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Events in Huron College Chapel


1349 Western Road
North Parking Lot Available

Holy  Week  &  Easter  2022 

The Hearse prepared for Tenebrae on Holy Wednesday

April 10 – 17

All Welcome!


The Meaning of Holy Week


 Love would never leave us alone.

Everything in Holy Week speaks of love.

The liturgies, which run from Palm Sunday on April 10 through Easter Sunday on April 17, are often long, for example, because love endures; the liturgies are sensual, because love depends on bodily intimacies (touch, smell, sight, sound); the liturgies are sorrowful, because every day love is violated; the services are mysteriously joyful, because no violation of love exhausts love’s mercy. Indeed, the Holy Week journey that recounts day by day the story of Christ’s death and so seems nothing if not tragic is, properly understood, from beginning to end the story of a wedding—everything speaks of love.

This, at least, is the conviction of one old tradition that places the image of Christ the Bridegroom at the very beginning of the most sacred week of the Christian year. Of the many titles given to God in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (Saviour, Lord, Father), Bridegroom is arguably the most common and significant. Holy Week is a journey into the mystery of a divine desire to be ‘wed’ to our humanity not simply in its beauty and goodness, but in its deepest and most profound darkness and forsakenness. In all of the liturgies and sermons, in the music and the silence, one truth will be proclaimed over and over again: that, though the world may betray love, ‘Love,’ as Bob Marley sings, ‘would never leave us alone.’

The daily liturgies of Holy Week are animated by lengthy readings from the four Gospels (the ‘biographies’ of Jesus at the beginning of the Christian New Testament). The reading of the story of Christ’s suffering begins on Palm Sunday with a procession through the University grounds that includes a live donkey, palm branches, and choir, in commemoration of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem the week before his death and resurrection. The procession insists that we are not simply witnesses of the events of Holy Week, but participants. Historically, Jesus came to Jerusalem and was received as the Messianic King. The crowds that rejoiced to see him arrive quickly abandoned him and called for his death once they realized that he preached not a political or social revolution, but a revolution of the heart. Palm Sunday suggests that there is a tension, even a deep contradiction, in our relationship to love.

Mysteriously, the Gospel narratives that begin on Palm Sunday and are the most distinctive feature of the liturgies through Wednesday, offer us a unique way to cultivate our capacity to pay attention. By paying attention to the life of Jesus of Nazareth we discover the capacity to pay deeper attention to others as well as to ourselves. Indeed, as we listen attentively we begin to hear echoes of our contemporary reality in the narratives. For example, we may begin to see that the coercive use of power by the Roman authorities is not so different from the coercion that is practiced by most bureaucracies; we begin to see how tempting it is to sacrifice real people to abstract ideals of peace or justice. More urgently, we may begin to see ourselves or others in the story: some of us may be busy betraying the love we know, like Peter; some of us may have fallen asleep to love like the disciples on Maundy Thursday; others of us, like the Mary who anoints Jesus for burial early in the week, may be wide awake to love, even though this may require profound heartache.

The most unique services of the week begin on Wednesday evening with the candle-lit service of Tenebrae. This sung liturgy consists of chanted Psalms, lessons, and passages from the Lamentations of Jeremiah. As each psalm is sung, a candle is extinguished and the Huron Chapel darkens until only one candle remains. This service makes no demands on those in attendance other than attentiveness. It beautifully anticipates the “action” of the coming three days:

On Maundy Thursday, Tenebrae’s darkness gathers round Jesus who, after washing the feet of his disciples and calling them to love one another, is betrayed by Judas and abandoned by his dearest friends. This night we especially bear witness to the world’s suffering.  We repent for our complicity in the large horrors of suffering that arise from betrayal: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and most recently Ukraine.  But in the betrayal of Jesus we may find every betrayal of love in the history of the world — the daily domestic betrayals of family life, the betrayals of friends, the betrayals of lovers, of the Church’s betrayals of its Master, the daily betrayals of the poor and oppressed in London and beyond.

