The Feast of  Corpus Christi
Sunday, June 23

Priest carrying the Host in a monstrance, from a French Manuscript,
The Morgan Library and Museum

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer;  8:00 a.m. Low Mass (Rite I)
9:00 a.m. Sung Mass
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass with Corpus Christi Procession
and  Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Igor Stravinsky  (1882-1971) Mass (1948)
See Article from Choirmaster Benjamin Rivera Below.

This Week at Ascension + June 19, 2019

From the Rector
From Choirmaster Benjamin Rivera
Also From the Rector
Last Sunday's Sermon
The Ascension Nursery
Ascension Book Group Rescheduled
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word

Corpus Christi
Feast after feast
thus comes and passes by,
yet, passing, points to the glad feast above,
giving us foretaste of the festal joy,
the Lamb's great marriage feast of bliss and love.
     Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
     Hymnal 1982, #316, v.3
Priest:   Thou gavest us bread from heaven.
People:  Containing within itself all sweetness .
      From the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
Dear People of Ascension,
     Some of our Church holy days are shared or compete with secular fests. Christmas is the most notable example. The gifts, menus and household traditions that can be so meaningful and wonderful can also obscure our primary attention and devotion to Christ's birth.
     Corpus Christi is, as I experience it, blessedly undiluted. There are no monstrances this week in Michigan Avenue store windows. Sunday's New York Times won't feature Corpus Christi brunch recipes. As a bonus, this year's observance does not fall, as it can in other years, on Memorial Day weekend or on Father's Day.
     I suppose it's worth our pausing to wonder how 'traditions' and all forms of media steer our attention and shape what we value, what we devote ourselves to. Can we Christians still anchor our lives and find our most enduring meaning and purposes in what will never 'go viral' on social media?
     But the main point here, in the event that I've obscured it, is simply gratitude. On Sunday we will share an opportunity for and an invitation to purer devotion. The object of that devotion is Christ, and specifically the gift, mystery, edification, nourishment and hope made known to us in the Blessed Sacrament.
     A few other features of this newsletter will, I pray, both prompt us to begin that devotion now and prepare us for more meaningful devotion together on Sunday.

We are ending our full-choir season with a bang - Stravinsky's  Mass with ten instruments and choir! This work was written to be performed liturgically, but as it requires large forces, is fairly difficult, and is in Latin, there are only so many churches where this is feasible and appropriate. Join us for Solemn High Mass as we offer this masterpiece in its entirety. The choir will also present two works by contemporary composers: Vytautas Miskinis (b. 1954)  O sacrum convivium (2000) and Eriks Esenvalds (b. 1977 ) O salutaris hostia (2009). Both of these pieces are lush and gorgeous, in contrast with Stravinsky's angular and "cold" mid-twentieth-century Mass setting. It will be a grand celebration!

The image in today's newsletter banner , as well as the one here, were included in  a July 4, 2013, feature in the New York Times titled 'Mystical Manna, Radiating Salvation.'  In the process of reviewing an exhibit that was then at the Morgan Library, the article also provides an introductory history of Corpus Christi and related traditions that may be of interest to some.

An invitation to Eucharistic adoration tomorrow, Thursday, June 20, has come from our Anglo-Catholic neighbors to the north, at Church of the Atonement. The devotion there is in concert with other similar offerings orchestrated by the (Anglican) Society of Catholic Priests at Anglo-Catholic altars around the world at various times throughout this week.
Please keep in prayers Fr. John Heschlē and the people of St. Paul's by the Lake, Chicago
, as Fr. Heschlē anticipates his retirement at the end of this month. Mother Judith, OSA, and Sister Barbara, OSA, will, I've been told, be present for Bishop Lee's visitation to St. Paul's this coming Sunday, the 23rd. Bishop Montgomery, who ordained Fr. Heschlē in June 1979, will be present at St. Paul's on Sunday, June 30, Fr. Heschlē's final Sunday. Meanwhile, Fr. Matthew Kemp, known to some of us here at Ascension, will serve as Priest-In-Charge at St. Paul's by the Lake during the upcoming transition and Rector search. You can read both  Fr. Heschlē's farewell message and Fr. Kemp's pastoral leadership letter in the current St. Paul's newsletter here .
Thanks to Andy Noren, retired Chicago Police officer (and brother of Carol) , who took a tour of our campus this past Saturday with an eye to matters of security. An  ad hoc group that included Carol, Senior Warden Cynthia Perrizo, Jay Jacot, Ken Kelling, Cheryl Peterson and me fielded his questions and observations. Most or all of us will be meeting tomorrow, Thursday the 20th, at 2:00 p.m., to consider some additional steps we can take to continue providing a safe environment here at Ascension. Look for more related news in weeks and months to come.
Congratulations to parishioner and Sunday 9am regular Wayne Bertola  for his part in a group gallery show that will feature some of Wayne's collage/assemblage artworks. Sadly the venue will be hard to get to for most of us - the Concord Center for the Visual Arts, in Concord, Massachusetts. I gather Wayne would want me to share that the image here is not his, but one that will be included in the show by a fellow artist, Alfred DeCredico.


