the ninth century (M. H. Shepherd, The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary [1950], 250–51).

The gospel ascribed to Matthew identifies him as a tax collector (Matthew 9:9, 10:3). In Mark the tax collector among the disciples is “Levi the son of Alphaeus” (Mark 2:14). In Luke also, Levi is the tax collector (Luke 5:27) and the “son of Alphaeus” is named James (Luke 6:15). Luke repeats this identification of Matthew and James in his second book, the Acts of the Apostles (1:13). Raymond Brown, in his An Introduction to the New Testament (1997), in a “Summary of Basic Information” wrote this about Matthew:

“Author by Traditional (2nd-century) Attribution: Matthew, a tax-collector, among the Twelve, wrote either the Gospel or a collection of the Lord’s sayings in Aramaic. Some who reject this picture allow that something written by Matthew may have made its way into the present Gospel” (page 172).

“Author Detectable from Contents: A Greek-speaker, who knew Aramaic or Hebrew or both and was not an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry, drew on Mark and a collection of the sayings of the Lord [“Sayings Source”], as well as on other available traditions, oral or written. Probably a Jewish Christian” (Ibid.).

Although a very few scholars still hold on to the traditional attribution, the evangelist was almost certainly not the apostle. That said, one more comment from the summary I liked reading: “Unity and Integrity: No major reason to think of more than one author or of any sizable additions to what he wrote.” We’re dealing with “Good News” about Jesus Christ from the latter half of the first century (Ibid.).

Finally, there is one traditional commemoration of Mary still omitted by our Episcopal Church, but one which has found a home in the Church of England and other churches of the Anglican Communion, the Nativity of Mary on September 8. The commemoration has been celebrated by our parish at least since 1892 (The Arrow, v. 1, n. 12, September 1892, page 2)—I suspect there may be records of earlier celebrations in our music archives, but they are so fragile that I am reluctant to research this question.

Thuribles and boats are polished by our Harka Gurung, our senior sexton. They shine!
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in Holy Women, Holy Men (2010) found no place for Mary’s Nativity on September 8 or her Conception on December 8, again, another feast widely celebrated in the Anglican Communion. Mary did not choose to be Jesus’ mother; God willed it (Luke 1:31). Unlike Moses, Mary did not try to talk God out of his decision.

Because Mary’s Nativity is a “lesser feast,” this year it is transferred by us from Sunday, September 8, to Monday, September 9. On Monday we will also commemorate in our prayers Constance, Nun, and her Companions. Constance was one of the first of thirty-eight Episcopal and Roman Catholic members of religious orders for women in Memphis, Tennessee, to die in the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic. The women had stayed in the city to care for the sick. In addition to the 12:10 Daily Mass on Monday, there will be a Sung Mass in honor of Mary at 6:00 PM.

Finally, I draw your attention to the September 11, 2001, Requiem that will be celebrated on Wednesday, September 11, at the 12:10 Sung Mass. It is a day to pray for the victims, their families, and for all who serve to keep us safe at home and abroad. —Stephen Gerth

YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Joan, Ellie, Chris, Linda, Gene, Marie, Jon, Gary, Rita, Pat, John, Esther, Bryan, Dianna, Beulah, Cyrisse, Wendell, May, Willard, Alexandra, Karen, Carolyn, Ivy, Marilouise, Takeem, Carmen, Michael, and Dennis; for Horace, Gene, Gaylord, Louis, Edgar, priests, and James, bishop; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the souls of George Ballard and Mia Hoffman . . . GRANT THEM PEACE: September 8: 1890 Rosetta Ann Wright; 1905 John W. Horton.

IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . George Ballard, the husband of former parishioner Joan Baldridge Ballard, died in the early hours of Thursday, September 5, near his home in Little Rock, Arkansas, after a brief illness. Please keep George, Joan, their family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers . . . Mia Hoffman, fifty-year old niece of parishioner Ellie Hoffman, was found dead at her home by her parents on Thursday, September 5. Please pray for Mia, her parents, for Ellie and for all who mourn.

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

Joe Chappell was cantor and soloist for the Solemn Mass.
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF

EPISCOPAL RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT is the outreach arm of the Episcopal Church. In partnership with dioceses in the United States and other churches of the Anglican Communion affected by Hurricane Dorian, they have already begun to respond. As we go to press on Friday afternoon, September 6, we are only beginning to know of the breadth of the tragedy the hurricane brought to the Bahamas. You can donate to Hurricane Relief on their website at this link. I have made a donation, and I invite you to do so as you are able. —S.G.

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.

THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, September 8, The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Summer Worship Schedule: Morning Prayer 8:30 AM; Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM; Solemn Mass 11:00 AM (Sung by the Chapel Choir of Emmanuel College, Cambridge); Evening Prayer 5:00 PM . . . Monday, September 9, The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (transferred from September 8), Morning Prayer 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM, Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Wednesday, September 11, 2001, Requiem, Sung Mass 12:10 PM; Clothing Ministry: Grab and Go, 2:00–3:00 PM, Narthex . . . Friday, September 13, Eve of Holy Cross Day, Sung Mass 6:00 PM; Centering Prayer Group, 6:30 PM in the Atrium in the Parish House, Second Floor . . . Saturday, September 14, Holy Cross Day, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Mass 12:10 PM

46TH STREET FAÇADE RESTORATION . . . As we go to press on Friday afternoon, September 6, our contractors await the work permit for the restoration project from the New York City Department of Buildings. We understand the paperwork is complete and in order. We are hopeful it will be granted today. —S.G.

