The Second Sunday of Advent, 2020

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Sunday December 6, 11:00 a.m. The Second Sunday of Advent

Service Leaflet

Support the Mission and Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral

If you watch and enjoy our live-streamed or archived services, please consider making a donation in support of the mission and ministry of this cathedral.

You may also donate using the Venmo mobile app from your smartphone (search for @SaintMarksCathedralSeattle ) Thank you for your generosity.

Looking for the Livestream video archive? It now has its own page here

Christmas Hymn Sing with Canon Kleinschmidt and Dean Thomason

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 4:30 P.M., via Zoom

Dean Thomason and Canon Kleinschmidt’s Hymn Sings are quickly becoming a favorite pandemic pastime! For this Christmas Hymn Sing, they invite you to join in singing hymns and carols via Zoom. Do you have a favorite carol that celebrates the birth of the Christ child? This is your chance to carol with the Saint Mark’s Community.

Requests are encouraged, from any hymnal. Make your hymn request here (one per person, please!) by December 26.

Zoom link here.

Ornaments of Advent at Saint Mark’s

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Did you know? Just as we light a new candle in the wreath each week of Advent, so the cathedral altar also changes each Sunday...

Cathedral Sacristan and Head Verger Michael Seewer sends an email several times a year to those at Saint Mark's involved in liturgical ministries, including both practical announcements about scheduling, training, etc., as well as spiritual reflections and items of more general interest. In his Advent newsletter, Michael included interesting information about the Advent "paraments" (matched set of seasonal vestments and decorations) and the 2020 Advent wreath—information which may be new to many community members, and deserves a wider audience. Thank you, Michael!

The Advent Paraments

Each year for the four weeks of Advent, the nave is adorned with our Advent set of paraments. This set of Sarum blue, purple, and rose paraments (which includes altar hangings and vestments) was lovingly crafted years ago by Steve Hartwell, a beloved member of Saint Mark's Community for many years.

Steve made the original set using wool and dupioni silk in jewel shades of blue, purple, and rose. He designed the multi-color borders used on the altar frontal and on the vestments (chasuble, tunicle, and dalmatic). Remnants of the fabric when the set was originally created were kept for future use. Years after the set was originally made, the altar was enlarged, and Jo Ann Bailey stepped forward to add a larger layer (the royal blue layer in the back) so that the frontal fits the enlarged altar better.

One special tradition of ours with this frontal is to add an additional layer to the frontal each week. On the first Sunday of Advent, we start with the original jewel-toned border layer visible. The second week of Advent, the purple layer is added, the third the royal blue, until by the fourth week of Advent the final light blue layer is made visible. This coincides with the tradition of adding additional O Antiphon banners each week in front of the reredos.

Since the pandemic, we have begun using a burse and veil to "vest" the chalice each week. You may notice this placed in the center of the corporal on the altar at the start of service. We did not have a matching blue burse and veil for our Advent set, and so Jo Ann Bailey has once again stepped forward with her talented eye and has crafted a burse and veil using remnants from the original parament set. This Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, will be our first Sunday using this new burse and veil.

We are grateful for the talent of Steve Hartwell who lovingly crafted this beautiful parament set for us many years ago. We are also grateful for the passion and creativity of Jo Ann Bailey, who helps us to maintain this and all of our paraments, and who has made this new burse and veil and others this year to match our other parament sets. These beautiful additions to our worship space help to remind us of the changing seasons, and to remind us that we are called each week to worship "in the beauty of holiness."

Editor's note: Steve Hartwell died in May 2011 after an illness. The following note appeared in the service leaflet for his funeral liturgy:

We use today the Cathedral's Advent set of vestments. The liturgical color normally used for funerals is white, the color that marks our celebration of Jesus' promise of resurrection. However in some traditions, such as the Sarum rite, a community would use its best and finest vestments for a funeral regardless of their liturgical color. Of all the vestments Steve designed for this community, he felt that the Advent set was his best work and it is the favorite of many people in this community.

The 2020 Advent Wreath

We are grateful that, even with the continued Cathedral closure, the Saint Mark's flower guild continues to grace us with their talent and care by providing flowers and plants to beautify the nave. We are especially grateful this year for the time that Ray Miller dedicated to crafting our Advent wreath, a must-have for the season of Advent! [Editor's note: The making of the Advent wreath was another task overseen by Steve Hartwell for many years, and taken over by his partner Ray following his death.]

This year's wreath was crafted using clippings from the Cathedral Close, as well as some plantings along the Greenbelt. The evergreen branches are juniper, and the small branches with red fruit are from the hawthorn plant at the north end of the close. The yellow and green leaves are from a shrub along the northwest side of the close. This shrub is known as euonymus, or maybe specifically golden euonymus.

Ray designed the wreath with the alignment mindful of the fact that we light the rose candle on the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday. We are grateful to Ray for crafting this wreath. And thank you also to Beatrix Roemheld-Hamm for her leadership of the flower guild, and for all of the many ways the flower guild team brings beauty to the nave!

Ray Miller and Steve Hartwell

Christmas 2020 Memorials and Thanksgivings

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Support the Cost of Evergreens and Poinsettias for the Cathedral Nave

Although the traditional greening of the nave will be smaller than usual, green boughs and poinsettias will still grace Saint Mark's this year. You are once again invited to underwrite the costs of greenery as a memorial or in thanksgiving for a loved one. There are four ways to give:

  • mail a check to the cathedral office (memo: Poinsettias)
  • online through (select "Christmas Memorials and Thanksgivings)
  • through the Venmo mobile app (@saintmarkscathedralseattle; comment "Poinsettias")
  • or by contacting Erik Donner in the cathedral office: 206-323-0300 x217

Donations received by December 20 will be acknowledged in the the Christmas service leaflets.