The Rev. Dr. Robert Petite's sermon delivered at Church of the Ascension on Trinity Sunday, June 16, 2019 may be read here.

We are sorry to report that there will be no nursery care this Sunday, June 23. We hope to have the nursery open again in the very near future. Please contact Cheryl Peterson or Fr. Raymond if you know of qualified individuals who may want the Sunday child-care work. The job requires a modest amount of training and certification in the Diocese of Chicago's Keeping God's People Safe training.

The Ascension Book Group's discussion of  Brideshead Revisited has been rescheduled for Sunday July 7th in Wheeler Hall following the 11a.m. coffee hour. For more information contact Ken Kelling at


The schedule of Sunday Readings, Celebrants, Preachers, Lectors, Acolytes, Ushers, Hymnody, Choral and Organ Repertoire for Sunday, June 23, 2019 may be found by clicking here. More information on the Choral repertoire may be found by clicking here.


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ted Long, Jim Berger, Ethel Martin, Dean Pineda, Bazelais Suy, Carnola Malone, Charlene MacDougal, Pablo Illás, Doreen Finn, Donald Schmidt, Marlea Edinger, Ted Saunders, Ann Halikas, Loisjean Raymond Simmons

In thanksgiving for the upcoming Diaconal Ordinations of Rose Cicero and Debra Lang on July 6, 2019 in Chicago. 

Prayers for the departed
Jay H. Price, Jr.

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

The Approved Minutes of Vestry meetings are now available online to parishioners who request the link.  If you would like Internet access to the Approved Vestry Minutes, please email the  Church Office and request the link. 
Once you access the web page, you can read all recent Approved Vestry Minutes.  In addition, if you click on the subscribe button at the top right, you will be given email notice whenever a new set of Approved Minutes is added. 

Apropos of Corpus Christi, Ascension Sacristan Thom Ehlen recently shared with me the following anthem text by Gerald Finzi (1901-1956). Thom, in turn, had heard the anthem offered by the St. James' Cathedral choir at a Choral Evensong on June 2. If you don't make it all the way through the text, do scroll down to appreciate the artwork below  ...  
   - Fr. Raymond +

Lo, the full, final sacrifice
On which all figures fix'd their eyes,
The ransom'd Isaac, and his ram;
The Manna, and the Paschal lamb.
Jesu Master, just and true!
Our Food, and faithful Shepherd too!
O let that love which thus makes thee
Mix with our low Mortality,
Lift our lean Souls, and set us up
Convictors of thine own full cup,
Coheirs of Saints. That so all may
Drink the same wine; and the same way.
Nor change the Pasture, but the Place
To feed of Thee in thine own Face.
O dear Memorial of that Death
Which lives still, and allows us breath!
Rich, Royal food! Bountiful Bread!
Whose use denies us to the dead!
Live ever Bread of loves, and be
My life, my soul, my surer self to me.
Help Lord, my Faith, my Hope increase;
And fill my portion in thy peace.
Give love for life; nor let my days
Grow, but in new powers to thy name and praise.
Rise, Royal Sion! rise and sing
Thy soul's kind shepherd, thy heart's King.
Stretch all thy powers; call if you can
Harps of heaven to hands of man.
This sovereign subject sits above
The best ambition of thy love.
Lo the Bread of Life, this day's
Triumphant Text provokes thy praise.
The living and life-giving bread,
To the great twelve distributed
When Life, himself, at point to die
Of love, was his own Legacy.
O soft self-wounding Pelican!
Whose breast weeps Balm for wounded man.
All this way bend thy benign flood
To a bleeding Heart that gasps for blood.
That blood, whose least drops sovereign be
To wash my worlds of sins from me.
Come love! Come Lord! and that long day
For which I languish, come away.
When this dry soul those eyes shall see,
And drink the unseal'd source of thee.
When Glory's sun faith's shades shall chase,
And for thy veil give me thy Face.

The text above includes this address: 'O soft self-wounding Pelican.' It is a reference to Christ, often represented as a pelican in Medieval (and later) artworks, including the one above for which I can't find a citation but feel compelled to share here. One of many similar explanations that can be found via Internet search (this one from an Anglican diocese in Australia) explains that the symbol of the self-wounding pelican: " hearkens back to medieval days and animal bestiary myths of the 12th century and goes by the name of the 'vulning pelican' or the 'pelican-in-her-piety'. It was once believed that Pelicans were particularly devoted to their young, and that a pelican would wound its own breast ('vulning') to feed its young its blood. From this belief the vulning pelican came to symbolise the passion of Jesus and the Eucharist, as an image of Christ's redemptive sacrifice." It is now well-known that a pelican's 'vulning' behavior is not self-wounding but a means by which a pelican discharges the last bits of fish in its bill, some of which fall on its breast and are there consumed by the hungry young.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office