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.