Tag Archives: music

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April 26: Refugee Committee Fundraising Dinner

On Saturday April 26th, the refugee committee of the Church of the Holy Trinity will host a dinner to raise funds for our important work sponsoring refugees.

“Rising for Refugees” will be a great evening with music by Common Thread Community Chorus of Toronto, the Fallen Angles, and Guy Smagghe of Welcome Soleil.  Delicious food will be home-cooked by families we have sponsored (and others) from Iran, Iraq, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, and other places.
The keynote speakers are Loly Rico and Francisco Rico-Martinez, long-time refugee rights defenders and co-directors of the FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto.

The event begins at 5:30. For tickets, please email rising4refugees@gmail.com or call: (416) 421-7248.

(Click on graphic for larger)

April 2014 Poster

The empty tomb with garden

Holy Week and Easter at Holy Trinity

The empty tomb with garden

The empty tomb with garden

Sunday, April 13  PALM SUNDAY  10:30 AM  (English only); Domingo de Ramos 2:00 PM (en español)
Thursday, April 17 MAUNDY THURSDAY 6:00 PM Supper and Maundy Thursday liturgy (with San Esteban Community)
Friday, April 18  GOOD FRIDAY LITURGY 10:30 AM; 2:00 PM Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice.
Saturday, April 19, GREAT VIGIL OF EASTER  8:00 PM (English only)
Sunday, April 20, EASTER DAY SERVICE 10:30 AM (with San Esteban Community)

The flowered cross

The flowered cross

Looking at the North tower through a tiny slit in the south tower.

Fear and Hope with the Fallen Angles

Our band, The Fallen Angles, are playing at the 10:30 service tomorrow morning. The theme is “Fear and Hope”. Lots of music and a mix of ancient and modern texts with no sermon. Hope you’ll come join us.

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Holy Trinity is at 19 Trinity Square. Trinity Square is centred between Bay, Dundas, Yonge and Queen. Hidden in the canyon of the Eaton Centre and Marriott Hotel.


The Church of the Holy Trinity is a community of people who seek to express their faith through lives of integrity, justice and compassion. We foster lay leadership, include the doubter and the marginalized, and challenge oppression wherever it may be found.

This window, on a Pentecost theme, was a replacement for one of the windows destroyed by fire in 1977.

Meditate with Music every Thursday

stained glass Church of the Holy Trinity

On Thursday, July 4, we held our first weekly Meditate with Music session in the church at 12:30 p.m. These 20-minute breaks from the bustle and stress of a big city downtown offer visitors the option of emptying their minds or directing their thoughts towards spiritual reflection — two of many ways to quietly recharge for the rest of the day and the close of a week.

Music Director John Terauds provides slow, quiet instrumental music as well as a Psalm sung in plainchant, interspersed by silence. We have arranged some pews in an accessible location at the foot of the chancel steps to provide as much focus on meditation as possible. There is also a printed sheet with a spiritual reflection available each week.

If you’re in the area, come and give this respite a try, every Thursday at 12:30 p.m., until August 22. You can even bring your lunch, if you wish.

January 25 6pm Oasis Service

Fountain Square photoSings My Soul! Join Jan Plecash and Allison Piercey as they provide musical leadership for an hour of community singing and reflection. Oasis services of music and reflection  take place on the last Friday of the month and provide a space to noursish the justice-seeking soul. The service will be followed by a light supper and opportunity to visit. Mark your calendars for the next service on February 22!

You can find these services in the Church of the Holy Trinity next to the Eaton Centre just south of Dundas between Yonge and Bay streets. Come find a quiet centre in the heart of the city!

The organ as metaphor

I imagine each of us has a different story of how we came to love organ music. Two things did it for me as a missionary kid growing up at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro: a 7-inch extended play 45-rpm recording of Thurston Dart playing some of Handel’s Aylesford pieces*, and a one-manual, 6-stop Walcker tracker organ that arrived in crates, a gift to our local church, from the Leipzig Missionary Society. My Dad, who had a bit of an engineering background, got the job of putting it together, and I, with some guidance from my piano teacher, got to play for services.

Three decades later, as the Chair of the Liturgy and Music Commission of the diocese where I served before moving to Toronto, I watched more and more congregations moving away from organ music, and for a variety of reasons: Fewer and fewer people could play the organ (at one point I read a frightening remark that there were more organ builders than organ majors—not a sustainable situation); for others, the organ represented the past, and signified an aesthetic with severe limitations. The expense of a pipe organ was another barrier, and in more than one situation, I was called in to mediate conversations between church members who felt it was immoral to be spending so much money on an organ, money that should better be given to the poor. In every instance, I tried to help people understand that both/and had a few advantages over either/or.

There is a reason, I have come to believe, that the organ became the archetypical musical instrument of the church—quite apart from all the glorious music that has been written for it. As the all-time champion of wind instruments, the organ is the perfect metaphor for the relationship between God and the Church. You probably have heard that, in both Hebrew and Greek (the principal languages of the Bible), the words for Spirit, wind, and breath are the same: in Hebrew it’s ruah; in Greek, pneuma. The wind that makes the pipes of an organ sound, and the breath that enables us to sing, are both like the Spirit of God, that blows where it will, breathing life into us and empowering us to do the things God has given us to do.

The Valley of Dry Bones reading, which we usually hear at the Easter Eve service, suggested itself, because all summer, the pipes and parts of this great instrument lay strewn about the church like so many bones, bleached by the sun, as they waited their turn to be reassembled so that, when the wind was turned on again—naturally, it blew a fuse the first time—the breath of life would course through the organ’s winding.

In its nearly 40 years of life, this instrument has comforted mourners at funerals, brought joy to hundreds of baptisms and wedding parties, and of course, helped a congregation to raise its voice in praise to God each week. In the decades to come, it will bring joy and comfort and inspiration to thousands of listeners and worshippers, and for this we give glory to God, and gratitude to the Rathgeb family and to the congregation of Deer Park United Church for the vision to bring this fine instrument to life so that we might all enjoy its beauty and power for generations to come.

* Recorded on “one of the largest and most beautiful of the 17th
century English organs still remaining.” [1958] St. John’s Church,
Wolverhampton