The First Sunday after the Epiphany
The Baptism of Our Lord
Sunday, January 10
Prelude - 10:55 a.m.
Service - 11:00 a.m.
"From all oppression, conspiracy, and rebellion; from violence, battle and murder; and from dying suddenly and unprepared,
Good Lord, deliver us." (BCP, p. 149)

Dear People of Ascension,

You may recognize this petition from the Great Litany, our oldest English-language liturgical text, published first in 1544. We usually sing it in procession on the first Sunday in Lent, as one of the prayers for our lives and the world with which we begin that season of self-examination and repentance. While I generally pray the Litany with gratitude for its connection to those who went before us, petitions like this one often seem more a relic of the volatile, bloody world of the English Reformation than relevant for our own day.

Yesterday, however, Iike many of you, I watched with horror as a white supremacist mob, incited by a sitting President, attempted a coup, even as Congress was certifying the results of our election. I wondered why the response of the police was so different than it has been to many of the non-violent protests for Black lives we have seen in the past year. I have been expecting a bumpy transition during these weeks before the inauguration, but never dreamed of an assault on the Capitol.

Rather than a reaction of "this is not who we are", I felt a deep connection with folk across history and borders who have prayed and feared and tried to be faithful in tumultuous times. Like them, we may see with new clarity the evil that confronts us. We need God's help. We are fragile and courageous, compassionate and complicit, angry and full of love. We have much work ahead: doing justice and practicing mercy, repairing the integrity of our democracy, caring for our common life- and tending our own souls.

In this deepening awareness of uncomfortable and necessary truths, new hope, energies and possibilities are emerging too. May we trust in God's good Spirit to sustain, strengthen and guide us in the weeks and months ahead. May we know the company of the great cloud of witnesses who prayed, struggled and served before us- and encourage us still.

How to Join the Service
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If you do not have a device with a camera, you can still join with your phone by dialing the following number and enter the meeting ID: 929-205-6099 Meeting ID: 322 793 633

All of our online services, with their links, can be found on our public calendar, and are listed below.
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Worship With Us
Prelude Music
André Campra (1660-1744)

Sunday Service
January 10, 2021
All Gather Online
The service begins with the sound of a bell.
Your microphone will be muted.
Eastern Orthodox Chant
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#120 The sinless one to Jordan came
Solemnis haec festivitas
The sinless one to Jordan came,
and in the river shared our stain;
God’s righteousness he thus fulfilled,
and chose the path his Father willed.

Uprising from the waters there,
the Father’s voice did then declare
that Christ, the Son of God, had come
to lead his scattered people home.

Above him see the heavenly Dove,
the sign of God the Father’s love,
now by the Holy Spirit shed
upon the Son’s anointed head.
How blest that mission then begun
to heal and save a race undone!
Straight to the wilderness he goes
to wrestle with his people’s foes.

O Christ, may we baptized from sin,
go forth with you a world to win:
grant us the Holy Spirit’s power
to shield us in temptation’s hour.

On you may all your people feed,
and know you are the Bread indeed,
who gives eternal life to those
that with you died, and with you rose.

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The Lessons
Reader: Eve Beglarian

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Psalm 29 St. Helena Psalter

Ascribe to God, you heavenly beings, *
     ascribe to God glory and strength.
Ascribe due honor to God’s holy Name; *
     worship the Most High in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of God is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
     God is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of God is a powerful voice; *
     the voice of God is a voice of splendor.
The voice of God breaks the cedar trees; *
     God breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
God makes Lebanon skip like a calf *
     and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
The voice of God splits the flames of fire;
the voice of God shakes the wilderness; *
     God shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of God makes the oak trees writhe *
     and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Holy One, *
     all are crying, “Glory!”
God sits enthroned above the flood, *
     enthroned for evermore.
God shall give strength to the people; *
     God shall give the people the blessing of peace.

Reader: Sarah Standing

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Mark

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell
Psalm 150
César Franck (1822-1890)
Alleluia! O Praise ye the Lord, Praise God in His temple.
Praise ye the Lord in the firmament of His power.
O praise Him for His might, and the greatness of His wonders:
O praise Him, praise Him according to His majesty.
Praise the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
Praise the Lord with the lute and the harp.
Praise the Lord with the timbrel. Praise the Lord with the dance.
O praise Him with the organ and instruments of strings.
Praise Him upon the loud cymbals.
Praise Him upon the high-sounding cymbals.
Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Alleluia!
Prayers of the People
Form IV
Leader Let us pray for the Church and for the world.
Grant, Almighty God, that all who confess your Name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world. We pray for Michael our Presiding Bishop, for Andrew, Allen and Mary our own Bishops.

