The Chronicle of Christ Church
By Deaconess Josephine A. Lyon (1862-1939)
New Haven, Connecticut: Quinnipiack Press, no date.
CHAPTER VI. A HOLY PRIEST
HE was rector of the church in which he had been born and brought up, among whose people he had knelt as child and boy and college youth, as deacon and as curate. A difficult position? So it was considered, but ‘Father Fred' did not seem to find it hard. Or, if he did, he paid no attention to the difficulty. He had a simplicity and directness and an utterly baffling humility which ignored and disarmed criticism. Of what use was it to carp at a priest who either remained unaware of the carping or accepted it gently as his natural due?
"His face indicated that he had never expected or been accustomed to have things made easy for him. Of course not. What should a soldier of the cross be doing with ease? Doubtless Father Fred's spirit chose to perfect itself through suffering.
"His features were rather rugged for one who bore such a gentle spirit. He suggested comparison with a granite cliff played upon by a tender evening light. His lips were certainly granite; inflexible will governed their feeling curves, and occasionally released the humor that always lurked in their corners. There was nothing in all the world the owner of that mouth could be made to do if he did not think best. His eyes were dark and changeful, and his face was often so pale that, glimmering in the dusk of the chancel, it made the observer think of Moses fresh from the [101/102] mount. As for his figure, its tall height was thin to the point of emaciation.
"Ascetic? No, not exactly. The humor of the mouth objected to that characterization, and many a gleam of the eyes reinforced the refusal. He was only a very brave and gentle and holy man.
"Losing one's life to find it, is a Christian paradox still all too little practiced for the good of the world. We are timid and cautious and reasonable. We will not understand that to let ourselves go out of our hampering individual likes and dislikes, is to enlarge and deepen ourselves, to take on force and ability, to win our souls. A man's purpose is more entirely himself than he can ever be.
"Father Fred did not think all this out. It is a paradox within a paradox that a man defeats his own end when he loses his life in order to find it. He must lose it for the sake of his cause; then the great, unexpected reward of selfhood will be added to him.
"What, now, was his purpose—this great end that governed all his brave young life? Well, in a way, it was nothing new, being simply the purpose of the ages: the Kingdom of God. To awaken his church to a realization of its full Catholic privilege, was the work to which Father Fred devoted his whole being; and to him there could be no doubt that it was the greatest work of his generation.
"The Church has always taken its stand supremely on the one simple, sufficient fact of the Incarnation. It has surrounded its message with all the suggestive beauty of symbolism that worshiping ages have been able to divine and hand on to one another. For a symbol is nearer reality than any attempt at direct expression. [102/103] The result is a marvelous service, a mystic ritual, full of the sublimest intuitions and intimations that groping humanity has ever glimpsed. It certainly is not too much to say that any worshipper, truly assisting at a Catholic mass, must spring to the heart of God and, at least for the half hour, be gloriously good and free.
"Under the noble and wise rector who preceded him, Father Fred had served as curate; and the two of them working together, had built the church edifice. That was a profoundly sagacious proceeding, already a sort of fulfillment of their desire. For a church, designed and built on a sacramental theme, silently, day in, day out, demands the realization of that which it typifies. Soaring Gothic pillars and arches, glowing windows, an exquisite rood screen, a gleaming white altar, silence, holiness—these things connote the solemn ritual of the mass, the thrilling daily presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and all that goes to make the spot significant of the immediate touch of God. As the two priests brought their church to completion and steeped themselves in its spirit, it must have seemed to them often that the Kingdom was already come.
"But then it must have seemed doubly hard to turn from the vision and realize that, instead of being immediately present, it was very remote, and that it could not be hastened, but must abound in delays. Father Fred's parish was more responsive than many, but it knew its own objections. Such shaking of heads over the first cope! Such murmurs at the idea of confession! Such a long and indignant refusal to forego participation at the late Celebration! Admonition and concession went hand in hand.
 "When I first became aware of the gradual process, I was a somewhat idly attentive Protestant, dropping in at the beautiful church from time to time. Of course I did not understand it. I only knew that every time I entered the place I saw or heard something new to fill me with love and awe.
"Father Fred himself I regarded with admiration and solicitude. He looked so frail and so worn as, in the pulpit, during the singing of the hymn immediately before the sermon, he brooded over his people, yearning to divine their need. ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!' But why need he be quite so inexorable, for himself, or for the rest of us? His sermons made no concessions—none. They voiced such an imperative summons that if we had obeyed them literally, the floor of the church would have been strewn with cut-off hands and plucked-out eyes. As it was, we went away sobered and thoughtful, stung out of our complacent acceptance of the limitations of human nature. Father Fred recognized no limitations, that was evident.
