Response to Smokey Mary’s

MJ, a member of Saint Mary’s Times Square emailed:

Oh, bravo, Erwin! What you didn’t say about this glorious space and liturgy is that for those of us lucky enough to be parishioners, this is our “hometown church,” and we have friendships and commitments and we care about each other within our wonderful community. Do we really arch 80 feet? It’s my church community. On Monday night, I had the privilege of being Acolyte 1, and the women were out in force: thurifer, vimpa, epistler, acolyte 1, 4 of 6 torches, 9 of 12 people sitting in choir — including 3 sisters!


For those unfamiliar with the church’s mysteries, an acolyte is a person who “serves” at the altar along with priests; a thurifer is a person who gets to swing the incense vessel and create a whole lot of smoke; a vimpa does not have fangs but does get to handle special objects like a bishop’s pointy hat albeit with a veil covering her hands; torches do not sing sultry songs but carry really long candlesticks; and sisters are nuns.

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