The Angelus

Volume 6, Number 51

Commitment Sunday

This Sunday, November 21, 2004 is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Church year.  If you are a part of the local congregation or can be in New York this week, please bring your pledge card to Mass and plan to stay for a little while at Coffee Hour and celebrate the various ministries of the parish.  Completed cards can be placed in the offering plate at Mass or if you live outside the city or will be away, please return your pledge by mail.  If by chance you have not received pledge materials for 2005, it may be that we do not have a correct mailing address for you.  If you let the parish office know, we will send you a packet.

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Volume 6, Number 50

The Great Liturgical Parish

Saint Mary’s is not always easy to describe.  Through its history many have tried.  One phrase often used was “The Cathedral of Anglo-catholicism.”  That was good.  Saint Mary’s has since its inception been a leading parish in the Episcopal Church.  What goes on here has mattered for others.  I can attest that I have followed Saint Mary’s since my seminary days at Nashotah House. I never visited the parish until I came here to interview for my current position. 

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Volume 6, Number 49

Concerts at Saint Mary’s

Earlier this year two different people, one a parishioner and one a friend of Saint Mary’s, both spoke to me about the need to get a concert series going here.  People often speak to me about things they think the parish should be doing, but this was different: these two promised to write checks to help make it happen.  This got my attention.  Robert McCormick and I went to work.

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Volume 6, Number 48

Saints and Souls

Almost all Episcopal parishes will celebrate Sunday, November 7, as “All Saints’ Sunday.”  The Prayer Book allows this provided there is also an observance on All Saints’ Day, November 1.  Sadly, almost everywhere the transfer occurs and November 1 is mostly ignored.  There are lots of reasons for this.  It simply takes an extraordinary commitment for any Christian to organize his or her life around the life of his church community.  I suspect it always has.

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Volume 6, Number 47

From Father Beddingfield: Why do we bow?

Visitors to Saint Mary’s sometimes ask, “Why do people bow and nod and kneel so much here?”  I usually explain that it has to do with piety and the way many of us try to enact our beliefs, connecting word with body, prayer with posture.  (I also choose to believe that the nodding of heads at random times during my preaching has to do with piety rather than the unfortunate combination of a large breakfast and a boring sermon!)  I know that it is sometimes frustrating for newcomers that there is no manual or guide to gesture and posture in worship,

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Volume 6, Number 46

From Father Beddingfield: The Multiplication of Saint Marians

As Saint John tells the story, they were on the other side of the Sea of Galilee and a whole multitude had followed them.  It was almost time for Passover and expectation must have been hanging in the air.  The people were hungry.  Jesus could see that.  They were hungry for food, but they were also hungry for miracles, for wonders, for love—hungry for God.  As Jesus looked out on the multitude he must have been near despair. 

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Volume 6, Number 45

From Father Beddingfield: ROI at SMV

The other night I went to a college alumni/alumnae function.   As I talked with old friends and met some new ones, they were intrigued that I serve a parish in Times Square.  I talked with several people about weddings and talked about our music.  I talked about the history of the church.  And with several people, I talked about money. 

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Volume 6, Number 44

Dedication

It’s remarkable that the way Saint Mary’s plays with the Church calendar is to observe the first Sunday in October as the Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church.  It isn’t.  Our present and second church home was consecrated by the Bishop of New York, the Right Reverend Henry C. Potter, on December 12, 1895, four days after the first service was held in the building on December 8, 1895.  From 1896, December 8 was celebrated as our patronal feast and as the anniversary of dedication, again curiously, since the Church calendar seems to have been followed very strictly, then as it is now.

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Volume 6, Number 43

Our Contribution

I rejoice in the diversity of the parish and the many different ways in which individuals really can participate as members and as friends.  Our parish community is unusual in many respects.  One of the most striking, I think, is how many members are here only on occasion for worship.  That’s due to many factors, especially the shape personal and professional life takes here in New York. 

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Volume 6, Number 42

From Father Beddingfield: What music should we choose?

There is a radio program called Marketplace that discusses financial news and stories relating to the economy.  In the segment called “doing the numbers” it reports on the day’s activity on the stock market and major economic indicators.  The background music for this report depends on the mood of the day.  If the market is up and the economy robust, the music played is “We’re in the money.”  If the indicators are bad and the outlook is poor, one hears the more melancholy “Stormy weather.”