On Good Friday, the darkness of Tenebrae is made complete when Jesus is crucified. As the Gospels suggest, this death has cosmic significance: the sun is darkened, the earth shakes. All of nature is confused by the death of the one John’s Gospel says is the “one by whom all things are made.” Jesus rests in the tomb for the remainder of Friday and Saturday — the Jewish Sabbath — and we are invited to rest as well. In some mysterious way these hours of quiet allow the week’s revelations to germinate in the soil of our hearts until, at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, a large fire is kindled and the most important liturgy of the year begins with the Deacon announcing: The Light of Christ! The darkness of death is overcome by the Resurrection and the entire cosmos is given a share in Christ’s victory over death. Easter Sunday morning continues our celebration of the Resurrection.

So then, what do we discover in Holy Week? Many things. The week is an antidote to the culture of distraction that numbs us to both our own and others’ loveliness and fragility; it is an alternative to the culture of consumption that reduces us to our most superficial appetites; it is the opportunity to discover that we are all complicit in the world’s pain — and others are complicit in ours — and yet to do so from the perspective of forgiveness; it reminds us that the human use of power almost always coerces from above, but the divine use of love serves from below.

But more than all of this, Holy Week is about the discovery, in the words of Bob Marley, that “Love would never leave us alone.” Though the world may turn its back on Love, Love himself is always turning towards us. In Holy Week, we dare to believe that there is a Bridegroom for each and every one of us — one who wishes to take upon himself all that is ours, including the betrayals and sadnesses of our lives, in order to give us all that is his, including his life and love.

Matthias Grünewald.  The Isenheim Altarpiece, 1515.  Unterlinden Mueseum,. Colmar, France.

About our Good Friday Buxtehude Offering


The choir will sing Membra Jesu Nostri (The most holy limbs of our suffering Jesus), a cycle of seven cantatas composed by Dieterich Buxtehude in 1680. This work is known as the first Lutheran oratorio and is based on a Medieval poem, Salve mundi salutare, which was formerly ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux, but now thought more likely to have been written by Arnulf of Leuven. The work is in seven sections, each addressed to a different part of Christ’s crucified body: feet, knees, hands, sides, breast, heart, and face. In each part, biblical words referring to the limbs frame verses of the poem. Mr Stuart Kinney will offer reflections on each part to guide our adoration of Love’s wounded limbs.


April 10 – Palm Sunday
11 AMDonkey Procession & Sung Holy Communion

Willie, a donkey from Oxford County, will join the tenor section.

Throughout Holy Week, the choir sings Claudio Casciolini’s (1697-1760) Mass for three voices and chant schola. The introit anthem proclaims Hosanna to the Son of David (T. L. de Victoria, 1548-1611). The reading of the Passion marks a shift in mood, reflected by the Choral Anthem Christ Our Lord Became Obedient unto Death (G. A. MacFarren, 1813-1887).


April 11 – Monday in Holy Week
9:30 AMMorning Prayer & Holy Communion Reading of the Passion Narrative

Introit                     Judica me, Domine                      Plainchant

Motet                      Salve Jesu, rex D. Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Hymns                    O sacred head Surrounded

                                My Song is  Love Unknown


April 12 – Tuesday in Holy Week
9:30 AMMorning Prayer & Holy Communion Reading of the Passion Narrative       

Introit                     Nos autem gloriam                     Plainchant

Motet                      Parce Domine             J. Obrecht (1450-1505)

Hymns                    Sing my tongue the glorious telling

                                Ah, Holy Jesu, how have I offended                   


April 13 – Tuesday in Holy Week
9:30 AMMorning Prayer & Holy Communion Reading of the Passion Narrative

Introit                     In nomine Domini                      Plainchant

Motet                      Hymn of Cassia                           Anon. 8th c.

Hymns                    When I survey the Wondrous Cross

                                Drop, Drop Slow Tears.

8:00 PMTenebrae

A powerful combination of chanted Psalms, lessons, and passages from the Lamentations of Jeremiah. As each psalm is sung, a candle is extinguished until only one candle remains. The entire congregation is invited to sing the Psalms to simple plainchant.