"The contrast between his fiery sternness in the pulpit, and the shy friendliness with which he waited beside the church door afterwards, both encouraged and frightened me when I at last made up my mind to speak to him. It was indeed long and grievous, the conflict which we waged during the next few months. Little by little I ceased to contend. The dawn was a slow one. The symbolic meaning of objects which in the dark I had taken for mere shadows, gradually unfolded itself to my wondering eyes. As the human body stands for the soul, expressing it and interpreting it, so the Church stands for Christ, for the whole [104/105] principle of world-divinity. And just as self-revelation depends upon richness and fullness of utterance, gesture, expression, inflection, so the more facets the Church has, the more brightly it will flash its meaning abroad. Every phase of its ritual stands for some invaluable connection between man and God.
"The church services grew swiftly in beauty. The parish was not very rich, but it gave eagerly, lavishly. Incense, a sanctus bell, an occasional glorious solemn procession, new vestments and altar-cloths—these lovely symbols crowded to open the gate of heaven a little wider. Father Fred's tired face showed an ever-deepening content. Finally, just before Passion Week, the church was transformed and quickened with an awful holiness. On the altar of the Lady Chapel, beneath a glowing light, the Blessed Sacrament was reserved.
"Oh! that was a great day. As the unaccustomed people passed about the main body of the church and caught the unfamiliar gleam between the pillars, they hesitated, stopped, and knelt where they were. Thus instantly does the authentic touch of God prostrate the soul. The whole dear edifice had been lifted to heaven; or, rather, heaven had come down to inhabit it. Father Fred was not very well; but he forgot everything as he knelt before the altar. He lingered so long that he was finally left alone; and in the shadowy church, with its dim soaring arches, its silence, and its one vivid heart of light, he—but one must not try to imagine what he felt and knew. Did he sing ‘Nunc dimittis'? One wonders.
"The next day he was taken ill. The parish was at once uneasy. During the six days of his illness, there [105/106] was hardly a moment when the altar-lamp was not shining pityingly on some bowed head and some imploring hands. Has not God promised to answer prayer?
"The test which Father Fred's death made of his parish was bitterly hard; but they met it triumphantly. It was impossible not to picture him turning back from the gate of heaven and watching with his anxious, yearning, summoning look to see whether his church was going to prove itself loyal or faithless. They must send him on to his great reward with immediate, definite proof of his worthiness. He must bear with him the sheaves of their acquiescence.
"The burial was on Saturday in Holy Week. There had never been a service like it in all the progressive annals of the church. Good Friday had given the people a chance to ease their hearts by yielding themselves to their grief; but on Saturday they summoned themselves and one another to a resolute pitch of triumph. The most critical of them forgot their prejudices in the desire to give Father Fred all that he loved and had worked for, all the beautiful, solemn symbols of eternal truth. The tear-filled voices that helped sing the Requiem Mass on that Easter Eve were not so likely again to indulge in petty criticism. Glad that he had lived to such purpose, Father Fred must have been still more glad that he had died.
"But has he died really? Or does death mean all that we imagine? His presence seems to inhabit his church more vitally than ever. It is possible that there he still kneels and prays, there he works. But he has lost all his anxiety, for he knows that he can not fail. As for the church, it goes ever from glory to glory, [106/107] plucking God, holding him by new corners of His shining robe!" [By kind permission of The Atlantic Monthly; condensed from "Father Fred," by Zephine Humphrey, August, 1914.]
The late Bishop Booth read the foregoing article at the time of its publication, and wrote to the author saying that "Father Fred" was the kind of Priest he most wished he himself could be. Then, when, fifteen years or so later, he came to Vermont as bishop, she saw him, and lo! he resembled Father Burgess not only in character but actually in appearance.
The Rev. Frederic Merwin Burgess was born in New Haven, on March 15, 1872. His parents were Henry Bacon and Mary Ann (Collins) Burgess. After graduating from Yale in 1897, he prepared for the priesthood at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, and at both the university and the seminary he stood high in his classes and took several prizes. He spent most of his time in New Haven, but during one of his summer vacations he went on a journey to Japan and Hawaii. After serving nine years as curate of Christ Church under Dr. Morgan, whom he loved and honored as his counsellor and guide, he became rector of the parish in May, 1909, and was installed by Bishop Brewster.
