Tag Archives: Sunday Services

Sunday, July 3 – 4th Sunday after Pentecost, with Prayers for Canada Day

All are welcome to attend in-person services. Entry to the building is solely from the main doors on King Street East. Weather permitting, coffee hour will follow the ten o’clock service in the Nativity Gardens.

Service Guidelines have changed; learn more here.

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.

The first reading describes the prophet Elisha giving God’s healing to a foreign leader–even if it’s not quite the way that Naaman was expecting help! (2 Kings 5.1–14).

Russian Icon of the Sending of the Seventy
Icon of the Synaxis of the Seventy

The gospel reading describes Jesus sending the seventy to share the good news about God’s reign coming near, and their experience of sharing God’s power with those they served (Luke 10.1–11, 16–20).

Sunday, June 26 – Third Sunday after Pentecost

All are welcome to attend in-person services. Entry to the building is solely from the main doors on King Street East. Weather permitting, coffee hour will follow the ten o’clock service in the Nativity Gardens.

Service Guidelines have changed; learn more here.

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.

The first reading this Sunday describes the departure of the prophet Elijah, and him being succeeded by his disciple, the prophet Elisha. (2 Kings 2.1–2, 6–14)

In the gospel reading, we’ll hear about the challenges of discipleship and the focus God invites us to–and the freedom we can know in following. (Luke 9.51–62).

Sunday, June 19 – Second Sunday after Pentecost

All are welcome to attend in-person services. Entry to the building is solely from the main doors on King Street East. Weather permitting, coffee hour will follow the ten o’clock service in the Nativity Gardens.

Service Guidelines have changed; learn more here.

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.

This Sunday is the Second Sunday after Pentecost. In the first reading, we’ll hear about the prophet Elijah fearing for his life, and encountering God in an unexpected way (1 Kings 19.1-15a). In the gospel passage, we’ll hear about Jesus casting out demons possessing a man of the Gerasenes–a place on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee toward the Golan Heights (Luke 8.26–39).

What Do Worship Services Look Like Now?

Bishop Susan has issued new guidelines for our ministry and worship—the biggest shifts since we resumed worshipping in person! These guidelines are carefully based on the best science and public health evidence available, and both we as the Church of the Nativity and the whole Diocese of Niagara continue to have everyone’s safety as our first priority.

We wanted to make sure you’d know what to expect for services.


Mask Mandate Paused

The requirement to wear masks has been paused. (It may return if we see increased positivity with a new wave of the COVID virus or variants of concern.)

While you don’t have to wear a mask to come to church, we do encourage you to wear one if it’s right for you!

Masks will be worn by all communion ministers while communion is shared.


Communion: Common Cup Returns as an Option

The chalice is shared at communion, pre-pandemic

We’ll be removing the table in front of the steps where we’ve been sharing communion since the return to in-person worship. All will be welcome to come to the altar rails to receive the eucharist—and the clergy will still be delighted to bring the sacrament to anyone who isn’t able to come up!

Because masks are not required, we do ask that you leave more space between you and others at the altar rails than you may remember doing before the pandemic. Please remember to use hand sanitizer before coming forward.

You’ll also be able to receive the wine from the chalice if you so choose. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve reminded you of the Church’s long-held teaching that receiving in only one kind is full participation in the eucharist—that is, receiving the bread alone is receiving Christ’s body and blood. That hasn’t changed, and if you don’t feel comfortable receiving the wine at this time, then that’s the right call for you! Simply cross your arms over your chest, and the chalice bearer will hold the chalice in front of you, will say “the blood of Christ,” and then move to the next person.

If you’re finding yourself wondering—wait, why is the common cup considered safe?—know you’re not alone. We encourage you to read the Reverend Michael Garner (MSc, MDiv)’s paper “The Common Cup and SARS-CoV-2 Infection Risk.” Michael is a priest and a former long-serving infectious disease epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Canada. This paper offers a careful scientific overview of the studies that have been done on the common cup over many years, and why any risk of exposure to Covid is ‘extremely low.’


Exchanging the Peace

A peace sign made by fingers in front of tree branches.

We will be able to physically exchange the peace again.

Please remember that everyone will have different comfort levels when we come to the peace!

It will be important for us to see and assess other people’s body language and choices; it’ll be important for us to use our words to explain what we’re comfortable with. If you’re not ready for a handshake, making a peace sign (a ‘V’ with your first two fingers) or bowing are two ways to signal your preferred option to other people.

Make the choice that’s right for you; honour the choices made by other people. For the next while, the clergy will be reminding the congregation about this when we come to the peace.


Outdoor Coffee Hours (weather-permitting)

People gather in the Nativity Gardens at a recent outdoor coffee hour

Parish Council made the decision that we’ll have summer coffee hours in the Nativity Gardens! With juice and light snacks, we’ll have the chance to socialize and regather in this beautiful setting!


