Friday, March 20, 2015. 9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Grace Art Glass Treasures of Toronto: a FREE tour of art glass 

Led by Sarah Hall, RCA
Sarah Hall was born in Dundas, Ontario, Canada in 1951.  She studied in the Architectural Glass Department at Swansea College of Art in Wales, UK and followed this with an internship with Lawrence Lee, master at the Royal College of Art in London.  After completing studies in the U.K., Sarah spent a year in Jerusalem studying Middle Eastern techniques in glass. Her work has received numerous awards for outstanding liturgical art. The American Institute of Architects has awarded Sarah several ‘Honor Awards’ in light of her challenging and creative installations within contemporary church architecture.
In 2002, Sarah was elected into membership of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art.  Her exceptional contribution to the built environment was honored in 1997 by the Ontario Association of Architects “Allied Arts Award.” In 2005, Sarah received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship to research and integrate photovoltaic technology (solar energy collection cells) into her art glass installations. This unique fusion of art and technology is the first of its’ kind in North America.Sarah has established her studio in Toronto and keeps a busy schedule with lectures, exhibitions and projects which span a wide range of communities and architectural settings.

  • 9:30 am: presentation by Sarah Hall (Emmanuel College, room 302) 
  • 10:30 am: walk to Massey College 
  • 11:00 am: view and discuss Sarah’s windows at Massey College 
  • 11:45 am: buy your own lunch nearby 
  • 12:30 pm: free transportation to Rosedale United Church 
  • 1:00 pm: view and discuss windows by Sarah and others at Rosedale United  
  • 2:00 pm: presentation by Sarah at Rosedale United 
  • 2:45 pm: free transportation to Sherbourne subway stop

Reserve your spot now (space is limited!) by emailing by Tuesday, March 17, 9:00 am

Wednesday, February 25, 2015. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Hegelianized Calvin:
Re-Examining Calvin’s Place in the Separation of Art from Religion

by Dr. Rebekah Smick. Associate Professor of Philosophy of the Arts and Culture
Institute for Christian Studies in the Toronto School of Theology. BA (Brandeis University). MA (Columbia University). PhD (University of Toronto)

Rebekah Smick specializes in pre-Kantian art theory and criticism, in particular the relation of early modern visual arts theory to poetics and rhetoric in the Western tradition. Her research and teaching investigate the aesthetic values of beauty and grace in the early modern period, the link between knowledge and imagination, the aesthetic function of metaphor, and the place of compassion. She is especially interested in delineating the connections made during the early modern period between aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics, and theology. She is author of Antiquity and Its Interpreters (Cambridge UP, 2000) and is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Michelangelo’s Vatican Pietà as Image in the Theology and Aesthetics of Compassion.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Grace in a Place

The Sacramental Facilitation of Physical Access for People with Disabilities in Ecclesial Spaces

by Michael Alexander Walker, M.T.S., Th.M. Th.D. Candidate (Knox College)

Christians with disabilities often find ecclesial spaces inhospitable, because such places are created with only normalized body-types in mind. For instance, steps and hard surfaces can hinder or constrain people with mobility issues, while hymnals lack Braille and large print for those who are blind or visually impaired. Nonetheless, as a Christian constructive theologian with cerebral palsy, I assert that these physical conditions can change. Baptism and Holy Communion can facilitate dialogue about physical access to ecclesial spaces for people with disabilities: they allow Christians with various levels of ability, conversing passionately across difference, to explore the capacities of people with disabilities to receive dignity from the spaces that we inhabit, and to give dignity back to our communities using our gifts.
The sacraments can create this space for material access. Because baptism represents human equality in Christ (see Galatians 3:28), it can attest the importance of universal-design principles for church sanctuaries. All people, particularly people with disabilities, possess the right to buildings with ramps, non-slip flooring, and adequate lighting. Furthermore, Holy Communion entails vulnerability to and solidarity with the plight of people who are oppressed, those who suffer unduly in the world. By pointing out the needs of those who hunger or lack clothing or shelter, Communion demands that Christians provide all users of their spaces with satisfactory food, heat, and light. God’s love can flourish in accessible ecclesial spaces where people with and without disabilities can feel communal and transformative acceptance.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Prayer, Praise and Postcoloniality: Rethinking Liturgy in Canada

by Dr Sarah Travis (Knox College)

Postcolonial theories have been brought into dialogue with many fields in recent decades, including biblical and theological studies.  Even more recently, liturgical scholars have begun to wonder about the relationship among postcolonial theories and worship practice.  This seminar will ponder this relationship with specific reference to the contemporary Canadian context.  What critiques and cautions are brought into the space of worship from a postcolonial perspective?  In what sense does liturgy interact with key postcolonial themes such as identity and hybridity?                                    

