Collect for Palm Sunday

Almighty and everliving God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same 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, April 14-20, 2019

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.

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

A Coffee Hour following each service is held in Moseley Hall, reached through the side door at the back of the church. A lift is available for anyone who needs it.

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


The palms are given to the Glory of God and in joyful Thanksgiving for Liam and Catherine.


There is no Church School today (or next Sunday). Church School will resume on April 28.


There is no Entr’acte or Coffee Hour today.

Easter Sunday Coffee Hours. We will have potluck coffee hours on Easter day again this year and ask that each person bring a dish to share. This not only helps ease the burden of having a few hosts, but also adds to the festivities. If you have any questions, please contact the following: for 9:00, Barbara Boles (bbolesster@gmail.com); for 11:15,  Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com), Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


THIS WEEK


Childcare will be available during services Wednesday through Saturday of Holy Week. See next page for complete schedule of Holy Week services and activities.


The Wednesday Bible Study, which meets at 10 am in the library, is beginning a study of the epistles of James, Peter, and Jude.


Can you help the parish Flower Guild this week?  Preparing the floral decorations for Easter would be utterly impossible without reinforcements from outside the flower guild. Please join us if you can on any or all of the following days:

  • Maundy Thursday, April 18, 10 am–noon and/or 1–3:30 pm.
  • Holy Saturday, April 20, 10 am to 4 pm — please try to arrive by 11 am, but you do not have to stay all afternoon; even an hour or two is helpful.
  • Saturday April 27, 10:30 am (Post-Easter cleanup)

You do not need to have any flower arranging skills; if you can carry a bucket, climb a stepladder, use a broom, or fill a trash bag, we can use you! And if you like flowers but have never made an arrangement, this is a great chance to learn some basic techniques. Help is especially needed on Saturday, April 20.

Orders for Easter Flowers given in memory or thanksgiving are due in the office TOMORROW. We suggest you fill out a slip (found on the back of this bulletin) and put it in the marked basket in the office today, even if you don’t have payment with you.


REMINDER: Easter Day, we will hold our Easter Egg Hunt following the 9:00 Mass in the parish garden, and “resurrect” all the buried Alleluias from the beginning of Lent. The annual Petting Zoo will take place in the fall with the Blessing of the Animals.


COMING UP


The Walk for Hunger is on Sunday May 5! Please consider joining us on this epic 20-mile walk. But if you cannot, please show your support with a donation! Our goal is to raise $10K that will go to support Project Bread. Their financial support to The Church of the Advent’s Community Dinners is critical to the success of those Tuesday dinners. Go to the Advent website (www.theadventboston.org) for a Walk for Hunger web link to join our team and/or donate. And please reach out to us in person over the next weeks, too. We are excited to be team captains again – and know it will be a fun and rewarding day!

— The Briggs Kiernan Family, (Bruce + Suzi; Ellie + Emma)


SPECIAL EVENTS FOR TODDLERS TO TEENAGERS: We ask that parents please take note and mark in their calendars the following events, which will strengthen and enhance our ministry to our young people:

  • Easter Day, we will hold our Easter Egg Hunt following the 9 am Mass in the parish garden, and “resurrect” all the buried Alleluias from the beginning of Lent.
  • On Saturday, April 27 the Middle School and High School students will attend the Presiding Bishop’s Jamboree from 1:30 to 3:00 at the Cathedral. We will meet at 1 pm that Saturday and walk to the Cathedral together.
  • Also at the Cathedral, the parishioners who are prepared for Confirmation (see below) will be confirmed by Bishop Gates on Saturday, June 15 at 10:30 am.

In honor of Saint Francis, on Sunday, October 6, the children will be able to enjoy a petting zoo that morning and bring their animal friends to the church that afternoon for our Blessing of Pets.


Adult Confirmation Class scheduled. It is expected that all adult members of this Church, after appropriate instruction, will have made a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and will have been confirmed or received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church or by a Bishop of a Church in full communion with this Church. In keeping with the National Canons of The Episcopal Church, we are offering Confirmation Classes beginning after Easter. Classes have been scheduled for any adults (16 years and older) who are desirous of Confirmation or Reception into The Episcopal Church. The classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 and 12, following the Healing Mass at 6:00 pm.


THEOLOGY ON TAP returns on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 pm in the Lower Bar at MAST Restaurant and Drinkery, 45 Province Street, Boston. Tyler VanderWeele will speak on “Religious Communities and Human Flourishing.” Dr VanderWeele is director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, which among other things studies how religious communities affect health, happiness, meaning and purpose, and close social relationships. Theology on Tap is preceded by Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm at the Advent. For more information, contact Fr Hanson.


SAINT MICHAEL’S CONFERENCE: A Conference in the Anglican Tradition for Young Adults of All Christian Communions.

By the end of the week, I was sad to be leaving all the new friends I had made at the Conference. I couldn’t believe that the week had gone by so fast. I had learned so many new things at the Conference that I knew would be valuable life lessons, but most of all I had learned to never judge something without knowing what it is like. This is what Harriet Lewis-Bowen told us about her time spent last summer at Saint Michael’s Conference. This educational conference for high school and college students is a week-long conference held in West Hartford, Connecticut from July 28 to August 3 this summer. We encourage every high school and college-aged student between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one to register and attend. Registration forms are available in the church or on the Conference’s website at www.saintmichaelsconference.com. Please see Father James, Betsy James, Rob Braman, Mark Dwyer, Gabriel Ellsworth, Sam James, or Harriet Lewis-Bowen if you are interested in attending.


