Special Services & Events

Choral Evensong for Candlemas followed by Vaughan Williams 150

Sunday, February 5, 4 p.m.

After the service, we continue to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Robert Busiakiewicz, the former music director at St. James Cathedral, presents an illustrated music feature on the life of the esteemed British composer.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was an English composer of operas, ballets, chamber music, hymns, folk-song arrangements, large-scale choral works and orchestral compositions. He was an avid collector of folk music and was the founding editor of The English Hymnal. He is particularly famous for his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, The English Folk Song Suite, Fantasia on Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending and the hymn tunes for Come Down, O Love Divine and For all the Saints.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

December 18, 7:30 p.m.

The traditional favourite of the season returns, with scripture readings, choral anthems and carols all by candlelight. Jeremy Tingle leads our choir.

Choral Evensong for Advent Sunday followed by Christmas Lights

Sunday, November 27, 4 p.m.

Welcome the season of Advent with St. Olave’s choir. Then at 4:45, St. Olave’s Arts Guild presents stories, poems and music for the season including excerpts from P.V. Stern’s The Greatest Gift (the inspiration for It’s a Wonderful Life), and songs from Amy Beach, Ernest Chausson, Roger Quilter and Harry Somers, performed by our alto lead Nadia Nikolov. If you are unable to join us in person, the service will be live streamed on our YouTube channel.

Holy Communion for All Saints followed by a feature talk at 7:30 with Dr. Jesse Billett

Tuesday, November 1, 7 p.m.
Dr. Billet will explore the history and significance of the Canadian Book of Common Prayer, to mark the anniversaries of its origin in 1662 as well as its final release in 1962. Dr. Jesse Billett is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Toronto. He studied at Harvard and Cambridge and teaches courses about the history of Christian worship, mediæval and reformation culture and church history, as well as the Book of Common Prayer.

Download notes to accompany Dr. Billett’s talk.

Coronation Evensong for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Sunday, June 5, 4 p.m.
Please join us for Coronation Evensong, followed by Joy in June, a tribute to Her Majesty in memorable words and glorious music, with St. Olave’s Arts Guild and Friends, featuring violinist Paulina Derbez. The readings include the Queen’s first wartime speech, as well as addresses from her Coronation, her visits to Canada and last Christmas. The springtime violin pieces are by Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi. Join us in person at the Church, or watch online (live or
later) at YouTube.com/StOlavesAnglicanChurch.

Photo/Michael Hudson

Confirmation with Bishop Andrew Asbil

Sunday, May 29, 10:30 a.m.

Rev’d Rob has prepared 13 St. Olave’s parishioners for confirmation. Come out and support them on their special day. Reception to follow on the lawn, weather permitting.

The Meeting Place: Christianity & Culture in Early Toronto

May 4, 11 & 18, 7 p.m.

Join St. Olave’s Honorary Assistant the Rev’d Dr. PJ Carefoote for this three-part Eastertide series.

PJ will discuss the challenge of church planting in colonial Toronto; transforming the architectural landscape of Toronto into the city of churches; as well as Christianity and the roots of the social safety net in Toronto. Evening Prayer begins at 7 p.m. followed by these illustrated talks at 7:30:

May 4 – Strangers in a Strange Land: The challenges of church planting in colonial Toronto. 

May 11 – A Time to Gather Stones Together: The major transformation of the architectural landscape of Toronto into the glorious City of Churches.

May 18 –  As you would have done unto you: The role of Christianity as the root of the social safety net in Toronto.

The events will be open to in-person attendance and also streamed on our YouTube channel for viewing live or later.

Holy Week at St. Olave’s

Sunday, April 10, 10:30 a.m. – Palm Sunday with blessing of the Palms and reading of the Passion according to St. Matthew. In-person and live streamed.

Monday, April 11, 7 p.m. – Stations of the Cross and Holy Communion for Monday in Holy Week. In-person only.

Tuesday, April 12, 7 p.m. – Stations of the Cross and Holy Communion for Tuesday in Holy Week. In-person only.

Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m. – Stations of the Cross and Holy Communion for Wednesday in Holy Week. In-person only.

Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m. – Maundy Thursday with Washing of Feet and Stripping of the Altar. In-person and live streamed. View the service on YouTube.

Friday, April 15, 10:30 a.m. – Good Friday choral service. In-person and live streamed. View the service on YouTube.

2022 Lenten Series – In the Steps of Jesus: Living a Christ-Like Life in the 21st Century

March 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6, 7 p.m. (beginning with Evening Prayer)

The collects of Holy Week and Easter in the Book of Common Prayer entreat us to model our lives after Christ’s own. The collect for the Second Sunday after Easter, for example, asks for grace that we might “daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life.” The collect for Holy Week likewise prays that “all mankind should follow the example of his great humility” and “follow the example of his patience.” And the collect for Easter Even implores that “we may be buried with him; and that, through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection.” Join St. Olave’s Rector, Rev’d Robert Mitchell, as he explores what it means to live a Christ-like life today.

March 9: “Feasting on Scripture, Fasting from Fear” (View the presentation above. You may also download Rev’d Rob’s resource here.)

March 16: “Loving the Weak, Helping the Strong” (Download Rev’d Rob’s resource here.)

March 23: “Carrying Crosses, Abandoning Burdens” (Download Rev’d Rob’s resource here.)