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace, especially Donald our President and Joe our President-elect; that we may honor one another and serve the common good. We pray for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Uganda; for all laboring to end racism and white supremacy and establish racial justice in our country.

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us. We pray for all affected by COVID-19: for the frightened and the sick, for the dying and those who mourn; for all who have lost jobs and livelihood as a result of this pandemic; for all healthcare workers, especially Scarlett, Madonna, Trudie, Nancy, Anna, Sarah, Endine, Terese, and AJ, for all whose labor supports our common life; for those developing and distributing vaccines, for those charged with making decisions about public health and public policy

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, especially Robert, Ed, Janet, Ellen, Joseph, Brielle, Lucas, Holly, Allejandro and Jesus, Nancy, Barbara, Dorothy, Stewart, Patricia, Judith, Marco, Tina, Hannah, Jurek, Alice, Stacy and Jonathan, Michael, Jean and Ed, Phyllis, Steve and Sarah, Len, Ernie and Joanne, Liz, and Gary, give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

Leader We commend to your mercy all who have died, especially Adela Campos, Grace Knowlton, and the more than 350,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19, as well as others around the world that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.

Leader Lord, in your mercy
People Hear our prayer.

The Celebrant adds a concluding Collect.
The Lord's Prayer

 Our Father, who art in heaven,
     hallowed be thy Name,
     thy kingdom come,
     thy will be done,
          on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our trespasses,
     as we forgive those
          who trespass against us.
 And lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
 For thine is the kingdom,
     and the power, and the glory,
     for ever and ever. Amen.
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#121 Christ, when for us you were baptized
Christ, when for us you were baptized,
God’s Spirit on you came,
as peaceful as a dove and yet
as urgent as a flame.

God called you his belovèd Son,
called you his servant true,
sent you his kingdom to proclaim,
his holy will to do.
Straightway and steadfast until death
you then obeyed his call
freely as Son of Man to serve
and give your life for all.

Baptize us with your Spirit, Lord,
your cross on us be signed,
that, likewise in God’s service we
may perfect freedom find.
Coffee Hour
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite juice, grab a slice of banana bread, piece of fruit, or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and feel free to "hang out" with us online to chat!
Ascension Forum: Reflection on Our Baptismal Vows. This Sunday, January 10, we celebrate the Baptism of Christ, a feast which invites us to consider our own baptismal vocations. Please join the clergy after this week's service for small group conversations about how the baptismal vows inform and shape our understanding of call and identity as a follower of Jesus.
Forum for Next Sunday, January 17- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday. By the end of Dr. King's ministry, he had come to see racism, militarism and economic injustice as deeply intersectional issues that Christians must challenge and dismantle. As we ponder God's call to us on this weekend dedicated to Dr. King's memory, our forum will focus on the contemporary Poor People's Campaign, which seeks to build on this legacy. Please join us!
Support Your Parish!
Go to to give online
Please check us out at to find out how easy and secure it is. Click the envelope on the right to go the Ascension Website for more information and to give, whether a one-time donation, pledge payment, or make a new pledge.

Our parish can only continue its mission and ministry because of the generosity of parishioners, visitors, and friends of the parish and we are working hard to make our online giving as easy and seamless as possible.

(If you experience any issues with Abundant Giving, please email us at
Ascension Gives - Each year, our budget includes support for ministries and organizations outside Ascension. This year, we are contributing to Episcopal Charities and the New York Haiti Project. We invite any of you who are considering your own charitable giving at the year's end to join us, as both are addressing unusual amounts of need this year. We also commend to you the work of our own Ascension Outreach food pantry, and of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in this season when so many of our neighbors are in need of food and care. There are so many organizations doing vital work. If you are able, please give as you feel moved; these are some of our favorites within the wider Episcopal Church. Click the links below to donate to one or more of these organizations:
Sunday Meditation with Prayers & Music
is available on our
Facebook page:

