'Last Supper,' mosaic, St. Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg

Wednesday in Holy Week, April 17
Morning Prayer at 7:10 a.m., Mass at 12:05 p.m.
Evening Prayer at 6:10 p.m., Mass at 6:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday, March April 18
Morning Prayer at 7:10 a.m.
The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday, April 19
Morning Prayer at 7:10 a.m.
At the Altar of Repose
Stations of the Cross at Noon
Liturgy rehearsal 4:00 p.m.
The Liturgy of Good Friday, 7:00 p.m.

Holy Saturday, April 20
Morning Prayer at 9:30 a.m.
Holy Saturday Liturgy at the
Garden Columbarium at 10:00 a.m.
Vigil Rehearsal 11 am

The Celebration of Easter

The Great Vigil of Easter,
Saturday, April 20, 8:00 p.m.
Wheeler Hall reception.

Easter Day, April 21
9 a.m. Sung Mass + 11 a.m. Solemn High Mass
Acolyte rehearsal 10:30 am

Sunday, April 28
Solemn Paschal Vespers 4:00 p.m.
(Evensong & Procession  with the Ascension Choir)

Security personnel will be available for evening services.
Due to evening liturgical rehearsal conflicts,
please say the Evening Office privately during the Triduum.

This Week at Ascension + April 17, 2019


From the Rector
Also From the Rector
Ascension Connections: Good Friday Walk
Ascension Book Group News
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The (Last) Last Word


  Last Word First

Dear people of Ascension,

The invitation below is from the Iona Abbey Worship Book and is intended for use at Communion. I wonder, though, if you can take it to heart as your invitation to all of Holy Week and Easter?
This is the table, not of the righteous,
but of the poor in spirit.
It is made ready for those who love God
and who want to love God more.
So come, you who have much faith and you who have little,
You who have been here often
and you who have not been for a long time or ever before,
You who have tried to follow and all of us who have failed.
These are the gifts of God for the People of God.
Christ invites everyone to be known and fed here
Sometime Ascension member James Baran, presently in sunny California, shared this with me by email a few days ago. It had stood out for him from a recent Sunday bulletin at St. Margaret's Church, Palm Desert. I first thought to include it as today's Last Word. Soon enough, I sensed it may be more compelling to put this timely invitation first.
Assuming your responses to the invitation - I so look forward to your presence and prayers here in the coming holy days that we share in faith.
As we prepare for Holy Week and Easter ...
+ My thanks to those of you who signed up in Wheeler Hall this past Sunday for various ministries in coming days. It looks as if we have enough souls to help with Easter flowers and for hospitality at the Saturday night Vigil reception. Please do consider taking part for an hour in the Watch at the Altar of Repose, Thursday 9pm-Midnight, or helping with the coffee hour after the Solemn High Mass on Easter Day. Bring food to share if you'd like. Or help clean up after. No need to sign up at this point!
+ Please join me in praying for Kelly Elizabeth Columberti, who is to be baptized at the Easter Vigil Saturday evening. Kelly began worshiping here this past fall, and inquired about baptism on her first Sunday. In our conversations in preparation for baptism, I've valued her inquiring mind and spiritual literacy. The prayer of thanksgiving below is taken from a Church of England rite to be used following a baptism. The next normal date for baptisms will be June 9, the Feast of Pentecost.

+ I'm grateful that the Very Rev. Joy E. Rogers, formerly Dean of St. James' Cathedral, Chicago, will preach at the Good Friday Liturgy. Also, the Rev. Ben Adams, Chaplain of the South Loop Campus Ministry, will be our preacher at the 9am and 11am masses on the Second Sunday of Easter, April 28.
+ Former Ascension parishioner Ray Patrick, age 78, died this past Thursday night (April 11) in Murray, Kentucky, where he'd moved due to declining health a number of years ago. I'll preside at a Committal tomorrow, Thursday, April 18, 10:00 a.m. at Memory Gardens Cemetery, Arlington Heights. The photo shows Ray in flamboyant dress, for which he was apparently well known.
+ Parishioner Thomas Holden died this past Saturday afternoon (April 13) in Chicago at Swedish Covenant Hospital due to complications from an infection. My thanks to Ken Kelling who faithfully visited Tom for a number of years, sharing the sacrament and keeping Tom apprised of goings-on at Ascension, as well as providing significant support and advocacy in critical situations as Tom's health declined. Plans for a requiem mass to be said here at Ascension are pending.
+ The Annual Holy Week Chrism Mass provides an opportunity for clergy of the diocese to gather and renew ordination vows and for the Bishop to bless the chrism (holy oil) used at baptisms in congregations during the coming year (beginning with the Easter Vigil). Yesterday's mass was well attended and, per usual, was preceded by a time of reflection. In this case, Mthr. Debra Bullock, Rector of St. Mark's, Evanston, shared some provocative thoughts on the challenges and opportunities for the larger church, relative to identity and mission, in the context of rapidly changing culture. Her remarks were partly based on related reflection and work being done in and by the Anglican Church of Canada known as Becoming the Story We Tell: Renewing our Engagement with Christ Crucified and Risen . The simplified two-page handout that we referenced yesterday may be viewed here . If you view it, you'll note that the 2nd page adds a middle column that suggests ways the churches are presently maladaptively responding to change, the third column envisions another way ...

