Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Morning Prayer on YouTube ~ 29 March 2020

"I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:38-39

Dear Beloved Parishioners of St. Mary's - Cathedral Road,

On Sundays, I will lead Morning Prayer at 10am according to the Book of Common Prayer in a "said" service (no music).  I will use YouTube Live to post this service, and I hope that you can join in with me.  If you have a Book of Common Prayer at home, I will reference those pages for the service.  Alternatively, I will also post the readings on our church's website so that you can follow along.

I am saddened to not join with you all in person this Sunday, and the two Sundays following, but after careful prayer, discussion, research, and discernment, we have decided that this is the best step forward at this point.  I pray that you all are staying healthy, that you are practicing social distancing, and I also hope that you know you can call or email me at any time.  


The Rev. Peter M. Carey, Rector
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
630 Cathedral Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128

St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Cathedral Road - YouTube Channel

Due to the COVID - 19 Virus, we will NOT be holding church services in person beginning Sunday, March 15th through at least March 29th.  

We will be doing Morning Prayer on Sunday at 10am using our YouTube Channel
Image result for youtube images

Click the above image or HERE to visit our YouTube Channel


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Faith, Hope, and Love Abide

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man I gave up my childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully; even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13: 1-13

Have mercy

Friday, March 27, 2020

Giving to St. Mary's online

“And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, 
so that by always having enough of everything, 
you may share abundantly in every good work.”
– II Chronicles 9:8 

Please use our online giving process by clicking the green "Give" button below and then enter your information in order to set up one-time, weekly, or monthly giving.

We are partnering with the online giving organization, Tithe-Ly, which is recommended highly by our Bishop and Diocesan Office, and is used by many other churches here in Pennsylvania and across our nation.

Thank you for your continued support of our ministry and mission.


give thanks to the LORD

Monday, March 23, 2020

Celtic rune of hospitality

Greetings on a soggy Monday afternoon ~ 23 March 2020

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 
Matthew 11:28-30

Dear Beloved Parishioners,

On this rainy afternoon, I find myself praying for each and every one of you.  Once again, we were able to have Morning Prayer "together" yesterday, and I appreciate hearing that many of you were able to "tune in" for it.  

I wanted to be in touch in part to share our Bishop's message which he sent today, and I have shared it below.  In particular, our Bishop has laid out a plan that we will not meet "in person" for worship until at least May 4th.  He is also working with his staff, and with the clergy of the Diocese to seek ways that we can celebrate Holy Week and Easter even by remote.  Also, please continue to fulfill your pledge to St. Mary's; our expenses continue even in this uncertain time.  

I wanted to share a few ideas for resources for this strange and uncertain time.  

Do check out our church's website at as I am posting there each day, and you can find links and resources down each side of the website/blog.   If you also scroll down through the site, you will see previous postings.

I also recommend taking a look at the National Cathedral's website at and its YouTube channel for a variety of resources. 

Just today I "joined in" with worship at Canterbury Cathedral, which was quite wonderful.  It is always great to feel connected with our sisters and brothers, "across the pond."  

One of my favorite writers and religious figures is the Benedictine Monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast, who writes on prayer, gratefulness, and the abundant life.  His organization, "A Network for Gratefulness" has a wonderful YouTube channel.    One of my very favorite videos he produced is called, "A Good Day, with Brother David Steindl-Rast," which I recommend highly. 

One of my favorite writers these days is Ryan Holiday, who writes books about the ancient stoics.  While not particularly Christian in outlook, I find his writing compelling, and his three books, "The Ego is the Enemy," "The Obstacle is the Way," and "Stillness is the Key," are all pretty quick reads, and full of historical and biographical examples.

I am attaching some wonderful photos which Valerie James shared with me of flowers in the Spring; enjoy!

Please know that you each are in my daily prayers and I hope you are finding ways to stay connected with one another.  Please do call and email each other, and do let me know if there are particular concerns for you, your families, and your friends.  Please stay in touch.  

In Christ's Love, 


The Rev. Peter M. Carey, Rector
St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Cathedral road

(This, and additional instructions, have been shared with our clergy as well.)

March 23, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Each day seems to bring with it new changes. As we enter into them, let us remember the words of our Lord in Isaiah:

“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” 43:19

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the laity and clergy of this beloved diocese. While this Lenten season has unfolded in ways none of us could have anticipated, we live with the hope of Christ and look forward to that day which is upon the horizon where we can proclaim “Alleluia.” 