Rev. Dr. Sarah Travis is Minister-in-Residence at Knox College, where she also teaches courses in the areas of preaching and worship.  Her forthcoming book will be published by Wipf and Stock and is entitled Decolonizing Preaching: The Pulpit as Postcolonial Space.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Singing, Prayer, and Sacrifice:
The Neo-Platonic Revival of Musica Humana
in the Swiss Reformation

by Dr Hyun-Ah Kim (Trinity College)

Dr Hyun-Ah Kim is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in the University of Toronto and teaches at Trinity College in U. of T. and the Toronto School of Theology.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

From Vancouver to Busan: Promises and Challenges in Ecumenical Worship since 1983

by Dr. Andrew Donaldson (Consultant in Worship and Spirituality, WCC, Geneva)

The worship that took place in the tent at the 6th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver in 1983 opened up fresh possibilities in ecumenical liturgy and global song. This presentation will sketch some key turning points in the use of global song in North America since 1983. We will also consider some of the changes – the new possibilities and the fresh challenges –  that global song has brought to ecumenical liturgies.

Dr. Andrew Donaldson, Worship Consultant to the World Council of Churches
Co-editor of The Book of Praise for the Presbyterian
 Church in Canada and a past-president of the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, Andrew received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree
 from Knox College in 2007 for his work in congregational song.

 Andrew works with the World Council of Churches in the area of worship and spirituality. Last year, along with Dr. Lim Swee Hong, he helped create and facilitate daily worship at the world-wide gathering of the WCC in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Friday, February 28, 2014. 1:30 - 2:45 pm - Special TST Liturgy Seminar and Concert in collaboration with the Tallis Choir of Toronto

Let us sit and tell sad stories of the deaths of Kings: How to Bury a Medieval King in 2014

by Douglas Cowling MA - Musical Dramaturge for the Tallis Choir

The discovery of the bones of Richard III in 2012 unleashed a flood of interest in medieval funerary customs and a spirited public debate about where and how the much-maligned king should be reinterred. As part of the historical commemoration of the event, the Tallis Choir is recreating a requiem mass as it may have been celebrated by Richard III's sister, Margaret of Burgundy. He may have been buried secretly in England, but he had a royal funeral in Burgundy. The polyphonic requiem was invented by the Franco-Flemish school of Ockhegem and Brumel and gives students of the liturgy an opportunity to hear the lavish obsession with death that seems to overwhelm the late 15th century.  

Douglas Cowling is a writer, musician and educator in Toronto who has written on the relationship between medieval liturgy and English religious drama. He is the co-author of Sharing the Banquet: Liturgical Renewal in Your Parish and a contributor to Let Us Keep the Feast. He edited two collections of global music for liturgical use in Let Us Make Music Together, and his own music has been published by CHC in the USA. His children’s symphony show, Tchaikovsky Discovers America was recently performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is Director of Music at St. Philip’s Church, Etobicoke, and musical dramaturge for the Tallis Choir of Toronto.

Concert: “Requiem for Richard III” with the Tallis Choir of Toronto, Saturday, March 1, 2014 7:30pm, St. Patrick’s Church, 141 McCaul St (north of Dundas). For more information see:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

May The Angels Lead You Into Paradise: Medieval Liturgical Expressions of Eschatology

by Rebecca Spellacy (Trinity College)

A joint session with the TST Patristics Seminar. 

