Saint Stephen's Church
in Providence
News and events for the
week of August 14
Assumption of Mary, Guido Reni (1575-1642)
Music of the Mass
Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena
Healey Willan (1880–1968)

Ave Maria
Josquin des Prez (c. 1450 – 1521)

Ave Regina Coelorum
Guillaume Du Fay (1397-1474)

Vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge, Op. 18  
II. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me
III. I am black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem
V. How fair and how pleasant art thou
 Marcel Dupré (1886–1971)

Fantasie G-dur, BWV 572
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

*We are pleased to welcome Brown Univ. student
Justin Lee (Class of '25) to the organ bench this week*
A Word from the Rector
Dear Friends,

I once heard a sermon on the feast of the Assumption in which the preacher began by highlighting the differences of Church teaching regarding the Assumption of Mary. He began by describing the Eastern or Orthodox position, in which Mary essentially falls asleep and is received immediately into heaven. Exactly how Mary dies and how it is she is received into heaven are -- like many things in the faith -- a mystery. It is unknowable on this side of the veil.

In contrast, the Western or Roman Church has gone so far as to define this matter of faith as Dogma, with official Church teaching on the matter being regarded as final and a requisite of faith. In this teaching, Mary, being conceived without sin, does not suffer the effects of sin and death, and so instead of experiencing death, is Assumed Bodily into Heaven to reign with her Son. From there, Mary reigns as Queen of Heaven, and intercedes for us always.

After the preacher had outlined these two positions, I got very excited, wondering what "Anglican middle way" the preacher would steer us in. To my disappointment, he simply affirmed upheld the Western or Roman position, and said that Anglo-Catholicism had always supported and embraced that view.

I'm not sure that's entirely correct -- and personally I like to have my cake and eat it, too. I am perfectly happy to celebrate the Assumption of Mary as something entirely consonant with Tradition, Scripture, and Reason. However, because it is not contained in Scripture, and so relies more on the Tradition of the Church, I think that the more honest and reverent position to hold on the matter is ultimately to honor it as a mystery.

Of course, perhaps more than any dogma around the Virgin's manner of death, we should be more rightly concerned about her earthly life and witness, and the life she enjoys in heaven with her Son. Her hope is our hope, and in her do we see just how gloriously God can delight in humanity. We glimpse in her the glory of humanity fully alive in God. In her, we see just how highly God can exalt our lowly estate.

Come this Sunday and exult in the same God that Mary rejoiced in. Come and sing some beloved Marian hymns. Come, magnify the Lord who was both Mary's Son and Savior. Come and simply give thanks for the break in the heat and humidity that have marked the past few Sundays. But do come and celebrate this holy day honoring the Mother of God, in which we remember that the angels rejoiced to receive her into heaven -- she who is higher than the cherubim and more glorious than the seraphim, leading their praises. Alleluia!