Jason Mudd and Mary Robison were part of the usher team on Sunday.
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF

LOOKING FOR A FEW FRIENDLY WOMEN AND MEN . . . Two of our faithful ushers have had to leave the Guild of Ushers in recent weeks. They hope to return, but they are not sure when that will be possible. The ranks of our ushers were already a bit thin, and so we are feeling these recent losses in the ranks rather keenly. We hope that some of our friends and members might feel called to this very important ministry. If you would like to find out more about what’s involved, please speak to one of the ushers, or to Father Jay Smith or Father Gerth. We need you! And we thank all those who have served in this ministry over the years. —J.R.S.

AROUND THE PARISH . . . On Thursday evening, on the way to Evening Prayer, Father Smith ran into David Leibowitz, music director of our resident orchestra, the New York Repertory Orchestra. David was preparing for his first rehearsal of the season, here in the church. He seemed eager to get to work, and he expressed his enthusiastic approval of the new lighting in the nave. He and Father Smith also discussed the impending arrival of new chairs that will replace the white-plastic folding chairs that have seen better days. Such are the steps taken, the problems solved, the improvements made that make our common life better, and all because of the ingenuity, hard work, and generosity of so many members of this community, and all to the glory of God . . . The 2019–2020 Concert Season Schedule, including the NYRO concerts, has been posted on the parish website . . . The Chapel Choir of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, UK, will sing the service on Sunday, September 8, 2019, at 11:00 AM. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the parish. We urge all our members and friends to mark the approaching end of summer by attending church that day in order to worship with, and to welcome, our British guests . . . Father Matt Jacobson will be celebrant and homilist for the 12:10 Mass on Monday, September 9, the second anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. We are thankful for his ministry among us . . . Father Jay Smith will be away from the parish on vacation between Sunday, September 8, and Sunday, September 29. He will also be in Boston between Monday, September 30, and Wednesday, October 2, attending a Leadership in Ministry Conference. He then returns to the parish on Thursday, October 3 . . . Attendance at the Masses and Offices of the day: Last Sunday 165.

SPECIAL WORDS OF THANKS . . . This summer, as members of the staff have taken some well-earned vacation time, we have been blessed to have so many able and dedicated volunteers who have helped to keep things running. In addition to our acolytes, ushers, bakers of bread, givers of hospitality, and the members of our Altar Guild, we have had a corps of faithful volunteers who have kept our clothing ministry going. A special word of thanks is due to Brother Damien Joseph SSF and Brother Thomas SSF, who continue to manage that ministry, write grant proposals, train volunteers, and order supplies, sometimes doing so from the lovely wilds of northern Michigan; to the Reverend Deacon Lind Phillips, who volunteers at our Drop-in Days and is often here for the Grab-and-Gos; to Gypsy da Silva, who proofreads endless bulletins and other printed materials; to Clint Best, who has worked many extra hours in the office during these summer months; and to our assisting priests, Father Jim Pace, Father Matt Jacobs, and Mother Alison Turner, who have taken many extra services this summer. (Father Peter Powell has been laboring in other mission fields. Happily, he’ll be back in the fall!)

The washing of the celebrant's hands at Solemn Mass. After the preparation of the gifts and the censing of the altar, the ceremony is functional: clean hands for handling the bread that is to be offered and shared.
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF

FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday is the four-voice Missa secunda of Hans Leo Hassler. Hassler was born in Nuremberg and baptized on October 26, 1564. His musical career 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. His Missa secunda, first published in Nuremberg in 1599, is a model of efficient and concise text setting. The text is mostly set syllabically, and much of the musical texture is homophonic and rhythmically energetic. Often Hassler has the higher two voices and lower two voices singing phrases in playful alternation. These aspects all help to set forth the text with particular clarity. The motet sung during the communion, Beatus vir qui non abiit, is a four-voice setting of Psalm 1:1–3 from Hassler’s Cantiones sacrae of 1591. —David Hurd

OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Our next Drop-in Day will take place this coming Wednesday, September 18, 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 have a special need at the moment for women’s underwear, including brassieres, in a variety of sizes, boxer shorts and briefs for men in a variety of sizes, white and black socks for men, disposable razors, and sneakers in a variety of sizes. Before you know it, we’ll be hoping to receive donations of warm clothing: jackets, scarves, gloves, stocking caps, and coats . . . 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.

Detail from the baptistery window: the Blessed Virgin Mary crowned (1924 --- 1925). By Valentine d'Ogries (1889 --- 1959)
Photo: Damien Joseph SSF

LOOKING AHEAD . . . 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 . . . Thursday, October 3, Eve of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Transitus Service 6:30 PM, Lady Chapel . . . Friday, October 4, Saint Francis of Assisi, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Sunday, October 6, The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Beginning of the 2019–2020 Choir Season: Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 and 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass with Choir 11:00 AM, Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM.

AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at Thirty-sixth Street, through September 22, 2019, Hogarth: Cruelty and Humor. From the museum website, “The satirical scenes of the celebrated English artist William Hogarth (1697–1764) are iconic representations of eighteenth-century urban life at a time of great socio-economic disparity. An academic outsider and an activist, Hogarth was driven to innovate, creating new genres and modes of expression in his painting, printmaking, and drawing in his effort to elevate the status of British art. This exhibition will investigate the ways the artist used humor, satire, and political commentary to engage a broad audience and agitate for legislation and political goals. The exhibition features the Morgan’s exceptional cache of six sheets preparatory for two of Hogarth’s most revered print series, both issued in February 1751: Beer Street and Gin Lane and The Four Stages of Cruelty. The story of Hogarth’s images reveals an artist who addressed the ills and injustices of life in a modern metropolis, exploring the connections between violence, crime, alcohol abuse, and cruelty to animals in ways that would amuse, occasionally shock, and edify his audience.

CLICK HERE for this week’s schedule.

CLICK HERE for the full parish calendar.