FROM THE WARDENS


Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Advent:

This Sunday, Palm Sunday, we begin the most important week in the Church’s year. Together with Fr. Welch we invite you all, to borrow from the beautiful words of the Palm Liturgy Collect, to join in the contemplation of those mighty acts whereby we have been given life and immortality. And we look forward to celebrating with all of our Advent family the unequaled joy of Easter, the Day of Days and the Queen of Feasts. We also extend a special “welcome back” to the Rev’d Andrew Mead, formerly our Fourteenth Rector, now retired as rector of St. Thomas Church in the City of New York. It is a great pleasure and blessing to have Fr. Mead with us to celebrate Easter by his preaching of the Good News.

We would also like to share with the whole Parish a report of recent discussions and decisions in the Vestry regarding the Parish’s property holdings.

At its March meeting, the Vestry approved acceptance of a proposal from Holland Design & Construction for the complete renovation of the Rectory. This proposal comes after many months and study and discussion led by Tom and Carolyn McDermott, assisted by the Property Committee. We all owe the McDermotts a great debt of gratitude for the devotion of their time and professional skills to the Parish in this way.

The Rectory renovation project meets a desperate need. Almost every aspect of the building is out-of-date, from the kitchen to the electrical system to the plumbing fixtures to the windows to the heating and (nonexistent) air conditioning. The list goes on. So we are using the opportunity of the vacancy in the building created by the transition period to do some long-deferred work.

As you all might imagine, a complete renovation of a row house on Beacon Hill is not an inexpensive proposition. The total contract price for the work on the Rectory is $970,000, including replacement of all windows. An additional $165,000 will provide for restoration of the apartment living space on the garden level. Thanks to the sound planning and management of Parish finances by our Treasurer and Finance Committee—as well as a few well-timed donations, in particular a legacy from Vance Hosford—we have sufficient funds available in our revolving capital account to cover this cost. Accounting for the cost of the Rectory work and contingencies, we expect an approximately $500,000 balance to remain in the revolving capital account for the ongoing upkeep of our Church and buildings. The project will not require any draw from the endowment or use of funds from annual pledges.

The renovation project will bring the Rectory into compliance with current codes at a level of detail and finish that is comfortable and respectable. It will also put the kitchen into a state that will permit the parlor level to be used for more public functions, while maintaining a private family space for living, sleeping, and study on the second and third floors. The project will also include the restoration of the old garden-level apartment to a level that will allow it to be used as a residence or a guest space for a single person or a couple separate from the area the Rector’s family will inhabit.

The decision to commit over $1 million to renovation of the Rectory and restoration of the garden level apartment was taken in the context of a larger assessment of the Parish’s real estate holdings. In addition to the Church, Rectory, and Parish hall, we currently own three residential units on Beacon Hill: a house on South Russell Street, a three-bedroom condominium on Hancock Street, and a two-bedroom condominium on Mt. Vernon Street.

The South Russell Street house is the newest addition to the portfolio: it was purchased just over four years ago, at a significantly below-market rate. At the time, Fr. Wood and his family lived there as tenants. Later, Fr. James and his family would move there. When the house was purchased, the Vestry’s decision to do so anticipated that it was to be a relatively short-term holding, justified by the below-market price and the expectation that the return on the investment would equal or match that on the endowment, which supplied the funds for the purchase.

Following on that reasoning, the Vestry has now voted to sell the property while the Beacon Hill real estate market remains robust. Fr. James and his family have moved to Hancock Street, which was formerly rented. (Thanks to them for enduring that in service to the Parish!) And the Mt. Vernon Street apartment is rented on an annual basis, generating nice income for the Parish while leaving open the possibility to reclaim a well-located unit should it be needed in the future for clergy housing. We believe that the sale of South Russell Street will bring our real estate holdings in to a more sensible long-term profile. The proceeds from the South Russell Street sale will be used to “pay back” the Endowment for the funds used to purchase the property, plus “interest” at the Endowment’s rate of return over the relevant period. Should the sale generate any additional funds beyond that, the Wardens and the Finance Committee intend to propose to the Vestry that those amounts be added to the revolving capital account.

In other matters, we continue to work on finalizing the Parish Profile. We are currently responding to some very thoughtful and improving comments from the Bishop and the Regional Canon, and are thankful for the time and thought they have committed to assisting us ensure we have the best possible final document. We appreciate the continued prayers and patience of the entire Parish in support of the search process.

We close with the words of the psalmist, which punctuate the offertory at Maundy Thursday and at the Great Vigil: 

The right hand of the Lord hath the preeminence; the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

May this be our song of praise as we celebrate the Paschal Feast.

Faithfully your brothers in Christ,

Thomas Brown & Paul J. Roberts,
Churchwardens.


ODDS & ENDS


A note about email and texting scams:

E-mail impersonation scams involving gift card requests have been prevalent of late, and some dioceses, churches, clergy and other congregational leaders continue to be targeted. A common tactic in these scams (also known as “phishing”) is to send e-mails that appear to be from the recipient’s employer or a leader of an organization that the recipient is affiliated with (such as a rector or a bishop). These scam requests appear to come from a legitimate e-mail account of a known person and often incorporate a signature line that looks legitimate at quick glance. The scam e-mails say that urgent help is needed and request that the recipient buy and electronically send gift cards from a specific company, commonly Amazon, iTunes or Google Play. Gift cards are favored by scammers because once they’ve got the code from the back of the card the money is as good as in their hands and nearly impossible to trace.

