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Newsletter April 5, 2018

Easter thank-yous – “the winter is past” – Gentle assisted death for George and Shirley – Links to Federal and Provincial statutes and a new Anglican Study Guide re medically assisted suicide – Patrick Wedd’s Bach recital – Events this Sunday – Study about faith formation in the over 60s – Help needed for survey of homeless people – Reminders re Marriage Canon Study Day, Book Group, Cathedral Forum – Invitations to donate flowers, to join a guided holiday retreat in Italy

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

I’m sure you will agree that we owe a huge thank-you to clergy, musicians, choir, servers, homilists, vergers, and everyone who helped us celebrate Holy Week and Easter with so much joy and reverence. Some of the sermons and reflections are available online if you want to revisit this holy season.

Now we are in Eastertide, the season of resurrection and renewed hope, joy and life! These feelings will be reflected in the introits and anthems at the 10 am service and Evensong on Sunday (somewhat ironically in view of the recent weather) “Arise, my love, my dove, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.”

Still thinking about death and resurrection, some readers of this letter will remember former parishioners George and Shirley Brickenden who contributed greatly to the life of the Cathedral before they moved to Toronto in the 80s. Shirley designed the kneelers still used at the high altar. Recently George and Shirley were both in failing health, and after being married for 73 years neither wanted to survive the other. Consequently, they applied for a medically assisted death, and after a joyful family reunion at the end of March, they died peacefully together with their children at their bedside on March 27. You can read the obituary written by the family here , and Kelly Grant’s touching interview, accompanied by photographs is here. May light perpetual shine upon George and Shirley.

The topic of legally assisted dying has been on people’s minds for some years now. The Quebec Act respecting end of life care was passed in 2014. You can read its provisions on the government website here. The federal act permitting medical assistance in dying was published two years later in 2016. The Anglican Church of Canada recently issued a new study guide to accompany In Sure and Certain Hope, the Anglican resource on pastoral and theological approaches to medical assistance in dying that was first released in 2016. Read more. I’m wondering if there are people in the cathedral community who would like to meet to discuss this issue. Please let me know and we can take the suggestion to Episkopé.

There are some great opportunities for recreation, prayer or participation this weekend.

On Saturday at 4:30 our brilliant and indefatigable Music Director Patrick Wedd will perform another Bach recital, part of his monthly series which will continue until June. The one hour programme this Saturday consists of three pieces: Sechs Chorale von verschiedener Art, Sonate en trio in e and Praeludium et Fuga in e.

On Sunday during coffee hour you can write letters or sign postcards to speak out against acts of injustice highlighted by Amnesty. Later in the afternoon Pain, partage et prière, the French bible study group will meet at 2 pm in the Hollis Lounge. That evening there are two very different services: Choral Evensong sung by our choir at 4 pm and La Cathédrale le soir (photo right) an informal bilingual Eucharist celebrated by Jean-Daniel, with praise music led by Zach Ingles. The congregation for this monthly service has been steadily growing – come and try it out.

Hungry Minds, the young adults’ group meets each Wednesday evening for food, study and fellowship. Talk to Jean-Daniel Williams if you’re interested ">or email him.

If you are too old for this group – in fact, if you’re over 60—Gideon Strauss is inviting you to participate in a study about faith formation after 60. The following notice appeared in the bulletin on Sunday:

Christ Church is collaborating with the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS), a graduate school of philosophy in Toronto, in a research project on Faith Formation After Sixty. The project will explore what people older than sixty want from church, how they experience church, and what they want as a result of their participation in church. The project will focus on the 10am Choral Eucharist at Christ Church Montreal. The project is being coordinated by Gideon Strauss of the ICS, a member of Christ Church. For more information Gideon will be available in St. John’s Chapel after the 10 am service on April 8 with a handout on the project and to answer any questions. Gideon invites anyone interested in participating in the project to meet with him today or to contact him by email at gstrauss@icscan

For all interested adults, a request for help doing a survey of homeless people has come from Karine Projean, Project Manager of MMFIM (Mouvement pour metre fin à l’intinerance à Montreal):

“For the 2nd time, the Douglas Research Institute and the MMFIM team up to conduct a count of the visible homeless individuals of Montreal. The survey will take place on April 24th. We are looking for volunteers willing to pass the survey on that night, in their own neighborhood. We rely a lot on residents, who know their neighborhood and the people living there. Would you be so kind as to extend the invitation to your parishioners? They can register directly at:

For any questions, ">contact Julie Felix who is in charge of the volunteering for the event.

Reminders of events described in previous letters:

April 17 (Tuesday) Cathedral Forum at 6:30 (Refreshments at 6). All parishioners are invited to attend.

April 22 (Sunday) The Book Group meets to discuss Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart. All welcome.

April 28 (Saturday) Marriage Canon study day sponsored by the Montreal Diocesan Theological College (Dio) and held at Presbyterian College.

Two invitations:

To buy flowers to beautify the cathedral during Eastertide, speak to Rob Wells or email the Cathedral office.

The Anglican Parish Church of the Ascension at Cadenabbia, Lake Como in Italy, is organizing a guided holiday retreat in August and would welcome Canadians. For information, contact Ann Elbourne or Jane Aitkens.

Christ our Lord is risen! Alleluia!

Ann Elbourne



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