Sunday, August 30, 2009

A field guide to Toronto Anglo-Catholicism with New York as a reference

*St Thomas's, Huron Street ≈ St Thomas, Fifth Avenue
*St Mary Magdalene ≈ St Mary the Virgin
*St Bartholomew's ≈ Resurrection
*St Martin-in-the-Fields ≈ St Luke in the Fields
*St Matthias, Bellwoods ≈ Trinity Church (?)


Anonymous said...

Having lived in Manhattan, I am not sure your parallels are entirely accurate.

First - the two St T's are ENTIRELY different. The endowment of the NYC version along with its choir school and building are enormous and singular. The music in NYC is with men and boys, not mixed, and more traditionally English with a dose of contemporary US composers added. The liturgy is more traditional too with smoke used only on high feasts. The preaching is much briefer in Manhattan and the staff starting with the Rector, Fr Mead, is generally far more conservative and decisive. Women do not appear in the St T's NYC sanctuary as servers or "priests." You might better compare St T's in its current state of transition to the liberal Catholic neighbourhood parish of St Ignatius on the Upper West Side under the controversial yet erudite Fr Blum.

SMV is even more liberal than SMM, with vastly better and more diverse music, more precise serving, resident Sisters and an ethos as distinctively American as SMM's is distinctively Canadian at least in terms of its Willan heritage. Also SMV is located just off Times Square while SMM is in an ethnic lower-middle-class neighbourhood.

Resurrection is more richly appointed and socially upscale by far than St Bart's - each representative of the neighbourhood in which it is located. Res. also has an attached school which provides advantages of income and liveliness to s amsll parish. Its priest is a militant Catholic of some repute.

Finally you cannot possibly compare the wealthiest parish in ECUSA, Trinity Wall Street, with the impoverished St Matthias. Trinity has gone uber liberal/left ("Clown Mass" et al), has a large staff and a definite political agenda pursued via its choice of projects to fund in Africa and elsewhere. It also sent the musical establishment into fits by opting to have the largest (I think) electronic organ ever built (at least in a church) to replace its pipe organ - when it well could have afforded the latter.

frdougal said...

This is slightly baffling for us over the Pond. Any chance of a UK parallel guide?

Geoff said...

St T's doesn't allow women priests either, though, although there is a woman subdeacon at the moment. In any event, I only meant that St T's had the more Prayer Book Catholic, high-English style in Toronto.

Resurrection, like St Bart's, seems to be the trad AC, English Hymnal, minor propers type of place.

I don't know much about Trinity Wall Street: I defer to your knowledge thereof.

Geoff said...

The New York one was by reputation to begin with.

Freely inviting correction, I'd say:

*St Thomas's - All Saints Margaret Street-ish?
*SMM - I want to say LSM Cambridge, but perhaps they're ad orientem? Affirming, traditional language order in the BAS with Roman minor propers, mix of Fortescue and Elliott ceremonial.
*St Bart's - Don't know. The English equivalent would be a parish that used 1662 with the usual Anglo-Catholic alterations (prayer of oblation to complete the canon, e.g.), and the English Hymnal for minor propers.
*St Martin's - Southwark Cathedral, I reckon.
*St Matthias - No idea. It's a small modern Anglo-Papalist (but women priest friendly and within the rubrics of the BAS) neighbourhood parish church in a downmarket area.

frdougal said...

SMM sounds abit like St Michael and All Saints Edinburgh which faces east.
St Bart's - St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill where Percy Dearmer was.

Geoff said...

Well, SMM is westward-facing at Solemn Mass, and St Bart's is a bit Roman in flavour for SMVPH, I should think.

frdougal said...

In which case SMM might be more like Old St Paul's Edinburgh!

Anonymous said...

Primrose Hill, one is told, is losing its distinctiveness under the new incumbent. How sad that many meddling priests cannot leave well enough alone !

Geoff said...

I had heard that Primrose Hill was no longer quite the laboratory parish of The Parson's Handbook. I should still very much like to visit St John's in the Village, Baltimore.