Sunday, December 2, 2007

8. Holy Name of Jesus Church

NOTE: In 2015 this church was part of a list of churches in danger of merging with other churches or closing altogether as part of the Archdiocese of New York's great closings & mergers of 2015. This doesn't seem to have happened and this church remains open for regular Masses and other events. If you have any news about this merger or lack thereof please feel free to write in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

(mass times & church info last updated 03/22/2016)
Address: 207 96th St. @ Amsterdam
Phone: 212.749.0276
Weekend Mass Times:
Sat: 5:30pm (English)
Sun: 9am (English, Youth Choir), 10:30am (Spanish), 12pm (English, Choral Mass), 1:30pm (French), 5:30pm (English, Contemporary Choir)
Weekday Mass Times:
M-F: 7am, 12pm (English)
M, W, F: 9am (Spanish)
Sat: 9am
Tue, Thu: 11:30am-12pm
Sat: 4-5pm
First Fridays: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Post-Church Activity: Cloisters
Official Website
Wikipedia: Advent
Wikipedia: Advent Wreath
The Organ
Reverence for the Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name Pledge
Catholic Tradition of the Holy Name
The Cloisters
Fort Tryon Park
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The first semi-real snow of the season occurred this morning - too bad for a friend of mine who was visiting from out of town, decided to try and attempt an early flight out, left at 5am and then proceeded to be stuck in and wait on an airplane for most of the day - but good for me as it refreshed my view on just about everything.

There was something all together wholesome about my walk down a snow covered Amsterdam, not many people about, on my way to, what seemed to me and I'll refer to as, a classic bucolic church in the middle of Upper-Upper West Side Manhattan.

It being the first Sunday of Advent, I felt suddenly thrust into the Christmas season. Upon returning to my apartment, I immediately drank cocoa and played Christmas music, cleaned up after my friend's visit and tried to get my extremely tired (I woke up at 5am also to see my friend off and sleep did not return to me) mind and body into sync with how I wanted to spend the rest of my Sunday. I had an overwhelming desire to see go up to the Cloisters and see Fort Tryon park in the snow. I caught the A train up there and when I emerged from the subway cave, what I experienced was awesome - and I use that word in the original intent and use of that word to indicate something awe-inspiring and great, not what skaters, teens, and you and I and generations of others have turned it into. The walk through the snowy, icy paths of Fort Tryon was good for my soul. The cold blasts of wind woke me from my fogginess that had been lingering since my early wake up. The views were, of course, absolutely incredible and just exactly what I needed to be doing and seeing.

Later, back in my neighborhood, with fogginess creeping its way back into my head, I found myself wandering into St. John the Divine Episcopal Cathedral for the weekly Sunday evening 6pm Evensong. Again, this felt like precisely the place I needed to be. This cathedral is a grand cavern, dark and medieval. The voice of the pastor came ringing through the building as if it were the very voice of God. The singing was as if I was caught in the midst of angels that I could not see, angels trying to tell me something, something ancient and beautiful and in another language that we lost long ago and no longer knew.

Somewhere inside, I knew what they were saying.

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