Monday, July 20, 2009

A weekend in the Diocese of Niagara

This weekend I ventured out to the town of Dunnville, Ontario, for a house party with some young Anglican acquantiances et alia. It's a hassle to get out there: the bus to Hamilton is fairly straightforward, but getting from Hamilton to Dunnville necessarily involves the mercy of someone with a driver's licence.

For the first several hours there was a sort of pre-party made up of the inner sanctum of friends, as it were. For much of this time, I was the eldest guest, and I hit it off with the locals quite well. No one seemed troubled by the presence of a big-city queen; indeed, one lad told me I was "a pretty cool guy." Later more people arrived and the intimate atmosphere changed, but I kept myself close to my new acquaintances from the afternoon.

On Sunday morning I went to Mass at the parish church. Unfortunately, this was a modern-language Sunday, and instead of the BAS, they use a form of service based on Common Worship. This meant an alternative "affirmation of faith" in lieu of a Creed, a terrible Elton John-like praise chorus solo instead of a gradual, and a metrical Gloria. The celebrant faced east in surplice and stole (no chasuble because of the heat, I was told). I'll be sure to come back again for a BCP Sunday - perhaps even for monthly Mattins.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Taking my first Sunday service

Yesterday I made my debut as officiant at Sung Mattins at the Church of St Simon the Apostle. Straddling the economically disparate neighbourhoods of Rosedale and St Jamestown, and not far from the gay village, St Simon's is full of colourful characters but provides traditional language services sung congregationally with the support of an excellent choir. In yesterday's service, I read the sentence, sang all the responses, led the psalm and Creed, and read the Prayer of St Chrysostom. A priest led the confession and absolution, blessed the offering, read the Grace, and preached. The Venite, Te Deum, and Jubilate Deo were sung to Anglican chant by the congregation (the choir being on holiday for the summer). I look forward to getting my monthly dose of Mattins at St Simon's (see MW report in sidebar).

Off to St Thomas's for Evensong, where the retiring rector of the Church of St Mary Magdalene was guest officiant, and kindly conveyed Christ's blessing with the veiled ciborium at the conclusion of the service.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Breaking news

The background to and text of the new gender-neutral service for the Blessing of a Civil Marriage in the Diocese of Niagara can be found here. This rite will be available on a local-option basis beginning 1 September.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I have been looking for this on YouTube for about two years now. Simply fabulous!