Healey Willan (1880-1968)’s Responses to the Lessons are sung.

Darkness and Silence illumined by Candles and Canticles.


Maundy Thursday to Easter Day


April 14 – Maundy Thursday
6:30 AMDuring the washing of the feet, Choir sings A New Commandment by Thomas Tallis (1505-85), and the ancient antiphon Ubi Caritas.

6:30 PM      The Last Supper

Motet                      Have mercy upon me                      MacFarren

Hymns                   Draw Nigh and Take the Body of the Lord

                               Deck thyself my soul with Gladness

                               Of the Glorious Body Telling

                               Go to dark Gethsemane.


April 15 – Good Friday
12-2:30PMOn this Holy Day our contemplation is assisted by the choir’s singing of Membra Jesu Nostri by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), with local musicians playing on seventeenth-century style historical instruments: Joseph Lanza and Sarah Wiebe (violins), Patrick Theriault (cello), Alexandre von Wartburg (bassoon), & Stéphanie Gouin (organ).

Between each of the seven cantatas – addressed to Christ’s feet, knees, hands, sides, breast, heart, and face – the congregation sings hymns and chorales.  Mr Stuart Kinney offers brief reflections.

Event Poster

Event Page

April 16 – Holy Saturday
11PM11 PM The Great Vigil of Easter and First Mass of Easter


We begin by lighting of the New Fire outside the chapel doors, proceed to the ancient Vigil of Easter, and conclude with Holy Communion.

Hymns:   Jesus Christ is Risen Today, The Day of Resuurection!

Psalm 42        Sicut Cervus                   G. P. da Palestrina(1525-94)

Psalm 150       Laudate Dominum           C. V. Stanford (1852-1924)

Motet             Dum transisset Sabbatum       C. Erbach (1568-1636)           Voluntary      Laßt uns erfreuen                  W. Faulkes (1863-1933)





April 17 – Easter Sunday

 Holy Communion for Easter Day!

Christ is Risen

He is Risen Indeed!

About the Chapel

St. John’s Chapel is a simple and intimate worship space. It was built in the early 1950’s to replace a previous building dating back to the 1860’s. The chapel is collegiate in style, meaning that the pews face one another across the space, rather than facing the front of the building. Facing east, the stained-glass window bathes the church in natural light. The Chapel can seat up to 140 persons, including the balcony.

St. John’s Chapel at Huron is located right next to the memorial tower entrance on Western Road. The chapel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and available to the entire Huron community as a calm, quiet space for prayer, reflection, and meditation.

Reflection: Why a chapel in a post-post-modern secular liberal arts university?  

I am increasingly convinced that the contemporary university is ideally suited to contribute to the world’s most urgent crises by developing not only minds but hearts.  If I am right, the university must take the task of ‘character building’ seriously: a task that involves the heart as well as the head.

We know that political leaders throughout the world have all been educated in ‘critical thinking’ by the best universities in the world. The U.S. National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the “intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as guide to belief and action.”  Tremendous.  But is this type of ‘reasoning’ enough to save the world?

It is clear that in the university classrooms our minds must be open to have our cherished notions of truth shattered in order to receive truth in new and deeper ways.  But might it not also be the case that in the university chapel our hearts equally must be open to have our cherished notions of love shattered to understand love in new, refreshing, and deeper ways?

The Chapel at Huron is for all students  of all faiths or none: recently in the Chapel there has been a Diwali liturgy of lights, a multi-faith Remembrance Day Observance, and an enthusiastic local Indie Band of agnostic temperament.

But to honour the Anglican heritage of our University and Chapel, during term there is an Anglican Service of Holy Communion each Sunday morning at 11 AM.

The small, informal, fun, creative choir is led by three upper-year students, and the worship lasts less than one hour.

All students of Huron, Western, King’s, and Brescia are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM!

