Collect for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Sexagesima)

O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Week at the Advent, February 16-22, 2020

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.


The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Frederick L. Haupert.


TODAY


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Betsy Ridge Madsen with Tom & Carolyn McDermott. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

1:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are David Fisher, Maggie Eggert and Nick Westberg. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule and select a date to co-host, visit www.theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


Entr’acte.  Led by Rick Stone, “New Testament Perspectives on Old Testament Law” continues with “Paul and the Law.” The series concludes next Sunday with “Hebrews and the Priesthood of Christ.” Entr’acte follows 9:00 am and the 11:15 am Masses in the Hunnewell Room (Library).

The next Entr’acte series. On the first Sunday in Lent, Robin Landrith will begin a study of  “In the Beginning…’: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall.” This series of homilies was delivered by Pope Benedict XVI, then Joseph Ratzinger, during the Lenten season of 1981, and Lent remains a fitting time to renew reflections on the first principles of our world. Benedict’s homilies focus on Israel’s experience of God as Creator in the unfolding testimony of the Hebrew Scriptures, together with the ethical implications of belief in creation as recounted by the Bible as a whole—that is, in light of the fulfillment of creation revealed in Christ. This lens frames Benedict’s effort to render the creation account reasonable in light of the scientific and technological advances of our time, while also preserving the story’s strangeness and corrective force in the midst of challenges posed—in light of these advances—to the substance of Christian faith. The aim of this study, then, is to help us reflect, in preparation for our celebration of the Resurrection, on what it might mean to be a “new creation” by looking, in the words of Wendell Berry, “far backward as through clearer eyes / to what unsighted hope believes: / The blessed conviviality that sang Creation’s seventh sunrise.”

See “Looking Toward Lent” below for more Lenten offerings.


Advent Tour. Today following the 11:15 Mass, our Verger, Raymond Porter, will give a 10-15 minute tour of the church building. Meet him in the Baptistry immediately following the Postlude and learn about our fascinating, complicated, historic building. Tours occur regularly on the third Sunday of each month.


Evensong & Benediction. This evening at 5:00 pm, Evensong will be sung by The Advent Choir, featuring “Like as the Hart” by Howells, and the new (to us!) Magdalene College Service and Responses of Kenneth Leighton. The service lasts no more than one hour, and is followed by a light supper and libation in Moseley Hall to which all are invited.

Mark Dwyer will speak to us during supper about Music and the Anglo-Catholic Revival, Part Two: “What did they sing and why did they sing it?” Concurrent theological, artistic, architectural and musical movements came together during the mid-nineteenth century to produce an ongoing search for the ideal sacred music: that which is beautifully fitting, and fittingly beautiful.

Barbara Bruns, our friend and neighbor from Christ Church, Andover, will play a Prelude Organ Recital at 4:30 pm, featuring works of Dupré and Franck and Howells. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, magna cum laude, from Augustana College and a Master of Music degree, with honors, from the New England Conservatory. Recognized as an accomplished recitalist, accompanist, and conductor, she is the recipient of the “Outstanding Alumni Award” from Augustana College and has concertized extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Since 1976 she has performed as soloist for national conventions of the Organ Historical Society, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.


Name Tags. If you have a nametag, please wear it at coffee hour. This helps us know each other better – and helps Fr. Anderson learn all our names.


THIS WEEK


A requiem will be said in the Lady Chapel with a special intention for the repose of the soul of Michael Terranova this Monday, February 17 at 3:00 in the afternoon. The interment will immediately follow in the All Souls’ columbarium. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Theology on Tap returns this Tuesday, February 18, at 7:00 pm at MAST’ Restaurant and Drinkery – The Lower Bar, 45 Province Street, Boston. The Rev’d Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff will discuss How to Choose Your Heresy: An Introductory Guide to This Perennially Popular Primrose Path.

Rowan Greer,  the late Professor of Yale Divinity School and  distinguished church historian, used to be fond of saying of modern Episcopalians that, “We are all Pelagians now”. His ironic remark highlights the point that not being a heretic may be harder than many suppose for modern Christians. After all,  there is a marked strand in present Western culture which sees some degree of dissent from almost any historic tradition as a prerequisite of sophistication (and if used in its earliest sense this may be true).