Fr. Benjamin +
Concert of Sacred Music
Join fast-rising Ensemble Altera on Saturday, August 20th at 8:00PM at St. Paul’s Cambridge, MA, or on Sunday, August 21st at 3:00PM at Blessed Sacrament Church in Providence, for The Lamb's Journey, a concert depicting the narrative of Christ’s life. Featuring music from the Renaissance through today, the program will follow four distinct and fascinating chapters: Invocation, Passion, Resurrection, and Adoration. Alongside timeless favorites by Gibbons, Lotti, Scheidt, Howells, Barber, and Bruckner the program includes the very best of the 20th and 21st centuries by Poulenc, Messiaen, Leighton, Lukaszewski, and Esenvalds. It will also feature three world premiere performances of works written for Altera – a real treat for all audiences. All executed with the uncompromising passion and precision for which Altera has quickly become known. This is an evening not to be missed! For more information or for tickets, visit
S. Stephen's to Host Conference:
Volunteers Needed
From Tuesday, October 4 through Friday, October 7, S. Stephen’s is hosting the 2022 Annual Conference of the Society of Catholic Priests (SCP). The SCP is a society of women and men serving as priests, deacons, and consecrated religious throughout the Anglican Communion. The Society aims to promote priestly spirituality and catholic evangelism. We are looking for volunteers to help make and distribute light lunches on Wednesday and Thursday that week. At this point, between 60 and 70 conference attendees are expected. It is a great honor for S. Stephen’s to be the host site of this gathering. Please let Fr. Benjamin know if you would be interested in helping with lunch those two days. Evening meals will be catered, but we could still use one or two volunteers to help serve the food, in case the lunch time hour prevents you from volunteering for the lunches.
Soup Kitchen Volunteers Needed
After months of serving meals only at the door “to-go” due to the Pandemic, Epiphany Soup Kitchen is ready to begin sit down meals on Saturdays, beginning after Labor Day. The Soup Kitchen has a good cross section of college students, but there are times when they are not available such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, exam time and summers. The need is six to eight volunteers each week. Epiphany Soup Kitchen reports that they have not had the same response from churches that used to participate each week before the pandemic, so please prayerfully consider joining them in serving those in our community who are food insecure. For more information, please reach out to Bruce Lennihan at
A Quick Note About
Summer Live-streams
As was mentioned a few weeks ago, the only liturgy that will be live-streamed going forward is the Sunday 8 AM Low Mass. However, you may have noticed it his been absent from Facebook the last several weeks!

In these warm summer days, the fans we are using to keep the Lady Chapel cool are making just enough noise to make it difficult to hear the Celebrant clearly. When it cools off a bit we will resume the 8 AM Sunday live-streams. We apologize for any inconvenience.
A Collect for the
Good Use of Leisure
O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 825)
This Coming Week at S. Stephen's

Sunday 14 August
(transferred from 15 August)
Morning Prayer & Low Mass 8 am
Sung Mass 10 am
Coffee & Lemonade 11:15

Tuesday 16 August
Jonathan Myrick Daniels,
Seminarian & Civil Rights Witness, 1965
(trans. from 14 August)
Noonday Prayer & Low Mass 12:00
Thursday 18 August
William Porcher DuBose, Priest, 1918
Noonday Prayer & Low Mass 12:00
Saturday 20 August
Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Monthly Low Requiem Mass 10:00 am
Next Sunday 14 August
The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Morning Prayer & Low Mass 8 am
Sung Mass 10 am
Coffee & Lemonade 11:15

Fr. Pearson is Celebrant & Preacher
at both Sunday masses
For your Prayers
Prayers have been requested for: James Broccoli, Jacqueline Butler, Charles and Sandra Calverley, Fr. Norman Catir, Trudy Egan, Davidson Garrett, Fr. Harrington Gordon, Fr. Scott Gunn, Andrew Oliver, Daniel Oliver, Bryan Ripley, Rhoda Steinhart, Fr. Allan Warren, and Christopher Whittingham. 
Birthdays this week: Patricia Fuller (8/15), Bruce Lennihan (8/17).
The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: J. Thomas Kershaw (8/14), C. Jane Latham (8/14), Dolly Elliott (8/15), Dominic Fasano (8/15), Sybil Moss (8/16), Nina Hanson Rasmussen (8/16), Archie A. Pearson (8/18).
In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we are asked to pray for The Extra-Provincial Churches (8/14), The Diocese of Central Melanesia – The Anglican Church of Melanesia (8/15), The Diocese of Melbourne – The Anglican Church of Australia (Victoria Province) (8/16), The Diocese of Meridional – Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (8/17), The Diocese of Meru – The Anglican Church of Kenya (8/18), Diocese of Mexico – La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico (8/19), The Diocese of Northern Mexico – La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico (8/20). In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for St. Mary’s, East Providence; St. Mary’s, Portsmouth; and St. Mary’s Home for Children.
Giving to St. Stephen's
You can mail your pledge card or weekly/monthly offering to the church office, or pledge online here. Thank you for all the many ways in which you are already supporting S. Stephen’s.