Glory to God in the highest heaven!

And many thanks to all who contributed time, talent and treasure to our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship, including members of our flower guild, our clergy, Organist, Choirmaster, choir members,
all worship ministers (regular and visiting), champagne-pourer(s)  and Wheeler Hall reception hosts and those of who went out of your way
to welcome our guests. 

'Salvator Mundi,' (Savior of the world), 11th c. mosaic, State Museums of Berlin

Sunday, December 30
The First Sunday
after Christmas Day

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer 
8:00 a.m. Said Mass (Rite I)
9:00 a.m. Sung Mass 
11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass 

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Missa O magnum mysterium à5

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being."
John 1:3


Saturday, December 29  + Feast of the Holy Innocents (transf.)
Morning Prayer, 9:40 a.m. - Mass for Healing, 10:00 a.m.

First Sunday after Christmas Day, December 30
Morning Prayer, 7 :30 a m  +  Said Mass, (Rite I), 8:00 am
Sung Mass, am  +   Solemn High Mass, 11 am
Palestrina, Missa O magnum mysterium; Victoria, O magnum mysterium

Tuesday, January 1  +   Feast of the Holy Name
Morning Prayer, 9:40 a.m. - Said mass at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, January 2   +   Christmas Feria
One mass only, at 12:05 p.m.

  Feast of the Epiphany, Sunday, January 6, 2019
Morning Prayer, 7 :30 a m  +  Said Mass, (Rite I), 8:00 am
Sung Mass, am  +   Solemn High Mass, 11 am
Organ Recital, 3:30 pm
Choral Evensong and Benediction, 3:30 pm

This Week at Ascension + December 26 , 2018


From the Rector
A Visit to LUMA
Also from the Rector
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings
Thank you to the Flower Guild
Two Recent Sermons
Ascension Book Group
This Sunday at Ascension
The Parish Prayer List
Approved Vestry Minutes Online
The Last Word


Treasuring and Pondering
    "But Mary treasured all these words,
       and pondered them in her heart ."  
-          Luke 2:19
Dear people of Ascension,

   This past week I spoke with a dad who was in town with his whole family from a rural town far away. He'd purchased tickets for a big Broadway show now in Chicago. I gathered it was a financial stretch, but  he said, "I'm doing this because I want to make a family memory."

     I don't know the rest of that story, but now that Christmas is past I wonder what of it, if anything, we will remember about it sometime down the road. And I wonder how we will remember. In other words, what meaning will we make, or not, from what we remember?

     This wondering arises due to the theater-going visitors from out of town, whose example led me to remember the example of Mary in the Nativity story itself. After the shepherds had come, shared their message, and gone, "Mary treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart."  

     Where will you and I make some time and space, before the Christmas season winds down, to treasure and ponder?


Ascension Connections is sponsoring a visit to LUMA (Loyola University Museum of Art), 820 N Michigan, on Saturday, January 5 at 1:30 p.m. We'll meet you there in the lobby. The museum is a gem right across the street from the Water Tower. Currently, there is a special exhibition "The Art of the Season" featuring works by David Lee Csucsko.
A special presentation by the artist to talk about his works has been arranged by Vestry member Gary Alexander. A visit to Argo Tea will follow the presentation for the opportunity to share thoughts about the exhibit.
For more information, contact Cynthia Perrizo.

Some end-of-year and New Year reminders ...

+ We offered Morning Prayer and our usual 12:05 p.m. mass today, and will again next Wednesday, January 2, but no Evening Prayer or mass this evening (12/26) or next Wednesday evening (1/2). Our normal full schedule of Wednesday services will resume January 9: 7:10 a.m. Morning Prayer; 12:015 p.m. Low Mass, 6:10 p.m. Evening Prayer; 6:30 p.m. Low Mass.
+ I trust you'll feel good, and your Wardens, Vestry members and Treasurer will be grateful, if you are able to fulfill any remaining pledge commitments for 2018. For 2018 contribution credit, donations are to be postmarked or hand delivered to the church by December 31.
+ The parish office will be open on New Years Eve, December 31, until 1:00 p.m. only and will be closed all day on Tuesday, January 1.
+ A (short) weekly newsletter will be sent next Wednesday, January 2. Submissions are to be received in the parish office by Noon on Monday the 31st.
+ Please take note for your calendars:
- Feast of the Holy Name, Tuesday, January 1: Morning Prayer at 9:40 a.m. and Low Mass at 10:00 a.m.
- January 5 Food Pantry outreach ministry followed by Loyola University Museum of Art outing (see more information elsewhere here an in next week's newsletter);
- January 6, Feast of the Epiphany, normal Sunday morning schedule and 3:30 p.m. organ recital by David White, followed by 4:00 p.m. Choral Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with the Ascension Choir.
- Saturday, January 19, Ascension will host a Chicago Chapter meeting for the American Guild of Organists. (Inquire of Jay Peterson for more information.)
- Monday, January 21, we'll begin the major tuckpointing project in the church interior. Be on the lookout for more preparatory news.
+ The Ordination of Anna Broadbent to the priesthood at St. James Cathedral this past Sunday was suitably reverent and joyful ...

