Sunday, November 22, 2009

St. James Anglican Church

With the comfort of heat, I slept in. I still took time to have a hot shower . Only a couple of weeks without the luxuries/comforts of home and I'm literally basking in God's blessings. Knowing I'd hardly make the 10:30 Compline at Christ Church Cathedral I still set out in my truck. Coming up Hastings near Main I realized that St. James Anglican was just over on Cordova Street. I'd been there a couple of times and thought maybe their mass was later. My friend Karen was an ardent member and had encouraged me to come to her church for special events. I'd loved the recitals I'd heard there in addition to the services.

Sure enough. High Mass began at 11.15. I was just in time. I love the old church with the altar facing away from the congregation. It was quite full with lots of old people and lots of children. I especially liked the dog that came to visit me while I was kneeling praying too. Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins gave a sermon asking us this week who sat on the throne we each had within. He was referring to the majesty of Christ, this week before advent. The Coming of the King. The readings referred to Jesus' response to Pilate before crucifixion.

I enjoyed the traditional service with much chanting and incense. It reached back to the Catholic origins of our faith and connected me personally with the 2000 years of worship since Jesus. In some ways I'm never far from my Baptist roots but on the surface this was almost 'papist', with all the kneeling and crossing. I'm sure my friend, John, who I attended the Catholic St. Mark's College with would feel quite at home.

I especially liked hearing Hail Mary, Full for Grace. In the protestant world there has been a resurrection of the Mary who quite literally seemed lost to the Catholics because they were 'soft' on her and a good protestant never strayed far from the tough blood of crucifixion.

All in all I was happy here and look to return. I like the community work they do in the Downtown Eastside as well. After I was able to walk over to the Dug Out .. I certainly don't seem to be getting up early now that the winter months are uponus so knoing a church that starts at 11:15 is a good thing.

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