In this new capacity his first greeting to his people was as follows: "My Dear Friends—I may call you so with no mere formality of expression nor by anticipation of hope, as a new rector might usually address his people, but by actual realization and fulfillment .. .
"A rector must not seek to attach people to himself, for it is to Christ and His Church that the first loyalty is due. Nevertheless, he must have his people with [107/108] him heart and soul, and it is most encouraging to have the cordial support of those who know him best .. .
"I am perfectly aware that one in a position of responsibility and authority is more exposed to criticism, and that very naturally more is demanded of him. But this I know, that you cannot possibly demand more of me than I demand of myself for your sakes. All that I have and am belongs to you, under God, and if we serve Him together day by day, the best we know how, He will make good our deficiencies and accomplish great things by us and in us.
"Your servant for Jesus' sake,
"FREDERIC MERWIN BURGESS."
And he added this quotation from the parish paper of the Church of the Holy Apostle, Philadelphia: "Running a large church is not like running a large business. If an employee in a large business does wrong or disobeys an order, he is discharged and is never thought of again; but if anyone under the charge of a Rector does wrong or is refractory, he must be seen, reasoned with and brought back again into a right relationship with his church. In business, disobedience or wrong-doing severs the connection between employer and employed; in the church, any wrongdoing on the part of the member only increases the responsibility of the Rector. This is all so, because the love of Christ constrains him, and he must ever seek the objects of that love to do them good."
At one time, when Father Burgess was curate, the question came up as to whether or not the church should be kept open during the summer, and he said: "Public worship is just as important as the manufacture of rifles [108/109] or motor cars, and a closed church is, or ought to be, ridiculous in the eyes of a business man. When the month of July approaches, generally before, the conventional Christian complacently folds up his soul, puts it in his vest pocket and packs it away so far back on the shelf that he cannot get it out and take it to church, even if the Sundays should all turn out cool and comfortable. It is this kind of thing that subjects the Church, and Christianity in general, to ridicule and contempt.
"Church-going is not all there is to Christianity—that is a truism—but public worship is, and always will be, an essential in the life of Christianity, a social religion, and in the life of man, a social and religious being.
"And the man who lightly abandons public worship because summer has come is making it easier to abandon also his religious faith and moral principles, if he finds them inconvenient. Every day that a church remains unused its witness is a false witness and its invitation a 'bluff.' There is an added reason in the case of Christ Church, because it was the wish and purpose the founders of the parish that daily services should be held as soon as practicable. We believe that at least one service daily can be held, and ought to be held, in every church where there is a resident clergyman or lay reader. Let no one think that the smallness of the congregation is an insurmountable difficulty. That is a question quite to be expected. We may wish that there were more, but who could set a lower limit of attendance for common prayer than our Lord did in the words: 'Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.'"
 The people in the parish, and particularly the servers in the sacristy, became accustomed to and respected the Rector's reverently kept silence before and after he made his communions. They learned to realize that for him those moments of the soul's preparation and thanksgiving were too precious and real to be exchanged for routine courtesies and ordinary intercourse; so, unless the need for speech was urgent, those who came near him at such times disciplined themselves to his unselfconscious holiness, and benefitted spiritually from the loving austerity of his complete concentration.
From London came to us the pleasant news that the great west window (to be known as the Morgan Memorial window) was completed by the C. E. Kempe & Co., and was ready for shipment; and on Ascension Day, 1910, the dedication of the window took place in the afternoon. The church was filled with parishioners, friends, and some of the neighboring clergy. After choral Evensong, at which Bishop Brewster made the address, the choir and clergy proceeded down the middle aisle singing "For all the saints who from their labors rest." Standing underneath the beautiful window which illustrates the Te Deum, the central figure being that of Christ reigning in glory surrounded by angels, Cherubim and Seraphim, while below are the Apostles, Prophets, and Martyrs representing "the Holy Church throughout all the world," the Bishop said the prayers of dedication, and the choir sang Stanford's Te Deum. The rays of the afternoon sun streaming through the beautiful glass brought out the rich hues of crimson around the Central Figure and the deep sapphire blue of the background, and splashed its jeweled light on the congregation below. The cost of [110/111] the window, which had been the free-will offering of the parishioners, amounted to three thousand six hundred dollars.
Christ Church has more of Kempe's glass than any other church in America, but there are also some notable examples of it at St. Mark's, Philadelphia; St. Mary the Virgin, New York; and the Groton School Chapel. One of his last pieces of work was the Resurrection window in our south transept, given in memory of Wilbur F. Day.