March 30: “Walking like a Lamb, Roaring Like a Lion” (Download Rev’d Rob’s resource here.)

April 6: “Standing on Earth, Looking to Heaven”(Download Rev’d Rob’s resource here.)

February 6, 4 p.m.:

Commemoration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Join us on our YouTube channel for a service of Evensong to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession. After the service, the Rev’d Dr. Jim Leatch, a historian, chaplain at Royal St. George’s College and St. Olave’s deacon, will present a talk about Her Majesty’s role and service as the Queen of Canada. You can view this talk by clicking on the image above.

Christmas Eve:

4 p.m. – Family Service with blessing of the crèche, carols and readings

7:30 p.m. – Holy Communion by Candlelight

Both services were in-person and also live streamed and available for viewing on on our YouTube channel by clicking on the images above.

Christmas Day:

10:30 a.m. Holy Communion (this service will not be live streamed)

December 19: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Dr. Hanné Becker leads our choir and congregation in singing favourite Christmas carols, with scripture readings tracing the story of the birth of man to the birth of Christ. Live streamed December 19, 2021.

Our 38th annual Nativity play production, published December 12, 2021.

Evensong for the First Sunday of Advent followed by The Mystic Voice of a Violin

Sunday, November 28, 2021, 4 p.m.

Join us in person or online for our annual Advent Evensong at 4 p.m., followed by The Mystic Voice of a Violin, a concert featuring Paulina Derbez. She’s performed in Austria, Switzerland, Mexico, New York, Ottawa and here in Greater Toronto, including on two of St. Olave’s past Arts Guild videos.

This special concert features Bach’s Fugue in G Minor and part of his Chaconne in D Minor, as well as Corelli’s La Folia, all in contrast with various baroque and modern pieces from MexicoDerbez will also include three of her own compositions: Il vento, Signor Pietà and Reflections of the Heart.

The service and concert will also be streamed on our YouTube channel to watch live or later.

Screening, sign-in, face masks and physical distancing are required. Those attending the concert only must provide proof of vaccination.

Autumn 2021 Discussion Series – The English Bible

  • Wednesdays, October 13, 20 and 27;

Join us in person or on our YouTube channel at 7 p.m. for Evening Prayer and then at 7:30 for a discussion with the Rev’d Dr. PJ Carefoote, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Toronto. PJ will examine the evolution of the Bible in the English language, from the primitive attempts to render the Scriptures into the common tongue in the 8th century until the present day, in three parts:

  • October 13 – Lost in translation: Those earliest and lesser-known efforts in the centuries leading up to the 16th-century Reformation. (Click on the image above to view.)

October 20 – The King’s Bible: How a seriously and dangerously divided society managed to produce one of the greatest literary treasures of the English-speaking world:  the King James Bible.

October 27 – The story’s not over: The ongoing changes to the English Bible from the 17th century to today, in its many forms in print and digital formats; and what they may mean for the English Bible’s role in contemporary society.
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Screening and sign-in, face masks and physical distancing are required for in-person participants.

Summer Book Club

Wednesday, August  25, 7 p.m.

This summer our new book club gets started with Gutter Child, a novel, by Jael Richardson. Click on the image above to view our Book Club launch with author Jael Richardson.

This national bestseller, while set in an imagined world, explores the all too real issues of racism and injustice in our world. It has been described as “fierce and illuminating.” Paper and electronic copies of Gutter Child are available through the Toronto Public Library and through major book retailers. To receive the Zoom link for August 25, please contact stolaves@stolaves.ca

St. Olave’s Day Patronal Festival Evensong

Thursday, July 29, view our Evensong for St. Olave’s Day featuring a special hymn for our patron saint.

The Best of Animals

June 2, 2021, 7 p.m.

Join us on our YouTube channel for a collection of poetry, prose and music celebrating our fine furry friends. 

A Zoom Eastertide series with
the Reverend Dr. Schuyler Brown

Join Dr. Brown, St. Olave’s Honorary Assistant, for Zen and Christianity, a series based on the book Zen Gifts to Christians, by Zen roshi Robert Kennedy, who is also a Jesuit priest.

Join us on Zoom at 7 p.m. for Evening Prayer, followed by a recorded presentation and live discussion. 

April 14 – Robert Kennedy: Jesuit priest and Zen roshi

April 21 – Meditation and zazen

April 28 – Mix and match

May 5 – Soul: illusion or paradox?


Angels & Giants: Biblical Characters Cloaked in Mystery

A Zoom Lenten series with the Reverend Rob Mitchell

Wednesdays, February 24 to March 24

7 p.m. – Evening Prayer on Zoom
7:30 p.m. – Video presentation and talk 

Rev’d Rob brings to life some of the most colourful characters of the Bible. Contact the office to receive the Zoom link.

February 24 – Biblical Giants | The Nephilim, Rephaim and Others 

March 3 – Divine Visitors | The Three Visitors to Abraham and Jacob’s opponent

March 10 – Israel’s Helpers | Melchizedek and The Commander of the Lord’s Army 

March 17 – Son of God; Son of Man | The Fourth Man in the Fiery Furnace and the One like a Son of Man

March 24 –  Anonymous Associates | The Fleeing Young Man, The Young Man in the Tomb, and The Beloved Disciple


Videos featuring the Book of Common Prayer

St. Olave’s has produced several education videos that bring a focus to the prayerbook. Click hear to view our curated YouTube Playlist.