Be skeptical of unexpected e-mail requests to send or spend money. Clergy and church leaders will never ask for emergency aid or donations in this way. Read with caution any e-mail that asks for gift cards. Look for tell-tale typos and grammatical mistakes, and double-check sender e-mail addresses for authenticity. If you believe a request may be authentic, phone the requester to confirm. Find more information about phishing scams, including how to report them, at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing.


From the Advent Archives —

An occasional offering of little known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.

The Rev’d Julian D. Hamlin (formerly rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Newport, Rhode Island) entered his duties as seventh rector of the Church of the Advent on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 1929, and was installed by Bishop Slattery on Advent Sunday. His tenure was brief; he resigned at the Easter meeting of the Corporation in April 1934. In the Weekly Message for March 29, 1931, he wrote:

“The singing of the lessons and of the Passion, and a part of the Palm Sunday Rite, will be omitted this year, because of the crippled condition of the clergy staff. Immediately after the Blessing of the Palms, the Choir will sing the ancient Antiphons during the Distribution, and as the palms are being distributed to the congregation, the people may be seated until the beginning of the Processions. The Palm Sunday Procession symbolizes our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The knocking at the main doors of the church is an ancient reminder of the knocking at the gates of Jerusalem.”

Following the sermon at Solemn Evensong for Palm Sunday, Mr Frederick Johnson, Organist and Master of the Choristers, led the choir in the anthem “Richard de Castre’s Prayer to Jesus.”

Jhesu, Lord, that maddest me,
                       And with Thy blessyd blood hast bought,
Forgive that I have grieved Thee
                       With word and wil, and eek with thought.
Jhesu, in whom is all my trust
                       That died upon the roode tree,
Withdraw myn herte from fleshly lust,
                       And from all worldly vanyte.
Jhesu, for thy wounds smerte
                       On feet and on thyn hands two,
O make me meeke and low of herte,
                       And Thee to love as I schulde do.
Jhesu, keepe them that are good,
                       Amend them that han grieved Thee,
And send them fruites of earthli food
                       As each man needeth in his degree.

 Mark Dwyer comments: This simple setting of “Richard de Castre’s Prayer to Jesus” was new music in the 1930s. It is in a modal and carol-like style which perfectly suits the 15th century text written by Richard de Castre, who was the vicar of St. Stephen’s Church in Norwich, England. It was composed by the Tudor-music pioneer, Richard Terry, who for the first quarter of the twentieth century was the director of music at Westminster Cathedral in London, where he established a magnificent choral tradition with repertoire comprised of Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, and new works written especially for the cathedral choir by such composers as Howells, Holst and Vaughan Williams. It remains in the repertoire of the Advent Choir and occasionally appears on both the summer and 9:00 mass repertoire lists.


Holy Week Service Schedule


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
April 15-21, 2019

Monday, April 15
Monday in Holy Week
7:30 am: Low Mass
12:15 pm: Low Mass
6:00 pm: Low Mass

Tuesday, April 16
Tuesday in Holy Week
7:30 am: Low Mass
12:15 pm: Low Mass
5:30 pm: Community Supper
6:00 pm: Low Mass

Wednesday, April 17
Wednesday in Holy Week
7:30 am: Low Mass
10:00 am: Bible Study
12:15 pm: Low Mass
6:00 pm: Low Mass
7:00 pm: Tenebrae

Confessions will be heard following the Liturgies of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in the confessionals at the rear of the Church.

Thursday, April 18
Maundy Thursday
6:30 pm: Liturgy of Maundy Thursday with Foot Washing, Solemn Procession of the Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, Stripping of the Altars. Watch before the Sacrament until midnight. 

Friday, April 19
Good Friday
12:00 pm: The Three Hours, preached by the Parish Clergy
6:30 pm: Liturgy of Good Friday with the Passion according to St John

Saturday, April 20
Holy Saturday
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
12:00 noon: Acolyte Rehearsal
6:30 pm: The Great Vigil, Holy Baptism, & the First Mass of Easter

Sunday, April 21
Easter Day
7:30 am: Easter Matins
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Procession & Sung Mass
10:15 am: Easter Egg Hunt
11:15 am: Procession & Solemn Mass

Collect for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto thy people that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the season: 

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; 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, April 7-13, 2019

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.

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

A Coffee Hour following each service is held in Moseley Hall, reached through the side door at the back of the church. A lift is available for anyone who needs it.

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


9:00 Coffee Hour: Judy Bell & Fran Piscitelli and Cassie & Jack Gurnon host today. Next week is Palm Sunday and there is no Coffee Hour. New hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email, bbolesster@gmail.com or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

Today, Ellie Kiernan, along with some from her local Girl Scout troop, will share information about their Silver Award Community project. They are building community awareness about the work of the Wonderfund, a Boston nonprofit established by First Lady Laura Baker that helps children whose families are served by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). (For more details, visit www.wonderfundma.org.) We hope you will say hello to Ellie and her friends, and ask them about their Silver Award work.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Kyle Pilares, Brian Sirman and Thiago Rêgo host today. Next week is Palm Sunday and there is no Coffee Hour. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://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 Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com). 


