This Week at Ascension + November 24, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
Two Thanksgiving Mass Opportunities:

Eve of Thanksgiving Day
Wednesday, November 24,
6:30 pm Low Mass
preceded by 6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via ZOOM

Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 25,
10:00 am Sung Mass with hymns

Note: Neither of the Thanksgiving Masses will be live-streamed.
Image: Artist’s rendering of the Thanksgiving Day altar at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Westport, CT
Can you help with the greening of the church for Advent and Christmas poinsettias? - Part II

Flower Guild chair Claire Green, pictured here Christmas Eve 2019, is concerned about enough HELP on Saturday, November 27, to adequately, beautifully and appropriately 'green' the church for Advent. Even if you're not a guild member, please reach out to Claire by email ASAP, as our greening will need to be scaled to available help.
Sunday, November 28

The First Sunday
of Advent

8:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer via ZOOM

9:00 a.m. In-person only Said Mass with Organ and Offertory Hymn

11:00 a.m. In-person &
Live-streamed Solemn High Mass
Mass setting: Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Missa Brevis in D

Image: Detail from The Last Judgement, Giotto, 1306, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

From the Rector
Worship Planning: This could happen, that could happen
Dear people of Ascension,

Worship planning has been notably and frustratingly characterized by contingencies since the start of the pandemic. We do our best to plan; circumstances change; plans change.

I ask you to bear this mind as we head into Advent and Christmas. Allow me to draw attention to three instances:

First, as I hope you already know, we move to a new two-mass schedule (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.) this coming Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, November 28. I've planned a relatively simple mass at 9:00 a.m. for now, not knowing how many souls will take part or how many are willing to help with various lay worship and fellowship ministries. My 'guess' and my hope is that the 9:00 a.m. mass will agreeably evolve in coming weeks, particularly by way of more music and singing (due to promising attendance). Maybe. Maybe not.

Second, some information about some of our seasonal liturgies has already been updated. Changes are mostly or all in the direction of masses with more music. And a reception has been added to the December 5 Advent Service of Lessons & Carols thanks to Patrick Johnston. I'll include some of the updated information below.

Third, don't be surprised if our Christmas masses, including Christmas Eve, may need to be scaled back (the liturgy, not the music) due to lack of available lay ministers at the altar. We've been blessed by a half-dozen or more new altar ministers in recent months. Regrettably, many of them have made travel plans for Christmas. Please contact MB Hwang if you may be available to help, and in any case keep your expectations nimble, and as always pray for the Church.

Information about some (but not all) of the following
has changed since prior publication:

  • 1 Advent, Nov. 28 -- New schedule: masses at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

  • Advent Service of Lessons & Carols. The big change is that Patrick Johnston has generously offered to host a reception afterward!

  • Weds. Dec. 8 - Immaculate Conception. 1. a rosary will precede the 6:30 p.m. mass. 2. We'll offer a sung mass with organ hymn(s) and soloist(s). 3. George Pineda has kindly offered to host a reception after the mass.

  • Christmas Day—choral mass with choir covering Ordinary, propers, motets

  • Dec. 26, 1 Christmas–sung mass at 11 a.m. with schola (propers & motets).

  • Thurs. Jan. 6, Feast of the Epiphany — 6:30 p.m. sung mass with schola (propers & motets).

  • Sacrament of Reconciliation -- As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Confession is available by appointment with any of our Ascension priests.

Joshua Heath to preach on the
First Sunday of Advent

This coming Sunday we'll welcome Joshua Pulin Elvy Heath as our guest preacher. He’s a PhD candidate in theology at Trinity College, Cambridge, working toward a dissertation titled Language and Metaphysics in the Thought of Sergii Bulgakov, a preview of which (I believe) may be viewed in this article from the May 2021 issue of 'Modern Theology.' Joshua is happily known to many at Ascension, having worshiped, served and preached here during his 2016-2018 MA studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He was, if you hadn't noticed, able to do a reconnaissance of the present state of liturgical affairs at Ascension by serving as Crucifer this past Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King.
If you have not yet seen it, please ...

(And don't miss the photos!)
From the Curate
Plan Ahead for
Spiritual Formation in Advent
Mondays at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom and ending with Compline at 8:30 p.m.

For Advent this year, I will lead a four-week conversation on Zoom about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus in Scripture. We’ll use Amy-Jill Levine’s wonderful book, Light of the World: A Beginner's Guide to Advent. Together, we’ll discuss Zechariah’s shock at the angel Gabriel’s annunciation to him, dive into the meaning of Mary’s Magnificat, wonder together about the significance of the Magi, and so much more. These ancient stories have so much to offer to our modern lives and I do hope you’ll join in this conversation. 