After much prayer, and further consultation with the clergy, leadership and laity of the diocese, I now provide further pastoral direction related to the worship and spiritual life of our churches:

However, it is imperative our faithful have access to worship. Therefore, in keeping with my previous directive, clergy may lead services with a minimum number of assistants in attendance (not to exceed 10). If you are celebrating the Eucharist you should consecrate, but not offer, the chalice. If you hold a service, you should offer access to it via computer or phone. If you do not hold worship, please direct your parishioners to another church which is doing so. A growing guide to streaming your service and a directory of churches offering remote access to worship can be found on our website Additionally, you can contact us for support.

Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. Over the past week, local, state and national authorities are issuing varying restrictions on the size and number of gatherings and I am told that further restrictions will be issued. This week, the Presiding Bishop wrote that “considering this changing landscape, I believe that suspension of in-person public worship is generally the most prudent course of action at this time.”

I am mindful that the lack of physical access to Holy Communion can be distressing. I will forgo receiving the Sacrament until such time as our churches can safely resume celebrating Holy Eucharist in person. I do so gladly and with full assurance that we are still recipients of the Real Presence of our Lord. 

How our Holy Week and Easter celebrations will unfold is yet to be seen but it will be glorious.  We currently have a committee formed to develop and offer creative services for these most holy days. We will celebrate together as a diocesan family and if it is from our own homes connected by phone or computer, we will still rejoice. 

In the meantime, I encourage you to do the following in regards to conducting services, reaching the vulnerable and connecting with one another:

  • Virtual Meetings. Make arrangements to offer your discernment, education, bible studies or other meetings by video or phone conference call. Contact us if you need assistance with us. We are experimenting with new technologies each day and are available 24/7.
  • Vulnerable Communities. Please continue to check-in with your elderly, sick and shut-ins on a regular basis making use of phone, video, and written communication as appropriate to protect their health.  
  • NA and AA. The same encouragement from my previous letter is in effect for AA and NA groups instituting the cleaning and recommended hygiene practices.
  • Further Restrictions. In the event that the Governor issues a “stay at home” order or further restrictions, we will abide by those directions and further instructions will be sent as necessary. (For clergy, a list of things to consider is currently posted to the clergy Facebook page and is available here too.)
  • Continue Pledging! I also ask that you continue to give your pledge to your church. While in-person activity may be suspended, the church is not closed and we must support those employed. The sextons, musicians, administrative staff, youth ministers, etc., need our continued support at this critical time. We must also not forget those church members whose business has been affected as well as the small business in our communities. 

The first Easter was celebrated by a few faithful women and then shared by the rest of the disciples. Let us hold the spirit of that first Easter and the many Easters through the years. Through it, the Body of Christ is becoming stronger and the resurrection is the sign and proof that our faith is not in vain.

As a testament to that truth, on Easter Sunday, I ask we join with our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Western North Carolina in proclaiming our faith through the sounds of ringing bells.  On April 11 at 10 a.m., I ask every church to ring their bells for five minutes as a resounding symbol of our faith in the grace of Jesus’s resurrection and the gift of new life. We are also asking the faithful in their own household to join in and ring a bell, beat a drum or otherwise make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Let southeastern Pennsylvania hear the sound of joy as we proclaim the hope of our Jesus Christ.

As we continue to journey through this time together, take care of each other. Call one another, be kind, check on those who are lonely. Let us love boldly and without reservation. See you on Zoom, through the internet and in my prayers.

Your bishop, shepherd and friend,
Bishop Daniel
Know Jesus. Change the World.
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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Morning Prayer via YouTube

"I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:38-39

Today's Morning Prayer Service can be seen by clicking the photo below, or the link.

 On Sundays, I will lead Morning Prayer at 10am according to the Book of Common Prayer in a "said" service (no music).  I will use YouTube to post this service, and I hope that you can join in with me.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Cathedral Road - YouTube Channel

Due to the COVID - 19 Virus, we will NOT be holding church services in person beginning Sunday, March 15th through at least March 29th.  

We will be doing Morning Prayer on Sunday at 10am using our YouTube Channel
Image result for youtube images

Click the above image or HERE to visit our YouTube Channel

Loved or used

Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Friday, March 20, 2020

A Post-Communion Prayer During this Time of Separation

A Post-Communion Prayer During this Time of Separation

Celebrant and people together, in place of the Post-Communion Prayer
Lord of the Feast, we thank you for gathering us as your people. We call to remembrance the many times we have been fed at your table and we lament our distance now. Be present Lord Jesus as you were present with your disciples, be known to us in the breaking of the bread, and may your Holy Spirit sustain us and all your Church until we can gather together again. We ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Shared by our Bishop, the Right Reverend Daniel Gutierrez, for use in this time.