Such considerations give interest, not only to the history of heresy in Christianity,  which is as long as the history of the Church itself, but also to the meaning of the concept and its distinction from apostasy and blasphemy. Moreover, far from being a merely historic concept,  it is increasingly evident that in an age of ever more strident idealogical puritanism the concept looks likely to have a new and even brighter future ahead. This presentation will look thus both at some of the recurring tendencies that have defined the most common forms of Christian heresy but also at the nature and continuing significance of the concept itself, thus enabling those still determined to go down the heretical path to make their choices in ways that are (in the spirit of a consumerist age) at least in some degree better informed.


An introductory course in Biblical Greek will be offered at 6:45 pm on Thursdays at 43 South Russell Street. Corey Rouse will lead a 1.5 hour course using Clayton Croy’s Primer of Biblical Greek. Registration not required! Email carignanrouse@gmail.com for more information.


COMING UP!


Looking toward Lent

The solemn season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday, February 26. To make a right start of Lent, Masses will be offered at 7:30 am, 12:15 pm, and 6:30 pm. The Imposition of Ashes will be included at each of the Masses. It is not too early to be thinking and praying about taking on Lent disciplines. If you need help determining what your Lenten disciplines should be, you should contact and seek the counsel of one of the clergy.

Again this year we will also have a Parish Lenten Discipline published and available before Ash Wednesday. This Lenten program allows all of us to keep a Lenten discipline together with weekly Scripture readings, acts of self-discipline, and meditations we can all take on as a community. Please look for copies of the Parish Lenten Discipline as they become available in the west end of the Church.

THE GESIMAS

“Septuagesima – seventy days
To Easter’s primrose tide of praise;
The Gesimas – Septua, Sexa, Quinc
Mean Lent is near, which makes you think.”

Septuagesima, Sir John Betjeman

Before the reforms of the 1960s, three pre-Lenten Sundays were part of the Church calendar. These Sundays, with the hard to pronounce names of Septuagesima, Sexagesmia, and Quinquagesima, denoted the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth days before Easter. While we no longer keep “Gesimatide”, it does afford us an opportunity to begin thinking about what Lenten disciplines we might observe. Here are a few:

Mondays in Lent: Women’s Book Study at 6:00 pm. A five-week discussion of A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans.

Wednesdays in Lent: Readings in John study immediately following the 6:00  pm Healing Mass.

Thursdays in Lent: Stations of the Cross and Benediction at 6:00 pm.

All beginning the first week of March.

During Lent, Morning Prayer will be said at 8:00 am to encourage attendance at the Offices. The Wednesday Bible Study will also move forward one hour, to 9:00 am, during this time.

Reminder: Palms for Ashes. There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday.


ODDS & ENDS


A special custom for the Epiphany season

Saint Matthew tells us that when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem to visit Jesus, they found him and his mother in a house, not the stable where they had found their first temporary shelter. This is a cue that our Epiphany celebration should focus on our own houses, and it is a very old custom to bless houses on Epiphany. In the East, in particular, it is the custom for the parish priest to go through the parish blessing houses — not the elaborate blessing of a new home, but a special blessing that is also often given at Easter, a renewal of the homes in which the people of God dwell and live out the mystery of faith day by day. In recent years, this custom has been revived in some places in the West, and the Book of Occasional Services of The Episcopal Church provides forms for this blessing. However, there is another way of blessing homes at Epiphany that begins in church, but does not require the priest to go from house to house — something that would be quite impossible in non-geographical parishes like ours. This custom involves chalk that is blessed by the priest and taken home by families to mark the doors of their homes.

There is a basket of blessed chalk on the table near the main door of the Church. The chalk is to be used to hallow all our homes throughout our parish and our city. Please take some home with you. The initials of the legendary names of the wise men are written with blessed chalk on the lintel above the front door of the house, framed by the numbers of the new year, in this way:

20 + G + M + B + 20

After making the inscription, the following prayer is offered:

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Leader: Let us pray. O Lord, holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, we beseech you to hear us and vouchsafe to send your holy Angel from heaven to guard and cherish, protect and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this home. I call upon thy Saints Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, to protect my family, friends and all who enter here from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a reminder to us that my home is truly the House of the Lord. O God, make the door of my house the gateway to thy Eternal Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord.  
All: Amen.


Discount parking vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Nola Sheffer or are also available at the Bookstore. You can find them between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? email: nsheffer@newview.org.