Father Burgess was anxious to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Lady Chapel, and through the Chronicle, which was published every month, he began to give his people teaching about It. He showed that Reservation had been common practise in apostolic and sub-apostolic days, and quoted Justin Martyr and Saint Chrysostom. One of his articles closed with the following: "In the presence of the Sacrament the utmost reverence should be maintained and honor done to our present Lord with quiet manner, with bended knee and silent lips."
In the summer of 1910, the Rector took his first vacation in over sixteen months, and sailed to Italy. There he found particular happiness in Amalfi, at the old Capuchin Monastery; on the mountain top of Monte Cassino where Saint Benedict had established himself in the year 529; in Rome, Florence, and Assisi; but the culmination of his trip was the week of the Passion Play at Oberammergau.
Incense was used for the first time in Christ Church on Christmas Day, 1910, at the children's Mass. The censer is historic, being the first one used in the American Church about 1870, in New York City. For some [111/112] years it was in the possession of the late Father. O. S. Prescott, who, in 1905, gave it to Christ Church. Feeling that the use of incense not only adds greatly to the beauty and impressiveness of divine worship, but knowing also that it has "the sanction of the Holy Scripture, ecclesiastical authority and ancient usage," Father Burgess wished to introduce it at our services; but as well as any other outward form of worship he wanted it above all to express the inward devotion of his congregation. He reminded them that St. Matthew considered the gifts of frankincense and myrrh worthy of record, and that St. John included the offering of incense in his description of the Heavenly worship.
"In the English Church, in the seventeenth century, when Puritanism was at its height, Bishop Andrews continued to use it at Winchester Cathedral; and in the eighteenth century, when Churchmen were horribly afraid of Rome, it was used at Ely and elsewhere. Too many men have felt the need of this symbol of prayer and purification for the English Church entirely to neglect it, even at the times when she was farthest from her ideal . . . . It only becomes a bugbear when one thinks something about it that does not properly belong to it. The Russo-Greek Orthodox Christians sometimes suspect us of being Romish because we do not use incense at every service as they do in the East. As a matter of fact it is not the private property of any one branch of the Church, but of all, to be used as each sees fit . . . . May the time come speedily when we shall be sufficiently wise men to offer continuously to our Lord the first gift which he accepted; when the worship of the American Church as a whole will be patterned after that thus set forth by St. John: ‘And an angel came and [112/113] stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints . . . . And the smoke of the incense . . . ascended up before God.' "
On May 3, 1911, St. Hilda's House was publicly opened. The two deaconesses who started it, Mary S. Johnson and myself, [Josephine A. Lyon.] had first thought of the plan as a result of meeting at a retreat at Peekskill in the summer of 1909. It was our intention to establish and provide for a place where a certain body of women, being deaconesses, could live a life of devotion and humble service. It was also to be a house where women guests might come for short periods of time and there find rest and refreshment, as well as the privileges of an adjacent church. Its first home was II Lake Place, where we gathered together a group of Associates who gave much practical help and, we believe,. received the spiritual inspiration that the house was meant to give. A yearly retreat was offered the associates on St. Hilda's Day, November i 7th, and Bishop Brewster, who had been sympathetic from the first, invited all the deaconesses of the diocese to meet him at the first retreat, when his brother, the Bishop of Colorado, gave the meditations. The retreats continued and were enlarged in scope until they became a regular yearly parish event, generally held on the Sunday nearest St. Hilda's Day. One rule for the associates was the monthly intercession, and, as Father Burgess wished it extended to include the parish, this was done and has continued steadily for more than a quarter of a century.
 During March we were moving our "lares and penates" to 80 Broadway, and, on April 1st, we took full possession. The Rector said the first Mass in our little chapel, and left there the Blessed Sacrament to be reserved; after which he led a procession through the house, and with holy water and incense exorcised and blessed every room. In the procession were Father Hatch, the Rev. Arthur Kinney, who was both assistant and curate of Christ Church for many faithful years, Miss Nellie Fenton, Eliza Morton, and the two residents. About this time, by the process of elimination, the house received its name, St. Hilda's House.
We have been allied with the great spiritual guilds of the Church: with the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, since 1914, when the Ward was organized; and with the Guild of All Souls when a branch was started in the parish. While we still retained our separate relation to outside guests, we were definitely parish deaconesses and identified with Christ Church and many of its activities.