Entr’acte (following the 9 am Mass, in the library): Fr. Hanson and parishioner John Ferrillo conclude their study of Fleming Rutledge’s magisterial work The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ.


THIS WEEK


The Wednesday Bible Study, which meets at 10 am in the library, is beginning a study of the epistles of James, Peter, and Jude.


The Lenten Theology Study of The Book of Homilies: A Preached Orthodoxy concludes this Wednesday  at 7 pm in the library. For more information please contact Eric at efialho@eds.edu.


On Thursdays during Lent, at 6 pm, the devotions of The Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be offered in the church. The Stations of the Cross is a series of meditations on the Passion, the Crucifixion and the Death of Jesus leading to His burial in the tomb. Many Christians through the ages have found The Stations an aid in focussing their Lenten prayers. Some take on this form of devotion as a part of their Lenten disciplines. At Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, we meditate on Our Lord’s Risen Presence with us in the Blessed Sacrament, which flows from his atoning and sacrificial death. He had to die in order that we might live with and in Him. That is a truth we think and pray about during the holy season. Stations and Benediction are helpful means to that end. Consider making it a part of your week.


COMING UP


MONDAY COMMUNITY GROUPS: Community Groups at the Advent are the best way for new and long-standing parishioners to meet and come to know true Christian fellowship. A new group will be meeting twice monthly on Monday evenings at different locations in the vicinity of university campuses in Cambridge and Boston. The purpose of the group is to provide members and potential members with opportunities to better get to know one another and enjoy time for friendship, prayer, education and recreation.

 The first gathering will take place this Monday, April 8 at 7 pm, at the home of John Ross Campbell, 471 Memorial Drive, Apt. 1279, Cambridge. We will be having a conversation about the focus of the group as well as activities we would like to do over the next months. All are welcome! Please RSVP to John Ross at jrcamp@mit.edu; he can also provide directions to his home. For any additional questions, contact Fr James.


Can you help the parish Flower Guild?

Preparing the floral decorations for Easter would be utterly impossible without reinforcements from outside the flower guild. Please join us if you can on any or all of the following days:

  • Maundy Thursday, April 18, 10 am–noon and/or 1–3:30 pm.
  • Holy Saturday, April 20, 10 am to 4 pm — please try to arrive by 11 am, but you do not have to stay all afternoon; even an hour or two is helpful.
  • Saturday April 27, 10:30 am (Post-Easter cleanup)

You do not need to have any flower arranging skills; if you can carry a bucket, climb a stepladder, use a broom, or fill a trash bag, we can use you! And if you like flowers but have never made an arrangement, this is a great chance to learn some basic techniques. Help is especially needed on Saturday, April 20.

ALSO: There is an opening for flower memorials or thanksgivings for the High Altar on Sunday, April 28. If you are interested, please contact Jim in the church office.


SPECIAL EVENTS FOR TODDLERS TO TEENAGERS: We ask that parents please take note and mark in their calendars the following events, which will strengthen and enhance our ministry to our young people:

  • Easter Day, we will hold our Easter Egg Hunt following the 9 am Mass in the parish garden, and “resurrect” all the buried Alleluias from the beginning of Lent.
  • On Saturday, April 27 the Middle School and High School students will attend the Presiding Bishop’s Jamboree from 1:30 to 3:00 at the Cathedral. We will meet at 1 pm that Saturday and walk to the Cathedral together.
  • Also at the Cathedral, the parishioners who are prepared for Confirmation (see below) will be confirmed by Bishop Gates on Saturday, June 15 at 10:30 am.

In honor of Saint Francis, on Sunday, October 6, the children will be able to enjoy a petting zoo that morning and bring their animal friends to the church that afternoon for our Blessing of Pets.


Adult Confirmation Class scheduled. It is expected that all adult members of this Church, after appropriate instruction, will have made a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and will have been confirmed or received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church or by a Bishop of a Church in full communion with this Church. In keeping with the National Canons of The Episcopal Church, we are offering Confirmation Classes beginning after Easter. Classes have been scheduled for any adults (16 years and older) who are desirous of Confirmation or Reception into The Episcopal Church. The classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 and 12, following the Healing Mass at 6:00 pm.


THEOLOGY ON TAP returns on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 pm in the Lower Bar at MAST Restaurant and Drinkery, 45 Province Street, Boston. Tyler VanderWeele will speak on “Religious Communities and Human Flourishing.” Dr VanderWeele is director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, which among other things studies how religious communities affect health, happiness, meaning and purpose, and close social relationships. Theology on Tap is preceded by Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm at the Advent. For more information, contact Fr Hanson.


SAINT MICHAEL’S CONFERENCE: A Conference in the Anglican Tradition for Young Adults of All Christian Communions.

By the end of the week, I was sad to be leaving all the new friends I had made at the Conference. I couldn’t believe that the week had gone by so fast. I had learned so many new things at the Conference that I knew would be valuable life lessons, but most of all I had learned to never judge something without knowing what it is like. This is what Harriet Lewis-Bowen told us about her time spent last summer at Saint Michael’s Conference. This educational conference for high school and college students is a week-long conference held in West Hartford, Connecticut from July 28 to August 3 this summer. We encourage every high school and college-aged student between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one to register and attend. Registration forms are available in the church or on the Conference’s website at www.saintmichaelsconference.com. Please see Father James, Betsy James, Rob Braman, Mark Dwyer, Gabriel Ellsworth, Sam James, or Harriet Lewis-Bowen if you are interested in attending.