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


Significant portions of the Church of the Advent archives were taken to the Boston Athenaeum decades ago, and later transferred to the Diocesan Archives on Tremont Street. As part of the 175th anniversary observations, these records, documents, artifacts, and artwork will be returned to their rightful home at 30 Brimmer Street. The letter below is part of that collection, and dates to the parish’s 1847 move to the Green Street meeting-house (also pictured below), described in the centenary history as “a substantial structure of brick, far from ecclesiastical in appearance, but, after undergoing the needed alterations, not ill-adapted to the requirements of the parish, being capable of holding not far from six hundred persons.” It is addressed to the parish’s first rector, the Rev. William Croswell, and signed C. G. Prescott. At this writing, no connection to the later, more well-known Prescott, Oliver Sherman Prescott, has been found.

[Ed. note: Green Street, which can be seen on this map, no longer exists. The Green Street church was located approximately where the Longfellow Place apartment building now stands.]


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
February 17-23, 2020

Monday, February 17
Janani Luwum (Parish Office Closed)
3:00 pm: Requiem for Michael Terranova

Tuesday, February 18
Martin Luther

6:00 pm: Community Supper
7:00 pm: Theology on Tap @ MAST’

Wednesday, February 19
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, February 20
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 21
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, February 22
9:00 am: Cathedral Retreat
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
10:00 am: Advent Flower Guild

Sunday, February 23
The Last Sunday after the Epiphany (Quinquagesima)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte/Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

This Week at the Advent, February 9-15, 2020

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.


The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Robert S. Boles.


TODAY


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Darcy Montaldi & Tony Pulsone, with Nola Sheffer. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

1:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are Kara & Philip Marshall, and Jeff & Roxy Hanson. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule and select a date to co-host, visit www.theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


Entr’acte Resumes Today! Our own Rick Stone will lead a series of three sessions entitled “New Testament Perspectives on Old Testament Law.” Continuing the next two Sundays, this series begins with “The Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and The Great Commandment”, continues with “Paul and the Law”, and concludes with “Hebrews and the Priesthood of Christ.” For those new to the Advent, Entr’acte (“between the acts”) is held between the 9:00 am and the 11:15 am Masses in the Hunnewell Room (Library).


Compline at the Advent. Join us today at 8:00 pm, for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline, the service of prayer before bedtime in the custom of early Christian monasticism, on the second Sunday of every month.


THIS WEEK


The Wednesday Bible Study is embarking on a reading of Isaiah. All are welcome. The group meets in the Hunnewell Room) Library, at 10:00 am until the beginning of Lent, the moves to 9:00 am during the Lenten season.


An introductory course in Biblical Greek will be offered at 6:45 pm on Thursdays at 43 South Russell Street. Corey Rouse will lead a 1.5 hour course using Clayton Croy’s Primer of Biblical Greek. Registration not required! Email carignanrouse@gmail.com for more information.


“Rise Against Hunger” this Saturday, February 15, from 10:00 am to noon in Moseley Hall. The Advent is once again hosting a Rise Against Hunger event for the members of our Diocese who are in the Boston Harbor Deanery. These are dry food packages — one complete meal in each package — that will be sent somewhere around the world where people are hungry. The goal of Rise Against Hunger is to see an end to hunger in our lifetime — a very lofty goal, and we can do our part.

We ask those who volunteer to arrive at 9:45 am. We are also looking for donations to offset the $3,500 it takes to put on the event and meet the cost of the food and materials. Any gifts to help with this cause will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact Father James. For more info, go to www.riseagainsthunger.org.


NEXT SUNDAY


Advent Tour. Today following the 11:15 Mass, our Verger, Raymond Porter, will give a 10–15 minute tour of the church building. Meet him in the Baptistry immediately following the Postlude and learn about our fascinating, complicated, historic building. Tours occur regularly on the third Sunday of each month.


Evensong & Benediction. Next Sunday, February 16 at 5:00 pm, Evensong will be sung by The Advent Choir, featuring “Like as the Hart” by Howells, and the new (to us!) Magdalene College Service and Responses of Kenneth Leighton. The service lasts no more than one hour, and is followed by a light supper and libation in Moseley Hall to which all are invited.

Mark Dwyer will speak to us during supper about Music and the Anglo-Catholic Revival, Part Two: “What did they sing and why did they sing it?” Concurrent theological, artistic, architectural and musical movements came together during the mid-nineteenth century to produce an ongoing search for the ideal sacred music: that which is beautifully fitting, and fittingly beautiful.

Barbara Bruns, our friend and neighbor from Christ Church, Andover, will play a Prelude Organ Recital at 4:30 pm, featuring works of Dupré and Franck and Howells. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, magna cum laude, from Augustana College and a Master of Music degree, with honors, from the New England Conservatory. Recognized as an accomplished recitalist, accompanist, and conductor, she is the recipient of the “Outstanding Alumni Award” from Augustana College and has concertized extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Since 1976 she has performed as soloist for national conventions of the Organ Historical Society, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.


