This Week at Ascension + December 14, 2022

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

Wednesday, December 14

John of the Cross

Evening Prayer at 6:00 p.m. via ZOOM

In-person and Live-streamed Said Mass at 6:30 p.m.

Unction will be available for those who wish it.


Sunday, December 18

Fourth Sunday of Advent

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer via ZOOM

9:00 a.m. In-person Sung Mass

with Organ and Hymns

11:00 a.m. In-person & Live-streamed

Solemn High Mass

The 11 a.m. Order of Worship may be found here.


Image: The Annunciation to Saint Joseph


Christmas Eve,

December 24

10:30 p.m.

A Prelude of Organ Voluntaries

& Congregational Carols

11 p.m.

Solemn Procession to the Creche

and First Mass of Christmas

Image: The Holy Night (The Nativity), Carlo Maratti,

Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Christmas Day,

December 25

10 a.m.

Choral Mass for Christmas Day

Image: The Nativity, Willem Benson,

Royal Collection, Windsor

From the Curate

This Sunday, we will celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent, and yet we’re only just about half way through the month of December (though not quite). We have an entire week between the last Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day this year, a whole extra week to enter into a spiritual mindset of waiting.

Most clergy I know, myself included, talk about Advent as their favorite time of the liturgical year. For me, it’s a lot like being awake during the early dawn hours, before the sun rises. Perhaps for you it is like looking at presents under the Christmas tree, still wrapped, the joyous squeals of Christmas morning just waiting to be unleashed with every pull of ribbon, every tear of paper.  Waiting is not always a happy endeavor, however. For some, anticipation is more like staring at a closed door in fear of what lies on the other side: news you’ve been avoiding, a new way of living you’d rather not embark upon, a person with whom you don’t want to reconcile. 

As many of us enjoy the light of this season, even as the sun seems barely able to lift its head for the few hours of daylight we get this time of year, for others, all the waiting is not joyful. For them, it’s simply a matter of getting through. And I think that’s OK, too. There is even grace in simply enduring a painful wait. (If that sounds like you, and you’d like to talk with clergy, please reach out to me, Father Heard, or one of our assisting clergy.)

As we approach the final week of Advent, I invite you to spend time in prayer and reflect on how it is you are experiencing this period of waiting. How are you preparing yourself for the one who is to come?

—Mtr. Meghan Murphy-Gill

This Sunday’s Guest Preacher:

The Rev. Wes Smedley

This Sunday, please welcome the Rev. Wes Smedley our guest preacher. Fr. Smedley is the former rector of St. Chrysostom’s, our neighbor. He is currently the Chaplain and Mission & Strategic Advancement Director of St. Leonard's Ministries. After both Masses during coffee hour, Fr. Smedley will talk to us about the important work of St. Leonard’s and invite us to wonder about how we can support their incredible ministry.

What does it mean to be a voting member of Ascension?

Article 4 of our Bylaws defines what it means to be a member of this parish. The first part of the article says that a member is a person who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity, has their name recorded in the church, has received Holy Communion at least three times during the year, and has been faithful in corporate worship and working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God. The next section defines a “voting member”: a person who is eligible to vote at a meeting of the parish. It adds a minimum age restriction(16), and requires that such a person must have contributed to the parish within the preceding 13 months before a Parish meeting or vote. That’s all a very dry and technical way of looking at membership. If you just want to be able to vote, you know what you have to do. 

On the other hand, if we’re serious about living into our baptismal covenant and being the workers for the Kingdom of God outside the walls of the church, then the aspects of “working, praying, and giving” need to take a larger role in our lives. Committed members, clergy, and friends have endowed the parish handsomely and guaranteed its continued presence. Their beneficence covers most of our needs and we supplement it with our contributions. Stewardship and pledged giving to Ascension is one of our growing edges. It is an area that needs to grow to enable us to be the hands and heart of Jesus in the world around us. Your financial pledges satisfy the membership requirements, but, more importantly, directly support how we can live into our witness to the world outside of the parish. Our heritage as Anglo-catholics began with the “slum priests” ministering to the people of London’s East End. Along with religious and lay folks, they offered a variety of care for people who were having difficulty making ends meet. It is still needed today. The callers at our door during the week, the 150 bags of groceries and personal items that we distribute once a month are only the tip of the iceberg of the needs that exist in our community. How much more can we do if we have the resources? We live in a world of brokenness, uncertainty, violence, and need. Our calling is to bring the Kingdom of God into a present reality; that can only happen if we are truly willing to become who we are called to be.

—Fr. Thomas Heard

Just a reminder: Respiratory illnesses are on the rise. If you are feeling ill, please consider staying home and NOT coming to church to protect the rest of the congregation.

Waiting with the O Antiphons,

Sundays during Advent

Advent is a time of waiting in the darkness for the light of Christ. But it is not passive waiting. In this darkness, we actively seek the light of Christ, in prayer calling out the ancient names for the Incarnate One in what are known as the O Antiphons.