ODDS & ENDS


Parishioner and former music librarian Ivan Hansen is offering his vast collection of record albums, CDs, and books to fellow Adventers. You will find this treasure trove in the Library; please help yourself to the items that most appeal — it might be wise to bring a tote bag — and be sure to let Ivan know how much you appreciate his generosity! His address: 81 Phillips St., Boston, 02114.


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne or Nola Sheffer. 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.

NOTE: If you will be needing parking vouchers for Holy Week, please plan on purchasing them TODAY, since there is no coffee hour on Palm Sunday.


From the Advent Archives —

An occasional offering of little known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.

In 1865, the average daily weekday attendance was twenty-six persons, but during Lent the average daily attendance rose to 126.

Passiontide Mass in the 1930s
Passiontide Mass in the 1930s

This, please God, will be our thirteenth Lent together, as Rector and people. What note shall sound most clearly in the harmony of our observance? In 1910, we praised God because of His Word; in 1911, we strove for greater charity; in 1912, we desired to know ourselves better; in 1913, we consecrated our intellects to loving God with all our minds; and in 1914 we begged for more of the spirit of Worship and Praise. Every Lent shows us the need of all these: but this year, when the whole world echoes with the groans and lamentations of such anguish as has seldom been known before, I bid you undertake even more earnestly than your wont the fruitful labor of intercession… Men are ready enough to join in material benevolences; and surely they are needed, in these days of wicked and wanton destruction, when Belgium, Poland, and Northern France are laid waste and their people starve, except for the bounty of others less afflicted. You have responded splendidly to our appeals for them. Bur their cause is with the Most High, and our intercessions for those who suffer accomplish far more than our gifts, if they accompany the giving. All the other needs of mankind call to us for succour; and though we may be unable to help much in what are called “practical” ways by those who do not remember the power of prayer, we can intercede with the Giver of every good and perfect gift, confident that He will hear and answer… Let us have, then, a Lent of Intercessions,with our self-denial turned into helpful channels. The Belgian flag flying above the alms-chest will remind you of those who are in greatest need and those whose silent appeal is most eloquent; but we must remember the other who hunger and freeze and wander desolate. Give up altogether for the holy season such luxuries as you may perhaps lawfully use at other times, and turn over what you save to God’s Cause and God’s Poor. Find your way daily to the Habitation of God’s House; and come at least once a week to the Table of the Lord. Above all, love much: love God, love your friends, love your enemies; love God’s Church and all that pertains to her; love the Truth and Peace. And the very God of Peace be with you through the Forty Days and ever.
— The Rev’d William Harman van Allen,
rector, 1902-1929; “A Lent Letter,” 1915

Words cannot contain the mystery of the cross. They serve their purpose when they bring us to our knees. Only in worship will we discover the depth of God’s love. Attend the Holy Week services, therefore, including Saturday, please. By worship, meditation, and fasting, you will be prepared to sing with joy the joy of the first Christians on Easter morning.
— The Rev’d Samuel J. Wiley,
rector, 1960–1966;
“The Message,” 1962.
(The Saturday service consisted of Blessing of the Paschal Candle; Solemn Evensong, and Holy Baptism.)

Lent calls us to greater devotion and self-discipline. Most of us are too busy or disorganized to fit many spiritual exercises into our regular routine. The Church wisely recognizes our frailty and says, “Why not try to put a little more effort into the devotional life for six weeks? When Easter comes, you can relax gratefully into your former indifference. Why not give us some time for this short period?”
— The Rev’d Richard Holloway, rector, 1980–1984;
The Beacon, February 1981


Holy Week Service Schedule

Childcare will be available at all Holy Week services. Caregivers arrive by 6:15 pm and will be in nursery space adjacent to the parish office. Contact Meg Nelson at megwnelson@gmail.com with questions or concerns.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
April 8-14, 2019

Monday, April 8

Tuesday, April 9
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, April 10
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Lenten Theology Study
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, April 11
6:00 pm: Stations of the Cross & Benediction
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, April 12
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, April 13
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
12:00 noon: Acolyte Rehearsal

Sunday, April 14
Palm Sunday
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Blessing & Distribution of Palms & Low Mass
9:00 am: Blessing & Distribution of Palms, Procession & Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School / Childcare
11:15 am: Blessing & Distribution of Palms, Procession & Solemn Mass
8:00 pm: Passiontide Compline

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Dr Jeffrey A. Hanson at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent

At the center of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle’s most famous book on ethics is a memorable portrait of a guy that he thinks is the perfect man. This fellow that Aristotle describes is brave, self-controlled, noble, rich, generous with his friends, openly scornful of his enemies—his deeds are few but impressive. So detailed is Aristotle’s description of this ideal man that he even says of him that he has a deep voice and his way of walking is measured and unhurried.

When teaching this portrait of Aristotle’s perfect person to students, they often find this last detail a little puzzling. Why would Aristotle’s ideal man be known for measured and unhurried walking? Why would that matter?

To explain this I would simply say, “Well, did you ever see a grown man running to catch a bus?” “Wait… Stop… Wait for me…” No. No, that will not do.

No, Aristotle’s perfect man never rushes because he is grave and dignified, and running pell-mell is undignified.