The Church is a hospital

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

18 March 2020 ~ Letter to our Parish from our Rector

18 March 2020

Dear Parishioners of St. Mary's - Cathedral Road,

I am hopeful that many of you were able to "join me" for Morning Prayer last Sunday.  We will do that again, and again use YouTube.  I did received several nice comments; thank you.  Also, I'll make sure to not "cut off" the top of my head in the filming.  There have also been requests to include our doggies in the service - we'll see about that, but I know that Teddy was wanting to come out and see what was going on during the Service.

I hope you all are doing well, and if you are able to stay at home, that you are finding things to read, to watch, and to do in your homes.  My family is doing ok, but the at home schoolwork has not started in earnest for our kids, so we'll see how that goes.

Below is the text of the daily email that our Bishop is sending out, and also posting on his blog.  If you would like to receive the email, reach out to the diocese.  You can also read his blog at  I also wanted to let you know that I have put some additional resources which are online onto our church's website/blog, which you can find at .  I am posting a quote, or an image, or some thought there each day.  In addition, I have my own blog, which I have been posting at for many years now, and which you can access at . 

After speaking with a few of you today, I realized that many of you may not have a copy of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer at home.   In usual times, I would just encourage you to go to church and borrow one from the Parish Hall (feel free to take one, if you are nearby the church!).  Also, I looked on and noticed that a personal copy of the Book of Common Prayer is now selling for only $11. I've listed the link below.  I would recommend getting one in this time of uncertainty.  The wealth of our Book of Common Prayer is deep and rich.  If it is difficult for you to order one for whatever reason, please let me know, and I will order one for you and pay for it with the Rector's Discretionary Fund. 

Know that you are in my daily prayers, and make sure to reach out to one another in this time.  I am hoping to contact each of you individually over the next week or two to see how you are doing, and if there is anything that we can do to help, knowing, of course there are some limitations in this strange time.

Blessings to all of you, and, for me the words of Jesus at the end of the Gospel of Matthew are particularly helpful and healing in this time.

"I am with you always."

In Christ's Love,


The Rev. Peter M. Carey, Rector
St. Mary's Episcopal Church - Cathedral road

March 18, 2020

(La traducción en español está debajo de este mensaje.)

"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11

We have been accustomed to receiving immediate answers to all our questions. If we do not know the answer, we google it. If an email is not answered immediately, we become irritated. Anger arises if we are sent to a call center, and our issue is not settled to our satisfaction. The instances when we order something on-line and focus on the timing of delivery and then immediately tear open the package upon arrival.

Oh, everyday life in America. Or so we thought. Now amid the current pandemic, we desperately want all the answers. We search Google, read every article, watch the breaking news continually, and are often left with more questions than answers. Without a quick resolution, we begin to doubt and fear. This fear leads to anxiety, which results in the form of panic. We are unsettled and untethered in a short amount of time; without answers.

The answer to all our questions is immediately available - faith. All God ever asks from us is our faithfulness. Our faith is the gift we can ravenously unpack in our homes and solitude. One thing is sure; the eternal and all-knowing God exists and lives in our midst. God holds each one of us in the palms of those beautiful, divine hands. God who sent Jesus Christ so we may know love and hope in times like these. God is the certainty in times of uncertainty.
Take a chance and surrender. To admit we do not have the answers, and we cannot make the virus stop immediately. Allow God to comfort, strengthen, and guide (even if we dislike waiting). This is also a hallowed time to shift our internal and external priorities. Many worry about the church, on-line worship, and the loss of community. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We will once again come together as a community, and at that time, we will be stronger. In the span of time, 2, 4, or 8 weeks are temporal, similar to the morning fog that will be dissipated by the light.

When we lean upon God, the simplest things, what was once taken for granted, can now be cherished upon their eventual return. God has plans, not for harm, but a future with hope. We may not all the answers, and it is o.k. Place everything in the hands of the Holy One.

God is here.

On this beautiful Wednesday. Allow me to share words often attributed to St. Oscar Romero, but, in fact, given by Fr. Ken Untener.

"It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church's mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own."


Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes, afirma el Señor,
planes de bienestar y no de calamidad, a fin de darles un futuro y una esperanza.” Jeremías 29.11

Hemos estado acostumbrados a recibir contestaciones a nuestras preguntas inmediatamente. Si no conocemos la respuesta, la buscamos por Google. Nos enfurecemos si no nos responden un correo electrónico inmediatamente. La ira crece si nos envían a un centro de llamadas para servicio, cuando llamamos para resolver nuestra situación y ésta no se soluciona satisfactoriamente a nuestro favor.