Following coffee hour after the Solemn High Mass (around 1 or 1:30 pm), we’ll gather in the Library to learn more about the antiphons, their use, and how we might use them to prepare our own hearts for the birth of Christ. We’ll listen to these Antiphons chanted in Latin, read them in English, and reflect on them using Malcome Guite’s O Antiphon-inspired sonnets. 


Advent Greens and Christmas Flowers

A card for your designated gifts of greens and flowers that adorn the church during Advent and Christmas may be found in the back of the bulletins on December 11 and 18. Or you may email the church office by Monday, Dec. 19th, Mon. - Thur. from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m..


Giving Tree for RefugeeOne

Beginning this Sunday, we will have a Christmas tree near the Parish House entrance decorated with paper ornaments with names of household goods needed by newly arrived refugees, many of whom are from Ukraine. Please take one (or more!) of these ornaments and bring to the church the UNWRAPPED item(s) on your ornament. You can drop off your gifts in St. Michael Hall. Please look for the sign that says “Gifts for Refugee One Here.” We’ll be collecting gifts throughout Advent and Christmas and delivering them to RefugeeOne after The Epiphany. 

Please contact Mtr. Murphy-Gill with any questions. 

Read more about the important work of RefugeeOne here.

From the Rector Search Committee

You may recall that the Profile of the Church of the Ascension was completed and approved by the Vestry on October 27 (TWAA, 11-2-22) and it was submitted to the Diocese for their approval. We were subsequently informed that new requirements for the profile had been added per the direction of the Bishop. We rewrote quite a bit of the profile. The updated profile was submitted and we were told more changes had to be made, which we did expeditiously. We resubmitted the profile to the Diocese a week ago and are now waiting for a response. 

We know this procedure is taking much longer than we thought it would, but we are not in control of the process. Our position will not be posted on the Diocesan website until we get final approval from the Bishop. 

Prayer Requests

Do you have a need for special prayer in your life? Whether your prayer needs are because you have an upcoming surgery, an ill family member, or you’re just feeling particularly lonely lately, Fr. Heard and Mtr. Murphy-Gill would like to know.

We’ve created a way for letting us know about your requests for prayers in a way we hope makes it easy for you to reach out, though you can always call the church or reach out to one of the priests personally. 

Share your prayer requests here.

Organ and Choral Repertoire for December 18, 2022


Messe a l'usage des Paroisses (1697 ver.)

KYRIE: Plein chant;

Fugue jeux D'Anches;

Recit de Chromhorne;

Dialogue sur la Trompette et le Chromhorne

François Couperin (1668-1733)


At the Entrance Procession




At the Offertory



At the Communion

338 LOBET DEN HERREN (9 a.m.)



At the Retiring Procession




Messe a l'usage des Paroisses (1697 ver.)

Dialogue Sur les Grands Jeux

et dernier Couplet

François Couperin

11 a.m. Mass setting

Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi

(c. 1554-1609) Missa Ne timeas Maria

Offertory Motet

James MacMillan (b. 1959)

O radiant dawn (2007),

from The Strathclyde Motets


Communion Motet

Tomás Luis de Victoria

(c. 1548-1611) Ne timeas Maria


Gregorian Propers from

Graduale Romanum


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

7:30 A.M. Morning Prayer via FACEBOOK LIVE
6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer via Zoom

6:30 p.m. Said Mass

For our prayers

David Reeves, Toby Clark and family, Catherine Cyran, Thom Racina,

Robert Browning, Natalia & Victor, Dorothy, Betty, David Schrader, Burton Nelson, Victor Fernandez, Claire Green, Beth Hall, Sue Lenz, Brenda Martins, Lee Gould, Gertrude Isaac, Marty Stenson, Steve Dionne


Susan Schlough, 12/14; Alban Mark Zhao Galliher, 12/15/2017


Gary Lawler, Ordination to the Priesthood, 1989.

Thomas Heard and Cheryl Winters-Heard, marriage, 12/11/1983


Requiescat in pace

Sandra Hawtin, Josephine Anne Boitse, Anne Cheathan,

Vincent Hector, 12/7/2017; Frances Joseph, 12/9/2015 


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. Thomas Heard, Interim Rector

The Rev. Meghan Murphy-Gill, Curate

Reach Out To Us

Vestry of Church of the Ascension

Ken Kelling, Sr. Warden; LaVerne Rollé Saunders, Jr. Warden;

Ian Barillas-McEntee, Jim Lo Bello, Ken Cozette, Marlea Edinger, Sean Hansen, George Pineda, Joshua Simpson, Sam Sommers, Clerk, Enrique Vilaseco

Susan Schlough, Treasurer

Br. Nathanael Deward Rahm BSG, Parish Office


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.