Wednesday, 26 November 2014


St. Thomas More Catholic Church (STM) invites you to join them for the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols with Benediction on Tuesday, December 23 at 7:00 p.m. 

Long associated with the Anglican Church and in particular, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Scripture readings which tells the story of Christmas, beginning with the fall from grace, through the promise of the Messiah up to the birth of the Christ, interspersed with carols, hymns and anthems.

With this service of Lessons and Carols, St. Thomas More reaches back to the rich legacy of its Anglican heritage in words and music and combines this with that most Catholic of devotions, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The service promises to be a wonderful way to start Christmas.

Directed by Peter Mahon, the choir of St. Thomas More will lead the singing.  This ensemble consists of members who sing with some of the finest choirs in Canada, including:  the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Tafelmusik, The Elmer Iseler Singers and The Elora Festival Singers.  

Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter, called it one of the finest church choirs in North America.  Check the church website, for the music list for the service which will be posted in the next few days.

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is fully a part of the Catholic Church. Established under the authority of Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Ordinariates in countries around the world allow groups of Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church while retaining elements of their liturgies and traditions. 

The Ordinariates were established principally in response to requests from  Anglicans to be received into full communion. Many Protestants have also entered the communion of the Church through this ministry of the New Evangelization. Recently, Pope Francis extended the mandate of the Ordinariates to include catechizing baptized Catholics who have not been confirmed. Of course, all Catholics can fulfill their weekly obligation by assisting at an Ordinariate Sunday Mass.

In response to Pope Benedict’s welcome to unity, a group of interested people began meeting for prayer and discussion at the Newman Centre on the campus of the University of Toronto.  In early 2012, at the suggestion of Cardinal Collins himself, representatives of the group approached Paroisse Sacré-Coeur about making a home there.  L’Abbé Justin and the parish welcomed them warmly and the first Mass was held in May of that year. Sung Mass has been celebrated every Sunday afternoon since at 1:45 pm.  

At first, Masses were celebrated by Fr. Eric Rodrigues, the Cardinal’s Executive Assistant, assisted by other diocesan priests.  However, in late 2013, Fr. John Hodgins and Fr. James Tilley were ordained to the diaconate by Cardinal Collins and in December, to the priesthood by Archbishop Prendergast in Ottawa. 

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter covers all of North America.  St. Thomas More belongs to the Canadian deanery within the Ordinariate. On November 9 just past, STM was raised to the status of Quasi or Mission Parish.  Though small, since its inception, STM has seen steady growth.  In addition to the regular parish choir, the mission has now established a children’s choir, which is open to members of the wider community.

The Mission Parish of St. Thomas More can be found at Paroisse Sacré-Coeur, 381 Sherbourne St. Toronto at the corner of Sherbourne and Carlton. 

Sung Mass is at 1:45 pm every Sunday. 

The service of Nine Lessons and Carols with Benediction is Tuesday, December 23 at 7:00. 

Christmas Eve Sung Mass is at 4:00 pm – Families and children are most welcome at this early Christmas Eve celebration.

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