I was feeling a little bit ill last night. I tried to nap in the evening before dinner and that wasn’t working for me, so I got dressed and went to the pharmacy to get some medication. I was in bed by 10 o’clock Saturday night and I had plans to go to church this morning and I emailed my friend to say I couldn’t make it, but I got a good night’s sleep and surprise I was up and wide awake at 7 am this morning.
So I quickly emailed my friend and we set out to meet for service at Holy Family Parish this morning up at the Jean Talon Metro. This is the photo of the church.
It was a nice little community. But there was so much going on in the building itself, I think it is a little busy. There are niches here and there. And wall hangings on all the walls and even a spider web like display hanging from the ceiling. There is a special niche devoted to the Holocaust, prayer nooks with representations of all the worlds major religions, a small sweat lodge off to one side, it was blocked by a bunch of Christmas trees getting ready to be decorated and set out.
There is a huge multimedia screen behind the altar that was used to show video and topic slides associated with the days mass ideas and teachings, music and prayers. The Pastor was a very well spoken man who commands a following. The community is very much in the social justice arena welcoming all faiths and denying none.
The reading came from James and Jesus healing the mute and deaf man by spittle and mud. Jesus did a lot of that kind of healing in his day, but it isn’t something we would find ourselves doing in today’s day and age. The main topic of the service today was about how we treat people when we see them. Do we treat a person well dressed and groomed better than we would a homeless or down and out person?
There was a short 5 minute film on interfaith marriages in the U.K. which came by mention of father’s question about racial profiling and judging others. Like I said there was so much going on all at once that it was a little distracting. Yes there was a Catholic service going on and all, but the space was too busy with other things that takes one’s mind off of what we are really there for, to celebrate the sacraments. The mass was a bit watered down and the prayers were shortened and there was only one reading and the gospel, where there should have been two readings and a formal homily.
The homily started before the mass proper and was threaded through the liturgy from beginning to end. There is too much eye candy that distracts one from prayer and liturgy. However gracious and welcoming the community was to visitors, it was still busy…
It was very folksy with guitar, piano, violin and organ music issuing from the right side of the room, the cantor led song with guitar. It reminded me of the early church that I used to attend when I was a young boy. A very informal worship group. Unlike that of, let’s say, the Anglican Cathedral with its high chorale mass and celebrations with the huge pipe organ and carolers.
My friend and I walked back down into Jean Talon Square and had breakfast at a local diner. We had some great conversation. We are both of sober persuasions and both of us seeking “community.” We had a great time.
It was a great morning.