Stay Connected in Prayer.
Join us each weeknight at 5:30 for Evening Prayer & discussion. Click this link to join: To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
For Your Daily Prayers - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) During this time of global crisis and personal anxiety, we offer you this prayer form to include in your daily prayers.
Sunday Paper Junior - The lectionary, our yearly schedule of Bible readings, carries us through Jesus’s life and teachings. The Church of The Ascension subscribes to the Sunday Paper Junior and we offer it to you and your family as a fun, creative way to study the lessons each week. Click here to access this week's paper. Please feel free to print out the pages each week and use as you desire. Check out this section each week for the current Sunday Paper Junior!
Space Use at Ascension - While the church is closed and not in general use, occasionally someone in the church will want to use one of our spaces. (Please note, that such uses are strongly discouraged.) During the pandemic we must be extra careful to coordinate these things so there is no overlap, and to schedule plenty of time for cleaning. If you think you might need the space for something, please coordinate via the church office - contact Br. Andrew at or 212-254-8620.
Open Church, Tuesdays & Fridays, Noon to 3. The church is open for private prayer and meditation. Attendance is limited to a maximum of 20 people at one time and all safety precautions (properly worn masks, physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and contact tracing) will be followed.

In-Person Midweek Eucharists Remain Suspended. In light of the rising infection rates in New York City, we continue to suspend our Wednesday evening in person Eucharists.We will revisit the question early in the new year.
Racial Justice Discussion Group, Thursday, January 14, 6:30 p.m. Please join us as we continue looking at the history of the Episcopal Church, and specifically this session our own history at Ascension, regarding the history and legacy of slavery, and work for racial justice.

Click the Zoom link to join us:
To join by phone (no video) dial:
Meeting ID: 993 3293 9318
Sermon for the First Sunday after the Epiphany, by the Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, Bishop Assistant
Beware of Fraudulent Emails Purporting to be from the Ascension clergy! Several people received scam emails today pretending to be from Fr. Ed, using a Gmail account under a user name that appears to be him. Click here to read more and learn what you can do.
Annual Parish Meeting - Sunday, January 31, following the 11:00 Service

In accordance with the Religious Corporations Law of the State of New York, the Annual Meeting of The Church of the Ascension in the City of New York will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2021, immediately following the 11 a.m. service, for the purpose of electing a Warden for a term of two years and four Vestry members to the Class of 2020, for three year terms and one to fill an unexpired two year term in the class of 2019, and for the conduct of such other business as should come before the Parish.

Since the Annual meeting will be held online this year, the Vestry has amended the by-laws to allow for online voting. Balloting shall commence on the Sunday before the Annual Meeting and end at 9 am on the Wednesday before the Annual Meeting. If a runoff is required, notice of the second ballot shall be given and balloting shall begin immediately, ending at noon on the Sunday of the annual meeting. For those unable to vote online, mail in ballots will be provided. Please contact the church office ( or 212-254-8620) by January 15th if you require a mail-in ballot.

From the Vestry:

This Week at Ascension
Sunday – January 10 - First Sunday after the Epiphany
The Baptism of Our Lord
Organ Prelude (Zoom) 10:55 a.m.
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum following the 11:00 service
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

Monday – January 11
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.
(Speak to Sibyl Piccone if you are interested in this group)

Tuesday – January 12
Open Church* (Church) 12 Noon - 3:00 p.m.
Reopening Taskforce Meeting (Zoom) 4:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.
Resistance Cinema (Zoom) 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday – January 13
Finance Commitee (Zoom) 11:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Thursday – January 14
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Racial Justice Discussion Group (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Friday – January 15
Open Church* (Church) 12 Noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – January 16
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – January 17 - Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Organ Prelude (Zoom)
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Forum following the 11:00 service
Meditation with Prayers and Music (Available on our Facebook page)

* Anyone entering the church must wear a mask, maintain appropriate physical distance, utilize the hand sanitizer stations, and provide contact tracing information. Anyone with a temperature of 99.9 or over will not be admitted and will be instructed to quarantine and contact their doctor.

If you need information to connect to one of our Zoom events please call the church office at 212-254-8620 or email us at
Contact us
The Church of the Ascension -- Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street
212-254-8620 | |
We are working from home, but we will respond to emails and phone calls