Protestants and Catholics Singing Together: Rich Traditions, Challenging Future

This is a lecture delivered by Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, on September 28, 2017, at King’s College in London, Ontario, Canada, as part of the Veritas lecture series sponsored by Campus ministry.

The lecture is a celebration of how musicians have been ecumenical and shared resources across traditions ever since the Reformation. But what does that mean today, in a rapidly changing and ever more secular society? What does our ecumenical celebration of the Reformation mean for our futures?


The Veritas Series for Faith and Culture endeavors to foster learning and dialogue by gathering our community together, as we seek to live lives of faith and justice.
The word “veritas” comes from the Latin word meaning “truth”. It is taken directly from the College motto: “Christus est Via, Veritas et Vita” (Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life). The pursuit of truth is at the centre of our mission.

In his Apostolic Constitution of 1990, Saint John Paul wrote, “A Catholic University, as any university, is immersed in human society…Imbued among its research activities, therefore, will be a study of serious contemporary problems in areas such as the dignity of human life, the promotion of justice for all, the quality of personal and family life, the protection of nature, the search for peace and political stability, a more just sharing in the world’s resources, and a new economic and political order that will better serve the human community at a national and international level. (32)”

The 18th century composer Joseph Haydn wrote: “At the thought of God my heart leapt for joy, and I could not help my music’s doing the same.” Haydn’s words speak not only to his own spiritual experience but of a rich understanding that music transforms everything that it touches.

This year’s series will welcome composers, performers, liturgists and activists who invite us into the Divine Dance.



  1. Singing brings voices and hearts together. Recently Indians and Pakistanis joined together and sang each others National Anthems.

    1. Good question! Not a conscious omission, but I don’t know whether it was unconscious. I added in “London.” Thanks.

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