Something else I try to get students to understand is that Aristotle’s vision of the perfect person is in many ways quite unlike the Christian ideal. We see this difference plainly in today’s Gospel reading because the very center of the story of the so-called prodigal son is a totally undignified act.

This most familiar of our Lord’s parables is unique to Luke, and it’s very much worth our careful study and particularly so on this Sunday, Rose Sunday, when we mark a crucial shift in the season of Lent.

We know the setup: The younger of two sons asks his father for his share of the inheritance. This is an impertinent—even insulting—request. Normally in ancient Near Eastern cultures a man’s inheritance is only endowed on his heirs when he is dead. And even when he is alive he still retains his right over its expenditure.

But the younger son doesn’t respect these norms and abandons his family and his homeland, a virtually unthinkable act of desertion.

Because he has cut all ties with family he ends up helpless and alone when he is in need. Having squandered everything he took from his father and being exposed to famine in desperation he works the most degrading possible job for an observant Jew: pigs are unclean, and yet there he is so close to starvation that he is envious of these filthy creatures’ slop. This is what we nowadays call hitting rock bottom. The younger son has nothing, and he has no one to help him.

So he decides—in a word—to repent. “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’

This is what repentance looks like to our Lord’s audience. He is speaking in chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel to the Pharisees and the scribes. And as far as they are concerned, this is the perfect way to end this story.

Because the younger son’s gesture of repentance is exactly what the Pharisees would approve of. Repentance according to the religious authorities of the day requires us, as the younger son does, to “come to ourselves” and realize that our situation needs fixing. Repentance means confessing that we are not worthy and offering to make restitution.

And this offer to be one of his father’s hired servants is one that a sober, dignified ancient Near Eastern paterfamilias would be tempted to take quite seriously. Maybe the boy has learned his lesson. If he goes to work here in the household then he can earn back some trust. If he sticks it out as a hired servant for a while then his father will know that he really is sorry. And the money he makes can pay back the father for all the wealth he squandered. From the son’s perspective, repentance is a smart move.

And from the father’s perspective accepting that repentance makes good sense too. It restores the father’s honor. It allows him to recover from his son’s insult. It is a dignified solution to an embarrassing family problem.

But the father is not that dignified. What is he? According to verse 20, he is compassionate. And that compassion drives him to drop all dignity. He is not measured and unhurried. He runs. He runs to his child, he runs for compassion, he runs with joy, and he flings his arms around his son’s neck and kisses him.

God is not waiting around for us to show up shame-faced looking for a handout. God doesn’t want us to work off our debt or earn our way back into his good graces.

The Father sees us coming while we are still far off. How does he do that when we are still far off? Because he’s looking for us. He’s actively looking and longing for us, and when he sees us he comes running to welcome us home.

And yes, it’s important that we come to God in repentance, but notice that in the story the younger son doesn’t even get to finish his carefully rehearsed speech. There is no question of becoming a hired servant because repentance cannot earn back relationship with God, that relationship that we have so foolishly spurned.

Relationship with God can only be restored as a free gift from our heavenly Father, one he is eager to give.

This story marks a shift in Lent, as I said. This Sunday, Rose Sunday, is when we shift our attention from our individual repentance, our fasting and self-denial, to a shared anticipation of the coming Great Feast of Easter.

There are two proper prefaces for Lent; the first you have already heard on this season’s past Sundays—it focuses on the temptation of our Lord, how he was tested as we are and yet did not sin.

Today the celebrant will say a different proper preface; this one calls us to prepare with joy for the Paschal Feast.

And the familiar story of the younger son and his compassionate father ends with a feast. The feast is in celebration of nothing less than the younger son’s passage from death to life. And in the same way our Easter feast is in celebration of our Lord’s rising from death to life, which in turn causes us to celebrate our baptism into Christ’s death and rising to new life in him.

This is the good news that awaits us. But not everyone is happy about it. The older son, not without some reason even, is upset that there is a feast at all. He has been at work in the field all day, and nobody has brought him the news. Awkward… He declines to rush with the same joy as his father. He even refuses to his father’s face and in front of the guests to go in to the house, an insult almost as grave as the younger brother’s. He puts the worst possible construction on his younger brother’s activities while away from home, complains that he has never been treated as well by his father, pleads not for his family but for his friends, and generally fails to see the truth that his father reassuringly speaks to him: “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive.”

Intriguingly this parable ends in suspense: What will the older brother do? Will he join the feast as well? Or will he remain sulking outside?

Our Lord I believe leaves the choice to those who are listening to him. We are hearing him, and we have a choice to make. And who else is his audience, besides us I mean? As I said it is the Pharisees and the scribes; they have a choice to make too. We know this because Luke tells us so at the very opening of chapter 15. And what are the Pharisees and scribes doing? They are not just listening to Jesus; they are murmuring against Jesus.

They are complaining and sulking and in a totally dignified manner I am sure holding themselves aloft and refusing to join in what Jesus is doing because as Luke tells us “the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to Jesus.” Sinners. I’m sure they found that outrageous. A crowd of sinners gathered together to hear the words of Jesus was probably really undignified. And because the tax collectors and sinners were drawing near to him the Pharisees said of Jesus, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

That’s right. So he did. And so he still does. And he tells us this story to show us why. This parable shows us what God’s attitude toward sinners really is: God sees sinners far off and runs to them. He wraps his arms around them and kisses them. And he invites them to a celebratory feast.

