Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Readers in the Greater Toronto Area might be interested to know that on Monday 7 December at 5.15pm, the Lord's Supper will be celebrated in Trinity College Chapel according to the rite of 1552. Communicants should notify the Dean of their intention in advance at d DOT neelands AT utoronto DOT ca.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pontifical High Mass at St Matthias, Bellwoods

The Lord Bishop of Toronto celebrated and preached at St Matthias, Bellwoods, today. The Mass was Willan's Sancta Maria Magdalena. St Matthias tends to follow modern Roman ceremonial, and thus there was no deacon or subdeacon, but the rector concelebrated.

In his sermon, Bishop Johnson recalled the last time he functioned liturgically at St Matthias - as a deacon, in 1977. It was the Litany in Procession and High Mass in Advent, according to the Use of Sarum, under Fr Gregory Lee. Then Deacon Johnson's maniple slid off in the course of the liturgy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Nativity of the BVM

I went to St John's Convent yesterday for the 125th anniversary of the order's foundation. The primate celebrated Mass and preached.

Unusually, perhaps due to the larger crowd this year and concerns over sensitivities, there was no incense. The setting (Gloria and Sanctus only) was Margaret Rizza's Mass of the Bread of Life. The primate wore a chasuble and mitre, and carried a crosier. The "assistant," a nun in priest's orders, vested in dalmatic and read the Gospel and the intercessions that had been interpolated into the Eucharistic Prayer.

Several secular priests were present, as well as the neighbouring communities of the Order of the Holy Cross and the Community of the Sisters of the Church. Bishop Colin Johnson, the convent's visitor, was not present, but I saw Bishop Ann Tottenham, visitor to Holy Cross Priory.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What do Reformed Episcopalians do, anyway?

I'm just back from Hamilton, where I visited St George's Reformed Episcopal Church for Communion Sunday on the Labour Day weekend. The 1962 BCP was followed pretty faithfully, although options such as the Agnus Dei were not used. The hymnal was that of 1938, but again with more Evangelical choices. There was some added congregational participation - such as during the Thanksgiving after Communion and the Grace, interpolated Mattins-style at the end of the recessional hymn. Most bizarrely, the Prayer of Consecration was read in unison congregationally from the after the Words of Institution to the Doxology. I didn't recognize the Gloria. The Sanctus and Benedictus was said, and I missed the Decalogue, so couldn't say whether the responses were sung. (Our bus driver on the Hamilton Street Railway decided to stop at Tim Hortons while en route, so we ducked in during the Epistle). The acclamations before and after the Gospel were sung to an unfamiliar setting, as was the blessing over the alms.

Although it was decidedly low church, I would have no trouble returning to St George's on future visits to Hamilton for a change of pace. The people there are very friendly and the service was reverently executed. And they really do celebrate at the north end in surplice and tippet (although all paraments, including burse, veil, and super-frontal, were green).