Dear Friend of the Cathedral
In three more days we will be at the beginning of the holiest week in the Christian year. From Palm Sunday when we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and hear the Passion story presented as a drama under the direction of Rosemary Cass-Beggs, to the joyful choral service on Easter morning, we can join in worship every day, following the story of Jesus’ journey to death and resurrection.
The Monday and Tuesday services are forms of compline, simple sung services for late evening asking God to grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end.
The mood changes on Wednesday with Tenebrae, a powerful service about darkness, desolation, and eventual redemption. Candles are extinguished one by one as the choir sings several psalms, and parts of the Lamentations of Jeremiah are read accompanied by the antiphons of Tomás Luis de Victoria.The point of this service is in a verse in the final psalm: “The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” In the darkness, you will hear a loud noise and then one candle is relit and the congregation leaves in silence.
The drama of Tenebrae leads into the even greater drama of Maundy Thursday when we wash each other’s feet and meditate on the events of the Last Supper and the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. Contrary to the suggestion last week, there will once again be an all-night Gethsemane watch in the Cathedral. If you would like to take part, please sign up on Sunday or let the office know.
For some reason, Good Friday nearly always seems to be a beautiful sunny day; the bustling crowds intent on buying Easter eggs and spring clothes contrast with the solemn liturgies inside the Cathedral where the congregation is remembering the road to Calvary. Services start at 12 noon with a way of the cross for all ages and continue until late afternoon. Three members of our congregation, Ben Stuchbery, Vivian Lewin, and Jeffrey Mackie will be offering meditations during the 1 pm service of music and meditation. The Cathedral liturgical dancers will offer a meditation in movement. There will be a liturgy at 2 pm.
On Saturday we are all encouraged to attend the Great Vigil which ushers in our Easter celebration. The service begins with a bonfire in the forecourt (the photo is from 2016) from which the paschal candle and candles held by the congregation are lit and taken into the darkened church. Lights shine, bells ring, alleluias are heard again and the people shout “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed” You are encouraged to bring a bell from home if you have one so you can contribute to the joyful pandemonium.
Then, finally, we get to Sunday, Easter Day – more glorious music, more rejoicing and perhaps even some chocolate at the 10 am service.
The celebrations finish with a special choral Evensong at 4, when the choir will sing “The Five Mystical Songs” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams with familiar words by George Herbert. François-Nicolas Guertin will be the soloist.
I am filled with awe at the stamina of Patrick and our Cathedral musicians who spend long hours producing sublime music. On your behalf I thank them all.
The Oasis concert this Saturday is a piano recital given by Kelly Lin. There will be no concert next Saturday, Holy Saturday. The week after, April 7, Patrick will give another in his series of Bach recitals on the organ. His last performance in this series was on Nuit blanche and garnered an audience of 300 to 400 people. Let’s try to fill the church again! www.oasismusicale.ca
Patrick is superman indeed. His Orbium choir will be performing Bach’s St Matthew Passion on Saturday April 21 at 7 pm and on Sunday 22 at 3 pm. Rob will have tickets to sell this Sunday.
Other events to note in April are Lunch n’ Chat at noon on April 3, Pain partage et prière (the French bible study group) at 2 pm on April 8 and Hungry Minds, a group for young adults, each Wednesday at 6 pm. The Reading Group will meet on April 22, 7:00 pm to discuss A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart. Newcomers are welcome in all these groups – well, provided you fit the profile – eighty-year-olds would probably be out of place in Hungry Minds!
You are also reminded that you can help make palm crosses on Saturday morning between 10 am and noon under the expert eye of Dorothy Oidi. Rob Wells would love to hear from anybody who wants to contribute to the Easter flowers. Please do that very soon if you want the names of people you are remembering to go in the bulletin.
[The list of Holy Week and Easter services was attached to the email version of this letter and may be seen here. A copy of the report to Forum from Janet King about the family of refugees we are sponsoring was also attached.]
“Anglicans in Canada are being asked to consider changes to the church’s canon on marriage that would open the way to allowing same-sex marriages in churches. This decision is one part of a long process involving Anglicans around the world that has stretched back many decades. Montreal Diocesan Theological College is offering a study day that will look at the background of the marriage canon and place the debate in Canada within a larger global context. By looking at Biblical passages and some short Anglican documents, participants will learn more about how Anglicans in Canada relate to one another and to Christians globally; what Christian unity looks like on a local, national, and global scale; and how the debate over marriage is similar to—and different from—debates that have divided Anglicans in the past. Participants will leave with a broader understanding of how their local churches are part of a larger mosaic of Anglicans in Canada and around the world. This day is being offered in preparation for conversations at the Diocese of Montreal’s Synod in June 2018 and General Synod in 2019 but will be of interest and value to people from other dioceses and to those who are not synod delegates but want to learn more about what being a faithful Anglican in the 21st century means.”
The study day costs $40. If you are interested please see details in the poster and register by April 25. Space is limited.
There will be no newsletter next week unless something major happens, so I wish you all a blessed Holy Week and a beautiful Easter.
To receive this Newsletter earlier by email, and with it, additions like the Forum agenda, financial updates, minutes and reports, posters, photos, etc., simply send your coordinates to the Cathedral office… the failsafe method is to email both Newsletter author and parish volunteer Ann Elbourne and Parish Administrator Elizabeth Shama .
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