The Great Feast of Easter is coming soon. What a shame it would be for us to miss out for any reason. What a shame to be stopped by embarrassment at our past mistakes; to hold on to our stubborn pride; to cling to our sham dignity, and refuse to go in to the house and join in. Sinners of all kinds are invited. Those who are more like the younger brother and those who are more like the older brother. God wants both of them to come into the house.

God does not greet our repentance grudgingly, with cold indifference; God is longing for you to come home; God is eager to receive you with joy no matter how low you have sunk. If we will have it, then all that is God’s is ours too.

So don’t hold back now. It is fitting that we should make merry and be glad.

Amen.

Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which giveth life to the world:  Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Collect for the season: 

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; 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, March 31-April 6, 2019

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.

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

A Coffee Hour following each service is held in Moseley Hall, reached through the side door at the back of the church. A lift is available for anyone who needs it.

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

In order to focus all of our attention on worship, we ask that no electronic devices be used at any of our services. Thank you.


9:00 Coffee Hour: Rob Braman & Rachel Johnson, and Michael & Megan Zadig host today. Next week’s hosts are Judy Bell & Fran Piscitelli and Cassie & Jack Gurmon. New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email, bbolesster@gmail.com or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour. Hour: Ciarán Anthony DellaFera and Michael Gnozzio host today. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://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 Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com). 


Today is the Sunday known as Laetare Sunday, the fourth in Lent. The name is taken from the first word of the Introit of the Mass, Laetare, Jerusalem et conventum facite omnes qui dilitis eam…  “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her…” (Isaiah 66:10). Like Gaudete Sunday in Advent, it is a day on which the fast and discipline of the season are relaxed. 

A sign of this are the flowers on the Altar and in the Church which are permitted today and the rose vestments of the Mass.

The flowers at the high altar today are given to the glory of God and in loving memory of Blenda Jeffry.


Entr’acte (following the 9 am Mass, in the library): Fr. Hanson and parishioner John Ferrillo continue their study of Fleming Rutledge’s magisterial work The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. Discussions focus on not just why our Lord had to die but why he had to die in the way he did. Mrs. Rutledge’s work is a careful and sensitive study of this question that lies at the heart of our faith. This topic is particularly appropriate for Lent, as we prepare ourselves for Good Friday, the meaning of which is bound to become much clearer and more deeply felt as a result of a study of Mrs. Rutledge’s book. This series concludes next Sunday.


THIS WEEK


SATURDAY: This year’s Lenten Quiet Day will be led by the Rev. Canon William Parnell, Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Massachusetts. Canon Parnell will offer seasonal reflections, which will be interspersed with time for prayer and silence. Lunch will be offered. The day begins at 9:30 am with coffee and ends at 3pm. If you have not already registered, please see Deacon Noyes today.


LENTEN THEOLOGY STUDY. The Book of Homilies: A Preached Orthodoxy. 
Wednesdays, March 13 – April 10 at 7:00 pm in the Library

Ever wonder what the early uniquely Anglican texts of theology are? The Book of Homilies provided an orthodox lens through which laity and clergy alike could understand the doctrines and beliefs of the denomination. Pastoral Assistant Eric Fialho will lead this exciting five-week theology course. Several 16th-century homilies will be examined and scrutinized in an attempt to better understand and define early Anglican identity and belief, and its impact on the Church today. All are most welcome to attend! For more information please contact Eric soon at efialho@eds.edu.


On Thursdays during Lent, at 6 pm, the devotions of The Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be offered in the church. The Stations of the Cross is a series of meditations on the Passion, the Crucifixion and the Death of Jesus leading to His burial in the tomb. Many Christians through the ages have found The Stations an aid in focussing their Lenten prayers. Some take on this form of devotion as a part of their Lenten disciplines. At Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, we meditate on Our Lord’s Risen Presence with us in the Blessed Sacrament, which flows from his atoning and sacrificial death. He had to die in order that we might live with and in Him. That is a truth we think and pray about during the holy season. Stations and Benediction are helpful means to that end. Consider making it a part of your week.


COMING UP


MONDAY COMMUNITY GROUPS: Community Groups at the Advent are the best way for new and long-standing parishioners to meet and come to know true Christian fellowship. A new group will be meeting twice monthly on Monday evenings at different locations in the vicinity of university campuses in Cambridge and Boston. The purpose of the group is to provide members and potential members with opportunities to better get to know one another and enjoy time for friendship, prayer, education and recreation.

 The first gathering will take place on April 8 at 7 pm, at the home of John Ross Campbell, 471 Memorial Drive, Apt. 1279, Cambridge. We will be having a conversation about the focus of the group as well as activities we would like to do over the next months. All are welcome! Please RSVP to John Ross at jrcamp@mit.edu; he can also provide directions to his home. For any additional questions, contact Fr James.


Can you help the parish Flower Guild?

Preparing the floral decorations for Easter would be utterly impossible without reinforcements from outside the flower guild. Please join us if you can on any or all of the following days:

  • Maundy Thursday, April 18, 10 am–noon and/or 1–3:30 pm.
  • Holy Saturday, April 20, 10 am to 4 pm — please try to arrive by 11 am, but you do not have to stay all afternoon; even an hour or two is helpful.
  • Saturday April 27, 10:30 am (Post-Easter cleanup)

You do not need to have any flower arranging skills; if you can carry a bucket, climb a stepladder, use a broom, or fill a trash bag, we can use you! And if you like flowers but have never made an arrangement, this is a great chance to learn some basic techniques. Help is especially needed on Saturday, April 20.