También, en los casos cuando hacemos una orden por Internet y toda nuestra atención está en el tiempo de entrega y tan pronto llega el paquete desgarramos su envoltura y lo abrimos inmediatamente.

Oh, la vida cotidiana en los Estados Unidos, o eso creemos pensar. Actualmente, en medio de la pandemia, nosotros desesperadamente queremos tener todas las respuestas. Hacemos búsqueda de información por Google, leemos cada artículo, vemos continuamente las noticias de última hora, y es cuando a menudo nos quedamos con más preguntas que respuestas. Comenzamos a dudar y a tener miedo sin una rápida solución. Este miedo nos conduce a la ansiedad, lo que resulta y se transforma en pánico. En sólo instantes quedamos inquietos y nada nos ata; seguimos sin respuestas.

La noticia es: Las contestaciones a todas nuestras preguntas están disponibles inmediatamente – fe. Todo lo que Dios nos pide es que seamos fieles.

Nuestra fe es el don, el regalo que podemos vorazmente desempacar en nuestros hogares y en soledad. Una cosa es por certeza; el eterno y a quien todos conocen, omnipotente Dios, existe y vive en medio de nosotros. Dios nos sostiene a cada uno de nosotros guardándonos en sus hermosas y divinas palmas de sus manos. Dios, que envió a Jesucristo para que podamos conocer el amor y la esperanza en tiempos como estos. Dios es la certeza en momentos de incertidumbre.

Arriésgate y ríndete. Admite que no tenemos las respuestas, que no podemos hacer que el virus se detenga inmediatamente. Permitamos que Dios nos consuele, nos dé fuerzas y nos guíe (aun cuando no nos gusta esperar). Este es también un tiempo sagrado para establecer y cambiar nuestras prioridades internas y externas. Muchas personas se preocupan por la iglesia, los servicios de adoración ofrecidos en línea por Internet, y por la pérdida de la comunidad.

No tenemos nada que perder, pero sí mucho que ganar. Volveremos una vez más a estar unidos en comunidad, y en ese tiempo, estaremos más fortalecidos. En este lapso de tiempo de unas 2, 4 ó 8 semanas, será un espacio temporal, parecido a una mañana llena de neblina que se disipará al llegar la luz.

Cuando descansamos en Dios, las cosas son más sencillas, lo que antes se dio por sentado, ahora lo podremos apreciar cuando eventualmente se nos regrese. Dios tiene planes, no para hacernos daño, sino para tener un futuro lleno de esperanzas. Puede que no tengamos todas las respuestas, y esto está bien. Entreguemos todo en las manos del Único y Santo.

Dios está aquí.

En este hermoso miércoles, permíteme compartir algunas palabras que con frecuencia son atribuidas a San Óscar Romero, que de hecho son dadas por el Padre Ken Untener:

“De vez en cuanto, dar un paso atrás y mirar todo el panorama desde arriba nos ha ayudado antes y nos ayuda ahora. El reino no solo está más allá de nuestros esfuerzos, sino que incluso, el reino está más allá de nuestra propia visión. A lo largo de nuestras vidas, sólo logramos una pequeña fracción de la empresa magnifica que es la obra de Dios. Nada de lo que hacemos queda completado, es una manera de decir que el reino siempre se extiende más allá de nosotros mismos.

No hay declaración que diga todo lo que se pueda decir. Ninguna plegaria expresará totalmente nuestra fe. Ninguna confesión lleva a la perfección. Ninguna visita pastoral aporta plenitud. Ningún programa cumple la misión de la Iglesia. Ninguna meta con sus objetivos puede incluirlo todo. Esto es lo que somos. 

Plantamos las semillas que un día crecerán. Regamos con agua las semillas ya plantadas, sabiendo que ellas guardan una promesa y un futuro. Construimos los fundamentos que necesitarán desarrollarse más adelante. Añadimos la levadura que produce mucho más allá de nuestras capacidades. No podemos hacerlo todo, y hay un sentido de liberación al darnos cuenta. Esto nos permite el hacer algo, y hacerlo muy bien. Puede que esté incompleto, pero es un comienzo, un paso a lo largo del camino, una oportunidad de entrar y descansar en que la gracia del Señor hará el resto.

Puede que nunca veamos los resultados finales, pero esa es la diferencia entre el maestro de la obra y el trabajador. Somos obreros, no los capataces; somos los ministros, pero no los mesías. Somos los profetas de un futuro que no es nuestro.”

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Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania | 23 E. Airy StreetNorristown, PA 19401