“Who I was, you are. Who I am, you will be. Pray for me”. This Medieval admonishment from the dead to the living reminds all who would read it of two very important things, the inevitability of death, and the necessity of prayer for the departed.  This presentation will concern itself with the liturgical prayers around the death of a Christian in the Middle Ages and how the prayers for the dead reflected the theology, both popular and established, of the day. It will demonstrate a development and continuity of the related liturgies in relationship to the eschatology of the time that still allowed for local adaption. Ultimately, it will attempt to show that the prayers for the dead exhibit a deep ecclesial and personal response to an eschatology that could at times prove both hopeful and hopeless.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Eucharistic Celebration of the Didache: A Jewish Apocalyptic Messianic Banquet

by Rev. Dr. Harold E. Shepherd (Anglican Archdioceses of Toronto)

A joint session with the TST Patristics Seminar.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The unforgiven: Judaism’s struggle with forgiveness and the implications for liturgical expression

by Rabbi Steven Saltzman (Adath Israel Congregation)

Unlike Christianity and Islam, religions with well defined notions of forgiveness, Judaism lives with an excruciating ambivalence about the real possibilities of forgiveness. The very definition of forgiveness is debated in biblical and rabbinic sources and Jews today in North America struggle to understand the real possibilities of forgiveness both in daily life and in national terms especially with regard to the Shoah. This tension between forgiveness as a real possibility on the one hand and forgiveness as an impossibility on the other hand informs our liturgy which on a daily basis avoids the polar extremes in favour of a practical approach to forgiveness.  We will explore some of these issues in the seminar.

Rabbi Steven Saltzman serves as a Senior Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation. He holds a doctorate in Hebrew literature from JTS and is a Fellow at both the Shalom Hartman Institute and Harvard Divinity School.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Women and the Diaconate: Biblical & Patristic Perspective

by Rev. Marcos Ramos O.P., B.A., M.A., M.Div, Th.M., Ph.D. cand. (St. Michael’s College) and Ramana Konantz M.T.S. cand. (St. Michael’s College)

The issue of the ordination of women as deacons has again come to the fore in the theological and liturgical reflection of several Christian denominations. For this conversation to be fruitful, it is necessary to be mindful of the history of the Christian tradition and the undeniable evidence of the existence of women deacons in both the Eastern and Western churches until the twelfth century. This presentation will give a brief overview of scriptural references to women deacons, the existence, ministry and ordination rites of women deacons in the Eastern and Western Churches, and reasons for the disappearance of the official ministry of women deacons in the Middle Ages.

Rev. Marcos RAmos, BA, MA, M.Div, is a doctoral candidate at St. Michael's College and Dominican Friar, superior of the Dominicans’ Aquinas House in Toronto. 
Ramand Konataz. is M.T.S. candidate at St. Michael's College. Ramana did her thesis on women and the diaconate, specifically on the figure of the "apostle" Junia in Romans.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Flash Mob as Postmodern Ritual: Implications for Liturgy

by Rev. Jennifer Weetman, BA, MDiv, STM  (Doctoral Student in Homiletics, Emmanuel College)

Is ritual in postmodernity dead? Have examples of ritual been reduced to mere ritualized behavior, like the rush hour commute, or limited to explicitly religious ritual like liturgy? Does ritual itself have the ability to carry any weight, any depth of meaning and affective impact, in a secular postmodern context? And, if so, what can we learn from it that translates into faithful and effective liturgical ritual? Join us, as we explore these questions (and more!) through the lens of the flash mob.

Rev. Jennifer Weetman, BA, MDiv, STM, is a doctoral student in homiletics at Emmanuel College and a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor. Following theological studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, she served congregations in New Jersey, Georgia and California. She was the winner of the national David H. C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award, and wrote her STM thesis on biblical hermeneutics, preaching, and the ways in which sermon audiences hear pericope texts in worship. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The setting of Asian hymns in recent American hymnals by Swee Hong Lim
by Dr. Swee Hong Lim,  (Deer Park Assistant Professor of Sacred Music
Director of Master of Sacred Music, Emmanuel College)

This examination of the place of Asian hymns in US-based hymnals published in the last few years will include a discussion of the trends of hymn selection and an exploration of implications, such as the relationship between the lingua franca of the United States and the ethnic language of the hymns, and the lack of representation of certain ethnic groups.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Abbot Hildemar and Benedictine Liturgy in the Ninth Century
by Jesse D. Billett - A.B., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College)

