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Emmanuel College strives to be a learning community where students become more deeply rooted in their own religious or spiritual traditions while engaging the beliefs and practices of people of other traditions. To that end, there are a variety of tradition-specific and interfaith spiritual life opportunities for students, staff, faculty and alumni to participate in.

For the fall semester of 2020, all of these events will be happening remotely via Zoom. If you are currently enrolled as a student, you will receive secure links to these events through the weekly EC@Home newsletter.

If you are not a current student, please fill out our spiritual life gatherings sign-up form to regularly receive the links to our gatherings.

You can also email Sam Cavanagh, the Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager, for more information about our programming.

MONDAYS – Buddhist Rituals and Meditative Practices

Mondays, 3:15–4:15 p.m. EDT

A one-hour time for Buddhist spiritual practices led by ordained Buddhist’s from various lineages. For the Fall term, leadership will rotate between: ani. J., Vajrayana nun; Roshi Henderson of the Toronto Zen Centre; Joanne Yuasa, a minister in the Shin Buddhist tradition; and Ven. Zinghui, from the Ching Kwok Buddhist Temple.


TUESDAYS – Christian Midday Prayer

Tuesdays 1:30–1:45 p.m. EDT

A simple service of midday prayer, based on the liturgical tradition of Daily Prayer, and rooted in the contemplative traditions of the Daily Office. These services include prayer, music, scripture, silence and reflection. While these services are intended to offer participants a time of pause for reflection and prayer, connection and worship, they are also an opportunity for those so interested to exercise creativity and employ approaches which may be new or different in a safe environment.

Two Models for Midday Prayer

Below are two models or suggested orders of service for Christian Midday Prayer, adapted from sources and traditions for the Emmanuel College context. Each model includes references for more information, should you wish to follow up.

It is our hope that the experience of these two basic models of Midday Prayer will not only enrich our worship life and deepen our spiritual formation in theological education, but also serve as a resource for our various ministries. As such, they are not intended to be proscriptive but invitational, allowing both for regular use and the deepening practice that comes from experiencing the wisdom of the best of liturgical traditions, while inviting creative adaptations and artful liturgical improvisations.

Daily Prayer

This model is rooted in rich liturgical traditions of the Daily Office and the monastic tradition. The outline provided below is based upon the resources of Voices United (pp. 906ff) and Celebrate God’s Presence (pp. 724ff). It offers a simple structure that can be adapted to suit the liturgical season, scripture, theme or concern of the day, while also providing the structural building blocks for creative adaptations. It will not be possible to use all of the elements presented here within a brief 15-minute service. For example, while there are three opportunities for a Hymn or Song, two will be sufficient; you should choose one of the first two locations of an Opening Hymn, along with a Closing Hymn. Remember also to plan intentionally for the use of silence throughout. While 15 minutes is short, it need not feel rushed if well planned and calmly led.

Apostolic Greeting and/or Scripture Sentence(s)
[Words of Welcome]
Opening Hymn/Song
Opening Prayer
[Opening Hymn/Song – if not earlier]
Scripture reading (s)
[a sung or responsive psalm can be used to replace the first reading]
[Silence and/or symbolic act of response]
Prayers of the People/Thanksgiving and Intercession
[Prayer of Jesus/Lord’s Prayer]

Taizé Prayer

Taizé Prayer has its origins in the Taizé Community in France, founded in 1940 as a ministry of prayerful hospitality and reconciliation with refugees fleeing German-occupied France. It employs simple yet powerful prayers and meditative song, chant and silence. An abbreviated form of this style of worship is suggested below. For our purposes, at least five repetitions of the songs/chants will work well to deepen the contemplative experience of prayer. Usually only a few brief verses of scripture are read, as a focus for silent contemplation. Verbal announcements and spoken leadership is kept to a minimum. In addition, the set-up of the worship space is important – the use of icons/images/art and candles are helpful common. A resource for music and planning is the booklet Songs and Prayers from Taizé, found in the Vestry. Other Taizé songs can also be found in Voices United and More Voices. For further ideas and/or support, consult with the Director of Chapel and Director of Music. For more information on the Taizé Community, including digital versions of all the songs, see:

[gathering in silence]
Gathering Song
Silence [brief]
Scripture [only a few verses]
Silence [slightly longer than before]
Prayers with Sung Response [brief thanksgivings and/or petitions]
Silence [longer than before]
Song for Going Forth
Peace [or Going Forth in silence]



Tips for Your First Time Leading a Service of Midday Prayer

The Spiritual Life Team and Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager are your resources. If it is your first time, meet with a member of the Team the week before to discuss service outlines, including choices of prayers, themes, music, etc.