COMING UP!


A requiem will be said in the Lady Chapel with a special intention for the repose of the soul of Michael Terranova next Monday, February 17 at 3:00 in the afternoon. The interment will immediately follow in the All Souls’ columbarium. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Looking toward Lent

The solemn season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday, February 26. To make a right start of Lent, Masses will be offered at 7:30 am, 12:15 pm, and 6:30 pm. The Imposition of Ashes will be included at each of the Masses. It is not too early to be thinking and praying about taking on Lent disciplines. If you need help determining what your Lenten disciplines should be, you should contact and seek the counsel of one of the clergy.

Again this year we will also have a Parish Lenten Discipline published and available before Ash Wednesday. This Lenten program allows all of us to keep a Lenten discipline together with weekly Scripture readings, acts of self-discipline, and meditations we can all take on as a community. Please look for copies of the Parish Lenten Discipline as they become available in the west end of the Church.

A Lenten Note from the Rector:

THE GESIMAS

“Septuagesima – seventy days
To Easter’s primrose tide of praise;
The Gesimas – Septua, Sexa, Quinc
Mean Lent is near, which makes you think.”

Septuagesima, Sir John Betjeman

Before the reforms of the 1960s, three pre-Lenten Sundays were part of the Church calendar. These Sundays, with the hard to pronounce names of Septuagesima, Sexagesmia, and Quinquagesima, denoted the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth days before Easter. While we no longer keep “Gesimatide”, it does afford us an opportunity to begin thinking about what Lenten disciplines we might observe. Here are a few:

Mondays in Lent: Women’s Book Study at 6:00 pm. A five-week discussion of A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans.

Wednesdays in Lent: Readings in John study immediately following the 6:00  pm Healing Mass.

Thursdays in Lent: Stations of the Cross at 6:00 pm

All beginning the first week of March.

During Lent, Morning Prayer will be said at 8:00 am to encourage attendance at the Offices. The Wednesday Bible Study will also move forward one hour, to 9:00 am, during this time.

Reminder: Palms for Ashes. There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday.


A NOTE FROM DEACON NOYES


A Note of Gratitude:

To all my friends and companions at the Church of the Advent —

My heart is full of gratitude for the many hugs, smiles, best wishes, notes, prayers, and — yes — even tears on the occasion of my farewell Sunday two weeks ago. I am learning that part of retirement is to take everything as it comes: the good days, the not-so-good days — and am buoyed by the many friendships and rich trove of memories developed over the years.

While I won’t be with you for Sunday and other liturgies, I am continuing with great pleasure to plough the fertile fields of the Advent Archives and will be providing stories From the Advent Archives regularly. In addition, my commitment to the Parish’s 175th anniversary is ongoing, working with donors and conservators to preserve and share our treasured artifacts and documents.

What an honor and privilege it has been to serve as your deacon, and to be in your midst at the most holy times: baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals, not to mention coffee hours, picnics, seminars and workshops, and chance encounters. In the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…”

Ever yours with prayers, love, and hope,

Deacon Daphne B. Noyes


ODDS & ENDS


A special custom for The First Sunday after The Epiphany

Saint Matthew tells us that when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem to visit Jesus, they found him and his mother in a house, not the stable where they had found their first temporary shelter. This is a cue that our Epiphany celebration should focus on our own houses, and it is a very old custom to bless houses on Epiphany. In the East, in particular, it is the custom for the parish priest to go through the parish blessing houses — not the elaborate blessing of a new home, but a special blessing that is also often given at Easter, a renewal of the homes in which the people of God dwell and live out the mystery of faith day by day. In recent years, this custom has been revived in some places in the West, and the Book of Occasional Services of The Episcopal Church provides forms for this blessing. However, there is another way of blessing homes at Epiphany that begins in church, but does not require the priest to go from house to house — something that would be quite impossible in non-geographical parishes like ours. This custom involves chalk that is blessed by the priest and taken home by families to mark the doors of their homes.