The liturgical forms that dominated in the Western Church down to the Reformation (and which survive today in the traditional liturgies still approved for use in the Catholic Church) were largely the result of a creative fusion of texts and customs that originated separately in either Rome or Frankish Gaul, a fusion effected partly as a result of the ecclesiastical policies of the early Carolingian kings in the eighth and ninth centuries.  Among the fruits of the Frankish liturgical reforms was a distinctively "monastic" way of performing the liturgy -- especially the Divine Office (the Liturgy of the Hours).  One of the most valuable sources on the creation of this Frankish Benedictine liturgy is a commentary on the rule of St. Benedict by a Frankish monk, Hildemar, written in the mid-ninth-century for students at the abbey of San Pietro al Monte in Civate, near Milan -- a text with a complex transmission history that has never been properly edited, but which is in process of receiving a collaborative translation.  Hildemar can write with grammatical pedantry (his preferred tone), polemical ferocity, or spiritual ecstasy, and his commentary gives us a glimpse of a controversy between Frankish monks about what it meant to follow the Rule of St. Benedict faithfully.  A traditionalist party favoured continuity with earlier customs (believed to be Roman) that they shared with cathedral canons and other diocesan clergy.  An advanced reforming party (of which Hildemar is a representative), urged strict conformity with the Rule in even minor liturgical details.  The reformers ultimately prevailed, first in the Frankish kingdoms, and later throughout Western Europe.mment on this new history and the related commentary.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

More Abundant and Varied: Looking at the Links between two Twentieth Century Lectionaries
by Dr. Fred Graham, PhD.  (Associate Professor Emeritus - Faculty of Theology - Emmanuel College of Victoria University)

The dates 1963 and 1978 point to significant turning points in congregational life for Roman Catholic as well as for Protestant and Reformed Churches. In 1963, the Second Vatican Council convened and a year later announced the preparation of a new lectionary containing “more abundant, varied, and appropriate reading of the sacred scriptures.” Reformed and Protestant bodies soon picked up the idea, and in 1978 convened an ecumenical and international consultation in Washington to emulate the success of the Ordo Lectionum Missae adopted by Roman Catholics. The result was the Common Lectionary (1983) and the Revised Common Lectionary (1992). Dr. Fred Graham was a member of the editorial committee (1988-92) for the RCL, and is a past chair of the Consultation on Common Texts who published it. His new account of why it looks the way it does is now available from Fortress Press. He will comment on this new history and the related commentary.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

An Examination of Luther's Taufbüchlein and Deutsche Messe: Liturgical Reform in Moderation
by Rev. C. Pierson Shaw, Jr., BS, MDiv, STM, STL PhD Student  (Faculty of Theology - St. Michael’s College)

Some of the most enduring elements of the liturgical reform are preserved both in Martin Luther’s Baptismal rite, published in 1523 with a revision published in 1526, and the German translation of the Mass or the Deutsche Messe of 1526. While these liturgies have themselves undergone significant reform over the past five centuries, much of the liturgical and theological thinking which inspired their development by the Augustinian Wittenberg Reformer have profoundly impacted baptismal and Eucharistic Liturgies and practice across the Traditions of the Western Church. While Luther redacted these liturgies from 16th medieval forms, none the less, the revisions show a pattern of “reform in moderation”, more common to the Wittenberg theologians. In other words, while these liturgies reveal a solidly evangelical character, they remain at the same time strongly catholic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Surprises in a Ukrainian Euchology: Wedding Rites in a 16th-century Trebnyk from the Stefanyk Library in Lviv
by Prof. Rev. Peter Galadza, PhD.  ( Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University - Ottawa)

Prof. Galadza will analyze the wedding rite found in a 16th-century Western Ukrainian euchology. Especially from the perspective of present-day usage, the rite is significantly different, with several fascinating features. The euchology (trebnyk) under consideration is the first in a series of manuscripts that have been transcribed for the Slavonic-English Analytical Catalogue of Liturgical Manuscripts in Ukrainian Repositories (SEACLMUR) compiled by Prof. Galadza, and supported by a major SSHRC grant.

Prof. Peter Galadza is Kule Family Professor of Liturgy at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

A New “Soft Spot”: The Structure and Placement of Baptismal and Marriage Rites In Post-Vatican-II Eucharistic Liturgy
by Prof. Christian McConnell, PhD.  (Faculty of Theology - St. Michael’s College)

The rites of baptism and marriage are often celebrated within the context of Eucharistic liturgies. Since Vatican II, a frequent feature of Roman Catholic structures for these rites has been the compression of multiple moments into a single moment, and the placement of the whole rite after the homily. This presentation will critically examine the structure of these rites in Sunday Eucharist, occasional celebrations, and the Easter Vigil, in comparison with historical precedents, and assess the ritual effectiveness of different structures.