Music at this Sunday’s Online Service

All are welcome to join our Sunday 10am service online! To join, please sign up for email updates that will include the login credentials.

This Sunday’s prelude, The Call sung by Nathan Hylan, is one of the Five Mystical Songs written for solo baritone by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). The text is a poem by George Herbert (1593-1633), the Welsh-born poet and Anglican priest. The opening phrase, “Come, my way, my truth, my life,” is a reference to John 14:6, where Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” These words are found in the Gospel reading this Sunday and in the Prayer of the Day.

David Haas (b. 1957) is a contemporary American composer of liturgical music. He set the opening words of this Sunday’s Gospel text from John 14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” We will hear an original arrangement of Haas’ hymn by Melanie Donnelly, alto and Eric Ritter, guitar.

This joyful Eastertide (Hymn 192) is a text by George Woodward (1848-1934), an English parish priest who wrote and translated a large number of hymns. His words are paired with a Dutch tune that was originally a 17th-century popular song. This pattern occurs often in hymn writing, where new words are set to a familiar tune to make it easier to sing. Although we may not be feeling especially joyful during this year’s Eastertide, this hymn brings a message of the hope that is ours through faith in the “Lord of all life.”

Coming Online Events

St. Mary’s held an online Trivia Night this past Saturday!

Here is a list of upcoming online get togethers, outside of our regular Sunday worship together. To join, please sign up for email updates that will include the login credentials.

Tuesday, May 5 at 2:30 p.m.: Children’s Storytime: Live from the Rectory  (NEW time)! Past stories include “If Jesus Came to My House, “Snowmen at Work,” “The Night You Were Born” (a beautifully illustrated interpretation of Psalm 139), “Hunches of Bunches” by the indomitable Dr. Seuss, “Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown, “The Tale of Three Trees,” “Snowmen All Year,” and more. Publishers have relaxed guidelines around some copyrighted material, but they do not want it to stay up indefinitely, so storytimes are deleted after three weeks. Share with your kids, grandkids, or neighbors!

Vespers every other Thursday in Eastertide! Save Thursday, May 14 and Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. for evening prayer on Zoom in Easter.

May Easter Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. COVID-19 Spiritual Survival Kit! What can we do to take care of ourselves and others right now? How can we do God’s work in the world and rely on God to help us survive — spiritually, physically, and emotionally? We will watch a video together from a respected instructor who will offer suggestions to help us navigate this period of time with care (May 10), connection (May 17), and rest (May 24). This course is ideal for anyone who wants to discuss skills and coping mechanisms that can be applied now.

Week of May 3, 2020

[Photo courtesy of Ella C.]

For login credentials for all our online activities, please subscribe to email updates.

Saturday, May 2 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. St. Mary’s Zoom Trivia Night!

Sunday, May 3

  • 10 a.m. Worship: Morning Prayer, Rite II
  • 10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Godly Play for Children Ages 3 – Grade 3
  • 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. COVID-19 Spiritual Survival Kit
  • 11:20 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Youth Group 4th Grade and Up

Moving to ZOOM Platform for Online Services and Events

While we are still in social distancing because of COVID, we will continue to offer Sunday worship, Christian education, and weekday Vesper service through the ZOOM platform. ZOOM gives us more interactivity and flexibility than the Facebook Live and other services we looked at. HOWEVER do be safe, all of our Zoom services will require a password to participate.

If you are not already on the church mailing list, please sign up here for email updates . This will not only keep you up to date, but have the meeting and password information needed to participate in online worship.


Schedule for Holy Week, Starting Sunday April 5, 2020

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, April 5
Please see your email for information for Youth services.

10:00 a.m. Worship: Click here to join in worship at 10 a.m.! We will be streaming Palm Sunday. Here (Palm Sunday Bulletin) is the bulletin if you wish to view it on another device or print it beforehand. The bulletin will also be projected this week.

If you miss it live, the recording of the live stream and an audio clip will be shared so that you might pray and listen at your convenience.

We have been strongly discouraged from handing out palms… that’s okay! Bring in greenery! Print out a palm and color it!

NEW Virtual Coffee Hour! About 10 minutes after the service ends this Sunday, around 11 a.m., come “see” and chat with the people and friends of St. Mary’s! Click here to join in on Zoom! BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee/Tea/Water/Whatever)!

Monday, April 6
Holy Week Coloring Packets! Enjoy the following packets have coloring pages, age appropriate information, and family discussion prompts about the most important weeks in the Christian year.

Tuesday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m.: Children’s Storytime: Live from the Rectory
Click here to join live or to watch the recording at your convenience of Ann reading “Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown and “Robo-sauce,” written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (the last book by the dynamic DLT duo!) at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday! After clicking on the link, click “videos.” Here’s an earlier recording of Ann reading “Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great” by Bob Shea and “Dragons Love Tacos 2″ by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. Watch soon! Publishers have relaxed the normal guidelines around most copyrighted material, but they do not want it to stay up indefinitely. Share with your kids or grandkids!


Thursday, April 9: Maundy Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Click here to join Maundy Thursday via Zoom at 7 p.m. We will sing Taize music, hear the traditional Maundy Thursday readings, pray, and consider the last night of Jesus’ earthly life.


Friday, April 10: Good Friday at Noon
Click here to join our youth-led Good Friday service via Zoom at noon! Readings! Skits! Stop motion! Come see how our youth have interpreted the many faces of Jesus.


Sunday, April 12: The Feast of the Resurrection! Easter!!
We are already working to pre-record an Easter service so that you might observe at home at whatever time works for you and/or your family. There will also be a virtual coffee hour on Easter to give you a chance to connect to your friends at St. Mary’s, too!


We will also share ways to participate in diocesan Holy Week services if anyone wants or needs something other than what we are offering.
Take good care.