Bishop Lee presided and ordained, Cathedral Dean Dominic Barrington preached, and I was grateful to be asked to serve as one of the presenters and read the Gospel. I'm also grateful that I was joined by a number of other souls from Ascension, but not so many that our own attendance was too depleted. The photos (clockwise) show the bulletin cover, Deacon Broadbent (just before the mass began) with longtime friend and lay presenter Mayme Simms, the new priest offering a first blessing, as is traditional, to the bishop, and with Ascension members Cheryl Peterson, Marlea Edinger and DiAnne Walsh.
The Rev. Isaac Bonney was also at Sunday's ordination at the cathedral and, as some of you know, at my invitation vested and joined us at Ascension for our Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Thank you for the welcome that many of you extended to him afterward. Father Bonney was ordained as deacon and priest in 2005 and served for eight years as Assistant Rector for Youth and Young Adults at the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia (an Episcopal parish, not to be confused with an AME Church). He recently concluded a ministry as Rector of St. Mark's Church, Silver Spring, Maryland, and has returned to Chicago, a city to which he first moved at the age of 12 from his native Ghana. In the event that we see more of Fr. Bonney here during his transition or beyond, I trust we will welcome him and learn how we may be blessed by his story, faith and ministry--and/or bless him with ours.
My sermon from Christmas Eve may be read here. In it, I quoted a short section of Denise Levertov's poem, Annunciation. The entire poem may be found in today's Last Word, below.

My homily from Christmas Day is here. (Please note that I delivered this one impromptu and have written it up as I recall it ... possibly with a few, uh, reconsiderations ...)

JANUARY 9, 2019

Here are some photos from the December 12th
Sharing Lunch, Sharing Blessings Sankta Lucia feast.
The next gathering will be on Wednesday, January 9, 2019
following the 12:05 p.m. Mass.


Thank you to all of the members of the Flower Guild and all others who assisted with decorating the Ascension for Christmas after the 11:00 a.m. Mass on December 23rd, both for the beauty of our church and to the Glory of God.

Cliff Green

For December the Ascension Book Group will read  Christmas at Thompson Hall: and Other Christmas Stories by Anthony Trollope (1815-1882).   Christmas at Thompson Hall: and Other Christmas Stories brings together the best of the Christmas stories of Anthony Trollope, one of the most successful, prolific, and respected English novelists of the nineteenth century. Characterized by insightful, psychologically rich, and sometimes wryly humorous depictions of the middle class and gentry of Victorian England-and inspired occasionally by missives in the "lost letter" box of the provincial post office that Trollope ran-these tales helped to enshrine the traditions of the decorated Christmas tree, the holiday turkey, and the giving of store-bought gifts. Today, they open a window onto a time when Christmas carolers filled the streets and each house's door displayed a wreath of evergreen boughs, a time at once distant and yet startlingly familiar.  The Ascension Book Group will gather to discuss  Christmas at Thompson Hall: and Other Christmas Stories on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 7:00pm in Wheeler Hall. Refreshments will be provided. If there are any questions or comments, contact Ken Kelling at or at (773) 853-2337.

Christmas at Thompson Hall: And Other Christmas Stories
Penguin Classics  ISBN 978-0143122470


The  Sunday Lectionary readings Schedules of Acolytes, Lectors & Ushers as well as Hymnody, Motets and Organ Voluntaries for  Sunday, December 30, 2018 may be found by clicking  here

The Lector's Pronunciation Guide may be found here .


Please remember these people in your daily prayers
Geoffrey Wainwright, Fr. John Graham, Dorothy Murray, Mary Lou Devens, Michael Milano, Thomas Holden, Brenton Boitse, Charley Taylor, Marlea Edinger, David Belding, Jr., August 'Augie' Alonzo, Ann Halikas, Emily Cole, Fr. Richard Daly, Kenvert Samuel, Carnola Malone, David Reeves, James Krusas Sr., Regina Krusas, Dean Pineda

Prayers for the departed

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. 


            by Denise Levertov
'Hail, space for the uncontained God'
From the Agathistos Hymn,
Greece, VIc

We know the scene: the room, variously furnished, 
almost always a lectern, a book; always
the tall lily.
       Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.
But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions
       The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.
         God waited.
She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.


Aren't there annunciations
of one sort or another
in most lives?
         Some unwillingly
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,
More often
those moments
      when roads of light and storm
      open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from

in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair
and with relief.
Ordinary lives continue.
                                 God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.


She had been a child who played, ate, slept
like any other child-but unlike others,
wept only for pity, laughed
in joy not triumph.
Compassion and intelligence
fused in her, indivisible.
Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
  only asked
a simple, 'How can this be?'
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel's reply,
the astounding ministry she was offered:
to bear in her womb
Infinite weight and lightness; to carry
in hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,
the sum of power-
in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.
                     Then bring to birth,
push out into air, a Man-child
needing, like any other,
milk and love-

but who was God.
This was the moment no one speaks of,
when she could still refuse.
A breath unbreathed,


She did not cry, 'I cannot. I am not worthy,'
Nor, 'I have not the strength.'
She did not submit with gritted teeth,
                                                       raging, coerced.
Bravest of all humans,
                                  consent illumined her.
The room filled with its light,
the lily glowed in it,
                               and the iridescent wings.
              courage unparalleled,
opened her utterly.

The Annunciation , Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898, The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Fr. Patrick Raymond,

Susan Schlough,      

Parish Office