This Week at Ascension + February 16, 2021
For Ash Wednesday & The First Sunday in Lent

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
Wednesday, February 17
Ash Wednesday

8:00 a.m. - Morning Prayer
12:00 p.m. - In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ,
hymn improvisation and choir motet

6:30 p.m. In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ,
hymn improvisation and choir motet

Click to take part VIA ZOOM or VIA FACEBOOK LIVE

with Imposition of Ashes, February 17
Please see additional reservation information below.
Ash Wednesday Mass with Imposition of Ashes, February 17
Please see additional reservation information below.
Yes, ashes will be administered on Ash Wednesday. To minimize contact, the disposable swabs shown here will be used-- one per penitent.
Connections updates . . .

  • For those not taking part in person, all connections will be via Zoom and Facebook Live for tomorrow, February 17, Ash Wednesday, and for February 21, the First Sunday in Lent.

  • Sorry to report: due to a few installation glitches, we must delay the launch of the new technology system. Thank you for your patience.

  • For those taking part in-person, Part I: Due to Zooming, we will be unable to use the traditional ambo and will instead use the small freestanding lectern, placed 10 to 12 feet behind the rood screen. Sorry, we know this is not ideal.

  • For those planning to join the in-person mass tomorrow, Part II: Conditions around the church remain icy. Please be careful and mindful of the safety of others as well as your own.
Sunday, February 21
The First Sunday in Lent

9:30 a.m. - Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. - In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ,
hymn improvisation and choir motet

11:15 a.m. - Virtual Coffee Hour

Click to take part VIA ZOOM

Image: Angels Ministering to Christ, William Blake, ca. 1815

Note: After clicking on the link, you will be able to see how many spots, if any, are still available for a particular mass.

When you register online, you will be sent an email confirming your online registration. This same link will also have a
Please note: if you have not yet taken part in an in-person mass, please click here to see some basic information that you will want to know before registering, upon arrival and during and after the mass.

Lenten Liturgies & Links ...

I. Rite I will be used for Sunday masses during Lent.
Other information about liturgies and music for Lent, Holy Week and Easter will be shared as available.

II. The orders of worship or bulletins for which links are provided in this newsletter may not be in final form until the end of the day today due to the Rector's schedule (Tuesday, February 16). Thanks for your patience.
"Present the church with a spot or wrinkle" (Ephesians 5:27):
That Scripture is the ministry of the pre-mass cleaning crew. We help make Ascension as spotless and germ-free as possible for everyone coming to worship. Do you have an extra 25 minutes on Sunday morning? Then join our band of volunteers and help prepare the building for mass. It is not a major commitment; you would be asked to serve perhaps one Sunday every other month. All supplies and a checklist of duties are in the ushers' closet, and training/orientation is available. If interested, please email Carol Noren at
From the Rector
Remember that you are dust ...

Dear people of Ascension,
     In the rectory, we recently watched the still-unfinished 17th season of the hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy. The pandemic overwhelms everyone in every episode. Doctors, nurses, patients and loved ones are all exhausted, dispirited and angry, whether due to prohibitions on physical contact, colleagues falling ill, the inscrutability of the virus, or all the deaths, and the freezer truck filling with bodies in the staff parking lot. 
    In a recent interview, the actor Chandra Wilson -- Dr. Bailey -- explained the motives of all involved in making Season 17: “[We could not] avoid the effects that [the pandemic] was going to have on the medical community.” Dr. Bailey’s own mother, Elena, dies in one episode, and her husband of 62 years can't be with her. 
     For a year now I’ve read of the pandemic's toll on hospital staffs and all caregivers--not to mention the sick, the dying and the dead. It took Grey’s Anatomy, even knowing the made-for-television fictional nature of it, to make it more real for me.
     A similar and truer quickening of our awareness of our mortality is intended by the Church’s holy season of Lent. Maybe it will come for you or me by way of the Imposition of Ashes, tomorrow, or by contemplating Christ on the coming First Sunday of Lent as he is tempted by Satan. Maybe we will come to our sober penitential senses in some other moment or episode or prayer or bent knee. 
    I pray with you for the faith and courage to walk, in days and weeks to come, through the valley of the shadow of death, as we hear that we are made from and returning to dust. And I pray that, doing so, we may not despair but rather wait in hope for the new life that we await in God.

PS Sorry for the abbreviated newsletter today. I look forward to compensating next week with news of upcoming ordinations, a Lenten program and more.