There is a basket of blessed chalk on the table near the main door of the Church. The chalk is to be used to hallow all our homes throughout our parish and our city. Please take some home with you. The initials of the legendary names of the wise men are written with blessed chalk on the lintel above the front door of the house, framed by the numbers of the new year, in this way:

20 + G + M + B + 20

After making the inscription, the following prayer is offered:

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Leader: Let us pray. O Lord, holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, we beseech you to hear us and vouchsafe to send your holy Angel from heaven to guard and cherish, protect and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this home. I call upon thy Saints Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, to protect my family, friends and all who enter here from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a reminder to us that my home is truly the House of the Lord. O God, make the door of my house the gateway to thy Eternal Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord.  
All: Amen.


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


A selection of six antiquarian books is on display in the lobby. These range from one of the earliest editions of the American Book of Common Prayer (1806), to a 1941 Book of Remembrance, documenting memorial gifts to fund furnishing the All Souls Room, now known as the Frisby Room. A copy of the 1806 Prayer Book, from the same publisher, in similar condition, is listed on AbeBooks for $750.

The books reflect facets of church, family, and national history, for example:

  • The final sacramental act of the Rev. William Croswell, on November 9, 1851, was to baptize Emily Otis Salter, daughter of Richard and Abbie Salter. “The holy hand which applied the consecrated element to the brow of this precious infant became motionless in death before it had time to record this its last sacramental act.” (#4 in the display)
  • Captain Thomas L. Sullivan, US Army, made a donation in memory of William G. Thompson, Esq., a parishioner at the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, member of the Massachusetts Bar, “friend of the oppressed and helpless, an uncompromising foe of entrenched political corruption, from his grateful and unknown friend.” Thompson was a defense lawyer at the controversial trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Venzetti, Italian immigrants convicted of first-degree murder during an armed robbery, and executed in Boston in 1927. (#3 in the display)
  • A Prayer-Book designed by Charles Robert Ashbee―architect, designer, social reformer, and a major force behind the Arts and Crafts Movement in England. He was one of the most significant figures in British artistic and cultural life at the turn of the century. (#5 in the display)

A binder containing sample pages from these books, together with supporting material, is on top of the display case.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
February 10-16, 2020

Monday, February 10
Scholastica
6:00 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, February 11
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, February 12
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, February 13
Absalom Jones
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 14
Cyril & Methodius
8:15 am: Advent School Community Share
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, February 15
Thomas Bray
10:00 am: Rise Against Hunger
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
10:00 am: Advent Flower Guild

Sunday, February 16
The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Sexagesima)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte/Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
4:30 pm: Organ Recital by Barbara Bruns
5:00 pm: Solemn Evensong & Benediction

Collect for Candlemas

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This Week at the Advent, February 2-8, 2020

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.


The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Frank Leighton.

The flowers at the crossing are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Polly Warren.


TODAY


On this Feast of Candlemas, we welcome the Rev’d Douglas Anderson, the Sixteenth Rector of the Church of the Advent. Fr. Anderson preaches and celebrates at both the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses, and we have the opportunity to greet him at festive potluck coffee hours (contributions welcome!) following each. We also expect a celebratory quarter peal by the Advent Bell Ringers around 2:00 pm.


Saint Blaise Day. We will remember and observe our Saint Blaise Day custom of the Blessing of Throats in the Lady Chapel after each of the Masses. Saint Blaise is the patron saint of wool combers and throat disease. He is a fourth-century saint from Sabaste, Armenia to whom is attributed many healing miracles. Saint Blaise healed a boy who was choking on a fishbone, even while the saint was being taken to prison, where he eventually met his martyrdom. It has become the tradition for throats to be blessed on this day to maintain health from diseases affecting the voice and heal injuries and cure diseases of the throat. Those wishing to receive The Blessing of Throats are asked to kneel at the Lady Chapel Altar rail immediately after our 8:00, 9:00 and 11:15 Masses. 


We continue our Candlemas celebration this afternoon with our sister parish, All Saints’, Ashmont. Everyone is encouraged to join the members of All Saints’ at 3:00 pm this afternoon for Solemn Evensong, a Solemn Procession, and Solemn Benediction. The choir of Men and Boys at All Saints’ will be joined by the choir from All Saints’, Worcester, Massachusetts. Father Michael Godderz will be the preacher. The choir pieces will include the Short Service by Orlando Gibbons, Preces and Responses by Gerre Hancock, Psalm 84 (Anglican Chant) by A.H. Brewer, When to the Temple Mary Went by Johann Eccard, and Air (Suite) and Toccata (Suite) by Florence Price. Please join our sister parish family and give high praise and thanksgiving for the Presentation of Our Lord, enjoy hearty Christian fellowship, and delightful refreshments. All Saints’ is easily reached by the T’s Red Line to Ashmont station.


