The Second Sunday after Christmas
Sunday, January 3
Prelude - 10:55 a.m.
Service - 11:00 a.m.
God of all our times and seasons,

A difficult year has come to an end. We thank you for your presence in it, and for the learnings, the awakenings, the simple blessings it brought us. We thank you for the Church of the Ascension, the strength and comfort of being part of this community. We pray for all struggling with disease, hopelessness, economic insecurity, and injustice; for those who have died and those who mourn all kinds of losses. We ask forgiveness for our failures to love, our hearts hardened to our neighbors' need, our inability to recognize your presence. May 2021 bring us new wisdom, courage, compassion and grace.

While many challenges from 2020 will continue in the new year, help us to let go of resentment and despair, and do the work of grief, repair and renewal. May the newborn love we celebrate at Christmas grow in us as the new year unfolds. As you guided the Magi through the night by a star to find your Christ, lead us in paths of mercy and justice in 2021, however unclear the way may seem. Help us to trust that you are with us always. Bless and keep us in this new year, we pray, for your love's sake.

How to Join the Service
From your computer, laptop, pad, smart phone, or other device, click this link:
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.
Click this link to read up on some best practices for Zoom meetings.
Worship With Us
Prelude Music
Prelude on the Introit for Epiphany
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
Dialogue sur les Grands Jeux
Guillaume Guilain (1680-1739)

Sunday Service
January 3, 2021
All Gather Online
The service begins with the sound of a bell.
Your microphone will be muted.
Gregorian Chant
Please join in the singing of the hymn.
#128 We three kings of Orient are
Three Kings of Orient
We three kings of Orient are,
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain,
moor and mountain,
following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright;
westward leading,
still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light!

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold I bring to crown him again,
King for ever,
ceasing never
over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I:
incense owns a Deity nigh;
prayer and praising,
gladly raising,
worship him, God Most High.

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
breathes a life of gathering gloom;
sorrowing, sighing,
bleeding, dying,
sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice;
heaven sings alleluia:
alleluia the earth replies.

Presider Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
The Lessons
Reader: Barbara Matovu

Thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, "Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel." See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, "He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock." For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the Lord.

Psalm 84 (St Helena Psalter)

How dear to me is your dwelling, O God of hosts! *
My soul has a desire and longing for your courts;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
The sparrow has found her a house
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, *
by the side of your altars, O God of hosts,
my Ruler and my God.
Happy are they who dwell in your house; *
they will always be praising you.
Happy are the people whose strength is in you; *
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.
Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs, *
for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.
They will climb from height to height; *
the God of gods will be revealed in Zion.
O God of hosts, hear my prayer; *
hearken, O God of Jacob.
Behold our defender, O God, *
and look upon the face of your Anointed,
For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, *
and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than to dwell in the tents of the wicked;
For God is both sun and shield *
and will give grace and glory.
No good thing will God withhold *
from those who walk with integrity.
O God of hosts, *
happy are they who put their trust in you!

Reader: Susie Braden

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: `And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
The Rev. Meredith Ward
There Shall a Star
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
There shall a star from Jacob come forth, and a scepter from Israel rise up, and dash in pieces princes and nations.
As bright the star of morning gleams,
so Jesus sheddeth glorious beams
of light and consolation!
Thy Word, O Lord, radiance darting,
truth imparting, gives salvation;
thine be praise and adoration!
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, Alyssa, Summer, David, Nancy, Jean and Ed, Phyllis, Steve and Sarah, Len, and Ernie and Joanne, 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 335,000 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.
#118 Brightest and best of the stars of the morning
Star in the East
Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining,
low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all.
Shall we then yield him, in costly devotion,
odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
vainly with gifts would his favor secure,
richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
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 - Reviewing the Advent Calendar, Sunday, January 3, following the 11:00 a.m. service. Join us as we review, reshare, and discuss our Advent images that were shared and posted on our Facebook Page this past season.
Next week's forum: Reflection on Our Baptismal Vows. Next Sunday, January 10, we celebrate the Baptism of Christ, a feast which invites us to consider our own baptismal vocations also. Please join the clergy after next 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.
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
Pledge Envelopes- If you have not already done so, please let the parish office ( know if you require pledge payment envelopes this year. Both for the saving of trees and because with the church closed we need to mail the envelopes, we encourage you to consider carefully whether this is important- and we thank you for your support of Ascension however you choose to make your pledge payments!
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:
12th Night Celebration
At Church of the Ascension
Join us Tuesday Evening
January 5th, at 6:30 p.m.
(following Evening Prayer)
for a fun evening of song, conversation and storytelling! We’ll have a chance to show and tell about our Christmas celebrations, presents, foods and drinks! Come for a special appearance by our own Vin Knight, and our tradition of performing The Twelve Days of Christmas, led by Mother Liz herself! This is not to be missed!
Come one, come all!
A fun time is sure to be had by all!

Join us on Zoom at

Voice only at
929-205-6099 Meeting ID: 964 8063 9721
The Christmas flowers are given in thanksgiving and loving memory by parishioners and friends for Church of the Ascension, in joy at the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Click here for a PDF version of the list.
George Carr in loving memory of
Annabel Peterson Carr, Mary Sue Carr, Walter Peterson Carr, Zack Carr III, Zack Carr, Jr., Henry Dantzler, J. D. Patton, Zula Mae Patton, Jenny M. Tates

John Grimes in loving memory of
Mary Evelyn Carter, Ava L. Gardner, John A. & Inez G. Grimes, Harry L. Huff, Melzer A. & Elizabeth R. Morgan

Sirkka Kyle in thanksgiving for 
Megan & Jennifer Kyle
In loving memory of 
Albert & Ruth Holland, Paul & Margaret Thomas, Marion Thomas

David Lehmann & Kenneth May in thanksgiving for
John Lehmann Havercamp, Tamma Lehmann Havercamp, 
Helen Elizabeth Willingham
In loving memory of
Evelyn Birch, Charles Clarkson, Carol Gregory, Ethel Heser, Christopher Linstrom, Dorothy May, Robert May, Salvatore May

Zhenya & Tamara Makarowsky in loving memory of 
Alexander, Rema, Nona and Walter Makarowsky,
in thanksgiving for
my dear sisters
Eugenia and Tamara Makarowsky

The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell in thanksgiving for

Tom Rice in loving memory of 
Anna Reiter, John & Jane Rice

Madonna Stack-Barker in loving memory of 
William Barker

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!
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.
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 3 - Second Sunday after Christmas
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 4
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 5
Open Church* (Church) 12 Noon - 3:00 p.m.
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
EfM (Zoom) 6:00 p.m.
12th Night Celebration (Zoom) 6:30 p.m. (Following Evening Prayer)

Wednesday – January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord
Building & Grounds (Zoom) 12 Noon
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.
Needlecraft Guild (Zoom) 6:30 p.m.

Thursday – January 7
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – January 8
Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – January 9
Rehearsal for Sunday Service (Zoom) 2:00 p.m.

Sunday – January 10 - First Sunday after the Epiphany
The Baptism of Our Lord
Organ Prelude (Zoom)
Church Service (Zoom) 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Hour & Conversation 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