Christ Church Cathedral began in 1888 and was built in 1895. The Regimental Church of the Seaforth Highlandder’s, it is the church the Royal Family comes to when they visit Vancouver. I became a member nearly 20 years ago and attended “religiously’ for a dozen of those years when I even served as a Reader in the Church. . Christened and raised Baptist and later a member of the United Church I was baptized Anglican at Christ Church Cathedral by Dean Peter Elliott and Bishop Michael Ingham. I felt God’s presence that day in a very special way. Always Christ Church, it's leader, and members are close to my heart. When Gilbert, my cockapoo, joined my life I attended St. James Anglican Church where Father Mark on meeting us told me Gilbert was definitely welcome but he’d have to think about me. Gilbert thereafter attended services with Father Mark’s big friendly dog, Bear .
Christ Church is a truly beautiful Gothic building with the most inspiring stain glass, the crucifixion and the risen Christ prominent. Since Dean Elliott’s arrival there have been marvellous building projects which have made the church one of the grandest in Canada. The new organ, high in the back of the church is not only heavenly sounding but visually stunning as well. Rupert Lang, organist and musical director has lead the cathedral choir of Christ Church to countless musical awards . Now there is a new bell tower and the bells add to the divine ambience that pervades this house of God. Easter, a Touch of Brass, joins the triumphant music of the day.
Bishop Melissa presided. She is a loved Bishop whose discernment is much remarked upon. I’d brought Kevin and Anna our friends and parents of the God children. We’d all been at the NSRU which had till last year taken place on the Easter weekend across Burrard at the Hyatt. The conference had moved to the Pan Pacific this year because the attendance overflowed the Hyatt capacity. Kevin and Anna having stayed at the Pan Pacific walked up the few blocks to the church this sunny Easter morning. My friend, Dr. George arrived shortly after with his beautiful teacher friend, Jane. Shortly after that a very strong man in black suit with distinctive ear piece sat in front of us. Obviously not there for my protection we later saw that our greatly admired Premier Christy Clark was there with her now very tall son.
Dean Peter Elliott with his usual brilliance gave a poignant sermon reminiscing about the 2 sided vinyl music with both tracks, distinctively different tunes of the old 45., played by the same artist. He likened this to the inseparable nature of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, of the Old and New Testament, the message of God in Nature and God in Scripture. So typical of Peter’s sermons we’d find ourselves discussing them later over meals. Sometimes their import and meaning would resonate long after, their message of diversity and unity, the three in one spirituality of Christian meditation inspiring and uplifting.
The Peace, and Prayers and Communion all followed before the Cathedral was filled with the majesty of hundreds of voices singing the perennial favourite, 1708 Christian hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today. "
Outside on Burrard Street, we joined Dr. George and Jane introducing Kevin and Anna, everyone in high spirits, the sun shining, with much laughter and joy shared, before we departed to enjoy the rest of this glorious Easter Sunday.