Our conversations will take place over Zoom on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. followed by Compline at 8:30 p.m.

Copies of the book are available for $5 at the parish. Only three copies remain, so speak up to claim yours! Financial hardship should not prevent you from participating if you’d like to. If you’re unable to afford a book, please call the parish, email me, or speak to me privately after Mass. 

Advent Quiet Morning, Saturday, Dec. 11
Come find rest and respite in the midst of the holiday rush. Pray, reflect, and enjoy fellowship with others as we take time to listen and look for signs of Christ’s ever growing presence in our world. 

This in-person retreat will begin at 8:30 with Morning Prayer and end with Mass at 11 am. (This is an update to the newsletter from last week, which said Mass would be at noon.) A light breakfast will be provided. Bring your journal, a sketchbook, some earbuds and your favorite music, as there will be ample time for personal reflection and prayer. 

If you are available to help with set up, please reach out to Mother Murphy-Gill or Cheryl Peterson. 

Advent Outreach Opportunity
We are currently collecting 2022 calendars to deliver to RefugeeOne that will help newly arriving refugees adapt to new schedules and time commitments as they settle into life in Chicago. Many thanks to everyone who has dropped off calendars already!

If you have calendars you’ve received from nonprofits or businesses that you don’t need, please bring them to church on Sunday and drop them off in the basket in the narthex. We’ll be collecting calendars through Monday, December 27.

The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill's sermon for the Feast of Christ the King, 11/21/2021, may be read here.

Requiescat in pace, Andrew McLean
I regret having to pass on more sorrowful news in conjunction with our diocese. Andrew McLean, husband of Bishop-elect the Rev. Canon Paula Clark, died this past Tuesday morning, having learned of and having been in treatment for multiple myeloma since this past August. The announcement shared by the Diocese of Chicago on Tuesday afternoon may be read here.
Organ Repertoire for November 28 , 2021

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
At the Entrance Procession
At the Offertory
At the Communion
At the Retiring Procession
Kommst du nun, Jesu,
von Himmel herunter BWV 650
Johann Sebastian Bach

About our 2021 Repertoire
As I develop a long-range plan for repertoire each year, I choose a theme or area of emphasis, often complete works or a complete large-scale work by one composer. During 2021, organ music by women composers and African-American composers is being and will be featured in voluntaries and recitals throughout the year. There are some little-known gems waiting to be discovered, as well as music by major composers, with whom works for the organ are not generally associated. Enjoy!

Between Masses, please don’t forget that The Choir of the Ascension has recorded upwards of 60 tracks that you can listen to anywhere you have an internet connection. They can be found here:
Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Participate in Ascension masses at our YouTube Channel. (Look for other connections options soon.)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule

For connections:
via Zoom (click here)

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via Zoom
9:00 a.m. In-person Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. In-person and Live-Streamed Solemn High Mass

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Said Mass
Please give generously as you are able.
Treasurer Susan Schlough has asked me to remind you of Ascension's ongoing expenses at this time. To the extent that you are able, payment on your pledges or the offering of Holy Day or other special gifts will be greatly appreciated. You may still write a check and mail it to the church, or online payment is possible through the buttons at various places on our website. Thank you!
For our prayers: The Rev. Canon Paula Clark, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Sarah Ponder, Taffy Wehe, Beth Hall, Steven Upmeyer, Sue Lenz, Ben, Thom Ehlen, David D. Jones, Carys and Joshua Benjamin, Lawrence Cox, James Hampton and family, Gina, Tom Baer 

Birthdays: Carnola Malone, 11/22; Harold Paul, 11/24

Requiescat in pace: Leona Delores Jones, 11/21/1984; Glovenia A. Orr, 11/21/2001;
John Fleckenstein, 11/21/2012; Ferndel William Orrick, Priest, 13th Rector, 11/26/1969;
Enid C. Smith, 11/26/2007; Clara Smith Hayes, 11/28/2006; Patricia M. Cramer, 11/04/2021, aunt of Jenna Jones

Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Andrew McLean, 11/22/2021, the husband of Bishop-elect Paula Clark.

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them;
May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

The Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill, Curate

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office
Vestry of Church of the Ascension
Cheryl Peterson, Sr. Warden; Kenneth Kelling, Jr. Warden; Kelly Colomberti, Marilyn Evans, Lynette Hector, Jim Lo Bello, George Pineda, David Reeves, Samuel Sommers, Enrique Vilaseco, Amber Zelazny

Approved minutes of Vestry meetings are always available online to parishioners who request the link. If you would like Internet access to these Vestry Minutes, please email the Parish Office and request the link. Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Vestry meeting minutes.
The link remains live indefinitely. Any parishioner who has the link will not need to request a new link from month to month.