NEXT SUNDAY!


Entr’acte Resumes next Sunday. After the holiday hiatus, Entr’acte will be back beginning February 9. For those new to the Advent, Entr’acte (“between the acts”) is our series of adult-education presentations held between the 9:00 am and the 11:15 am Masses. They are generally led by the clergy with occasional presentations by parishioners or guest speakers with knowledge in particular areas of expertise or interest.

To kick off this season, our own Rick Stone will lead a series of three sessions entitled “New Testament Perspectives on Old Testament Law.” Continuing February 16 and 23, these presentations begin with “The Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and The Great Commandment”, continue with “Paul and the Law”, and conclude with “Hebrews and the Priesthood of Christ.”


COMING UP!


We will “rise against hunger” again on Saturday, February 15, from 10:00 am to noon in Moseley Hall. The Advent is once again hosting a Rise Against Hunger event with the members of our Diocese in the Boston Harbor Deanery. We are looking for five or six volunteers from our parish to join volunteers from other parishes around the Deanery to prepare 10,000 meals. These are dry food packages — one complete meal in each package — that will be sent somewhere around the world where people are hungry. The goal of Rise Against Hunger is to see an end to hunger in our lifetime — a very lofty goal, and we can do our part by stepping up and helping on February 15. If you have helped with this event over the past few years, then you already know how much fun it can be. There’s music, some dancing, bells ringing to announce how many meals have been created, and just a good sense of satisfaction knowing that we are reaching out to others in need.

We ask those who volunteer to arrive at 9:45 on that day. We are also looking for donations to offset the $3,500 it takes to put on the event and meet the cost of the food and materials. Any gifts and donations to help with this cause will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in helping or making a donation, please contact Father James. For more info, go to www.riseagainsthunger.org.


Wednesday Evening Lenten Study, beginning March 4: Readings in John. This short Lenten study will consider selected passages in both the Gospel and Epistles of John. We will look at themes of light and darkness, faith and unbelief, and the famous “I am” statements of Jesus. With the Rector, immediately following the Wednesday healing Mass in the Library.


NEWS


At the Annual Meeting of January 26, the following persons were elected to serve on the Parish Vestry for three-year terms: John Boyd, Thatcher Gearhart, Philip LeQuesne, and Carolyn McDermott.

Frederic Ou was elected to a one-year term as Clerk of the Vestry; Adam Rutledge was elected to a one-year term as Treasurer.

Julianne Turé and Nick Westberg were elected Delegates to Diocesan Convention and the Deanery; Robb Scholten was elected Alternate Delegate.

Congratulations to the above persons and our gratitude, as well, for their willingness to serve the Parish.


STEWARDSHIP


Thanks to all those from whom we have received pledges. We have received 196 pledges, pledging a total of $542,407.40. 71 have increased their pledges by an average of 17.5%, and there are 26 from those who did not pledge in 2019. We have yet to hear from 39 parishioners who pledged a total of $48,776 last year.

Reminder: Some giving envelopes are still awaiting pick-up in the back of the church.


ODDS & ENDS


A special custom for The First Sunday after The Epiphany

Saint Matthew tells us that when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem to visit Jesus, they found him and his mother in a house, not the stable where they had found their first temporary shelter. This is a cue that our Epiphany celebration should focus on our own houses, and it is a very old custom to bless houses on Epiphany. In the East, in particular, it is the custom for the parish priest to go through the parish blessing houses — not the elaborate blessing of a new home, but a special blessing that is also often given at Easter, a renewal of the homes in which the people of God dwell and live out the mystery of faith day by day. In recent years, this custom has been revived in some places in the West, and the Book of Occasional Services of The Episcopal Church provides forms for this blessing. However, there is another way of blessing homes at Epiphany that begins in church, but does not require the priest to go from house to house — something that would be quite impossible in non-geographical parishes like ours. This custom involves chalk that is blessed by the priest and taken home by families to mark the doors of their homes.

There is a basket of blessed chalk on the table near the main door of the Church. The chalk is to be used to hallow all our homes throughout our parish and our city. Please take some home with you. The initials of the legendary names of the wise men are written with blessed chalk on the lintel above the front door of the house, framed by the numbers of the new year, in this way:

20 + G + M + B + 20

After making the inscription, the following prayer is offered:

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Leader: Let us pray. O Lord, holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, we beseech you to hear us and vouchsafe to send your holy Angel from heaven to guard and cherish, protect and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this home. I call upon thy Saints Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, to protect my family, friends and all who enter here from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a reminder to us that my home is truly the House of the Lord. O God, make the door of my house the gateway to thy Eternal Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord.  
All: Amen.


