Anglicans at Vancouver’s pride parade.
Pride Day in Vancouver, BC is one of the largest, best attended and best organized events that takes place in Vancouver in any given year.
Sunday, Aug.1, marked the 27th Annual Celebration of Gay Pride in Vancouver and at 8am that morning the Second Annual Christ Church Cathedral/Integrity co-sponsored Celebration of the Holy Eucharist took place in the Cathedral’s sanctuary.
The service was organized by the local diocesan chapter of Integrity, the National Organization for Gay and Lesbian Anglicans & Friends and by Cathedral clergy led by the Reverend Patrick Blaney. Following the worship, breakfast was served in the Cathedral’s Parish Hall courtesy of Cathedral Parish Council and all were encouraged to participate in preparations for the Integrity entry in the Pride Day Parade which began at 1 pm.
The attendance at this year’s worship was a substantial increase over the 2009 inaugural year with a mix of people that included: visitors from around the diocese, representatives of Dignity the Roman Catholic equivalent of Integrity, Cathedral parishioners who regularly attend the 10:30am Celebration of Choral Eucharist and a good number of Cathedral parishioners who worship at the 8am Service of Holy Communion.
Music in worship was led by Celtic Harpist/Vocalist, Clarity, Cathedral Choir Soloist, Ray Horst and Cathedral Organist/Director of Music, Rupert Lang.
The worship began with a Service of Light. Eight candles were lit by eight individuals as a corresponding prayer was said, asking for peace, justice, the elimination of fear, forgiveness, love, courage, integrity and hope.
The guest preacher was the retired Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary, the Right Reverend Barry Hollowell.
Bishop Barry’s text for his brief but thoughtful homily was the Gospel passage chosen for the service, Matthew 8:5-10 He encouraged the congregation to view the Gospel story of the Centurion seeking healing for his “servant” (pais) with eyes and minds open to new possibilities of understanding, to explore this story through the lens of those who have been marginalized and made invisible and to focus on how Jesus responded to the request of the Centurion for healing for another.
Following the Celebration of the Eucharist the majority of the congregation proceeded to the Parish Hall to share a meal and to prepare for what was to be a very exciting day.
– Randy Murray is editor of Topic, the newspaper of the diocese of New Westminster.