Normally, it is best to start with the lectionary/scripture readings for worship planning. What texts, scriptural themes or metaphors do you respond to most in the readings? What speaks to our context, time or concerns? Bring your own gifts, skills and passion to the creative process of interaction with both text and context.

Consult with the appointed musician for the day to seek their expertise in selecting appropriate music. Musical selections should be in place at least 48 hours before the service to allow musicians to rehearse and/or prepare.

Time the whole service ahead of time. Read the prayers and scripture with a stopwatch – 15 minutes isn’t long, and it is important to respect the participation of all who come to worship in the midst of their day, on their way to afternoon classes throughout campus.

Remember the room. Ensure that it is prepared well before worship begins, in order to create a space of calm, conducive to prayer. Consider the use of candles, liturgical colours, symbols, etc., to engage all the sense in worship. The supplies in the Vestry are available to help you prepare the space.

Pray. Relax. Commend your work to the purposes and guidance of God. Do your best, but remember that worship, like the rest of life, isn’t perfect. Thankfully, the Spirit can make of even our most humble offerings a rich blessing.

Enjoy! It is our privilege and delight to be able to worship together.

See also the “checklist” below.


A Checklist for Midday Prayer Services

___ Choose a date and sign up for leadership

___ Read scriptures and decide which will be used at the service

___ Draft an outline for the service, using one of the models provided, or another,
remembering that Chapel services should be no more than 15 minutes in length

___ Write prayers, or choose them from resources such as Voices United, Celebrate God’s Presence, Gathering or other collections available in the library

___ Based on your readings, prayers and/or theme, consult with the designated musician for the day to choose music

___ Decide on the arrangement of the Chapel, and what furnishings (tables, candles,
cross, draping) you might use

___ Consult with a member of the Spiritual Life Team regarding the final draft of the service at least 48 hours before the service is to take place

___ Rehearse the service in the Chapel, with those who are giving leadership.


___ Set up the Chapel, and/or arrange for assistance from members of the Worship Team

___ at 1:25 ring the Chapel Bell (found in the storage room) on all floors

___ 1:30 service begins

___ 1:45 service ends. Tidy the chapel, return all furnishings and books to their places and
extinguish candles

___ Have a great day, renewed by our common worship of God and knowing you
made an important contribution to our community life!

___ Communicate or meet with the Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager for reflection, feedback and evaluation on the experience of worship leadership



Wednesdays, 1:30–3 p.m. EDT

Most Wednesdays, the whole community is invited to a service of Christian worship, which frequently includes the celebration of the Sacrament of Communion. Two to three times per semester, Wednesday gatherings are inter-religious in nature.

Word and Table

Wednesday worship normally (but not always) takes the form of a service of Word and Table – i.e., including the Sacrament of Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper or Eucharist. While our norm is Eucharistic, reflecting ecumenical foundations of Christian public worship, worship planners are free to invoke other liturgical models and traditions in relation to the relevant texts, concerns and guests. In addition, other rituals (e.g., footwashing, prayers for healing, other symbolic actions, etc.) may be appropriate to the occasion. An Emmanuel College Lectionary (an optional list of daily scripture readings) provides texts of scripture to guide our planning.

Presiding at Communion

When planning services including communion, planners will need to invite an ordained faculty person or Advanced Degree student, or another ordained or appropriately licensed person, to join the planning team and preside at table. Within the United Church, general practice is to ensure that an ordained or appropriately licensed person is visible and audible at the table. It is also possible to invite co-presiders (including laypersons and students) to give leadership at table, which can provide students with the opportunity to develop hands-on skills in presiding. In addition, ordained persons from traditions other than the United Church are welcome to preside. Be sure to check with the Director of Chapel or Coordinators for any questions related to Eucharistic presidency.


Although many students at Emmanuel are associated with The United Church of Canada, there are other Christian denominations and religious traditions represented within our community. Even within the United Church there is a wide theological spectrum spanning a diversity of worship styles and liturgical practices. Such diversity can offer a rich range of inclusive approaches to worship and/or communion. We welcome such diversity as we seek to engage our own and other traditions at their best, enriching the breadth and depth of our liturgical life.

Music Resources

More Voices and Voices United are our primary sources for shared music. The presence of our Master of Sacred Music program means we are blessed with the presence of many gifted musicians in our midst. The Director of Music is available to offer suggestions on music choices and may be consulted on all worship plans, even if his leadership is not required. The appointed musician for the day needs to be an integral part of all worship planning. While Celebrate God’s Presence is a primary United Church liturgical resource for the United Church, and the Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager can direct planners to appropriate material therein, other resources are also welcomed and encouraged.

