This Week at Ascension + December 1, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96
This coming Sunday, December 5, 4:00 p.m.

Advent Service of Lessons & Carols

More information below.
Wednesday, December 1
Commemoration of
Saint Andrew the Apostle

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via ZOOM
6:30 p.m. In-person & Live-streamed Mass

Image: St. Andrew, oil on canvas, Artus Wolffort, 1581-1641

pantry@ascension Saturday, Dec. 4

Please help! See Deacon Charles' invitation below

Sunday, December 5

The Second Sunday
of Advent

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

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

11:00 a.m. In-person &
Live-streamed Solemn High Mass
Mass setting: Healey Willan (1880-1968) Missa Brevis No. XI (Missa Sancti Johannis Baptistae)

Image: St. John the Baptist, painting by Jacopo del Casentino and assistant, c. 1330, El Paso Museum of Art

An Advent Service of
Lessons & Carols
4:00 p.m.

with The Choir of the Ascension
Benjamin Rivera, Choirmaster
David White, Organist

Featuring congregational hymns and motets by Paul Manz, Benjamin Britten, George Frideric Handel, Bob Chilcott, Barry Rose, Stefan Claas & Kathryn Rose
4:00 p.m. In-person & Live-streamed

From the Curate
Dear people of Ascension,

The beginning of the liturgical year with Advent has always felt as if we in the church live several time zones ahead of the rest of the world. It can be somewhat disorienting, a bit like jet lag when you travel into time zones to the west. The body says, “It’s time to wake up!” Meanwhile, the people you’re visiting will be sleeping for several more hours. 
The experience of waking before everyone else can also be an opportunity. Personally, I find those quiet early morning hours when everyone else is sleeping one of the best times to be awake. There is much to notice that we might otherwise miss: the gentle brightening of sky, the first chirps of birds greeting the morning, and if you’re lucky, a breathtaking sunrise such as we had over Lake Michigan this past Monday. A friend of mine often texts me rather early because she knows I’m also up. Sharing our early mornings, even apart, makes the time we spend “ahead” of the rest of our families that much more special.
I think Advent is also a bit like this. We, the church, are awake while others sleep. This is our time to pay attention to the signs of hope and light that bear witness to the one whose arrival we’re preparing for. This is our special time together to get the world ready for what is yet to come.

Also from the Curate:
Speaking of Calendars ...

One opportunity we have as a parish to prepare for the birth of Jesus is simple yet edifying. I am collecting 2022 calendars for newly arriving refugees in Chicago. They'll be shared for us by RefugeeOne, an organization with past Ascension connections and one I hope we can continue to explore in the coming year. 
Refugee One specifically asks for donations of those calendars you may receive from businesses and nonprofits to assist refugees with the management of their new schedules.
I’ve received several calendars already.
Thank you if you’ve already donated!

You may bring them to any mass and leave them in the designated basket in the narthex or drop them off during the week at the church during office hours. I'll deliver them them to RefugeeOne’s offices on December 29. Please reach me by email or by a call to the church with questions.
As a parish this year, we have already donated four large bags of winter coats to Refugee One and heard from Sara Spoonheim about the state of refugees in the world at one of our We Should Talk conversations this fall. I am hopeful that our relationship with the agency will continue. 


Advent Book Study: Monday nights on Zoom at 7:30 pm

What a lively conversation we had at our first Monday night gathering, two days ago! Light of the World copies are no longer available at the parish but are available on Amazon for about $10; word is, they arrive quickly. Reach out if you need assistance obtaining a copy.

On Monday, December 6, we’ll focus on the story of Mary and why her story matters. All are welcome to join the conversation even if you’re not caught up with the reading.

Advent Quiet Morning: December 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 plan to attend, please register using this online form or look for the sign-up sheet that will be circulated during both coffee hours this Sunday. Letting us know that you plan to attend will help us plan for the right amount of food. An opportunity to make a confession will also be available and you can indicate if you’d like to take that opportunity on the registration form.
From Deacon Charles Farrell
Please help! Saturday, December 4

Dear Sisters & Brothers,
Please consider joining me this coming Saturday at 9:30 am in St. Michael’s Hall as we prepare bags for our December Pantry@Ascension! We begin putting our bags together at 9:30 am, distribution begins at 11 am and we are generally done no later than 12:15 pm. It is not necessary to stay the entire time, our biggest need is from 9:30-11. - Deacon Charles
Notes from the Verger, MB Hwang
1) We need your help as acolytes, lectors, ushers, coffee hosts, and more this month for regular and special services, including the newly added 9 AM Mass and our Christmas events. We have openings as early as this Sunday. Please take a look at the December Schedule and see if you can help! You can sign yourself up or, if you're new to serving in a role, contact Verger MB Hwang ( Training is available, and we'll work to respect your availability and broad preferences.

