Author Archives: NativityNiagara

Sunday, May 15th — Fifth Sunday of Easter

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 9:45 am, and the service itself will begin at 10am. You’ll still be able to watch or re-watch it on YouTube at the same link any time thereafter.

Keep this order of service handy! It has the readings, the responses, and hymn texts–so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Peter’s vision as described in Acts 11.

In our first reading, Peter reports to the Church in Jerusalem about his baptism of non-Jewish believers. He shares a vision given to him by God that God’s intention to love Gentiles as well as Jews is revealed in Jesus’ testimony. This vision leads to the authorizing of the mission to the Gentiles. (Acts 11.1–18)

Our second readings is from the Revelation to St. John. John’s vision shows us that in the resurrection the new age has dawned; God dwells with us already. We wait for the time when the tears that cloud our vision will be wiped away. Then we will see the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem. (Revelation 21.1–6)

Today’s gospel pericope takes us back to Maundy Thursday. After washing the disciples’ feet, predicting his betrayal, and then revealing his betrayer, Jesus speaks of his glorification on the cross. This deep complicated love of Jesus, even to death on the cross, will be the distinctive mark of Jesus’ community. (John 13.31–35)

Sundays and Seasons offers this reflection on the week’s readings:

Easter initiates a new day. It anticipates a new heaven and a new earth. The risen Christ is making all things new. In the mystery of holy baptism God has made new people of us. Today Jesus invites us to see everyone in a new light—through the lens of love.

Sunday, May 8th — Fourth Sunday of Easter

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 9:45 am, and the service itself will begin at 10am. You’ll still be able to watch or re-watch it on YouTube at the same link any time thereafter.

Keep this order of service handy! It has the readings, the responses, and hymn texts–so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Coptic Icon of Christ the Good Shepherd: Jesus holds a pastoral staff in his left hand, and carries a small lamb with his right arm.

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is often called Good Shepherd Sunday. In each of the three years of the lectionary cycle, we hear a passage from the tenth chapter of John’s gospel (the discourse in which Jesus identifies himself as the Good Shepherd). We also always join in the familiar words of Psalm 23.

This year we’ll hear the promise Jesus makes of eternal life to his sheep (John 10.22-30).

We’ll also hear the moving story about the death of the disciple Tabitha (also called Dorcas), and how Peter raises her from the dead (Acts 9.36-43).

Coat of Arms of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario.
Coat of Arms of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario

In Anglican circles, this Sunday is also often called Vocations Sunday. Our metropolitan Archbishop Anne Germond has asked us and all Anglicans in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario to pray for vocations. She writes:

We believe that all are called to serve God according to the gifts God has given them for their particular context and we give thanks for the ministry of the baptized, praying that on Good Shepherd Sunday we will hear God’s call on our hearts in a fresh new way.

God also calls people to serve in a particular way through ordered ministry in the church. This invitation to prayer comes at a key moment in our church and in the province as we move beyond the pandemic in a changing world and church.

https://www.province-ontario.anglican.ca/_files/ugd/5893ce_d867cd14ccb74ae998e3586a6a7b355f.pdf

We join in praying:
Almighty God,
by your grace alone
we are accepted and called to your service.
Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday, May 1 – Third Sunday of Easter

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 9:45 am, and the service itself will begin at 10am. You’ll still be able to watch or rewatch it on YouTube at the same link any time thereafter.

Keep the order of service handy! It has the readings, the responses, and hymn texts–so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Line drawing of Jesus grilling fish over a fire.

On the Third Sunday of Easter, we hear from the Acts of the Apostles about Paul’s dramatic conversion, baptism, and preaching. (Acts 9.1–20) And in John’s gospel, we hear about Jesus appearing to the disciples (John 21.1–19) by the shore while they’re out fishing, and then sharing in a breakfast of grilled fish and in conversation. In both, we hear about the dangers–both real and perceived–that are a part of following Jesus. We are also reminded that God will keep inviting us into this life, that God will seek after us and pursue us as God constantly longs to draw us close and to share God’s risen life with others.

Here’s what Sundays and Seasons writes about this week’s readings:

The disciples make a big splash and eat breakfast with the risen Jesus. Wading in the water (remembering baptism) and eating with Jesus (celebrating holy communion) is our weekly encounter with the risen Christ. Jesus asks us again and again: Do you love me? And Jesus invites us, again and again, to follow him, bringing the Easter life to others.

Sunday, April 24th

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 10 am, and the service will remain viewable on YouTube thereafter.


You’re encouraged to keep the order of service handy: it has responses and hymn texts so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Requiem Eucharist for Kath Dubecki

The requiem eucharist for Kath will be held on Saturday, 23 April at 10am.

The service will be live streamed, and the order of service is available here.

Kath Dubecki, O.N.

Kath was appointed to the Order of Niagara in 2017. This citation was read at her induction to the Order.

Kath’s dedication, commitment, and passion for the mission of the church have been unflagging over many years and even multiple communities. She has served as a warden, a lay delegate to Synod, a member of Synod Council, a chorister, and a member of parish councils. Of particular note at the Church of the Nativity is her role as one of the organizers of the parish’s community lunch program since its inception. Her perspicacity, warmth, determination and good humour and humility make her a joy-filled companion on the journey of discipleship.

Easter Day Eucharist – April 17, 2022

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 10 am, and the service will remain viewable on YouTube thereafter.

You’re encouraged to keep the order of service handy: it has responses and hymn texts so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Alleluia, alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia!

Easter – John 20:10-18

The women make their way to the tomb in their grief, only to find it empty, to be told that he is risen! God is doing something new indeed: breaking death’s chains, raising Jesus to new life, and us with him.

