This Week at Ascension + March 31, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
Wednesday in Holy Week
March 31

6:30 p.m. Live-streamed Mass

Tenebrae, 7:15 p.m. via Zoom

Image: Detail: Judas, La Cène, Vitrail Cathédrale de Moulins
Maundy Thursday Liturgy
April 1

7:00 p.m. In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ, hymn improvisation and
choir motet

Image: Jesus washes the feet of the disciples,
stained glass, St. Mark's Glen Ellyn, IL
The Watch at the Altar of Repose
will follow our Maundy Thursday Liturgy
and conclude with Compline at 10:00 p.m.
No reservation required if remaining after the Liturgy.
A paper sign-up will be asked of visitors not otherwise registered.
Subject to technical arrangements ...

Good Friday Liturgy
April 2

12:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross
In-person only
No pre-registration required. Masks will be required.
7:00 p.m. In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with recorded hymns
and choir motet

Image: The Crucifixion,
stained/leaded glass window, St. Mark's Glen Ellyn, IL
The Great Vigil
and First Mass of Easter
April 3

8:00 p.m. In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ, recorded hymns
and choir motet

Image: The Resurrection,
stained/leaded glass window, Church of the Ascension, Chicago, IL
Sunday, April 4
The Sunday of the Resurrection:
Easter Day

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via Zoom

9:00 a.m. In-person Mass only
pre-registration and masks required.

11:00 a.m. In-Person &
Live-Streamed Mass with organ, recorded hymns and choir motet

The 9:00 a.m. &11:00 a.m. Masses are identical

Click here to join us for the Liturgy VIA YOUTUBE

(Unless otherwise announced, there is No Virtual Coffee Hour via Zoom)

The Resurrection of Christ, stained/leaded glass window,
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn, IL
In Case You Missed the Links Above

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.

From the Rector
Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

  • The opening Collect in the Palm Sunday Liturgy,
Book of Common Prayer, p. 270
Dear people of Ascension,

We don’t think of navigation as a particularly theological word. It’s not found in the Bible or our liturgies. Even so, both practical and spiritual dimensions of Holy Week and Easter suggest the value of our informed and careful navigation.

     With regard to things practical, our participation in Holy Week and Easter always requires navigation, and this year in new and changing ways due to the pandemic, pre-registration, connecting via technology, and more. Think of all of the information above in this newsletter as your road map with routes and signs to all destinations. 

   As shared with you yesterday, we are now also unexpectedly navigating various responses to news about the Order of St. Anne, Chicago. Some of you have understandably questioned decisions (largely mine) about the timing of related communications. Others, including Mother Judith Marie in a phone call yesterday morning, have observed that this development seems concurrent with, and emblematic of, all we enter into and seek to better understand and navigate in faith throughout these holy days. 

     All of the practical preparations for and navigation through Holy Week and Easter as well as any and all temporal matters that may arise can either illumine or obscure where we are going, and with whom, and why. If ever you get lost in the details, return to the starting point. It is clearly marked and shown to us in the first prayer (shared in full above) of our first Holy Week liturgy. Let us now continue to navigate together toward those mighty acts whereby you have given us life and immortality.

Also from the Rector
Additional Navigation Notes
A few of our rites -- this evening and in coming days -- merit some additional explanation, including:

Tenebrae - this evening, Mar. 31, 7:15 p.m.
If this traditional Holy Week service has previously been offered here at Ascension, it's been many years. Thanks to Samuel Sommers, regular Daily Office officiant and Vestry member, for proposing and organize it. Note that you will need to switch from YouTube/Facebook (for this evening's mass) to Zoom, for Tenebrae.

The Watch at the Altar of Repose - following the Maundy Thursday liturgy. No pre-registration is required, but we will ask anyone attending (other than anyone already at the Liturgy preceding it) to sign in as they arrive, in the event that later contact tracing may be necessary.

The Stations of the Cross, at Noon on Friday, will be in-person only. No pre-registration will be asked or provided, but anyone attending will be asked to sign in as they arrive, in the event that later contact tracing may be necessary. We are unable to live-stream this rite, but hope to provide future opportunities. A pre-recorded Stations of the Cross at which I officiated in Lent 2020, with mezzo-soprano Cassidy Smith and Organist David White, may be viewed and prayed here.
The stained glass window images
found throughout this newsletter will also be used for artwork in our bulletins for Holy Week and Easter. They depict windows found at St. Mark's Church, Glen Ellyn, where Father George Arceneaux was ordained priest and Deacon Meghan Murphy-Gill ordained deacon on February 27. One motive for sharing these images is an opportunity for us to continue to give thanks for and support them as they navigate Holy Week and Easter for the first time as clergy. The St. Mark's windows are the work of Connick Studios, Boston. They were installed in three phases between 1953-1966. The following quote by Charles Connick, explaining his vision for his liturgical artworks, led me to think of the aesthetic features of Ascension that so many of us value:

"If churches are made radiant and beautiful places of worship, we can have a spiritual regeneration without anyone knowing what is going on. Beauty can preach as very few men with bundles of words can preach. I want to make beautiful interiors for both churches and souls. I want men to hear my windows singing, to hear them singing of God; I want men to know that God is at the core of their own souls." - Charles Connick
Notes on Death and Dying
A variety of recent incidents, comments and requests can be traced to Seminarian Bonnie Scott's thoughtful February 28 Lenten meditation on death and dying, and now remind me of the following related matters:

An Advanced Care Planning workshop will be offered twice in coming weeks by Bishop Anderson House, an Episcopal chaplaincy ministry based at RUSH medical center. The workshops will be led by 'BAH' Director Father Tommy Rogers and will focus on information in the widely-used Five Wishes booklet: April 10, 10-11 a.m. and April 15, 7-8 p.m. More workshop information may be found be clicking a few tabs at the Bishop Anderson House website, here.

Preparing for Christian Death and Burial is a document that I authored (last revised in 2018). It's one way for you to convey additional information/wishes to loved ones and/or clergy and others. You may view this document here.

Providing information to your church can be a gift to all when the time comes to answer critical questions about your wishes--whether by way of the forms above or another means. Please consider sharing your related information so that it may be put in a confidential file here at Ascension. Contact Br. Nathanael in the parish office about how to do so.
Spring landscaping has come to the Our Lady of Victory garden!
thanks to work this week by JW Landscapes! Thanks as well to Sexton George Panice for doing all that was needed to get our garden fountain running again after its winter hibernation. If you're in the neighborhood, for a mass or otherwise -- enjoy!

Father Petite's sermon for
The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

The sermon by Br. Jonathan Wheat, CMJ
for the Feast of the Annunciation

Organ Repertoire for Easter day, April 4
Sarabande for the Morning of Easter
[1940] Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 718
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

At the Procession
At the Offertory
Hymn 199/200

Toccata resurrezione on Ellacombe [1999]
David R. White (b. 1959)
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!
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
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)
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)
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, Dean Pineda, David Byerly,
Bonnie Joseph, Steven Wallis, Sarah Ponder, Paula Budzban, Taffy Wehe, Neil, Carnola Malone, Rocky Ermilio, Catriana Patriarcha, Charley Taylor, Richard Laibly, Lauren
Birthdays: Ken Kelling, 3/29; Enrique Vilaseco, 3/29; Jay Peterson, 4/1;
Fr. Robert Orpen, 3/30
Requiescat in pace: Edward Maruoka, 3/28, 1990; Louise Kellogg White, 3/29/2006

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

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