Live-Streamed Services Will Continue

The video control board for streaming, at the back of the church

We’re going to continue to broadcast the main service each Sunday to YouTube. You can find a link to the stream on our parish blog each week, along with a link to the order of service to make it easier to join in the hymns and prayers and readings. There are also special prayers you might wish to use to make an act of spiritual communion.


Get in touch!

Close-up of an old dial-pad on a touchtone phone.

Need to have a conversation with your priest? While Matthew will be taking his vacation at a couple of different points over the summer, nothing makes him happier than catching up or walking alongside you through a time when you need pastoral support. Just pick up the phone and call the church!

Image Credits:

“Green Light” by Dave Levy on flickr; used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.
“Communion” by William Pleydon; used with permission.
“Peace” by Cristina Souza on flickr; used under CC BY 2.0 license.
“Coffee Hour” by William Pleydon; used with permission.
“Telephone” by Indiana Public Media (WFIU) on flickr; used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Sunday, June 12 — Trinity Sunday

All are welcome to attend in-person services, without per-registration. Entry to the building is solely from the main doors on King Street East.

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.

Rublev's Icon of the Holy Trinity

This Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. We celebrate the diversity and unity that are part of God’s loving character, as well as God’s desire to draw us into the divine being.

The first reading is from the Proverbs, and we hear Wisdom rejoicing in the Creation. (Proverbs 8.1–4, 22–31).

We’ll pray Psalm 8 together. And while we’ll say it, you may want to listen to it sung by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral. This setting is by the Canadian composer Healey Willan.

The gospel passage is from the Farewell Discourse in John’s gospel, recounting Jesus speaking about the Spirit of Truth being sent to us to guide us into all truth (John 16.12–15).

Sunday, June 5 – Pentecost Sunday

All are welcome to attend in-person services, without per-registration. Entry to the building is solely from the main doors on King Street East.

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.

Jesus Mafa image of the coming of the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 2.
Pentecost – Acts 2:1-4

This Sunday is the feast of Pentecost–the fiftieth and final day of Easter! Sundays and Seasons reminds us

On Pentecost, we celebrate that we have been given an Advocate to accompany us. Poured out in wind and fire, water, wine, and bread, the Holy Spirit abides in and among us. We give thanks that God speaks to each of us, no matter our origins, language, or life path. Filled with the Spirit of truth, we go out from worship to proclaim the saving power of Christ’s love and the freedom of God’s grace with all the world.

A pen & ink sketch of a dove embracing the world.

In the first reading, we hear of the descent of the Holy Spirit–chaos ensues with signs of fire, wind, and myriad languages, before Peter makes sense of what is happening and what the gift of the Spirit means for the followers of the way. (Acts 2.1–21)

In the gospel passage, although the disciples struggle with just who Jesus is, they’re promised that they are part of God’s mission–and that Jesus will send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to strengthen and enlighten them. (John 14.8–17)

At this service, we’ll welcome two young people into the Body of Christ through the sacrament of baptism, and renew our baptismal covenant.

Sunday, May 29 – Seventh 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.

It’s the Church’s penultimate Sunday in the Great Fifty Days of Easter! In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Paul casts out a spirit from an enslaved woman–ruining the chance to make money for those who enslaved her. They have him and his companions flogged and imprisoned–only for this moment, too, to turn into an opportunity for the jailer and his household to come to know Jesus. (Acts 16.16–34)

The second reading brings us to the end of the Revelation to John, and with it the reminder that God’s love and desire to hold us close has been from before time and will be for ever. Jesus testifies to welcome us into the fullness of God’s presence. (Revelation 022.12–14, 16–17, 20–21)

The gospel pericope is an excerpt from a moving prayer Jesus offers as part of the Farewell Discourse (the speech Jesus shares with his disciples after the conclusion of the Last Supper). In it, Jesus desires above all that the disciples may be part of the unity of God and God’s love, as he sends them to continue his work in the world. (John 17.20–26)

Sunday, May 22 – Sixth 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.

Celtic Tree of Life

In our first reading, we hear about Lydia and her family being baptized by Paul. (Acts 16.9–15)

Our second readings is from the Revelation to St. John. John’s vision describes to us the New Jerusalem coming out of heaven. Unlike the earthly Jerusalem, it has no temple where people will go to pray and know God’s home–but instead God’s own presence replaces the temple! This is a transformed life, where all light is provided by God’s glory; this is a renewed world, remade in Christ, with the tree of life providing fruit for all and leaves that give healing. (Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5) (You’ll also notice that language in the Eucharistic Prayer we use throughout the Fifty Days of Easter directly quotes from this passage!)

Today’s gospel pericope describes the healing God brings: not just healing waters, but God’s presence restoring fullness of life to one who can barely remember what it looks like, one who is alone and bereft. We’re reminded that the sabbath is a gift for fuller life: a healing and creative time that brings us closer to God. (John 5.1–9)

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

Visions abound in the readings for the sixth Sunday of Easter. Paul has a vision about what to do. John has a vision of what will be. Jesus provides visions of peace that surpasses human understanding and power beyond human imagination.

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.