Being in Ottawa for six weeks has its benefits, inclduing the chance to do some ecclesial tourism. I’ve twice returned to St. George’s Anglican Church on Metcalfe Street, and the folks there remembered my blog post from last year. I was able to visit them, like last year, on Pentecost Sunday and found this amazing church full of vibrant and alive people of all ages. I haven’t found another Anglican congregation in Canada with so many young families.
Today, however, myself and two chaplain colleagues visited St. Barnabas, Ottawa’s self-described Anglo-Catholic parish. More restrained and much more formal than St. George’s, but still welcoming. We attended the 10:30am Solemn High Mass, which was done with dignity and skill. The music (Missa de Sancta Maria Maria Magdalena) by the choir, led by Welsey Warren, was wonderful. The preacher, Canon James Beall, one of the honouraries, was biblical and thoughtful. One of the things I particularly liked about the bulletin was the inclusion of a lectionary resource called Synthesis from Sedgwick Publishing. It appears to be a great resource, and is used at St Barnabas’ for an adult study group that meets prior to the Sunday 10:30 mass.
As I did after visiting St. Mary the Virgin in Manhattan last year, I am thankful that there are churches so richly grounded in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Our Church needs their witness, their prayer, and their deep and faithful reverence for the Eucharist.