What’s Happening Online This Week

Sunday, March 22
  • 10:00 a.m. Worship: Click here to join in worship! We will again stream morning prayer with a sermon and music at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday.
  • The Book of Common Prayer is online if you don’t have one at home!
  • Video and audio recordings will be shared so that you might pray and listen at your convenience if you miss it live.
  • Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license#A-725427
  • 10:45 a.m. Godly Play for Children Ages 3 – Grade 3 (online)
  • 11:00 a.m. Youth Group 4th Grade and Up (online)
  • The Godly Play and Youth Group are interactive classes just for our kids and youth, so they won’t be posted later.
  • 11:45 a.m. Welcome back to the discussion component of the Lenten series–now online! We’ll watch the video on shelter together (which we will be thinking of from a whole new angle now) together then talk about it and the concept of shelter.
Tuesday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Children’s Storytime: Live from the Rector’s Couch 
Have younger kids? Need 15 minutes? Here’s a recording of Ann reading “We’re all Wonders,” written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio, and “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. The next installment of Children’s Storytime: Live from the Rector’s Couch will be at 5:30 p.m. this Tuesday. Ann will read “God’s Dream” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and, by popular demand, “Dragons Love Tacos 2” by author Adam Rubin and illustrator Daniel Salmieri. Share with your kids or grandkids! Click here to join live or watch the recording at a time convenient for you and your littles!
Thursday, March 26: Vespers at 7:00 p.m.
Click here to join Vespers online via Zoom Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. for the foreseeable future. Andrew will display the liturgy on the screen so that we can all pray together for our community and the world. Feel free to bring a candle to light, incense to burn, or whatever will help you feel prayerful. The link is on the St. Mary’s youth webpage and here.
The Lenten Series continues with online discussion option!
Click here at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, March 22 to participate in the Lenten series discussion! No prep work ahead of time is required.


Dear People and Friends of Saint Mary’s, 

Well, after that long, carefully crafted email I sent you just yesterday, the wardens and I have now decided to suspend all worship and all activities at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Newton for the next two weeks. There will be no in-person Sunday services on Sunday, March 15 or 22 (though see below!). Christ the King will also not hold services in our buildings, and AA (our largest weekly public gathering) will not be meeting here as well. Hills and Falls, the preschool that meets on our premises, has also suspended its activities. 

This is not a decision made lightly but with an eye towards doing our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Though we are smaller and thus are supposed to be less at risk, we also must take into account that our demographic skews towards those who are more vulnerable. We will reevaluate after two weeks. 

We will not leave you comfortless! 
This Sunday, March 15:

  • 10 a.m. Worship: I will stream morning prayer with a sermon on Facebook at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Kirsten will also be present so that you can hear some lovely music and sing a hymn.  
  • The Book of Common Prayer is online if you don’t have one at home! 
  • If you miss it live, an audio file and/or recording of the live stream will be shared so that you might pray and listen at your convenience. 
  • 11 a.m. Youth: Andrew will lead a meeting of youth (fourth grade and up) through Zoom this Sunday at 11 a.m. (note new time). The link is on the St. Mary’s youth webpage and here 

Thursday, March 19: Vespers at 7 p.m. 

  • Andrew will also lead Vespers online via Zoom this Thursday at 7 p.m. The liturgy will be displayed on the screen so that we can all pray together for our community and the world. The link is on the St. Mary’s youth webpage and here. 

Connect with Each Other

  • I encourage you to be in contact via phone and email with one another, especially with parishioners and friends who you are concerned about or who may not receive this email. If you are aware of a parishioner I should contact, please let me know. If you do contract COVID-19, it would be helpful to let me know, too. I will protect your privacy. 
  • Please contact me via email with pastoral concerns. If someone needs something like groceries and can’t leave his/her home, let me know. I won’t be visiting people in person since I don’t want to pass anything between different people. But there are TONS of options now–calling, video, texting. Be in touch!

But wait! There’s more! 

  • Do Faith at Home: This Episcopal, lectionary based website provides a prayer, Scripture, and prompts and reflections, for children to adults. It’s really good! 
  • Ways to Pray if You Can’t Get to Church: Daily prayers and resources (including a finger labyrinth!), compiled and curated by the Rev. Jo Kershew, priest in the Church of England

We will be providing more ways to interact and more resources in the days to come. I’ve been turning to this prayer these past few days. May you find some comfort in it, too.  

God of the present moment,God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; Bring hope and courage to us as we wait in uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided, For your will is health and wholeness; You are God, and we need you. Amen.

Adapted from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer

I know the back and forth is not ideal. I would rather run the risk of being an alledged flip-flopper than be part of the problem. Thank you for understanding.




As cases of coronavirus COVID-19 continue to multiply exponentially, it’s important to remember that people of faith have gotten through tough times before. We will get through COVID-19, too – by taking all mandated and recommended precautions seriously and by supporting one another in creative ways. 

St. Mary’s will be following all new diocesan mandates and recommendations on Sunday, including: 
• Offering communion bread only. 
• Passing the Peace with no physical contact. 
• Not passing offering plates – You may drop in a contribution on your way to the altar rail or mail a check to the church. 

The following persons are particularly at risk and should take extra precautions: 
• Persons over the age of 60 
• Anyone of any age with underlying medical condition, particularly respiratory conditions, autoimmune disorders, those undergoing or recently receiving chemotherapy, and cigarette smokers 

What else is St. Mary’s doing? 
• Plans are in motion to increase our sharing of digital resources—music, meditations, and more—in the days to come. 
• Special Music Sunday with Mozart’s Mass in D major, originally scheduled for Sunday, March 22, is being postponed. 
• Coffee hour and the in-person portion of the Lenten study are cancelled for the next two weeks.