An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Church of St Mary the Virgin, New York City

Ritualistic parish. This parish was founded in 1868 by the Rev. Thomas McKee Brown to be a free church in the full tradition of catholic faith and worship. The original building, erected on West 45th Street on property given by John Jacob Astor, was dedicated on Dec. 8, 1870. The growth of the parish led to the building of the present church near Times Square on Broadway. The new church, one of the finest examples of thirteenth-century French Gothic in America, was dedicated on its patronal festival in 1895 by Bishop Grafton of Fond du Lac. From its foundation the parish enjoyed great celebrity for its ritual. It has been called “Smoky Mary's” because incense is used abundantly at certain services. The mission house of the parish has maintained a vital ministry to the surrounding urban community.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.