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Week of March 6th

Many of you have already heard the sounds of rejoicing celebrating the huge success of NUIT BLANCHE last Saturday when 5289 visitors came into the cathedral. About a quarter of this number drank a cup of free fair-trade hot chocolate and then sat in a pew to listen to the music. Not everybody sat – indeed at times the pews were completely full – but most of our visitors lingered for a good length of time, soaking up the warmth of their welcome and the beauty of the candle-lit building. They were very attentive to the music and the art and respected the sanctity of the building.

A huge thank you to the large team of volunteers who made and served hot chocolate and who greeted visitors and kept an eye on security. Thank you also to the musicians and artists, many from our congregation, who provided such an excellent programme. An especially big thank you must go to Natasha Henderson who curated the exhibition and to Jonathan Bailey who created some amazing posters and who co-ordinated the musicians. Sympholie vocales, a large West Island choir who sang three concerts of gospel music were a big attraction. We hope they’ll be back next year. Another thank you to our clergy team: Donald who patiently answered a stream of questions, Jean-Jacques who was master of ceremonies at the beginning of the evening and Paul who led a bell ringing workshop with great good humour and later officiated at Compline sung to Gregorian chant for a congregation of at least 300 people sitting holding candles with more gathered at the back. Finally, a thank you to Rod Roberts, the gallant verger on duty and to Cassidy, Amanda, Jonathan Stuchbery and Matthias who cleaned up the church at 2 a.m.

This year we added an extra concert for the Eve of Nuit blanche. It was presented in three parts and featured Jonathan Stuchbery playing classical guitar, the Armenian music ensemble organised by Sam Keuchguerian and CORtet, a horn quartet which has played several times for the cathedral. It was an interesting programme enjoyed by its audience.

While we’re on the topic of music, here is information about two other concerts:

Dramatic soprano Lucy Meyer, accompanied by Patrick Wedd on the piano, will be performing a L’Oasis Musicale concert entitled “The Lives and Loves of Woman” this Saturday 5th March at 4:30pm

Musica Orbium, Patrick’s secular choir is giving, in Patrick’s words, “a concert of sumptuous works in multiple voice-parts by composers from the renaissance and contemporary periods and the audience will be invited to move around the singers to gain ever-changing perspectives of this magical music.” The programme includes Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. The concert is on April 17 at 7:30. A second afternoon performance has been added at 3 pm. Rob Wells has tickets.

This Sunday is the ANNUAL VESTRY MEETING. If you picked up an annual report last Sunday, please bring it with you. The agenda and financial reports are attached. Coffee and cookies will be served in Fulford Hall. If you are coming to the meeting, would you consider bringing something extra to nibble and share – perhaps a few croissants or some cheese or fruit or vegetables. This is just a suggestion, not an obligation!

There will NOT be an SJAG meeting on the 1st Sunday in March because of the AVM. There will be a meeting on March 13, consisting of prayers followed by discussion. The leaders will use the Reconciliation Prayers from Four Directions to direct our thoughts towards the recommendations of the TRC concerning the healing of relationships with the people of the First Nations.

There will be an informal evening Eucharist at 6 pm this Sunday, carrying on a tradition started by Rhonda.

At 7 pm, the same evening the book group will meet to discuss Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones. Please talk to Diana to discover the meeting place.

More cause for rejoicing – the scaffolding in the cathedral is now down. However, the cathedral is badly in need of a spring clean. It was impossible for the vergers to keep up with the dust and other dirt caused by the construction. Volunteers are needed to help with a big clean up on Saturday, March 12, starting at 9 am.

The church always looks beautiful at Easter. Please speak to Rob Wells or contact the Cathedral office if you would like to donate Easter flowers in thanksgiving or in the memory of a loved one.

The great Vigil on Easter Eve includes baptisms, confirmations and receptionsIf you would like to have a conversation about being baptized, confirmed or received into the Anglican Church please speak to one of the clergy on Sunday.

Hungry Minds: Bible study and supper for students and young adults continues to meet Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 pm. in the Undercroft.

Pain, partage et prière: The French sharing and bible study group will meet on March 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the Hollis Lounge.

Our dean’s recent reflection about marriage has been trending on facebook. You can read the full text on the web site . Here is the extract which appeared on the Cathedral’s facebook page:

I believe it is now time to leave marriage to the state and to the lawyers, where it rightly belongs, and for the Church to return to blessing people in Christ’s name at the altar – which is what we do best.  People can wear white dresses and walk in to Mendelssohn’s music if that is what they want, but we would be set free from the arrogance of thinking that the Church can define what a ‘real’ marriage is (or isn’t). Jesus said “those whom God has joined together,” he did not say ‘those whom the Church has joined together’.  He chose his words carefully.

Looking forward to seeing you at the AGV and finding out whether 5 small loaves and 2 fishes will feed 5000 people, metaphorically. My croissants will feed 6.

Ann Elbourne

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