This Week at Ascension + December 15, 2021

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - Psalm 96

Upcoming at Ascension

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 19
Morning Prayer, 8:30 a.m. via ZOOM Sung Mass 9:00 a.m. in person only. Solemn High Mass 11:00 a.m. in person & VIA YOUTUBE or FACEBOOK LIVE

St. Thomas the Apostle (transf.) + Wednesday, December 22
Evening Prayer, 6:00 p.m. via ZOOM
Low mass, 6:30 p.m. in person & VIA YOUTUBE or FACEBOOK LIVE

Christmas Eve - Friday, December 24
Motets & Carols, 10:30 p.m.
Solemn High Mass of the Nativity with Procession

Christmas Day, December 25
Choral Mass (full choir), 10:00 a.m.
In person only (no live stream)

First Sunday after Christmas Day, Sunday, December 26
9:00 a.m. Sung Mass (in person only)
11:00 a.m. Sung Mass with Schola

Feast of the Epiphany, Thursday, January 6
Evening Prayer, 6:00 p.m. via ZOOM
Sung mass with Schola, 6:30 p.m.

Today: Wednesday, December 15
Wednesday in the Third Week of Advent

6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via ZOOM

6:30 p.m. Sung Mass: In-person & Live-streamed

Image: Detail from Preaching of St. John the Baptist, Domenico Ghirlandaio (1448-1494) Tornabuoni Chapel

Sunday, December 19

The Fourth Sunday
of Advent

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

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

11:00 a.m. In-person &
Live-streamed Solemn High Mass
Mass setting: William Byrd (c. 1540-1623) Mass for Three Voices

Image: The Annunciation, George Hitchcock (1850-1913) Art Institute of Chicago

From the Curate
Signs of the Season

This past Saturday, a number of us gathered in Wheeler Hall to spend time in quiet reflection and to prepare our hearts for the arrival of Jesus. I shared a poem by Mary Oliver, “One or Two Things,” for the way that it acknowledges the presence of “the more to life,” which I would call God, behind things even as seemingly insignificant as the voice of a dog, a crow, or a frog. (You can read that poem by clicking here.)

Now in our third week of waiting for the Light of the World, more signs of that holy light are apparent. Three candles are lit on our Advent Wreath. More festive greenery has appeared in and around the church (thanks to the work of our flower guild). On my evening walks, Christmas lights twinkle brightly in the darkness. Oliver’s poetry reminds me to also consider the now bare tree limbs I can see from my office window, the cry of the baby who lives downstairs, and yes, the caws of the crows on the roof of my home.

All are signs of the more to life and the more that is to come.

PS Even if you've not yet done so, please join me and others this evening at 7:30 p.m. via ZOOM for the last of our Monday evening Advent conversations.
From the Rector
I regret that, due to a variety of circumstances (including work being done in the rector's office that has made it impassable this week), my contribution to this week's newsletter will be brief (and likely more flawed than is usual).

December Vestry meeting, Thursday Evening, December 16, 6:30 p.m. via ZOOM.

An update from the Diocese of Chicago on Bishop-elect Paula Clark and on plans for the Saturday, December 18, funeral of her husband Andrew McLean may be found by clicking here.
The traditional, lovely and meaningful O Antiphons are upon us in coming days. I hurriedly found this simple explanation by Loyola University Press and the O Antiphons themselves, with dates, in this link to a webpage for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. You may find many other meditations on and interpretations of the O Antiphons, some with inspiring artworks, by way of your own Internet search. 
Thanks to Sexton George Panice for the rehab work, including extensive repair, re-plastering and repainting in both the curate's and rector's offices. The curate's office hadn't been painted since ... nobody remembers when. The work in the rector's office is partly in preparation for new windows to be installed next week. Evaluation of the original leaded glass windows (top photo) deemed them beyond repair. The new windows will translate to energy savings and provide a better sound barrier to street noise.

Writing this, I realized I never publicly thanked George here in the newsletter for the spectacular reconstruction, in August, of our south confessional at the back of the nave (lower photo). The work was needed in large part due to a tenacious mold infestation, now completely abated.
Many thanks as well to the owners and crew of JW Landscapes, Chicago, for the lovely holiday beautification of the Ascension parish garden and planters.

Fr. Raymond +
If you have not yet seen it, please ...

(And don't miss the photos!)

The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill's sermon for The Third Sunday of Advent may be read here.

Fr. Raymond's message for the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8,

Organ Repertoire for December 19, 2021
Three settings:
Nun komm der heiden Heiland

SwWV 121
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)
PWV 386
Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
Op. 8, no. 1
Hugo Distler (1908-1942)

At the Entrance Procession
At the Offertory
At the Communion
258 PSALM 86
At the Retiring Procession

Nun komm der Heiden Heiland LV 21
Freidrich Wilhelm Zachow (1653-1712)

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, Sue Lenz, Ben, David D. Jones, Carys and Joshua Benjamin, Lawrence Cox, Gina, Tom Baer, Mary Stetson, Lillian Alexander, Patricia Grisham, Miguel, Edward Minieka
Birthdays: Florence Clanton Jones, 12/13; Susan Schlough, 12/14;
Alban Mark Zhao Galliher, 12/15/2017
Anniversaries: Fr. Gary Lawler, Priesthood, 1989
Requiescat in pace: James Ronald Clark, 12/18/1988; Erik C. Muñoz, 12/18/2007
Steven Upmeyer, Glenn Turquend.

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.