Please take some time when you're able to appreciate 'The Randomly Focused Career of Benjamin Rivera,' a March 27, 2019, feature in the 'Editor's Notes' on the website for Vocal Arts Chicago.  Dr. Rivera is described as " one of the most sought-after musicians in Chicago ... [who] capitalizes on the various skills developed over a lifetime of loving the human voice ." At the head of the article is this full-page photo-of Benjamin conducting the Ascension Choir!


The Near North Ministry Alliance's 34th Annual Good Friday Walk is an opportunity to contemplate the Passion of Our Lord. The walk begins at Seward Park, 375 West Elm, promptly at 3:15 p.m. and moves through a number of different neighborhoods traveling as far West as Clybourn Avenue.

Though it is not in fact Stations of the Cross, the group stops at various locations along the way to hear a portion of scripture from the Passion narrative, which is then followed by a meditation. Churches of various denominations participate. In its entirety, the Walk takes about two hours, although walking only part is certainly an option. Marlea Edinger and Cheryl Peterson participated last year and found it to be very moving.


For April the Ascension Book Group will read two of the plays from Four Major Plays by Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Ghosts (1881) and Hedda Gabler (1891).

The schedule of Sunday Readings, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for Sunday, April 21, 2019 may be found by clicking here.
More information on the Choral repertoire may be found on the Ascension website: ascensionchicago.org

Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano,  Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Kenvert Samuel, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Rachel Barton Pine, Demos Kukeas, Norb Bragiel, Yuka Asai, Dean Pineda,  Kristen Halvorsen, Helena Wilson, Denise Gordon, Vicki Giusti, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Thom Ehlen,  Mary Pascale, Frank & Annette Kuhle, Krista Delaney, Pedro Ill├ís, Courtney Walsh, Doreen Finn

Prayers for the departed
For the Repose of the Soul of  Ray Patrick , who died in Kentucky on April 11, 2019
For the Repose of the Soul of Thomas Holden, who died on April 13, 2019.
For the Repose of the Soul of Pastor Fred Overdier, friend of Susan Schlough

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

The Approved Minutes of Vestry meetings are now available online to parishioners who request the link.  If you would like Internet access to the Approved Vestry Minutes, please email the  Church Office and request the link. 
Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Approved Vestry Minutes.  In addition, if you click on the subscribe button at the top right, you will be given email notice whenever a new set of Approved Minutes is added. 


I wasn't originally planning any Last Word for this newsletter, but when Bishop Lee wove the poem below into his homily at yesterday's Chrism Mass at the Cathedral, and as he connected it to the rites that we Christians share this week, I had a hunch some of you may appreciate it and find some recognition in it. I hope so. - Fr. Raymond +

To a Child at the Piano
by Alastair Reid
Play the tune again ; but this time
with more regard for the movement at the source of it,
and less attention to time. Time falls
curiously in the course of it.
Play the tune again ; not watching
your fingering, but forgetting, letting flow
the sound till it surrounds you. Do not count
or even think. Let go.
Play the tune again ; but try to be
nobody, nothing, as though the pace
of the sound were your heart beating, as though
the music were your face.
Play the tune again . It should be easier
to think less every time of the notes, of the measure.
It is all an arrangement of silence. Be silent, and then
play it for your pleasure.
Play the tune again ; and this time when it ends,
do not ask me what I think. Feel what is happening
strangely in the room as the sound glooms over
you, me, everything.
play the tune again .

Fr. Patrick Raymond,         praymond@ascensionchicago.org

Susan Schlough,                finance@ascensionchicago.org

Parish Office                      office@ascensionchicago.org