Palms for Ashes: There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday. They will be burned to make the ashes for the liturgies of Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 26 this year.


Parish Directory. Copies of the parish directory were distributed last Sunday in conjunction with the annual meeting. However, as the information in the directory is constantly changing, we keep monthly updates in the parish office. Contact the office if you would like to have a copy to pick up or have sent electronically (please specify).


Missing coat. Fr Macdonald-Radcliff is missing a black raincoat that disappeared from the coat room on January 12. Since a similar coat (but with epaulets) was left hanging there, we assume that someone simply grabbed his by mistake. If you can help us solve this mystery, please see Fr Macdonald-Radcliff or contact the church office.


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


The story of Charles Chapman Grafton’s tenure as rector of the Church of the Advent (from 1872 to 1888) and subsequently as Bishop of Fond du Lac has been well-documented; a less well-known aspect of his life concerns his family, most especially his younger sister, Maria Josephine Grafton (1830-1893). In her unpublished manuscript on the history of the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity, Kathleen Reeves cites Maria and her daughter Grace as two of the women who supported and assisted the order during its early days. The record of the work they did in this regard is scanty at best, the Sisterhood having been dissolved in the late twentieth century, and their Fond du Lac convent was destroyed by fire in 2015. Maria was the only daughter of the seven children born to Joseph Ward Grafton and Anna Maria Gurley, three years younger than her brother Charles. She attended the Abbott Female Academy, incorporated in 1829 for the “exclusive work of educating women.” The school was founded during a time when the prevailing view was that women’s education “should always be relative to men,” with some believing that study of “higher subjects” such as philosophy and mathematics might cause infertility. The school’s constitution defined one of its goals: “to regulate the tempers, to improve the taste, to discipline and enlarge the minds and form the morals of youth.”

In 1857, she married Charles Henry Minot (1819-1900), a shipping merchant in the firm of Weld & Minot. In the 1860s he became a partner in, and treasurer of, the Tudor Company in Boston, a firm specializing in the worldwide shipping of ice. The firm was founded by Frederic Tudor (1783-1864), “the Ice King.” Their first two children were born in New York at 285 Fifth Avenue: Joseph Grafton Minot, born in 1858, and Grace Josephine Minot, in 1859. Charles Henry, Junior, was born at in 1862 at the house they leased at 149 Beacon Street. Within a few years they moved to a new house they had built at 301 Berkeley Street. The 1870 census finds them all “travelling in Europe”; helping maintain the household were three Irish domestic servants, Kate Carley, 25, Julia Healy, 45, and Bridget Sullivan, 25.

Mrs. Reeves writes, “In 1883 [Grafton] had the pleasure of seeing tangible evidence of his labors…the completion of the Advent’s magnificent new sanctuary on Brimmer Street. He had raised much of the money for it himself and given $10,000 out of his own funds.” His sister and Mrs. S. H. Bertram (listed in the 1883 Boston Blue Book as a resident of the Hotel Brunswick) donated that same year the Advent’s metal choir screen and rood; Mrs. Bertram is included in the list of Associates of the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity.

The Advent’s building is rich with memorials and gifts from the Grafton-Minot families. In 1887, Maria gave a silver-gilt paten in memory of her 25-year-old son, Charles Henry Minot, Junior, a student at Harvard law School, who died of typhoid fever and septic poisoning; the three windows over the high altar were given in his memory by his mother and father.

After Maria died of cancer in 1893, The Lady Chapel’s altar and reredos stalls and two standard lights were given in her memory by her brothers, Joseph Grafton (1819-1900) and John Gurley Grafton (1823-1895); her husband; their son, Joseph, and daughter, Grace. They also gave an Altar Book and Office Books for the Lady Chapel in her memory.

Bust of Fr Grafton in the Lady Chapel

The stone lectern was given by Charles Minot in 1902, in memory of Mrs. Lillian Dunbar and Margaret Lothrop. In 1907, Joseph Grafton Minot and his wife, Honora Elizabeth Temple Winthrop, gave a silver-gilt censer in memory of Honora’s sister, Mary Winthrop Mason, 30, wife of Phillip Dana Mason. The couple had been married just two years earlier by Bishop William Lawrence at his 122 Commonwealth Avenue home. The Newton Graphic of Friday, April 5, 1907, reported that she died “in Groton, following an operation for appendicitis.” After his death in 1912, Bishop Grafton was memorialized with a bust (now in the Lady Chapel), a Standard Prayer-book (now in the Advent Archives), and a photograph given by his nephew Joseph Grafton Minot.