Join our chaplaincy assistants to see what our chapel community is up to:

The Latest Missive from our Chaplain

January 2020

Each day that I set foot on the Huron campus I become more convinced of the opportunity that is within our reach to overcome the crippling individualism that our culture stridently promotes.  To model a sense of ‘community’ that this world desperately needs.

I shall do all I can to promote the chapel as a sacred space where students, faculty and staff of all faiths and core values can come together to learn to love and respect one another.  To shake off the ‘individualism’ that leads so many to loneliness and despair, and to discover themselves as ‘persons’ in relation to others.

As chaplain I will do all I can to ensure that Huron students, staff and faculty who identify with any particular faith, spiritual tradition, or humanist ideology will be supported in their vision of the Good.

As the Christian chaplain at Huron I also look to create a context of Christian worship in the Chapel on Sunday mornings that encourages the creation of a healthy and deep community within the Christian Tradition.  The deeper and more healthy such a Christian community is, and the deeper and healthier every faith, spiritual and humanist community at Huron is, the easier it will be it to build a multi-faith community of love and respect in which global citizens can be developed.

On Sunday mornings in term at 11 AM in the Huron Chapel there will be Christian worship that students of all faiths are most welcome to attend.  We are now blessed with a small beautiful choir to lead us in worship and the building of a generous and compassionate Christian community at Huron, for the sake of the larger vision of Huron and for the life of the world.


Compline has become symbolic of our vision of creating global citizens at Huron.  It is a gentle form of Christian worship that has become meaningful to students of all cultural, religious, and spiritual traditions.  It is universally popular among the diverse demographic of students at Cambridge and Oxford Colleges in England (agnostic and atheist students are included in those who enjoy Compline).  It’s simple form has not changed since the fifth century.  It embraces ancient and universal approaches to chant that will be familiar to students of all traditions.  Once a month.  9.30 PM.  In the chapel.

I shall encourage Chinese students to attend Compline, many of whom know very little about religion and some of whom have never been in a ‘chapel’ before.
I shall encourage Indian students to attend Compline: of Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic traditions.
I shall encourage the Jewish students to attend Compline: the cross will be removed to welcome their presence.
I shall encourage Muslim students to attend Compline: the cross removed, and in the darkness religious symbols are not prominent.

I shall encourage all students to attend Chinese cultural events.  NOT because they are interesting in themselves, but because we ought to do so.
I shall encourage all students to attend Diwali and other events highlighting Hindu and cultural India events, because we ought to.
I shall encourage all students to join the Jewish community whenever the invitation and welcome is offered, because we ought to.
I shall encourage students to attend local mosques for Friday Prayers and to attend all Muslim student events open to all, because we ought to.

On 27 Oct 2018 while Shabbat morning services were being held at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the squirrel Hill neighbourhood of Pittsburgh eleven people were killed and seven were injured in the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the United States.  On 2 November 2018 militants ambushed three buses carrying Christian pilgrims returning from a remote Coptic Christian monastery and opened fire killing thirteen and wounding another eighteen.  On Easter Sunday 2019 three churches across Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital Colombo were bombed. At least two hundred and fifty-three people were killed, and at least five hundred injured. On 15 March 2019 fifty-one persons were killed and forty injured when a gunman attacked two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand.

We must get out of our comfort zones to take steps toward each other to learn to respect traditions other than our own.  Is there anything more shallow and ridiculous than to wait for a tragedy or massacre, then to join others for the following two weeks with pious words and media-driven promises of embrace, but quickly to sink back into our own inward looking communities?

We have a perfect opportunity at Huron to become an authentic community of hope for our world by practicing reverence for the core values of others, and thus helping one another become true global citizens.

Not in word only.  But in truth and deed.


St. John’s Chapel is a collegiate chapel in the Diocese of Huron in the Anglican Church of Canada. All are most welcome to participate in the worship of this community. The Anglican Church of Canada welcomes all people, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, identity, or background. The Anglican Church of Canada’s mission statement is available here. St. John’s Chapel and the clergy of Huron are available for baptisms, weddings, funerals, reconciliation (confession), anointing, and all other rites of the Church. If you are interested in any of these please contact Gary Thorne.