On Christmas Day, 1911, was initiated what proved in later years to be a considerable addition to the church fabric and an aid to Lenten devotions. Several friends of the Rector who were in the habit of making him small gifts, put the amount of these together, and gave him a sum of money to spend as he wished. Knowing his desire that stations of the Cross should be placed in the church, it was intimated that if he chose to start a fund toward this, it would not be an unwelcome thought to any of the donors. At the beginning the stations were planned to be made of wood, carved and painted, at a cost of approximately $100 each. At a later date Caen stone to match the reredos was felt [114/115] to be in far better keeping with the church structure, and so was chosen at an expenditure of nearer $1,000 apiece. The congregation rallied and decided to give these with the chancel window as the parish memorial to Father Burgess; but it looked like a long wait. Then came the death of Miss Grace Martin Fogg, a devout church-woman and a lover of Christ Church, who left in her will a bequest to complete the Stations, eleven of which are in memory of her father, Ezra D. Fogg, and herself. One had been given by Mrs. Thomas and another by Mr. William Garland, beside the very first one in memory of Father Burgess given with the money Zephine Humphrey received from the Atlantic Monthly for her sketch (quoted in part at the beginning of this chapter).
With the Rev. Floyd Kenyon of Christ Church, West Haven, Father Burgess started, in 1911, a summer camp for Episcopal boys and young men of the whole diocese. Crystal Lake, near Middletown, was the place chosen, and it proved an ideal spot for the camp. There were about seventy enthusiastic young people in attendance, representing nine different parishes. Two services a day, morning and night, were held, but the greatest and most inspiring event of all the week took place early on Sunday mornings. At six o'clock all the members of the camp assembled on the hill overlooking the still lake, and the sun rose over the hills as the service was begun with the hymn: "When morning gilds the skies, My heart awaking cries, May Jesus Christ be praised." The camp not only brought the young men of different parishes closer together, but the services and talks aroused a deeper interest in their [115/116] religion and helped each boy to realize that he belonged to the whole Church and not simply to one parish.
Recently referring to their work together, Dr. Kenyon said of Father Burgess: "He was one of the half dozen rare souls I have known in my entire life. There was no touch of worldliness. Christ was first, and everything else came after, yet his Churchman's viewpoint was exceedingly sane. After all the years he still remains for me a deep pond of still water."
In Christ Church it had been the custom that every family was called upon by the clergy at least once a year, and Father Burgess, who felt that no man who was not endowed with supernatural energy should even think of entering the priesthood, never failed to seek out his people in health as well as in sickness. Singularly gentle and quietly winning, he built up, even in those who differed from him most widely, a respect and affection which time only increased.
It had been the Rector's hope to reserve the Sacrament permanently in the church as soon as a suitable sanctuary lamp could be obtained. "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men." In March, 1912, Mrs. Ada Lockwood gave the lamp in memory of her mother, a faithful communicant of the parish, and the bowl of the lamp bears the inscription: "In loving memory of Martha Ann Leland. ‘The Lord shall be thine everlasting light.' " It was Father Burgess' last public act to dedicate it on the feast of the Annunciation; and, when the women of the Sanctuary Chapter came after evensong to change the white hangings in the chapel to the Lenten violet, they found him kneeling there. "Wait a while," he whispered, "this is a great day for [116/117] the parish." So they left him in the silence of his prayers.
He became ill that night and died a week later of pneumonia, and so it was that again, after little more than three years, Christ Church was called upon to mourn a loved rector. They again met their sorrow with the temper which had long been held before them: of the Christ reigning from the Cross. The parish was much helped over these sad days by Father Lorey, of the Order of the Holy Cross, and they deeply appreciated the concession of the Superior in waiving the rule that every member should be at the Monastery over Easter.
The funeral was held in the morning of Easter Even, preceded by a requiem at eight o'clock. From nine until ten the body, clad in priest's vestments, lay in state beneath the west window, with acolytes kneeling at either end. About the bier burned six tapers, and behind it were massed the flowers sent by parishioners and friends. At ten o'clock the coffin, covered with a pall, upon which rested his biretta and eucharistic stole, was borne into the choir preceded by acolytes. The pallbearers were members of the vestry.
The Bishop of the Diocese, vested in cope, and following his chaplains, intoned the opening sentences of the burial office as the procession approached the chancel. Following this service, a solemn high requiem was sung; the Bishop assisting pontifically. The celebrant was Father Barnes, of Grace Church, Newark; the deacon, Father Schleuter, of St. Luke's Church, New York; the sub-deacon, Father Howell, of St. Paul's Church, Norwalk.