Chapel Setup

The space for Wednesday services of Word and Table can be arranged in a variety of ways. The chapel is often with a semi-circle of chairs facing the north windows, the communion table in front of the windows, the lectern with bible to the east, the baptismal font and paschal candle to the west, and the projection screen in the north-east corner. Greeters can welcome people and offer hymnbooks and/or orders of service as they enter. Alternatively, a circle of chairs around a central Table, or rows of chairs facing the table on the east platform, are also possible. Whichever the arrangement, intentional worship planning and consultation with the Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager and the Spiritual Life Team is important.

Paperless Worship

We try, as much as is practical, to reduce our reliance on unnecessary paper in worship, using hymnals where possible and projection where appropriate. PowerPoint templates of our “house style” are in the  as we continue to both model and experiment with technologies and other art forms in worship.


An Outline for WORD & TABLE at Emmanuel College



Welcome & Announcements

Territorial Acknowledgement

Preparation (Silence and/or instrumental and/or sung)

Gathering/Opening Prayer



Scripture Readings, including one or all of:

Old Testament

Psalm (responsive or sung)




Silent Reflection

Prayers of the People (if not incorporated into The Great Thanksgiving)


Invitation & Peace

Presentation Hymn


The Great Thanksgiving (including spoken or sung responses)

Music during Communion

Prayer after Communion



Blessing & Sending Forth

Postlude/Music for Going Forth

THURSDAYS – Contemplative Community Practices

Thursdays, 1:30–2 p.m. EDT

A time to gather from across religious/spiritual traditions to share in contemplative practices, broadly understood. These practices include religious/spiritually specific and tradition-based methods, but can also comprise ecumenical, spiritualist and ‘secular’ ones. Contemplative practices can encourage a sense of open-heartedness, joy, equanimity, resilience, compassion for self and others, and feelings of rootedness, communion and connection. Practices include (but are not limited to): stillness practices (silent meditation, Centering Prayer), mindful movement practices (yoga, liturgical dance, walking meditation), sacred communal reading practices (Lectio Divina), contemplative music (chanting), and contemplative artistic practices (sacred art appreciation, mandalas, iconography). 


Tips for your first time leading Thursday gatherings

The Spiritual Life Team and Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager are your resources.

Typically, it is best to lead a practice in which you regularly and/or faithfully engage. Since this time will look different each week, be sure to communicate with the Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager about your plan two weeks in advance of the gathering, in order that information about the practice you will lead the community in can be broadly shared. Time the whole service ahead of time-- 30 minutes is not long.

Thoughtfully arrange the space, using liturgical objects and supplies located in the Vestry, to suit the specific needs of the practice you are sharing.

Consider offering a few words of explanation at the beginning of the gathering, in order to be able to effectively host all who gather. Inform all who are gathered about the flow of the practice at the outset. Leave room for clarifying questions, should there be any.

Pray and/or center yourself before leading. Relax. Commend your work to the values which you are grounded in by your faith. Do your best, but remember that leading a community in contemplation, like the rest of life, isn’t perfect. And yet, any and all opportunities for contemplation in community is a gift to the community. Enjoy! It is our privilege and delight to be able to find connection together.

Emmanuel College Chapel Lectionary Autumn 2020

Tuesday September 15

Wednesday September 16

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; Exodus 16:1-21; 2 Corinthians 13:5-10


Interfaith Welcoming Service

Leaders: Michelle Voss Roberts, Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo, Sam Cavanagh


Tuesday September 22

Wednesday September 23

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 106:1-12;
Isaiah 41:1-13;
Matthew 18:1-5




Christian Service

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16

Philippians 2:1-13

Matthew 21:23-32

Preacher: HyeRan Kim-Cragg


Tuesday September 29

Wednesday September 30

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 42;
Exodus 19:9b-25;
Matthew 9:2-8



Christian Service

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19

Philippians 3:4b-14

Matthew 21:33-46

Preachers: Cindy Bourgeois and Christine Smaller


Tuesday October 6

Wednesday October 7

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23; Exodus 24:12-18;
Mark 2:18-22



TST AGAPE at Trinity

Tuesday October 13

Wednesday October 14

Psalm 96:1-9;
Deuteronomy 17:14-20;
1 Peter 5:1-5



Community Lunch and ECSS Forum


Tuesday October 20

Wednesday October 21

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; Deuteronomy 32:44-47;
John 5:39-47



Christian Service of Word and Virtual Table

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Matthew 22:34-46

Preachers: Lauren Hodgson and Sarah Chapman


October 26 – 30: Reading Week – NO SERVICES

Tuesday November 3

Wednesday November 4

Psalm 78:1-7;
Joshua 20:1-9;
Matthew 24:1-14


Community Lunch and Colloquium


Tuesday November 10

Wednesday November 11

Remembrance Day, Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 63;
Joel 1:1-14;
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13