Chapel Schedule

Sunday11:00amHoly Communion
Monday9:00amMorning Prayer
Tuesday9:00amMorning Prayer
Wednesday9:00amMorning Prayer
Thursday9:00amMorning Prayer
Friday9:00amMorning Prayer



Daily Morning Prayer at 9am
Sunday morning worship at 11 and Monday Evening Compline at 9:30pm.

Please subscribe to regular updates by sending the Chaplain a message.


Sing your leaders-with-heart out, Huron! All students looking forward to their return to campus: Come sing! There are choral scholarships, integrated learning opportunities, and world-class music-making waiting for you at the Chapel. Whether you are looking to make new connections, or just to remember what it feels like to sing with other human beings, come and check us out!



The Chapel Choir 

Singers rehearse and sing every Sunday for the Eucharistic service. They also participate in choral events around the university. The chapel choir consists of choral scholars, lay clerks, and certain volunteers from the chapel’s congregation. See below the details of the choral scholarship program:

The Choral Scholarship

Honorariums/Stipends to help students toward their education finances.
Interdisciplinary studies course credit allowing students to explore how music intersects with their respective fields of study, from History, English, Classics, Theology, to Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, etc.
Professional recording opportunities in Huron’s state-of-the-art auditorium and in the intimate chapel. Funds from the sale of recordings will go to the choir budget to increase scholarship offerings.
Concert opportunities to allow singers the chance to explore challenging music and then to showcase their work to the global community.
Residencies with professional ensembles to allow singers the chance to observe how professional musicians work. The choir will learn from guest artists and perform in concerts with them.
Awarded on your transcript for future employers and post-graduate application committees to see.
Outreach to homeless shelters where the choir regularly shares the beauty of music with those who otherwise do not get the opportunity.
Free singing and music lessons to help musicians grow their skillset.

All of this, in addition to whatever you study at Huron!

For more details, to book an audition, or to express your interest, please get in touch with the Director, Choral Music at

Choral Extracurriculars

For those not seeking the choral scholarship commitment, or worried about not meeting the demands of the scholarship program, there are many other opportunities to get involved and sing. From the chapel: Morning prayer on every weekday. Compline once a week. Tune in on Sunday morning for a lovely mass. From outside the chapel: Madrigal choirs, pop/rock bands, community choirs, collaborations with drama and musicals, etc. Get in touch!

Join The Choir

Paid Choral Scholarships are now available for all Huron students. Find your passion for choral music and pursue it at the same time as your studies at Huron! Our team is dedicated to the all-rounded development of students as musicians within Huron’s Liberal Arts environment. Come check us out!


2020 Festival of Lessons and Carols

Our 2020 Festival of Lessons and Carols is an intimate affair of large proportions. It gathers Huron’s folks from around the globe as they participate in reading lessons and in singing well-known hymns that embody the spirit of the season. Join us in celebrating Christmas with groovy medieval carols as we reflect through music on the joyful peace for which the world desperately yearns.


Festival Program

  • Those who sing well, pray twice - Attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo.
    William Lupton
    Director of Chapel Music
    Read more
  • Whatever your religious practice or core values I am interested in helping you discover local communities of support on campus and in London.
    Gary Thorne, PhD
    Read more


Organ Scholar Program

In place since 2002, the organ scholar program at Huron provides participants the opportunity to learn to play the organ. Instruction on playing hymns, Anglican chant, plainsong, seasonal and general organ repertoire is included. The lessons are provided at no cost to themselves, practice time is available, and an honorarium is offered for playing the Sunday worship service. This program supports organ scholars who wish to pursue diplomas or accreditation in church music and organ performance.

Chapel Organ

In 1951, a two-manual and pedal organ was installed by Casavant Frères. After decades of constant use, the organ was fully renovated including a small expansion of new pipe ranks and new console in 2006 by Pole and Kingham Ltd.

Key Contacts