This Week at Ascension + December 21, 2022

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

Wednesday, December 21

Saint Thomas The Apostle

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.


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

The Order of Worship may be found here.

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

Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Christmas Day,

December 25


10 a.m.

Choral Mass for Christmas Day

The Order of Worship may be found here.

Image: The Nativity, Willem Benson,

Royal Collection, Windsor

Holy Day Masses in the Octave

Monday, Dec 26 there is a Noon Said Mass: Saint Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

Tuesday, Dec 27 there is a Noon Said Mass: Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist

Wednesday, Dec 28 there is a 6:30 p.m. Said Mass: The Holy Innocents


The Ascension Church Office will be closed on Monday, December 26th

From the Interim Rector

Our liturgical calendar is a funny thing. Funny, as in odd or peculiar. We have both variable and fixed date feasts and seasons. Easter Day is variable, always on “the Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox on March 21…” (BCP p. 880) Lots of other dates depend on Easter, such as Ash Wednesday and Pentecost. The beginning of Advent depends on the day of the week that December 25th falls on for that year. Of course, the 25th walks around because the number of days in a year aren’t evenly divisible by seven.

This year, Christmas Day is on Sunday. It is a principal feast and takes precedence over any other feast. We start our Christmas Day celebration at 10:30 PM on Saturday with Organ Voluntaries and Congregational Carols. Yes, it will still be the 24th, but we reckon days from sundown to sundown. That’s a topic for another day.

Cheryl and I became Episcopalians because Christmas Day was on Sunday. We had been attending a Presbyterian church in St. Louis. The congregation veered from its Christmas Eve tradition in favor of “something different”. It was so different that no scripture was read; only some poetry, stories, and interpretive dance. I missed hearing about angels, shepherds, and, most of all,  Mary pondering it all in her heart. We went to Christ Church Cathedral for midnight mass. It was a beginning for us; one that changed the course of our lives.

As we gather to hear once again the angel’s message of Jesus’ birth and their joyous trek to the manger, may we be filled with the same awe and wonder of the gift that God has given us in his son, Jesus, and recommit ourselves to our promises to live our lives as instruments of God’s peace, justice, and love.

—Fr. Thomas Heard

From the Wardens

What a wonderful gift to have so many in our community who’ve helped prepare our lovely church all Advent, making it even warmer and brighter for the swiftly approaching seasons of Christmas and Epiphany. 

We are currently in need of one more person to assist with hosting coffee hour after Mass on Christmas morning. Food is already purchased. We just need someone to make the coffee, slice the stollen, and put out the goodies, and clean-up.

If you are able and willing to assist, please contact Ken Kelling (773) 853-2337 or

Fr. Heard at the church.

We wish you all a very warm Merry Christmas and look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ with you in the coming days.

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.

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 24 & 25, 2022

See the attached

Orders of Worship above


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

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



Alison Wallace, 12/20; Jim Walsh, 12/20; Stanley Hightower, 12/23


Shane Patrick Gormley, Ordination to the Priesthood, 2012


Requiescat in pace

Sandra Hawtin, Josephine Anne Boitse, James Ronald Clark, 12/18/1988;

Erik C. Muñoz, 12/18/2007; Irene Thompson Malick, 12/19/2011

Henry Klages, 12/21/1987; Ruth Ehlen, 12/22/2002


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.