Christian Service

Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Matthew 25:14-30

Preacher: Jess Swance and Evan Smith


Tuesday November 17

Wednesday November 18

Psalm 100;
Ezekiel 34:25-31;
Matthew 12:46-50



Interfaith Poetry Gathering: Alf Dumont, Konul Gorbanova, Shawn Houston

Tuesday November 24

Wednesday November 25

First Sunday of Advent

Psalm 117;
Jeremiah 31:1-6;
Luke 1:1-4



Christian Service

Isaiah 64:1-9

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37

Preacher: Embodiment Theology Class (Natalie Wigg-Stevenson)


Tuesday December 1

Wednesday December 2

Second Sunday of Advent

Psalm 79;
Micah 5:1-5a;
Luke 21:34-38




Emmanuel College Chapel Lectionary Winter 2021

Tuesday January 12

Wednesday January 13

Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36
Isaiah 41:14-20
John 1:29-34


Interfaith Community Lunch


Tuesday January 19

Wednesday January 20

Psalm 86
Genesis 16:1-14
Luke 18:15-17


Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12 
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

Preacher: Miriam Spies
Musician: Deborah Park

Tuesday January 26

Wednesday January 27

Psalm 46
Proverbs 8:1-21
Mark 3:13-19a


TST-Wide Service for the Week of Christian Unity, hosted by Emmanuel College

Tuesday February 2

Wednesday February 3

Psalm 35:1-10
Jeremiah 29:1-14
Mark 5:1-20


Interfaith Harmony Week: Eco-Grief and Artistic responses

Panel: Pam McCarroll, Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo, Roshi Taigen Henderson, Tanhum Yoreh

Tuesday February 9

Wednesday February 10


Psalm 50:1-6
1 Kings 16:1-7
Luke 19:41-44

Musician: Victor Tung

Lunar New Year

2 Kings 2:1-12 
Psalm 50:1-6  
2 Corinthians 4:3-6 
Mark 9:2-9

Service coordinated by CANAAT (Committee on Asian/North American Asian Theologies)

Musician: Victor Tung

February 15–19: Reading Week – NO SERVICES

Tuesday February 23

Wednesday February 24

2nd Sunday in Lent

Psalm 77
Proverbs 30:1-9
Matthew 4:1-11


Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Psalm 22:23-31
Romans 4:13-25  
Mark 8:31-38 or Mark 9:2-9

Alum Service

Preacher: Aaron Miller
Musician: Christine Hanson

Tuesday March 2

Wednesday March 3

Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45 Jeremiah 30:12-22
John 12:36-43


No Service

Tuesday March 9

Wednesday March 10

4th Sunday in Lent

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Genesis 9:8-17
Ephesians 1:3-6


Numbers 21:4-9  
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22  
Ephesians 2:1-10  
John 3:14-21

Preacher: Pam McCarroll
Musician: Deborah Park

Tuesday March 16

Wednesday March 17

5th Sunday in Lent

Psalm 51:1-12
Habakkuk 3:2-13
John 12:1-11


Jeremiah 31:31-34 
Psalm 51:1-12 or Psalm 119:9-16 
Hebrews 5:5-10 
John 12:20-33

Preacher: Jeanette Unger
Musician: Victor Tung

Tuesday March 23

Wednesday March 24

Palm Sunday

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Jeremiah 33:10-16
Mark 10:32-34, 46-52

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29  
Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16

Grad Student-led service

Preacher: Sam Needham  

Tuesday March 30

Wednesday March 31

Isaiah 49:1-7 
Psalm 71:1-14 
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 
John 12:20-36 

Interfaith Service



Spiritual Life Team

Spiritual Life opportunities at Emmanuel College are coordinated by the Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager, Dr. Samantha Cavanagh, in collaboration with the Spiritual Life Team and Faculty Advisors to the Team.

The Spiritual Life Team is made up of a group of students who are selected each Spring to engage in collaborative oversight, planning, leadership and evaluation of spiritual practices and other occasional events and services at the College. As a part of their participation in this Team, students earn course credit. Applications to this Team are received each April.

Spiritual Life Team 2020-2021

Karen Chandler
Marc Colbourne
Laura Gallagher-Doucette
Jim Harbell
Sadaf Jamal
Krista Moore
Rose Mina Munjee
Faris Nimry
Joanne Yuasa Sensei

Faculty Advisors to the 2020-2021 Spiritual Life Team

Rev. Dr. HyeRan Kim-Cragg, Timothy Eaton Memorial Associate Professor of Preaching
Dr. Nazila Isgandarova, Assistant Professor in Islamic Spiritual Care
Dr. Henry Shiu, Assistant Professor of the Shi Wu De Professorship in Chinese Buddhist Studies