The last documented Grafton-Minot gift is a memorial tablet to Joseph Grafton Minot, given by his wife, Honora Winthrop Minot, in 1939.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
February 3-9, 2020

Monday, February 3
Anskar of Hamburg

Tuesday, February 4
Cornelius the Centurion

6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, February 5
Martyrs of Japan

10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, February 6
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 7
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, February 8
10:00 am: Advent Flower Guild

Sunday, February 9
The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte/Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
8:00 pm: Compline

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Daphne B. Noyes at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, January 26, 2020, the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Today’s gospel contains a message about vocation, about calling. Well, it contains many messages about many things, but let’s focus on vocation. The vocation of four fishermen, and you and me, and the Church of the Advent.

When Jesus encounters the four fishermen, is there anything remarkable about them? At that point in their lives, probably not. They were just guys with boats and nets and mouths to feed and skills they had inherited or been taught, skills at which they might have excelled or might not. I suspect Jesus called to them based more on their potential than on their accomplishment. This is good news for all of us: Jesus is not looking for what you’ve done in the world but is counting on you for what you can join him in doing.

Once they heard the voice of Jesus, I imagine it wasn’t simply a matter of “Follow me.” — “Oh, okay.” There was a bit of conversation that ensued; and here is a blank page in the story — an empty space where each one of us can reflect on the particularities of what happens in our lives when we hear that voice, or, better yet, feel the ineffable tug that comes from being called.

Remarkably, all four of these people, just as they are, follow after this stranger who interrupts their daily routine. All that is asked of them at this point is simply that they follow: as they are, from where they are, being who they are. As is true for the followers of Jesus who come after them, the meaning of their choice will unfold only over time.

The questions or doubts or hopes or fears of those fishermen and so many others (including you and me) — as compelling or disturbing or inspiring as those factors might be — are not really the point here. Rather, no matter what the response is to hearing that voice or feeling that tug, it must inevitably lead to the realization that if God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives. The words of the psalmist bear this out: “You have searched me out and known me … you discern my thoughts from afar.”

One way to think about vocation is as the possibly overlooked place where neither function (what do you do) nor identity (who are you) alone can carry the fulness of your being.

The theologian Frederick Beuchner has written, “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” This paints a pretty rosy picture of vocation: “deep gladness” is a characterization with which some — including me — might quibble. But none could argue that the world is not a place of deep need. The desire to respond to that deep need led to the founding of this parish 175 years ago. It was conceived not as a shrine but as a place that existed theologically before it existed physically. One founder commented that Boston’s Episcopal churches … “had the prayer-book, but hardly its spirit; they did not follow its principles.”

The founders proposed that the best way to follow those principles was “to secure to a portion of the City of Boston the ministrations of the Holy Catholic Church, and more especially to secure the same to the poor and needy…”

Through the decades, the founders and those who came after them bore witness that deep need endures. It is not restricted to the poor and needy. It can be elusive. Just over one generation ago, the parish’s rector noted that “The Church of the Advent is a parish which, above all, is grounded in a vocation that has to do with the burden and the joy of history.”

From the Advent’s very beginnings, the burden has been closely felt by some; others have been been embraced by the joy; many have experienced both. This is meet and right: Even before the Advent was founded, William Croswell acknowledged that he would come to Boston as the new parish’s first rector, willing, he said, to “[identify] myself with the good or evil that is in store for the church.” We detect no sign of rose-colored vocational glasses in those words.

Making decisions about our individual vocations and the vocation or vocations of our beloved parish is not restricted to check marks on a ballot or motions at a meeting. Discerning our individual and communal vocations is an exercise most effectively undertaken together, face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart, with care and honesty and hope and love. Today, as 175 years ago, as Jesus walks the rugged shores and dusty streets of our lives, he calls to us, again and again and again, Follow me. Follow me. Follow me.

Those who hear and respond to the call learn in a visceral way that in order to walk toward something — even the unknown — one needs to turn and walk away — even from what is most familiar and precious. And that often for things to come together, they must first fall apart.

All this leads to the eternal truth which will over time emerge:

The peace of God, it is no peace / But strife closed in the sod / So let us pray for but one thing / The marvelous peace of God.

Amen.