The Cathedral Archives: Preserving the Cathedral’s Story for Future Generations

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Update (June, 2021): Alexa's time with us has now come to an end, but her work here has made a contribution that will endure. Thank you, Alexa!


As anyone who has ever ventured into the crypt of Saint Mark’s will tell you, the cathedral is in possession of an enormous quantity of documents and artifacts, from all periods of the parish’s existence. In fact, such historical material has not even been confined to the crypt—it could be found in filing cabinets, closets, and storage areas located throughout the building. Some of this is valuable historical material, constituting an authentic physical link to our forebears in this place. Other material contains information the cathedral is legally obligated to preserve. And some of it belongs in the recycling bin.

The task of collecting, identifying, cataloguing, organizing, preserving, scanning, and (when necessary) discarding this mountain of documents has been an important agenda item for Dean Thomason and the cathedral leadership for many years, but it is a task that requires dedicated time, space, funds, expertise, and a great deal of labor. Now, thanks to a generous gift from The Rev. Canon Pat Taylor in memory of her late husband Jim, the collaboration of The University of Washington Information School, and Diocesan Archivist Diane Wells, this long-deferred need is at last being addressed.

Canon Taylor’s gift has made it possible to engage Alexa Minasian, a UW graduate student in Information and Library Science, to take on this task as an intern. This relationship is mutually beneficial—she receives course credit for her work in the cathedral, and certainly not every librarian has had the opportunity to create an institutional archive from scratch while still in graduate school! In the last few weeks Alexa has already proven to be a great gift to the cathedral, and she has a fascinating life story. (See her interview, below.)

Diane Wells, Archivist and Records Manager for the Diocese of Olympia, is serving as mentor to Alexa and is overseeing the project generally. In addition, the project is guided and advised by many members of the community of Saint Mark’s, including longtime member Walter Stuteville, Director of Operations Jim Pannell, Lawyer Judy Andrews, MOHAI Curator of Collections Clara Berg, and others.

The new Cathedral Archives is located in a part of the cathedral crypt (basement), that has served many purposes through the years, including Sunday School room, Child Care Center, Youth Room, Art Storage, and general storage room. (The Youth Room has been moved back to its previous location, a newly-refurbished Cathedral House Room 209.) The space will include secure filing cabinets for documents, museum-quality storage for more fragile artifacts as appropriate, a terminal to access scanned documents and archived digital files, as well as a generous workspace for those doing research with the material.

When the cathedral building has fully reopened, the archives will be opened by request to those who need it. But even if you never have a reason to enter the room itself, the entire community benefits from the creation of an organized and accessible archive. Everyone who feels a connection to Saint Mark’s is also personally connected to an institution with roots in the nineteenth century, and to an epic story of the survival and transformation of that community over the course of 130 years. There is much to be proud of in that history, as well as much to learn from, and The Cathedral Archives will house the material evidence of the truth of that story. By the grace of God, it will preserve and protect that story for the generations to come.


Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Alexa Minasian and I am from Los Angeles, California.


What got you interested in library/information sciences? 

I became interested in Library/Information Science through my love of books and reading.  Pursuing this degree will allow me to be around books all the time.  My love of reading helped me overcome learning disabilities when I was in grade school.  I was diagnosed with Childhood Aphasia. I was a late talker (age 5), and my parents began to search for a reason.  Aphasia is a language processing issue. Most of my grade school and junior high school years I received after-school tutoring to overcome the disability.  I was told to read, read, read.  And, I learned to love reading.


What are your primary areas of interest/specialization in your UW degree program?

I do not have a primary interest in my pursuit of the degree at UW.  There are so many interesting areas:  public library, special library, archiving, collection development and information architecture to name a few.  I find all of them to be fascinating and want to continue to learn more about these specialties.


What are your plans after you have finished at UW? 

Initially, my plans were to become a librarian in a public library.  However, I now feel there are many areas I would be happy to work in, including archiving.


Can you describe the work you’ve been given to at Saint Mark’s?

I was brought on to Saint Marks to assist in archiving cathedral documents, materials, and other records. This has involved surveying hundreds, if not thousands of files within boxes that have not been reviewed in decades.  To date I have organized the files by topic, started a discard log, and begun to plan how the archive will be organized and arranged.  A discard log is for items that may not be archived and discarded.


What interests you the most about the Saint Mark’s project in general? What worries you?

What I find particularly interesting is organizing the diverse amounts of records I am reviewing into a workable, functioning archive. The subjects I have come across are varied and range from investments to detailed event planning records. I am excited at the challenge of organizing such a divergent and important collection. What worries me is there is so much information to get through and somewhat limited time.


What’s surprised you since you started working on the project?

I am surprised at the depth and scope of the records and materials in archival consideration. There are numerous different types of records and many of them are highly detailed and specific. I was also surprised that there are so many copies of the same document.


Can you talk about one particularly interesting document or artifact that you have come across so far?

An unexpected artifact that I found was a signed letter from Desmond Tutu to Saint Mark’s Cathedral. I have found records of the affiliation between the Desmond Tutu Foundation and Saint Mark’s working on this archive, but seeing the letter put into perspective the partnership.


Your perspective on Saint Mark’s Cathedral is unique, since you’ve never known the building or the community pre-pandemic. What has your overall impression of the place been?

My overall impression is that Saint Mark’s is an institution that genuinely cares about engaging and supporting the Capitol Hill and surrounding Seattle neighborhood. I was heartened to see many instances and occasions of events and other types of gatherings organized to help address a need and/or concern of wider community members.


Anything else you’d like the Saint Mark’s community to know? 

I am honored and excited to be in charge of facilitating the beginnings of Saint Mark’s archive.

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