We celebrate Christ bursting the bonds of death, and the women sharing the good news with eleven and all the rest! We marvel at the awesome power of God’s love, triumphant. Happy Easter! Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! – Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!

Good Friday – April 15th, 2022

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 10 am, and the service will remain viewable on YouTube thereafter.

You’re encouraged to keep the order of service handy: it has responses and hymn texts so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Pen & Ink drawing of Christ on the Cross

What’s so good about Good Friday? It gets its name from Old English: Gōd Frīġedæġ — God’s Friday. Today is the second part of our celebration of the Triduum–the Great Three Days–as we remember the trial, execution, death, and burial of Jesus. Together these events are often referred to as the Passion of Our Lord.

The first part of our service this day takes the form of the Way of the Cross: a series of short readings and prayers as we hear the proclamation of Jesus’s Passion, from his being condemned to death through his burial in the tomb.

In response to the Passion, we enter the second portion of the service: the Veneration of the Cross. Those worshipping in person may choose to come forward and bow before, or otherwise reverence, the large wooden cross that will be brought into the church; at home, you may wish to have a cross nearby to support your reflection. During the Veneration, we will share in reciting the Reproaches: remonstrances that lament our culpability in Jesus’s Passion and death.

Finally, the reserved sacrament–consecrated at our Maundy Thursday service the night before–will be brought back into the church from the altar of repose. We will receive the eucharist in silence, and then depart in that silence, awed at what God undertakes for us.

Maundy Thursday – April 14th, 2022 at 7 pm

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join in worshipping on Maundy Thursday, live or later, via YouTube. The live stream will begin at 6:45 pm with a welcome, followed by prelude music. The service will begin at 7 pm. The service will be posted to YouTube once the live stream concludes, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining the service via the live stream, keep this order of service handy! It has all the responses and hymn texts you’ll need, together with some prayers you might choose to use to make spiritual communion during the reception of the eucharist.

Coptic Icon of the Footwashing

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Triduum–the Great Three Days, in which we celebrate Jesus giving his life on the cross and conquering sin and death, raising us with him to new life in the resurrection.

It’s a busy night! We hear of the institution of the First Passover from the book of Exodus (12.1–14).

Next, we’ll hear John’s description of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and giving them an example of the kind of servant life we are called to (John 13.1–17). Larry Collinson will offer a short reflection on the passage, and then offer the foot washing to all who wish to participate.

Then we hear the portion of John’s gospel that gives this day its name, as Jesus gives the new commandment to the disciples. (John 13.31–35). The Latin word ‘mandatum’ means commandment, and from mandatum we get the shortened form, ‘Maundy.’ Canon Mike Deed will be with us to offer a brief reflection, and then we’ll embody the instruction to love one another as we share the peace.

Coptic Icon of the Institution of the Eucharist

Our final portion of Scripture in this section of the service is the description to the Corinthians of the Institution of the Eucharist. (1 Corinthians 11.23–26). Our rector will offer a short reflection, and we will celebrate the Eucharist.

After all have received, the sacrament is placed into a monstrance. (More Latin: monstrare means ‘to show,’ and the monstrance is a vessel to show the Eucharist to adoring worshippers). A procession takes the sacrament out of the church and into the chapel as we sing a hymn.

A photo of the Garden of Gethsemane, 2017.

Finally, we hear one more portion of Scripture: Matthew recounts how Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, before being betrayed and arrested. (Matthew 26.30–50) While this passage is read, members of the parish strip the chancel and the sanctuary of their adornments. The rector washes the altar, and we depart in silence.

It’s helpful to think of the liturgy of the Tridduum as one service with a couple of distinct movements, like in a symphony. There is no blessing or dismissal as we make our way this night; nor will there be either on Good Friday. Instead, we wait–meditating on the staggering gift of God’s love for us, revealed in Our Lord’s Passion.

Sunday of the Passion with Liturgy of the Palms

Sunday, April 10th

A note about continuing Covid protocols. All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need you to preregister, and you will be able to choose your own seat. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support people who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone, without exception, must wear masks properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream begins at 9:45 with a welcome, followed by prelude music. The service will then begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining the service via the live-stream, keep this order of service handy! It has all the responses and hymn texts you’ll need, together with some special prayers you might choose to use during the reception of the eucharist.

Coptic Icon of the Triumphal Entry

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Our service will begin in the narthex with the Liturgy of the Palms, and then we’ll process into the church singing “All Glory, Laud and Honour.”

From the Hebrew scriptures, we’ll hear from the prophet Isaiah. This is the third of four of what are often called Servant Songs in Isaiah; this one speaks of the servant of the Lord submitting to suffering. (Isaiah 50.4-9a)

Then from the gospels, we’ll hear Luke’s account of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. (Luke 19.28-40) Though we often call today Palm Sunday, Luke’s description of the moment doesn’t mention anything about palm branches! He focuses instead on the people laying their cloaks on the road before Jesus’s path, and their rejoicing in the new future they hope that Jesus will bring.

Here’s what Sundays and Seasons says about this day and its readings:

Today we follow Christ from triumphal entry to the cross, each waypoint of the journey marked by Jesus’ compassion for those who would betray, mock, accuse, or do violence to him. Though persecuted and beaten, Jesus the Son of God is not disgraced; instead, he asks forgiveness for those who put him to death. We have walked the Lenten pathway these forty days, each of us invited through baptism to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” We enter this holy week accompanying Jesus to the cross with both grief and thanksgiving in our hearts, trusting in God’s redeeming love.

Be sure to join in Holy Week Services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, too!