SPECIAL EVENTS FOR TODDLERS TO TEENAGERS: We ask that parents please take note and mark in their calendars the following events, which will strengthen and enhance our ministry to our young people:

  • Easter Day, we will hold our Easter Egg Hunt following the 9 am Mass in the parish garden, and “resurrect” all the buried Alleluias from the beginning of Lent.
  • On Saturday, April 27 the Middle School and High School students will attend the Presiding Bishop’s Jamboree from 1:30 to 3:00 at the Cathedral. We will meet at 1 pm that Saturday and walk to the Cathedral together.
  • Also at the Cathedral, the parishioners who are prepared for Confirmation (see below) will be confirmed by Bishop Gates on Saturday, June 15 at 10:30 am.

In honor of Saint Francis, on Sunday, October 6, the children will be able to enjoy a petting zoo that morning and bring their animal friends to the church that afternoon for our Blessing of Pets.


Adult Confirmation Class scheduled. It is expected that all adult members of this Church, after appropriate instruction, will have made a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and will have been confirmed or received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church or by a Bishop of a Church in full communion with this Church. In keeping with the National Canons of The Episcopal Church, we are offering Confirmation Classes beginning after Easter. Classes have been scheduled for any adults (16 years and older) who are desirous of Confirmation or Reception into The Episcopal Church. The classes are scheduled for Wednesday evenings May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 and 12, following the Healing Mass at 6:00 pm.


THEOLOGY ON TAP returns on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 pm in the Lower Bar at MAST Restaurant and Drinkery, 45 Province Street, Boston. Tyler VanderWeele will speak on “Religious Communities and Human Flourishing.” Dr VanderWeele is director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, which among other things studies how religious communities affect health, happiness, meaning and purpose, and close social relationships. Theology on Tap is preceded by Evening Prayer at 5:30 pm at the Advent. For more information, contact Fr Hanson


SAINT MICHAEL’S CONFERENCE: A Conference in the Anglican Tradition for Young Adults of All Christian Communions.

By the end of the week, I was sad to be leaving all the new friends I had made at the Conference. I couldn’t believe that the week had gone by so fast. I had learned so many new things at the Conference that I knew would be valuable life lessons, but most of all I had learned to never judge something without knowing what it is like. This is what Harriet Lewis-Bowen told us about her time spent last summer at Saint Michael’s Conference. This educational conference for high school and college students is a week-long conference held in West Hartford, Connecticut from July 28 to August 3 this summer. We encourage every high school and college-aged student between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one to register and attend. Registration forms are available in the church or on the Conference’s website at www.saintmichaelsconference.com. Please see Father James, Betsy James, Rob Braman, Mark Dwyer, Gabriel Ellsworth, Sam James, or Harriet Lewis-Bowen if you are interested in attending.


ODDS & ENDS


Parish Workday: On Saturday, March 23, a hearty crew picked up, straightened up, cleaned out, cleaned up, scrubbed, swept, dusted, shined, polished, organized, tossed, rescued, and gave about 40 hours combined TLC to the beautiful building that houses our community. Thanks to all who participated!


Parishioner and former music librarian Ivan Hansen is offering his vast collection of record albums, CDs, and books to fellow Adventers. You will find this treasure trove in the Library; please help yourself to the items that most appeal — it might be wise to bring a tote bag — and be sure to let Ivan know how much you appreciate his generosity! His address: 81 Phillips St., Boston, 02114.


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne or Nola Sheffer. 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. NOTE: If you will be needing parking vouchers for Holy Week, please plan on purchasing them on April 7, or before, since there is no coffee hour on Palm Sunday.


From the Advent Archives —

An occasional offering of little known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.

The Rev. Dr. James A. Bolles, rector from 1859 to 1870, initiated both daily Mass and a vested choir. Some people objected to the vested choir, declaring they would leave the parish if Bolles carried out this intent. Undeterred, he announced in print that on the next All Saints Day the choir would be surpliced. In “The Beginnings of a Parish: A Paper read before the Men‘s Guild of the Church of the Advent, December 31, 1925,” George O. G. Coale reminisces, “The choir first appeared in surplices in Dr. Bolles’ day, and wonderful they were — very full circular capes of linen reaching to the ankles or below and open in the front, with a large black Oxford tie at the neck. They had no sleeves, but the sides were folded up upon the outstretched arms of the wearer and therefore he was obliged to hold his fore-arms horizontally in front of him for fear he would become sleeveless and his arms become helpless for the rest of the service. This was a cause of constant anxiety. Cassocks were not worn.”


Holy Week Service Schedule

Childcare will be available at all Holy Week services. Caregivers arrive by 6:15 pm and will be in nursery space adjacent to the parish office. Contact Meg Nelson at megwnelson@gmail.com with questions or concerns.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
April 1-7, 2019

Monday, April 1

Tuesday, April 2
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, April 3
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Lenten Theology Study
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, April 4
6:00 pm: Stations of the Cross & Benediction
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, April 5
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, April 6
9:30 am: Lenten Quiet Day
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, April 7
The Fifth Sunday in Lent
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Litany in Procession & Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School / Childcare / Entr’acte
11:15 am: Litany in Procession & Solemn Mass