 The deep-toned funeral bell, on which is inscribed: "O ye Spirits and Souls of the Righteous, bless ye the Lord, praise Him and magnify Him for ever," was tolled as the coffin was borne from the church; the flag on the Green was lowered to half-mast, and all business in the adjacent streets was suspended. Coming out from the service, the feeling, as several expressed it, was that they had heard, not a dirge, but a song of triumph.
Father Burgess' last sermon, preached three days before he was taken ill, was a clear-cut, logical discourse on the sacrament of penance; and this was printed at length in the New Haven Register of May 5th. He had concluded with these words: "The church will make a great mistake, and so shall we as individuals, if we allow this matter to be slurred over and avoided--if we are satisfied to have the clergy prophesy peace, peace, where there is no peace. The Church's work is to make men feel the need of and to seek that forgiveness which our Lord so freely offers, the indispensable condition of our true peace and union with our Heavenly Father."
The Rev. Maxwell Ganter, who had been curate for less than a year, was placed in charge of the parish, and all spiritual matters were referred to him. In November, the subject of a dispensary in connection with Christ Church was discussed and acted upon, and, on December loth, the dispensary was opened in the Parish House. A committee consisting of Mr. Elliott Morse, Mr. E. B. Lewis, and Mr. Charles Cornwall was appointed by the vestry to meet with those interested in the work, and who had been instrumental in starting it. They were Father Ganter, Miss Little, the [118/119] superintendent of Grace Hospital, Dr. Adelaide Lambert, and myself.
The policy of the dispensary as outlined was to help the poor who came to us by medical advice, medicine, sympathy, and social betterment—to make them feel that we had a personal interest in them, and that they were not merely cases, or, what is worse, case numbers. Being an experiment, the work was run on an extremely economical basis. Those who could paid ten cents; but no one was refused advice or medicine.
In the first year there were one hundred forty-seven patients, and in the following year this number had increased to four hundred twenty-one. The doctors who gave their services during that time were Dr. Eugene Blake, Dr. Diefendorf, Dr. Ferguson, Dr. Lang, and Dr. Nugent. Miss Margaret Lewis, who worked with the Dispensary as a trained nurse and social worker, before entering the Order of St. Anne, was most valuable. She visited 155 families, and for each one made out a card showing its real condition. Also through her visits to dispensary patients, children who had lapsed from the Sunday School were discovered and brought back. And one family who belonged to no church was brought into ours.
Dr. Lambert, who was untiring in her self-sacrificing work, reported in 1915 that over a thousand patients had been prescribed for. Occasionally some one came who needed a kind word and a little sympathy more than medicine; all were cared for in a true Christian spirit. Those whose condition called for a specialist, we endeavored to put in the way of getting the needed attention; and now and then we were encouraged by hearing of our "kindness" to the people who came to us. [119/120] Dr. Lambert continued her interest in the dispensary until her death on December 7th, 1917, after which Dr. Nugent carried on for some time.
On the feast of the Ascension, 1912, there was held the first acolyte service of Solemn Evensong with Procession. Invitations were sent to all the servers of Connecticut and to their clergy, as had been Father Burgess' intention before he died, and the response was most encouraging. A Guild for the Acolytes of Christ Church had been formally organized October 28, 1906. Father Burgess, then curate, was the director, and Professor C. S. Baldwin the vice-director. There were twenty servers in all who belonged to the guild at its inception.
In December, 1912, was discovered, hidden away in one of the cupboards of the sacristy, a very old and handsome silver ciborium, on which was engraved: "Franciscus Cuttone Sumptibus Proprys Erigendum Curavit. 1627" This was taken into use on Sunday mornings.Among Father Burgess' correspondence there was found a letter concerning designs for seven lamps to be placed high over the altar rail in the Sanctuary of the church. The idea of such lamps is taken from the Book of Revelation iv: 5, and they are symbolical of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon us at Confirmation. On Whitsunday, 1925, before the early Mass, the seven lamps were blessed; they, with a larger one hanging in the center, before the high Altar and only lit to denote the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, were the generous gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Day Jackson, in loving memory of his mother, Katherine Perkins Day Jackson. The largest one is made from [121/122] a design drawn by Mr. Donald Robb to harmonize with the original ones which were procured in Florence, Italy. These two exquisite winged lamps are antique, while the others are such perfect reproductions that it is well nigh impossible to distinguish the fact that they were made in a different century.