Eucharist and Diversity

This morning we celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite. It was an amazing experience. The music in various languages, including Arabic was quite moving. The vestments and ritual was stunning. I had the privilege of being a minister of communion. When I received the ciborium with the consecrated bread I was greeted by a sweet scent and the taste and texture of the eastern-rite leavened bread. It was very different. I was actually surprised by it. I remember reading some of the church fathers who wrote about how we should taste and see how good the Lord is and how sweet. Well, for the first time I realized what they were talking about.

We spent the afternoon with some free time. Some people went into the old city by public transit. (The congress pass gives us free passage). Others stayed the grounds of the congress. This is what I did and managed to have lunch with my nephew Tony and his girlfriend Amy. I then checked out the expositions, vendors and talks. I had the opportunity to spend time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where the Ark of the New Covenant was holding the monstrance.

Finally we visited the Ursuline Convent for an evening prayer liturgy near the tomb of Marie de l’Incarnation. It was a celebration of our saints and the diversity of vocations in the church.

Finally we came home to a great festival meal with music and guests from the local parish of St. Anne. The pastor and a few parishioners came and joined us and put on a very humerous skit about the beginnings of the shrine.

Many thanks to Emanuel Pires and Neil McCarthy of the Archdiocese of Toronto for their support and help… especially with the great photos.

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4 thoughts on “Eucharist and Diversity

  1. What a blessing that you were able to experience “active participation” in the rich liturgical tradition of Byzantium with its oriental language, vestments, music and ritual. It must have been as stunning as the Pontifical Mass celebrated by Dario Cardinal Castrillon de Hoyos last Saturday at Westminster Cathedral.

    You are very fortunate to be there Friar Rick, please pray for those of us who, because of circumstances, are not able to be participate so fully and actively in the Eucharistic Congress.

    Vox.

  2. Yes, it was a great experience. Thankfully the organizers adapted the liturgy to include mostly prayers and readings in English, French and Spanish so that all could participate. There was no iconistasis, so that all were able to see what was happening. It was great.

  3. I am not in the congress, but I feel I am “in” as I follow through the different posts in this blog, especially as I listened to the humble talk of the bishop of Imus, Cavite, Philippines. I cannot resist, it touches both my head and my heart and hopefully moves into action of true worship.

    God’s grace/love cannot be confined it moves around freely to touch all hearts that are made ready with God’s help.

    Friar Rick, thanks.

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