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Volume 6, Number 41

Ordination of a Priest

Matthew Mead is to be ordained priest on Saturday, September 18, at 10:30 AM at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.  He will serve as celebrant and preacher at the Eucharist for the first time here at Saint Mary’s on Sunday, September 19, at 11:00 AM.  I hope very much that many of you will be able to be at the Cathedral for the Ordination of Priests (nine of them!) and for Matthew’s first Mass on Sunday.

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Volume 6, Number 40

September at Saint Mary’s

September 2004 brings for our community services of remembrance for our city and the victims of the terrorists attack of September 11, 2001.  We are also looking forward very much to the joyful event of at the Cathedral on Saturday, September 18, when Matthew Mead is to be ordained priest.  In addition to the Sunday Masses, two important feasts occur this month.  Holy Cross Day is Tuesday, September 14.  The Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels is Wednesday, September 29.

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Volume 6, Number 39

From Our Seminarian: Discoveries

This summer, part of my work at Saint Mary’s has been to work with the textile curator on the vestment conservation project.  It has been a time of discoveries for me.  I grew up Methodist and never had given vesture a great deal of thought.  One of the great joys of being at Saint Mary’s has been learning first-hand what vestments have to do with worship and what they have been traditionally thought to signify.  Many of you reading this may be smiling in pity that I had such an impoverished worship life.  Many of you may remember when you, too, first encountered the rich worship of this place.

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Volume 6, Number 38

Wow

It didn’t rain in midtown Manhattan between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Sunday, August 15, 2004.  It threatened.  Sometime during the 11:00 AM Mass the rain came, but our procession through Times Square was spared.  The sky may have been gray.  There was one huckster yelling at us.  But the square was filled with joyful Christians who seemed to genuinely welcome the witness of this community.  One doesn’t expect people who are driving cars to slow down and so obviously sing along, but many did.  It was just great.

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Volume 6, Number 37

The Assumption of Mary

The Episcopal Church observes August 15 as the “Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Here at Saint Mary’s we name the feast by its more usual title, “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”  We celebrate God’s work in Mary’s life and we pray that we may share with her in the glory of God’s kingdom.

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Volume 6, Number 36

Response to Evil

Walking home through Times Square on Monday night, August 2, I saw the NASDAQ MarketSite surrounded by police and police cars.  It touched a nerve.  My emotions kicked in big time.  I generally try to keep my memories of September 11 and its aftermath sanely and appropriately in a part of my brain where I don’t think about them.  But occasionally, as on Monday night, something can trigger the memories and the emotions.  Once triggered, I’m off to the races, emotionally speaking.

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Volume 6, Number 35

Midsummer at Saint Mary’s

Worship is the mission at Saint Mary’s all year long.  In August, in addition to the daily and Sunday services, two important feasts are observed.  On August 6 the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.  On August 15 the Church celebrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  This year the Transfiguration falls on a Friday.  As is our custom, there will be a Sung Mass at 6:00 PM. 

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Volume 6, Number 34

Signs

Three times a week I try to jog in Central Park.  Occasionally there are witnesses to this; I have been spotted more than I wish.  I’m almost used to being recognized by people – something I didn’t think would be so common when I first moved here.  Frankly, a couple of years ago I thought I would be giving up on jogging.  Then, I discovered the bridle path in Central Park.  My knees love it.  And as long as I don’t push them too much, it seems as if I’m going to continue to be able jog for some years to come.

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Volume 6, Number 33

Confidence

In the winter of 1978 I was a participant in the Berkeley Urdu Language Program that was held in Lahore, Pakistan.  At the time I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago in South Asian history.  Urdu language and literature was one of my fields.  The program and living in Pakistan for three months was a great experience.  I haven’t been back to Pakistan or India since then.  Someday I very much want to go back.  But I know that the experience I had in 1978 would not be possible today for a young unmarried Christian American male.

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Volume 6, Number 32

Flavor

I finally got to the greenmarket in Union Square a few Saturdays ago.  I didn’t buy much – eggs (just a half-dozen, no notes to my physician, please), potatoes, zucchini and garlic.  It’s still early in the season for a lot of things.  I don’t know where the potatoes were from but they were freshly dug.   I had almost forgotten how good new potatoes can taste.  Even more, I really had forgotten how good zucchini can be – yes, zucchini, that was the real surprise.

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