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Cathedral Newsletter, December 7, 2017

Come sing the Messiah – Music and Readings for Christmas –Appeal for stewards during the Christmas season – “Let our eyes be opened,” a reflection from the Quiet Day – News about Bertrand Olivier and plans to welcome him – Bible study this Sunday and next Sunday – Participate in Amnesty’s international Write for Rights Day – Two services Sunday evening, – Prayers in a box: this week’s Spire Blog

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

Two wonderful musical events at the Cathedral this Saturday and next Sunday will herald the coming of the Christ child.


This Saturday at 4:30 pm you can participate in the annual Sing-Along Messiah, blending your voice with those of a massed choir of singers, accompanied by an orchestra of young musicians from the Schulich Music School of McGill University. Solo parts will be sung by professional musicians and Patrick Wedd will direct the performance. Bring your own score if you can, or borrow one from the table at the back of the Cathedral. Singers are sorted into 4 sections in the front pews, and audience members who are not singing are asked to sit in the side aisles. Patrick starts the event with a rehearsal of chorus parts, so don’t worry if you are a little rusty! Entrance to the event is free, but people are asked for a donation to cover the considerable costs of mounting this concert. Do come, do sing, do bring friends – we want to fill the Cathedral to capacity!


The second, quieter, but equally moving event is the candlelight Service of Music and Readings for Christmas on Sunday, December 17 at 4 pm.  This again is an annual, much-loved tradition and a great time to invite your friends to visit the Cathedral.


Imagine arriving at the Cathedral for one of the services or concerts only to find no one at the door to greet you and hand you a bulletin – inconceivable you might think, but it could be a reality unless a few volunteers step up. There has been a sign-up sheet at the back of the church, but still a lot of gaps. We need 4 stewards at each big service. You don’t need to have experience as a steward to volunteer. There is always an experienced person acting as captain and a verger on duty to deal with emergencies. The duties involve greeting people and handing out bulletins before the service starts and then during the service taking the collection and monitoring the flow to the communion stations. At the end of the service stewards put away hymn books and tidy the pews. So really the only qualification is a nice friendly smile – please share yours with the other stewards at one of these services:

Music and readings 4 pm Dec 17 – two more people

Christmas Eve 4 pm, Family service with pageant – two more people

Christmas Eve 7 pm French Mass – two people.

Christmas Eve 11 pm – three more people. At the moment we only have a captain.

In addition, Catherine St-Arnaud is looking for one or two more helpers for the Sing-along Messiah. Help is needed before and after the concert so volunteers are free to sing.

Please ">contact Catherine directly to give front of house help at the Messiah.

Sign the sheet at the back of the church for being a steward at one of the Christmas services, or email


Last Saturday some of us enjoyed a Quiet Day held in the Diocesan College and organized by Vivian Lewin and Jen Bourque. This week’s Spiritual Practice “Let Our Eyes Be Opened” is an awareness exercise shared by Veronica McDermott at the Quiet Day. You can use it to explore your response to a life situation, a scripture passage, a sermon.


We are all eagerly looking forward to the arrival of The Rev’d Bertrand Olivier, our new Rector and Dean, whose mandate begins on February 8th. His formal induction service, to be held on Sunday, March 11th, at 4:00 p.m. will, of course, be a major Cathedral and Diocesan event. Meanwhile, however, members of the Cathedral community will have an opportunity to welcome Bertrand into our parish family on Sunday, February 11th, at a lunch reception. On that day, the 10:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. services will be combined in a single bilingual service, to be followed by a reception in Fulford Hall. Natasha Henderson has graciously taken on the role of organizing this event. Volunteers to help with planning, food, and set-up are most welcome; please contact Natasha directly at or the Cathedral office at 514-843-6577, or email .



We received news about an honour conferred on Bertrand: The Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt. Rev’d Michael Lewis, announced today (December 7) that he is naming three new canons for St Paul’s Cathedral, Nicosia, Cyprus, including our future dean, Rev’d Bertrand Olivier.


Bible study continues this Sunday. Here is a handout for this week’s study to be led by Jane. In case you want to look ahead to the 17th (which I am leading) here are the readings and some thoughts/questions.


Also this Sunday, there is an important opportunity to support social justice by joining in Amnesty letter writing after the 10am Eucharist, perhaps before joining the bible study. Please bring your coffee to the letter-writing table to participate in Amnesty International’s massive international Write for Rights campaign. Every year, this campaign leads to the liberation of prisoners of conscience throughout the world. They need our support more than most of us can possibly imagine. This action is at the heart of the message of Advent.


There are two services this  Sunday evening, one traditional, the 4 pm Choral Evensong –a  jewel of Anglican liturgy and the other modern, the 6 pm the monthly bilingual evening Eucharist with contemporary music.

And don’t forget that we have three services a day Monday to Friday when prayer requests are lifted up to our compassionate God. In this week’s edition of the Spire blog Vivian wrote a moving article about these prayers, referring particularly to the requests placed in the box by the candlestand.

I hope you will be able to join us for some of the important services and concerts which happen this month, as well as the events next year welcoming Bertrand to the Cathedral.

Ann Elbourne


To receive this Newsletter earlier by email, and with it, additions like the Forum agenda, financial updates, minutes and reports, posters, photos, etc., simply send your coordinates to the Cathedral office…  the failsafe method is to email both Newsletter author and parish volunteer Ann Elbourne  and Parish Administrator Elizabeth Shama  .

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