Of note before the end of this week: Vestry planning workshop and monthly meeting, Saturday, February 20, 9:00 a.m. to Noon. All may join us via Zoom.
Organ Repertoire for Ash Wednesday
There are no organ voluntaries
on Ash Wednesday

At the Communion
Improvisation on OLD 124th

Organ Repertoire for Sunday, February 21
Verrière pour le Premiere
Dimanche de Carême
Charles Arnould Tournemire
At the Communion
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich BWV 745
Johann Sebastian Bach

Meine Seele wartet auf den Herrn
(from BWV 131)
Johann Sebastian Bach
(transcribed, DW)

There is no organ postlude.

Choir of the Ascension:
Now on Soundcloud!
Please visit SoundCloud and listen to our playlist! There are currently 40 tracks, and several more will be added each month.

Benjamin Rivera, Choirmaster

Interim Sunday and Weekday Worship Schedule and Connections:

All masses live-streamed from the church.

9:30 a.m. Morning Prayer—Zoom
10:00 a.m. Mass—Zoom & Facebook Live
(and in-person as of Feb. 14, subject to registration)
11:15 a.m. Coffee Hour—Zoom
Weekday Mass: Wednesday Evenings
6:30 p.m.—Zoom & Facebook Live

Daily Offices continue as before:

Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Monday-Saturday—Facebook Live
9:30 a.m. Sunday—Zoom
Evening Prayer
6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday—Zoom
Other than for urgent or essential matters or for brief personal devotion in the church, visits to Ascension are presently to be avoided. Any (other) visit should be arranged in advance with Br. Nathanael Rahm. Thank you for your understanding.
Due to COVID-19, Church of the Ascension’s Treasurer and Bookkeeper are limiting the amount of time they spend working in the parish offices. All checks received at Ascension via the United States Postal Service, not always a reliable service in our area, will be bank deposited approximately every 4-6 weeks. You may contact the Treasurer by email anytime at 
Ascension Connections
(with your click and God's help)
Meeting ID:
792 031 7452
Password: 1133
Join-by-Phone Option: (312) 626-6799

Weekly Ascension Schedule

For connections:
via Zoom (click here)
except for Morning Prayer,
via Facebook (click here).

9:30 a.m. Virtual Morning Prayer
10:00 a.m. Live-Streamed Mass
11:00 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Low Mass
Yes, but I still haven't Zoomed ...
For the Novice, Newbie, or tech-challenged: It may be easier than you know. We've simplified instructions on the sheet that you can view by clicking here. Please know that you can block your camera (and don't need one to start with), and you could join our Scripture study or Virtual Coffee Hour, for instance, without having to say a word. Give it a try.
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:August 'Augie' Alonzo, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Dean Pineda, David Byerly, Bonnie Joseph, Diane Burnett, Steven Wallis, Sarah Ponder, Paula Budzban, Taffy Wehe, Neil, Canola Malone, Br. Jonathan Wheat, Rocky Ermilio, Catriana Patriarcha, Charley Taylor, Richard Laibly, Standish Henning, Deacon Tim Sullivan
Birthdays: Fallon Anderson, 2/14; Rachel Bridenstine, 2/14; Joel Hammer, 2/18
Anniversaries: Colin DuClos, Baptism, 2/14; Jim & Suzanne Lenz, Marriage, 2/17/1968
Requiescat in pace:
Larry Gordon, cousin of Mary Jane Kowalski
Richard Young, Priest, 2/15/2014

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 Last Word
The quote below is from a 2018 essay by author Paul J. Willis, titled 'A Meditation on Ash Wednesday'. It was reprinted in 2019 by Christianity Today under the title, 'What Shakespeare Taught Me About Ash Wednesday.' You may read the article in full here. (It's not long, and you'll be rewarded with some lines of George Herbert poetry if you read through to the end.) - Fr. Raymond +
“Jesus reminds us that our many immortality projects never succeed in making us very immortal. They only succeed in making us feel motheaten, rusty, and ultimately ripped off. Ash Wednesday, with its visible sign of dust and ashes on our foreheads, is a forcible reminder of our own frailty and mortality and sinfulness. We don’t like to remember those parts of ourselves, but on this day, it is literally rubbed onto us. Scholars and monks in the middle ages would sometimes keep a human skull on their shelves to remind themselves of the brevity of this our life. A skull kept for this purpose was called a memento mori, which is Latin for 'remember to die.' Remembering the end of all flesh, these monks and scholars could better hold this world in contempt and strive to devote themselves to the eternal love of God.”
The Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector

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