2) Ministry Scheduler Pro 'MSP' Scheduling Tool Office Hours: Our online scheduling system, MSP, may be new to some of us, and experienced users may have questions, too. Thank you for your willingness to get familiar with this tool! MB Hwang will be hosting drop-in sessions for both users and admins in the regular Ascension Zoom room at these times in December:
  • Friday, December 3: 7:30 - 8:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 9: 11:00-11:45 a.m.
  • Monday, December 13: 3:30-4:15 p.m.

If you can't make these times or can't get on Zoom, you're welcome to contact MB ( to arrange one-on-one assistance by appointment, too.

From the Rector
The 9:00 a.m. Mass: Good news ... and not-so-good news
Good News: We had excellent participation at both masses Sunday, including the 20 souls who showed up for the 9:00 a.m. mass.

Good News: There were clearly enough participants at the 9:00 a.m. mass to re-introduce more music. I will be talking with Organist/Cantor David White about how much additional music to include now or in coming weeks.

Added music for this coming Sunday will include:
  • An additional hymn.
  • Propers from the English Gradual chanted by the Cantor (Organist).
  • A congregational setting of the Ordinary (David White's Kyrie
and Robert Powell's Sanctus et Benedictus, Agnus Dei).
  • Chanted Canon of the Mass.

Not-So-Good News: Commitments to the lay ministry positions are not yet adequate to sustain this mass. Ideally, in order of importance, we would fill the following ministry positions each week: acolyte, usher, coffee hour, and thurifer. (But I'm not sure about the priority here: Would we rather have smoke or coffee?) The acolyte and usher roles are critical, as I see it, for assistance with the mass and due to security. I also observed this past Sunday that creating an additional role -- sacristan -- could be of help. I welcome your thoughts.

If you are able to support the continuation of the 9:00 a.m. mass, please contact Verger MB Hwang. You needn't have served before. Training is available.

Special thanks to all who showed up this past Sunday at 9 and gave me hope that we can once again appreciate this valued liturgy.

Requiescat in pace
We haven't learned his name or anything more, but the little guy in the photo below tumbled out of a window in the apartment building across from Ascension (at 1120 N LaSalle) and fell to his death a week ago Tuesday, November 23. A memorial gathering assembled and created an impromptu shrine at the site on Saturday afternoon, the 27th.
O God, whose beloved Son took children into his arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust our young neighbor to your never-failing care and love, and bring us all to your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 494

Vestry Meeting: Thursday, December 2, 6:30 p.m. via Zoom
One early agenda item will feature a conversation about the state and the future of our outreach convictions, options and human resources. As part of this conversation, we'll be joined by Executive Director Hope Pavich and Board Member Mark Bean of Care for Friends, a long-running outreach ministry begun by the people of Church of Our Saviour on Fullerton Parkway. That mission is now looking for facilities to carry on during a 12-to-18-month period during which the Church of Our Saviour parish house will be demolished and rebuilt.

Join the Vestry conversation Thursday evening via Zoom here.

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

  • Advent Service of Lessons & Carols. Nothing's changed! Reception to follow.

  • Weds. Dec. 8 - Conception of Mary. 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 offering the 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.

If you have not yet seen it, please ...

(And don't miss the photos!)
Organ Repertoire for December 5, 2021

Prelude and Fugue, op. 93
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)
At the Entrance Procession
At the Offertory
75 ASCENSION (11am)
At the Communion
67 PSALM 42
At the Retiring Procession
Three Pieces for Organ [1983]
III. Toccata
A. Oscar Haûgland (1922-2013)

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, David D. Jones, Carys and Joshua Benjamin, Lawrence Cox, Gina, Tom Baer, Mary Stetson 

Requiescat in pace: Frank C. Alderson, Priest, 11/28/2009; Norman C. Chylinski, 11/29/1993; Eugene H. Smith, 12/1/2000; Richard Clark Taylor, 12/3/1989; Patricia M. Cramer, 11/04/2021

Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Andrew McLean, who died on November 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.